Future Blue Originals: Aidan Hutchinson

Future Blue Originals: Aidan Hutchinson

Submitted by Adam Schnepp on October 19th, 2017 at 10:04 AM

IMG_1378

story of the second half

I’ve been sitting on the film for this post for a while as I worked to finish off some other projects, mostly because I knew putting the film together for this post was going to take forever. Aidan Hutchinson doesn’t just play one way. He doesn’t play two ways. He plays three ways. As if that wasn’t enough, he doesn’t play one position in each phase of the game. By my count, Hutchinson lined up in seven different spots against East Lansing: NT (on a three-man line!), 3T, 5T, WR, TE, H-back, and long snapper. Yeah, he’s even their long snapper, and he’s good at that, too. Like his father, though, Hutchinson shines on defense.

Aidan Hutchinson Every-Snap Film (Defense)

[After THE JUMP: scouting and more film]

Monday Recruitin' Hits A Lull

Monday Recruitin' Hits A Lull

Submitted by Ace on September 11th, 2017 at 2:16 PM

Weekend Visitors: The Other Sport

I don't envy recruiting writers on a post quota this month, as the start of both college and high school football has led to a very quiet stretch with recruiting. That's particularly the case with Michigan, which didn't host any major football visitors over the weekend; they're loading up the Michigan State and Ohio State weekends with visitors instead.

The basketball team, on the other hand, hosted a couple top targets over the weekend. The top 2018 target on the board, Canadian wing Ignas Brazdeikis, took his first official visit to Ann Arbor, and per Chris Balas he came away impressed:

"The trip was amazing," Brazdeikis reported (with two exclamation points). "I enjoyed everything so much. I just need a little time to soak it all in."

What that means is anyone's guess, but come might construe it that he's contemplating a commitment. He is slated to visit Florida and Vanderbilt, but U-M has long been one of his leaders.

Michigan is on a run of Crystal Ball picks for Brazdeikis, including one from 247's director of hoops recruiting, Jerry Meyer. If that holds, Brazdeikis will be the centerpiece of the class.

Three-star OH wing Justin Ahrens told TMI's Josh Henschke he had an "awesome" visit, and he hit it off with Brazdeikis and two current 2018 commits:

With multiple Wolverine commits in tow, Ahrens says the entire group, including Brazdeikis, connected and discussed the possibility of playing together in the near future.

"David DeJulius, Brandon Johns, Iggy and I all got along really well," Ahrens said. "We did discuss how sweet it would be if we all went there. That would be a major recruiting class."

Ahrens has an obvious fit in John Beilein's system as a sharpshooter who hopefully can work the high screen game as well. Henschke CB'd Ahrens to Michigan; we could see this class wrap up in the relatively near future.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Friday Recruitin' Feels The Mood

Friday Recruitin' Feels The Mood

Submitted by Ace on August 4th, 2017 at 3:32 PM

Part one of this week's two-part roundup, covering the recent commits, can be found here.

Official Offers Out: Sims Enrolling Early


full res photo here

August 1st was the first day written scholarship offers could go out to the class of 2018. You can see what Michigan's formal offers look like above; over the last couple years they've added the "we expect you to continue to strive for excellence" section as an explicit defense against another Erik Swenson situation.

Offer day came with some news this year: four-star GA CB Myles Sims will take advantage of the new early signing period and sign on December 21st, getting Michigan their top defensive back commit on campus for spring ball.

In other commit news, four-star MI DE Aidan Hutchinson announced yesterday he was selected for the Army All-American Bowl.

After last weekend's BBQ at the Big House, Michigan's odds of holding onto four-star IN OG Emil Ekiyor have improved. Following a recent visit to Alabama, Ekiyor said he'd eventually decide between the Wolverines and the Tide, and it sounded like it might be a coin-flip. He told 247's Isaiah Hole, however, that he's simply covering his bases:

While there's still a long ways to go until Signing Day, Ekiyor reaffirmed that he's taking visits as part of an exploratory process, but that he remains firmly committed to Michigan.

“Michigan is definitely the place that I want to be," Ekiyor said. "But I'm also (taking visits) just to make sure that I'm not being blind to another place, just because I feel so good about Michigan.”

