Friday Recruitin' Delays Decision

Friday Recruitin' Delays Decision

Submitted by Ace on September 15th, 2017 at 11:52 AM

Time To Not Watch This Highlight Video Again

After previously being eliminated in a move that came as a surprise, Michigan is back in the mix for four-star NC DT Alim McNeill. McNeill had planned to announce his decision on September 9th, almost certainly for stated leader NC State, but with some nudging from the Wolverines he's put that decision off until he can take some official visits, per Scout's Michael Clark:

“I’m going to take some official visits before I decide,” said the 6-foot-2, 272-pound McNeill. “I’m definitely taking officials to Michigan, N.C. State and Virginia Tech.”

Michigan is making a late push for McNeill.

“They’re just Michigan,” McNeill said. “Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and the coaching staff stand out. I also like the tradition and they’ve always been a top football program.

“I had a talk with (defensive coordinator) coach (Don) Brown. Coach Brown really sold me on their defensive tradition.

“He talked about how they feel they could develop me as a player and how they could use me in the defense. He said they like my versatility. I’m ready to go up there and see what they have to offer.”

McNeill maintains NC State leads the pack, while Virginia Tech is also in his top group and Florida State is lurking. That said, it's always good to be the school the causes a prospect to rethink his timeline. This one should get interesting if/when McNeill makes it to campus. Getting back into contention with him is big for Michigan, which is in contention but not the outright leader for their top defensive tackle targets in the 2018 class—adding McNeill back into a target group including Tyler Friday, Michael Thompson, and Rick Sandidge makes it that much more likely they'll land at least one coveted DT.

I continue to recommend against watching his sophomore highlight video.

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

Friday Recruitin' Coaches Up The Youths

Friday Recruitin' Coaches Up The Youths

Submitted by Ace on July 28th, 2017 at 2:41 PM

BBQ Visitors: McGrone Ready To Commit

The annual BBQ at the Big House takes place this weekend; in fact, some visitors are already on campus. As usual, it's one of the biggest visit weekends of the year, and it should produce at least one commitment. Four-star IN LB Cameron McGrone, who recently shot into the top 50 in 247's rankings, is visiting and will then announce his decision on Monday at noon between Michigan, Notre Dame, and Indiana, per TMI's Evan Petzold.

The Irish were seen as Michigan's biggest competition but the Wolverines have all the momentum; they have the last 19 picks on McGrone's Crystal Ball, including those from Steve Wiltfong, Allen Trieu, and (most tellingly) Irish247's Tom Loy. It'd be a shock if McGrone went elsewhere, so expect a lot more on him in this space come Monday.

Along with many current commits, some top 2018 prospects will also be on campus this weekend. The notables, culled from 247's Steve LorenzTMI's Brice Marich, and The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

  • Top-100 MO DT Michael Thompson, who has Michigan in his top five but looks to be leaning towards in-state Mizzou at the moment.
  • Four-star CA S Bryan Addison, who Lorenz believes is M's top safety target in the cycle. USC is the favorite but this is his first visit to campus.
  • Four-star TX OT Rafiti Ghirmai, a longtime target despite being somewhat off the radar who may be a tough pull from Texas.
  • Three-star FL CB Sammy Faustin, who Lorenz says M "quietly lead" his recruitment with Don Brown spearheading the effort.
  • I usually don't take much note of visits by current commits, but in the case of Emil Ekiyor, who's coming off a visit to Alabama, his is worth mentioning.
  • Four-star MO DE Ronnie Perkins, an Oklahoma lean and perhaps M's top defensive end target, is a maybe as he's looking for transportation to Ann Arbor, per Lorenz.
  • Lorenz reports that Michigan is also expecting top-100 MD DE Eyabi Anoma, who plays for Biff Poggi at St. Frances, to be on campus this weekend. TomVH subsequently reported, however, that Anoma plans to visit Maryland. Crootin!

Michigan may not add to the 2018 class this weekend beyond McGrone, but if they can make progress towards solidifying Ekiyor's pledge it'd be a successful BBQ. A big visit for Thompson is high on the wish list, too.

Meanwhile, there's a star-studded group visiting from the 2019 class, which I'll cover after the...


Wednesday Recruitin' Also Visits Illinois, For Some Reason

Wednesday Recruitin' Also Visits Illinois, For Some Reason

Submitted by Ace on July 12th, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Tight End Recruiting: Dust Settling Soon?