It helps that a fellow Indianapolis native, four-star LB Cameron McGrone, joined the class on Monday. Ekiyor told The Wolverine's Brandon Brown he's "really excited to get up there" and join McGrone (plus Hoosier state products Chris Evans and Brandon Peters) in Maize and Blue:

"It makes you feel more comfortable with everybody up there," Ekiyor said. "We already know each other from being in the same city. You get more people from Indy supporting you too because basically all of the best players are heading to Michigan. It just gives you a level of being comfortable."

While Michigan will have to sweat out more visits, Ekiyor's commitment looks to be firmer than we believed last week.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Thursday Recruitin' Names Favorite Saints

Thursday Recruitin' Names Favorite Saints

Submitted by Brian on February 23rd, 2017 at 12:19 PM

Game on in-state

Hutchinson vs 5* 2019 MI OL Devontae Dobbs

Michigan of course picked up a commitment from MI DE Aidan Hutchinson a couple days ago. I was chatting off air with Sam Webb today and we settled on Ryan Van Bergen with a bit more edge rush as a comparable for Hutchinson, FWIW. As a bonus, Harbaugh story:

Harbaugh paid a visit to Divine Child last month and was greeted by school pastor James Bilot.

“The priest meets him when he walked in and Harbaugh said, ‘Give me your top three,’” Hutchinson said, laughing. “The priest didn’t know what he was talking about. ‘Give me your top three saints. You’ve got to have a top three!’ My son’s school was like, ‘Whaaat?’”

I hope Harbaugh has a board on which he has his top saints ranked that he regularly rearranges. Tough day for St. Francis of Assisi, but St. Thomas More is really picking it up lately, etc.

Hutchinson, the #4 player in Michigan per the composite, is a legacy widely expected to end up in Ann Arbor; the rest of the instate crop is far less locked in to any particular school. Of the top ten in state, two are committed to ND already and #8 Jason Whittaker is headed to Northwestern; aside from Hutchinson everyone else is open.

That includes Traverse City West OL Ryan Hayes, who just picked up a Michigan offer and plans a visit next month. Trieu describes him as "Jake Fisher 2.0," referring to the instate lineman who decommitted from Michigan after Rich Rodriguez was fired and went on to have a successful career at Oregon. Fisher was a second round draft pick a couple years back. Per Trieu, Greg Frey recruited both Fisher and Hayes's older brother Connor, who ended up at Pitt. The younger Hayes is up to the #2 player in the state after a significant bump from 24/7.

#1, OL Marquan McCall, was widely regarded a Michigan lean but recently Lorenz said he might not be as high on Michigan's board as that would imply and there might not be room for him in a tight class. #5, OL Tyrone Sampson, is a legit four star but there is one complicating factor. Trieu:

Strong, great balance and base and technically very sound. True center and a potentially elite one.

Michigan took #1 C Cesar Ruiz last year. One or the other could play guard but if Sampson believes his best spot is C Michigan is not likely to be the destination. They haven't offered yet in any case.

File under crootin

GA OL Jalil Irvin, who was briefly a commit, took an unofficial to Ann Arbor and returned saying very positive things:

“I love Michigan after today,” Irvin, a former Michigan commit, said. “Just the campus, coaches, academics, and everything.”

Meanwhile, IN OL Emil Ekiyor, who is currently a commit, has visited multiple schools recently. A trip to Indiana is decidedly unthreatening:

"My main priority right now is Michigan. I'll look at other schools, but I'm pretty focused on them."

Going down to Tallahassee is considerably more alarming, especially considering his recent trip there was his second. That it's part of a southern swing through Georgia, Alabama, and the Noles is... not better, but not worse. Ekiyor, FWIW:

"Just exploring, making sure I am making the right decision," Ekiyor said. "But I am locked into Michigan right now. Nothing has changed with that. I'm just looking."

"I'm locked in ... I'm just looking" is a hefty slab of grade A crootin for you right there. Ekiyor decommit DEFCON is currently at 3, and will move up to 2 if he camps at FSU, like he told 24/7 he was "thinking about."

On the other hand, 4* GA LB Otis Reese seems totally solid. He's planning an April unofficial and Lorenz reports that Michigan has not let their pursuit flag despite the fact he is committed.

Large class complaints will be minimal this year

Per Lorenz, Michigan is currently done(!) at DE and LB with one guy at each spot (Hutchinson and GA LB Otis Reese), and there's some circumstantial evidence to back that up from 4* CA DE Jeremiah Martin, a weakside type:

“(I’m) not really (hearing from them),” said Martin. It just same with some other offers like offered then don't really communicate. I mean mail that's about it.”

Martin still wants to visit but feels like the interest is more on his end than theirs at the moment.

That seems a bit shortsighted to me since there's always attrition even when you don't want there to be attrition (see: Asiasi, Devin). But the depth chart is pretty stocked at both spots now, which was emphatically not the case a year ago.

Anyway: any class with just two guys at DE/LB is going to be pretty small. Especially if they're not going to push for FL DE Nik Bonnito as a result, as Lorenz asserts.

Obligatory Faalele section

FL OL Daniel Faalele checked in at 6'8", 400 pounds at the Orlando Nike Camp. Apparently Mike Onwenu convinced them to get bigger scales at these things. This news was the impetus for that rarest of birds: a Good Tweet.

Extremely grudging 2019 stuff

MI OL Devontae Dobbs is an early five star on 24/7 and continues tracking that direction after an impressive Elite Big Man camp:

Trieu asserts that he's "a blue chipper without a doubt."

FL LB Anthony Solomon took an unofficial last week and returned saying Michigan was his new leader, displacing Alabama. Solomon is at St. Thomas Aquinas, which is now Harbaugh's favorite saint. STA sends a lot of guys to ND and various northern schools, so it's not out of the question Michigan hangs on. Solomon told Sam Webb that he's very close with Devin Bush—"their family and my family grew up together"—and that can't hurt.

Another recent visitor who Michigan leads for is KY DE Stephon Herron Jr, per Lorenz. Here is the default sentence about vague leaders two years out.

Etc.

Brice Marich reports that Michigan is keeping tabs on 3* MI OL Michael Furtney. 4* IL OL Verdis Brown was "super excited" to get a Michigan offer, has vague visit plan. 3* AL DT Timaje Porter very much wants a Michigan offer. Michigan offers GA ATH Quindarious Monday, and yes I just mentioned this because of the name.

Hello: Aidan Hutchinson

Hello: Aidan Hutchinson

Submitted by Ace on February 21st, 2017 at 9:21 PM


The word "lanky" comes to mind. [Isaiah Hole/247]

Michigan added a legacy to the 2018 class this evening when four-star Dearborn (MI) Divine Child DE Aidan Hutchinson, son of All-American defensive lineman Chris Hutchinson, committed to the Wolverines over the likes of Louisville, LSU, and Michigan State.

Hutchinson is Michigan's third commit in the class, joining IN OG Emil Ekiyor and GA S/OLB Otis Reese.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #16 DE,
#202 Ovr
3* WDE 4*, 83, #11 DE,
#94 Ovr
4*, 93, #5 SDE,
#97 Ovr
4*, #9 SDE,
#205 Ovr

It's still early in the 2018 evaluation process and Hutchinson is a prospect who requires quite a bit of projecting from a physical standpoint, so it's not a big surprise to see a significant split in his rankings. ESPN and 247 both consider him a fringe top-100 prospect; Scout has him as an early four-star; Rivals considers him the #14 prospect in the state—in a down year compared to 2017, at that. Rivals' Josh Helmholdt had a positive evaluation of Hutchinson after yesterday's Best of the Midwest Combine, so we could see these rankings tighten up before long.

Hutchinson is listed anywhere between 6'4", 227 (Rivals) and 6'6", 245 (Scout). He told The Wolverine's Brandon Brown this week that he's at the high end of that range and may still be growing. When he fills out, he should land at strongside defensive end, though if he gets much taller he may merit a look at offensive tackle.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and more.]