The recruitment of top-100 NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, a newly minted five-star on 247 after a stellar performance at The Opening, is nearing a conclusion:

Ohio State has long been the presumed leader, followed by Michigan and then the rest of the pack, and while Ruckert's been quiet about his recruitment it looks like that remains the case. Wolverine247's Isaiah Hole expects Ruckert to choose the Buckeyes after a source who'd held out hope for Michigan's chances got pessimistic:

However, speaking to the same source after Ruckert announced his decision date, that optimism had faded quite significantly. The source told Wolverine247 that Michigan hasn't made the type of gains they would have liked in recent weeks.

Unless something changes between now and Ruckert's decision date in a week and a half, all signs are now pointing to Ohio State being the choice -- they currently lead with 100% of the 247Sports Crystal Ball.

Losing Ruckert to OSU would stink, no question. Michigan still has a lot to like about their tight end recruiting, however. Four-star TX TE Mustapha Muhammad remains one of the better bets to end up in the class—Michigan owns all 23 picks on his crystal ball. Top-100 IL TE Luke Ford, meanwhile, just set up a visit for July 22nd, and 247's Steve Wiltfong thinks the Wolverines could make a big move:

Alabama and Georgia lead here but this Michigan visit I think can flip the script on the whole thing being a Midwest school that really features the TE. I expect Ford and his family to really hit it off with Coach Harbaugh and his staff and the rest of the people in town.

With the visit occurring a week ahead of the BBQ at the Big House, the coaches will be able to give Ford and family plenty of attention.

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

Thursday Recruiting Has The Visits Before The Visits

Thursday Recruiting Has The Visits Before The Visits

Submitted by Brian on April 13th, 2017 at 1:16 PM

Prepare your finest meats

Oblig meat picture

Michigan is having a massive visit weekend, as people are wont to do during their spring games. They're also having a massive visit Thursday. This is a bit unusual but for whatever reason Michigan has a handful of top 2019 prospects on hand today: MO ATH Isaiah Williams, NJ ATH Ronnie Hickman, KY DT Jacob Lacey, MO WR Marcus Washington, and MO LB Shammond Cooper will all be on campus today per Lorenz. The most modestly-ranked of these gentlemen is Cooper, the #127 prospect in the 2019 composite.

But wait, there's more: brothers Dyami and Khafre Brown out of North Carolina are also scheduled to be on campus; Dyami is an '18 WR/DB and Khafre is a '19 RB. Both are four stars in their respective classes. Michigan's also hosting 3* dual-threat 2018 QB James Graham out of Georgia; Lorenz say he is a take because he is a "unique" prospect in search of an offensive fit.

It's unlikely that Michigan gets a commit out of any of those guys but it would not surprise if a few of them emerge as serious targets, with one or two even expected to join the class sometime down the road. Michigan is doing work with on-campus visits these days. Take the recruitment of GA RB Christian Turner, who arrived in Ann Arbor as a silent ND commit:

In fact, it was, as Steve Wiltfong posted here yesterday, a done deal to Notre Dame coming out of his unofficial visit. However, Michigan worked some real magic on their opportunity with him, making this one a surprise commitment in my opinion, but a good one.

They've popped up out of nowhere for a number of guys, most notably Aubrey Solomon, in the last year.

So. Wiltfong has an early Michigan CB in for Williams, the #51 player in the 2019 class, FWIW, with Oregon the challenger. ND is the favorite for Lacey on the crystal ball but the vibe coming out of the Cleveland Nike camp is that Michigan has a shot to make the proverbial "move" today. Sounded like it when he talked to Scout's Josh Newkirk:

“It would mean the world,” Lacey said. “Michigan has always been a great program. I love the way they play defense. They always win and that’s what I love about it.”

Adding an offer would put Michigan in a prime spot in his recruitment too.

“They would definitely be towards the top,” Lacey said. “Jim Harbaugh is a great coach. There is nothing terrible about Michigan at all, they win, they have great academics, I can’t wait to go.”

Lacey's a straight A student with a brother at Army so he's a M/ND sort. 