Friday Recruitin' Plays Point-Center

Friday Recruitin' Plays Point-Center

Submitted by Ace on July 29th, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Large Human Favors Michigan

The BBQ at the Big House on August 6th is by far the biggest recruiting event of the summer for Michigan, and the list of potential visitors—and potential commits—is growing seemingly by the hour. The biggest news of the week, in both literal and figurative terms, is that three-star AL OT Toryque Bateman will take his second unofficial to Ann Arbor of the summer for the BBQ. The 6'8"(!), 305-pound tackle released a top five yesterday with Michigan on top, and he confirmed to Wolverine247 that the Wolverines indeed lead for him.

247's Isaiah Hole posted that Bateman is a take for the coaching staff and subsequently put in a Crystal Ball for Michigan; Steve Lorenz followed suit. If Bateman does in fact commit soon, that would bring M's O-line count for the class up to five with several top prospects still on the board. It looks like the coaches are willing to go up to seven OL for the class, and if the right prospects want to join in, we might even see a current commit be encouraged to look around. (To be clear, that last bit is speculation based on Harbaugh's recruiting style, not any concrete info, and I suspect he's learned from last year's Swenson fiasco.)

One such lineman could be four-star NY OT Isaiah Wilson, who will also be an attendance at the BBQ, as will four-star CA OT Aaron Banks, whose name hasn't come up much (distance will do that) despite his high interest in Michigan.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Friday Recruitin' Destroys The Carpet

Friday Recruitin' Destroys The Carpet

Submitted by Ace on April 1st, 2016 at 4:00 PM

As One Does

It appears Jim Harbaugh is excited about the Spring Game. Or perhaps this weekend's slate of visitors. Or maybe he's just happy to be living the dream. Regardless, this is now my Twitter header photo. I called dibs. It's mine now.

2017 Spring Game Visitors

Steve Lorenz posted a full, free list of weekend visitors. Pretty much the entire 2016 class and several 2017 commits will be there, assuredly pitching Michigan to the uncommitted recruits.

Michigan will host a pair of running backs in top-50 USC commit Stephen Carr and New Mexico three-star O'Maury Samuels. Even with Kurt Taylor (who'll also be there) and AJ Dillon in the class, the coaches don't appears to be done recruiting the position. Carr might be a longshot; M looks to have a much better chance at Samuels.

New Jersey, as is now the norm, will be well-represented. Two Paramus Catholic four-stars, OLB Drew Singleton and DT Corey Bolds, have Michigan and Clemson out in front with the Wolverines presumed to hold the edge for both; while weekend commitments appear unlikely, M could solidify their standing atop their respective lists. Michigan will make their final push for four-star Princeton (NJ) Hun School DT Fred Hansard, who once looked like he was off the board but now is a distinct possibility to join the class when he announces his choice on May 14th. Three-star Bridgeton (NJ) ATH Markquese Bell included Michigan in his recent top ten and is also a decent bet to end up in the class.

The top center in the class, IMG-by-way-of-NJ four-star Cesar Ruiz, set off a potential commitment watch when he tweeted that "big news" is coming today at 5:30. He told Lorenz it wasn't recruiting-related, but Lorenz also noted that could be misdirection; I won't even try to venture a guess on April Fool's Day.

Other 2017 notables include top-100 AL WR Nico Collins, four-star IMG OLB Jordan Anthony, four-star IMG OT Robert Hainsey, three-star TX TE Major Tennison (Texas commit), and a trio of uncommitted in-state prospects: four-star DE Corey Malone-Hatcher, three-star DT Phillip Paea, and three-star ATH Allen Stritzinger.

One recruit has already wrapped up his visit this week. Three-star FL RB Mike Epstein, an Illinois commit, told MnB's Brandon Justice that Michigan made "a big jump" after he met the whole coaching staff and two of his high school's former quarterbacks, Jake Rudock and John O'Korn.

[Hit THE JUMP for 2018 visitors, new 2018 rankings on 247, an in-depth breakdown on AJ Dillon, and more.]

Friday Recruitin' Leaps More Things

Friday Recruitin' Leaps More Things

Submitted by Brian on March 25th, 2016 at 12:11 PM

Donovan Peoples-Jones remains ridiculous

The assembled Cass Tech students took this entirely in stride.

Or possibly lost their minds, as one does.

A tentative and incomplete list of Spring Visitors

There will be a ton. A bunch of in-state guys not listed will be there, but they often decide late. There will probably be another half-dozen regional guys who make it in who either aren't talking or haven't been unearthed by recruiting sites yet.

2017:

  • NJ DT Corey Bolds.
  • NJ LB Drew Singleton Bolds and Singleton are both at Paramus. Looks like it will come down to M or Clemson for both. The duo pushed back their visit from random spring practice to the game itself. Don't expect Singleton to drop; his dad told Sam Webb that they have a suite of visits set up ranging from Cal to PSU to Auburn. He also said having Partridge around was "huge" and "huge" and "HUGE."
  • NJ DT Fred Hansard. Hansard's visit is a bit of a surprise since he set a decision date and usually that means your mind is made up. Nobody thought it was made up in favor of Michigan; a two-day visit will give them a chance to change his mind.
  • AL WR Nico Collins.
  • NM RB O'Maury Samuels. Michigan is the first major offer for Samuels. More on him in a bit.
  • FL LB Jordan Anthony will be there.
  • FL OL Robert Hainsey.
  • FL OL Cesar Ruiz. All three of the FL guys are from IMG. Ruiz revised his visit schedule, trimming a bunch of teams but leaving M and FSU and maybe Maryland as prime contenders.
  • MI OL/DL Phillip Paea. Paea's been on campus three times since his M offer. Spring will be #4.
  • maybe CA DL Popo Aumavae. Said he was trying to work it out.
  • maybe OH TE Trey Pugh. Pugh was up a couple weeks ago and said he may return.

2018:

  • NJ DE Dorian Hardy. Michigan was Hardy's first offer.
  • NJ DE Jayson Ademilola.
  • NJ LB Justin Ademilola. Yes, twin brothers.
  • OH DE Leonard Taylor. Taylor visited with new LB commit Antwuan Johnson a couple weeks ago; a return visit indicates serious interest.
  • FL TE Judge Culpepper. Big ol' dude already who is a name priority so we can scream "I AM THE LAW" when he scores. Florida legacy.

Nico Collins impresses

AL WR Nico Collins is one of those kids who has a bunch of southern schools and then Michigan on his list. Normally those recruitments end up with the player staying in the SEC, but people say Michigan has a real shot with Collins thanks to his dad. Here's hoping pops wins the day here, since Collins brings something Funchess-esque to the table. ESPN scouted him at the local Opening regional:

He has tremendous height and nice length. He has big, strong hands and a wide catch radius and was consistent catching the ball. He was not the fastest target in attendance, but did display good ability to drive off the line quickly and among the biggest targets there he did flash ability to use his size.

Collins will be up for the Spring Game; Alabama is the favorite but Michigan will have an opportunity to overturn that. Right now Collins is planning to take his recruitment through official visits.

A running back or two emerge

Michigan's running back board to date:

  1. EVERYBODY
  2. some other dudes
  3. lol idk

MA RB AJ Dillon is one of those dudes. He completed an unofficial on Tuesday and—surprise—enjoyed it.

"Toured campus, got a feel for Ann Arbor and was really impressed by the school after seeing the academic studies," Dillon said. "Seems like a great town. And the facilities were amazing."

In the aftermath 247 OSU analyst Alex Gleitman entered a crystal ball for Michigan. Lorenz says he's "as in tune" as anyone is with Dillon's recruitment. That ballz was quickly followed by a mighty one from Steve Wiltfong, who says the visit was a "game changer." Dillon has already been to Notre Dame and Wisconsin, the schools previously thought to lead. Those CB flips seem pretty meaningful.

If Michigan does land Dillon they're getting a heck of an athlete:

At last summer's New Jersey/New York Nike Football The Opening Region, Dillon posted the top Nike Football Rating of the day with a score of 114.12, Dillon measured in at 6-foot-1, 229-pounds and ran a 4.64 electronically time 40-yard dash, a 4.39 shuttle, a 38 ½-0 power ball toss and 36-6 inch vertical.