Gant visit saga

After an initial reports that OH LB Dallas Gant was undecided on a spring game visit between Ohio State and Michigan, he was first supposed to go to Ann Arbor, and then up in the air again, and now expected in Columbus. So there's that. Lorenz got the vibe that Gant's top two might be Michigan and Notre Dame, which is a thing when he's got only OSU predictions on his crystal ball; the OSU visit suggests that might not be the case.

Since Gant is in Toledo he can pop up for a visit whenever he wants; if he does so before his commitment then Michigan has a very good shot. If not it's happy trails.

Hopes not particularly up section

5* CA WR Jalen Hall is one of those California kids everyone assumes is going to USC because they always go to USC, but he says he's not necessarily going to USC:

“Everybody says ‘USC,’ and that may be the case, and it may not be the case,” Hall said.

I still think he's going to USC, but Michigan has been the destination for multiple trips already:

“Michigan is for sure in there,” Hall said. “I visited twice and I plan on visiting again. Every time I go down there, everything has been cool. I just want to talk more football with them and see more about the school.”

He's still going to USC, but Donovan Warren does happen?

Elsewhere in shaking our fists at Los Angeles-area schools, it feels like most people are resigning themselves to UCLA commitments for the Bishop Gorman duo of NV TE Brevin Jordan and NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Lorenz admits that Michigan "has their work cut out for them" on Jordan's spring game unofficial, which also starts today. Meanwhile, Thompson-Robinson may have his mind made up already:

Sam Webb was feeling UCLA a week or so ago and hasn't changed his tune, so it'll take one of those real good visits to overturn things here. Possible, but not probable.

If DTR's recruitment does lead him to Westwood, it probably won't take long for Michigan to find its guy: AZ QB Tyler Shough has locked in an unofficial for May 13th. Meanwhile this is an interesting development for FL QB Joe Milton, who just fielded a UGA crystal ball from a Florida 247 mod:

Just not convinced he goes to UF.

Didn't attend UF's spring game. Will be at Michigan this weekend, who might crank up the heat if Dorian Thompson-Robinson looks to be heading to UCLA. UGA has been after him hard. Overall, the recruitment is somewhat unknown, but I wanted to make a pick other than 'foggy' and UGA seemed like the best option.

That's a "not Florida" pick more than a UGA pick and with Milton on campus at the same time DTR is they could easily exit that visit with a big lead.

Michigan's got a small class on the horizon and plenty of tailbacks so I'm guessing that GA RB Christian Turner's commit closes the door for other tailbacks. Michigan might continue to recruit a few because crootin'. AL RB Asa Martin said he would take a spring visit a week or so ago; we'll see if that's still on. 3* ATH Michael Barrett is a high school quarterback who Michigan recently offered...

...and Wiltfong says Michigan has a "great shot" with him. He might be a DB for Michigan; if he's a running back going to be a tight fit.

Additional grudging 2019 bits

Here's a MI OL Devontae Dobbs highlight reel that's kind of good for a sophomore:

Wiltfong runs down the current status for various top 2019 kids and Michigan comes in for a few mentions. He still believes Michigan leads for GA DT Chris Hinton. Good news and bad news: he is visiting Stanford this weekend and has ND and Cal on his lists so this is a very academics-focused gentleman who seems relatively easy to pry out of the south. Bad news: visiting Stanford, and those jerkos have a tendency to grab prospects who are prime material in Ann Arbor.

CA DE Kayvon Thibodeaux is another USC-USC-USC guy early, which Wiltfong confirms, but he and his 4* 2019 teammate Charles Mincy Jr apparently "love Harbaugh," and Donovan Warren does happen I guess?

Michigan does not draw mention for GA LB Owen Pappoe or CA QB JT Daniels, both five stars who have had some interest in the past.

4* VA LB/DE Brandon Smith attended a satellite camp last year and is into Michigan as a result:

“I’d love to visit Michigan and am hoping to hear from them,” Smith told Wolverine247 on Monday. “I had a chance to meet Coach Harbaugh at the Old Dominion satellite camp last summer. It was a great camp. Coach Harbaugh brings a lot of energy and I really enjoyed it.”

4* OH SDE Zach Harrison recently visited:

“I’d like to go back for another visit,” he said. “I don’t know when yet, though. I’ll probably make it back for a game, because my grandparents are up there.”

Still early in his recruitment; he says he spent his youth climbing trees instead of watching football so he'll be open to anyone.