Donovan Peoples-Jones, who is ridiculous, turned in an electronic 4.45 at about 40 pounds lighter than Dillon—for a 230 pound guy dude can move. Heck, 4.64 is the same time Dylan Crawford ran at the Opening, which placed him eighth overall. If Dillon played better competition he might be a major, major recruit. Instead he's at the tail end of most top X lists.

Meanwhile, NM RB O'Maury Samuels is suddenly on the radar after crushing a Dallas Nike camp:

Samuels, who came into the event with just an offer from New Mexico State, was the talk of the event when it was done, beating out a number of Texas natives for RB MVP honors and more importantly, became the first player from the state of New Mexico to ever be selected to The Opening Finals.

He ran an electronic 4.45 just like Peoples-Jones and regrets that since his hamstring was a little wonky. Michigan fired out his first major offer right after that camp and he will be up for the spring game. Samuels is shaped more like Fitz Toussaint than an angry horse, so he and Dillon might not overlap much in terms of skillset.

Samuels has induced the first Ludicrous Statement About Running Back from Tyrone Wheatley:

"Coach Wheatley (compared me to) a young ‘AP’ (Adrian Peterson),” said Samuels.

Samuels is listed at 5'10", 188, which means two of him stacked on top of each other would equal one Adrian Peterson, who emerged from his father's head fully formed with switches in both hands. Must be something Fred stashed in the beverage fridge.

Finally, TX RB Eno Benjamin is still very serious about Iowa:

“They were both nice,” he said of his visits to Iowa and Michigan. “It’s hard to compare the two, but I think Iowa had the edge there.”

Benjamin cites the fact that Iowa is operating with two- and three-star running backs and he could have a bigger impact. I don't think he's heard about AIRBHG yet. Four star running backs who head to Iowa City are signing up for Final Destination: Cornfield. Benjamin's already visited a bunch of places; at this point you have to take the Iowa lead seriously.

Devin Bush Sr. goes to work

A bunch of guys from Miami were on campus all of a sudden yesterday:

Four-star linebacker DeAndre Wilder, who has an offer from the Wolverines already, is one of the notable names. Joining him will be freshman running back Nayquan Wright, a phenom who already holds offers from Alabama, Miami, Florida State, LSU and Notre Dame.

Wilder said he and Bush "go back." Lorenz believes he'll return for an official visit, which was M's primary goal.

Also in attendance was FL CB Naytron Culpepper. Sounds like they're taking a bunch of guys with various talent levels around, as one of the stops on their tour is EMU. MSU and ND are also on the docket.

Other visitors

Fast and furious they are as Michigan tries to import kids before spring practice ends. Cass OL Jordan Reid, who has an offer, was at Michigan for the third time in a month yesterday and may end up at that Ford Field practice. (I'm guessing one of the primary motivators for opening the practice is for its utility as a recruiting tool.) Ditto Cass S Jaylen Kelly-Powell, who is entering Lavert Hill territory as far as omnipresence in Ann Arbor goes.

Instate OL/DL Phil Paea, as mentioned, was also in. 6'8" MI DL/OL Robert Hudson, a new name, stopped by as well. Hudson is obviously far too tall to play DT, where Scout ranks him, but hasn't even tried out at OT yet. Probably a guy to watch through his senior season and a potential late riser.

I forgot to mention OH CB Amir Riep, who visited a week or so ago. Riep is from Colerain, Joe Bolden's alma mater. Bolden's dad is the coach there but OSU's DB coach was hired away from Colerain so there are connections on both sides. Riep said nice things about the visit but…

“It was really important for me to get up there to be honest,” he said.  “Growing up in Ohio and watching Ohio State, I would have never really thought much about Michigan.  It was so much different than what I had pictured in my head.  It amazed me how nice everything was up there.”

…sounds like OSU is still the favorite. ND and LSU are also in the picture.

AL S J'Marick Woods was planning to come up for the Spring Game but bumped that visit to right now.

Grudging 2018 section

Legacy MI DE Aidan Hutchinson picks up his first offer from LSU. Les (and Cam Cameron) do throw out random Michigan offers from time to time, especially when they know the family, but rarely do those end up with serious pursuit; guessing that's the case here.

This one is weird. Per Brice Marich, NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson says he will return to Michigan for the A4 QB camp "for sure." Michigan was very attentive on his recent unofficial:

“I talked to the whole offensive staff individually, toured through the football facility and campus, sat down with numerous people dealing with the school part of my visit, and went to the Big House.”

Harbaugh included—he talked to the head man for an hour. Probably about laser tag and fire tweets.

Okay. So that all sounds good.Here's Thompson-Robinson talking to Bucknuts:

"…at Ohio State every coached welcomed me. Only one or two offensive coaches and coach (Jim) Harbaugh welcomed me at Michigan. I kind of prefer Ohio State. It seems like more of a fit, especially the offense.”

WTF? This is why I try not to pay too much attention to 2018 at this juncture.

OH RB Jaelen Gill includes Michigan in a top five that looks like a top two:

"I love Ohio State," Gill said. "They are definitely in my top five for sure, along with UCLA, Michigan State, Tennessee, and Michigan. Ohio State and Michigan are very similar in a lot of ways. They are just two great schools and programs."

USC and UCLA are up next so he's not close to having a final list; could maybe probably come down to a classic M/OSU battle.

Michigan won't be getting the top QB in the country in consecutive years, it appears, as 2018 GA QB Trevor Lawrence seems lukewarm on a Michigan offer… possibly because M forgot they offered him months ago. Lawrence is ticketed for some SEC school.

Did I mention that OH LB commit Antwuan Johnson's dad is a Michigan fan? I might have. Either way should help that commit stick. Meanwhile, Johnson's teammate and OH DE Leonard Taylor sounds like a guy who Michigan might even lead for:

"When I was up at Michigan it felt like home, and I love the way Coach (Jim) Harbaugh is running things up there," he added. "They have a great academic program, and I really liked the city of Ann Arbor." 

I wouldn't be shocked if he dropped at or just after the spring game. Think that's < 50%, but it could happen.

Tuesday Recruitin' Anticipates Influx

Tuesday Recruitin' Anticipates Influx

Submitted by Brian on March 15th, 2016 at 1:31 PM

Spring practice brings all the recruits to the yard

We've just had a bit of a down period where

  • Michigan "offered" every single recruit in the 2017 and 2018 classes,
  • those recruits said they were interested, and
  • visits were suggested to be on the docket but not actually scheduled.

Here's the platonic ideal of the form from VA LB Teradja Mitchell:

As for what's next for what's next for Mitchell, he plans to visit Florida and Florida State this spring, but no dates have been set. Then this summer, he hopes to get to Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State.

He claims no favorites at this time.

All right then. Thankfully, the opportunity to see a Jim Harbaugh practice is beginning to clarify who's actually interested and who's just talking. Two guys in the "just talking" category appear to be MS RB Cam Akers and CA RB Najee Harris. Harris scheduled a trip to OSU that does not include a swing by Michigan. Lorenz doesn't offer an explanation on Akers but "is from Mississippi" suffices for our purposes.

Visits of the recent past

WI OL Tyler Beach completed a visit last week. Surprise: it went well.

Beach maintains that M and Wisconsin are at the top; he's visiting ND, NW, and MSU in the near future but those schools are making up ground per Brandon Brown:

"I plan on committing in April or May," Beach said. "Michigan and Wisconsin are my top choices right now and I'll just pick whatever place feels right."

If Michigan gets Beach I want to see Wisconsin message boards put in an octagon with Washington mods.

OH OL/DL Howard Watkins was also on campus around the same time. Watkins is a new name out of Cincinnati Colerain, Joe Bolden's alma mater; he says he's been a Michigan fan his whole life. He's currently under the radar, unranked by 247 and a two-star guy to Scout, so he might have to impress as a senior. He's got an Indiana offer.

Watkins's teammate and OH CB Amir Riep already has an offer, as top 100 prospects almost universally do. His is certainly an all-caps one instead of an air-quotes one:

Former Colerain HC Kerry Coombs is OSU's DBs coach so this might be a high hurdle; he's got a ton of OSU predictions on the Crystal Ball. Lorenz relates that word from inside Schembechler is that Michigan believes they have a "very legitimate chance."

TX RB Eno Benjamin still maintains that Iowa leads after a Midwest swing. He announced a top-ten-and-change that purports to be in no order but kind of seems in order:

I can't remember the last time Michigan and Iowa were both involved with a kid from outside the Midwest.

Visits near future

Michigan will host AL S AJ Harris and AL DE LaBryan Ray this weekend; they are popularly thought to be a real contender for Harris but were previously on the fringe for Ray. The end result is likely to be the same: it'll take something special to convince an Alabama DE with a Bama offer to spurn the Tide.

Michigan has a better shot with IN LB Pete Werner, who will visit Thursday and Friday before a Saturday visit to Notre Dame. Wiltfong expects one or the other to lead in the aftermath and says Werner is expected to make an "academic decision."

IMG OL Cesar Ruiz and Robert Hainsey will visit for the spring game. It's tough out here for a Cable Subscriber:

image

image

image

Michigan has a ton of competition for both gentlemen but should be in both top 5s. Hainsey is likely to be playing with or against Michigan—outside of Pitt his visit list is just about all Big Ten schools.

Michigan might land a visit from WA OL Henry Bainivalu per Washington mods who have spent the entire spring working the speed bag in anticipation of more Michigan-Washington recruiting battles.

Blame Recruit Canada

Michigan will be of more interest than usual to a couple of kids now hailing from Virginia: both VA DE Luiji Vilain and VA S Jonathan Sutherland are originally from Ontario and have moved to the US in order to make themselves more attractive to football programs. That makes Michigan one of the closest programs to home for both.

Vilain lists a bunch of schools when issued the "recruiting the hardest" question, but if you squint the local-ish programs may have an edge:

"I was pretty excited about Michigan and Michigan State," Vilain said. "I've been waiting on those two."

He will attend Sound Mind, Sound Body and hit up both instate schools.

Sutherland's list is more defined: North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Michigan. He will also visit Michigan while he's in Detroit for Sound Mind, Sound Body.

Fine, 2018 exists and let's mention it briefly

This week in "MGoBlog grudgingly talks about the recruiting class after the current one":

  • The top in-state name to know next year is MI OL Marquan McCall, a two-way lineman currently inside the top 100 on 247. He will visit for the spring game. Michigan is the favorite.
  • Lorenz reports that Michigan is going after a number of kids in Las Vegas, amongst them Bishop Gorman teammates Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a dual-threat QB, and Brevin Jordan, an OLB/TE. Michigan would be "tough to beat" for Thompson-Robinson if they offer; Michigan is expected to do so when he swings by M and OSU this week. Mom is an M alum.
  • MI DE Aidan Hutchinson is the son of former Michigan DL Chris Hutchinson. He visited last week and is a guy to keep an eye on for an offer. I'm guessing Michigan will wait for his junior season to finish before doing so since that could be a situation where the phone calls goes "We'd like to off—" "YES".
  • OH LB Antwaun Johnson, another recent visitor, named Michigan his leader, twice, after returning from Ann Arbor. Encouragingly, he is scheduled to return for the Spring Game. The catch: no OSU offer yet.
  • NJ OL/DL Tyler Friday has Michigan, Ohio State, and Rutgers as an early top three. He wants to visit all those schools.

Name Alert!

IL TE Griffin Hammer.

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Griffin Hammer is +3 with an extra 1d6 damage to chimerae.

Etc.: Happy trails to MO WR Jaevon McQuitty, who committed to Nebraska. More or less happy trails to TX OL Austin Deculus, who announced a decision date of May 20. He hasn't visited or scheduled a visit; that's 99.9% seeya. LSU is the expected choice so Michigan might get back in if Les Miles's tenure gets wobbly again.

GA QB Davis Mills committed to Stanford, ending any chance the Cardinal starts sniffing around CO QB commit Dylan McCaffrey. Trieu ranks MI OL/DL Phil Paea the #2 DL in the Midwest. Sounds like he's in line for a four-star bump from Scout.

MI OL commit JaRaymond Hall visited this weekend as well. He's an in with McCall, his teammate. Bama still leads for FL OL Netori Johnson and his amazing hair even after his decommit. MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones keeps it close to the vest, lather, rinse, repeat.