Quick Isaiah Wilson Tea Leaves

Quick Isaiah Wilson Tea Leaves Comment Count

Brian December 16th, 2016 at 10:10 AM



NY OL Isaiah Wilson decides at 11:35 (or, given how these things go, thereabouts) and there's still an undercurrent of uncertainty about his choice. Most people still think it's Michigan despite this talk of a Georgia surge, and an article posted yesterday at 247 offers an opportunity to deduce. Here's his high school coach explaining why Wilson moved his decision up:

"I came up with the idea after seeing Jim Harbaugh here," Fountaine said. "He spent a couple hours here, and he is just like a big kid - he's got a different personality. But seeing him walk around the school, with such a and how the kids respond - everybody knows who he is. Football is so important to the school, so I thought it would be great for him to do it in front of his entire student body."

Fountaine says he contacted Wilson while he was on his official to Georgia to pitch the idea.

Wilson immediately agreed, which again doesn't sound like a guy who is still contemplating a decision. He probably knew it was Michigan at about the time he moved it up from the UA game to Christmas, as well, and knew at about the time the Alabama insiders' confidence went off a cliff.

It is of course possible that Georgia changed his mind. Weirder things have happened in recruiting. This is why it is sometimes known as crootin. Still feeling as confident as possible given that Wilson, like DPJ, seemingly hasn't given anyone the wink-wink. Per Sam Webb it's crickets for all three suitors. Fun! (Not fun.)

Anyway, we'll know in an hour or two.


Thursday Recruitin' Spins In Circles, As One Does

Thursday Recruitin' Spins In Circles, As One Does Comment Count

Brian December 15th, 2016 at 12:59 PM

Yes another one so soon, it's recruiting time.

Hello Tarik Black


Commit post from Ace here; a couple of late-breaking items that didn't fit in that post follow. Isaiah Hole got an interview with his high school coach:

What techniques have you seen out of him that he's truly dominant at?

I think his route-running ability is freakish, to be honest. He has an innate ability in and out of a cut and create separation, no matter what you're doing. And he will catch any ball near him.

Brian Dohn has some more scouting at, uh, Scout:

When getting off of the line of scrimmage, Black knows how to set up the cornerback and stick his foot into the ground and make a cut. He gets his head around quickly and locates the ball well.

Black also has big, strong hands, and he does a very good job of securing the ball quickly and heading up the field to make yards.

I'm not sure who he'll get compared to when I do the recruiting profile. Michigan hasn't had a lot of 6'4" guys at WR with Black's apparent polish. FWIW, Black will enroll early.

Orbiting panic guy getting a workout



Drama must accompany any announcement from a recruit in the five star range even when there doesn't seem to be much available, and we hit that point with MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones and NY OL Isaiah Wilson yesterday. There has been FSU and OSU chatter about Peoples-Jones, and there was a surge of Georgia optimism—one that included a couple crystal balls—for Wilson.

The situations for both are similar: there is a genuine uncertainty since neither player has told coaching staffs where they are headed prior to their announcement. Black was a silent commit for a couple months before his announcement, and there are some other guys on the board who are equally drama-free. Neither of these gents are that.

Webb reports that Peoples-Jones was still sounding folks out for advice as of Monday. DPJ has been on Michigan's campus a zillion times, including an official visit last weekend; Isaiah Hole reports that he spent a lot of time with Najee Harris and his mother, purportedly in an attempt to recruit them to Michigan. Lorenz says it would be a "considerable upset" if he went anywhere else, etc. This has a Lavert Hill vibe to it where there's some uncertainty going into the announcement but the sheer number of visits DPJ has taken and his connections to Michigan should see M win out.

DPJ announces at 8:30 on ESPN2.

The Wilson stuff looks like a Reverse Nauta to me. If you remember last year's recruitment of TE Isaac Nauta you'll remember the surge of Michigan optimism late that ended up petering out. This is a little different since 247's Ryan Bartow has issued a CB for Wilson to UGA based on a "trio of contacts." He's currently the only member of the insider crew with that opinion. Lorenz is still hearing Michigan; Bama people are hearing Wilson "prefers to play in the SEC" but that Alabama isn't really in it anymore for whatever reason and still riding with Michigan; Mike Farrell and Adam Friedman at Rivals are picking Michigan; 247 Georgia guy Rusty Mansell thinks it's "tight" but also goes with Michigan.

I still go back to that Friedman article I've referenced a couple times where he said he pretty much knew where he was going. That was before the Georgia visit. So for Georgia to win this recruitment one of these two things has to be true:

  1. Everyone was completely wrong about Wilson's inclinations for the duration of his recruitment and a single unofficial over the summer to UGA was enough to overcome full-court presses from Alabama and Michigan.
  2. Georgia did enough on his official visit to overturn an already-made decision.

I guess it's possible; I'll believe it when I see it. Wilson should decide around noon tomorrow.

Obligatory Najee Harris section

Wheatley coaching Harris at Michigan's satellite camp in Antioch

Sam Webb dropped what is probably the longest insider post on a single recruit I've ever seen. The topic, as you may infer from the section header, is naturally CA RB Najee Harris. There's too much in it to even summarize. The most salient bit in my eyes is the total media blackout since Harris's visit:

That includes Scout's Bama writer A.P. Steadham, who has actually spent time in Najee's home interviewing his mom. He was the first to interview her, and for that matter I think he has interviewed her more than anyone else. Since the visit I’m told he has gotten crickets.

Huffman has spoken with the kid and folks in the school more than anyone else in the media (Huff is SUPER connected Antioch). So far crickets for him too (but don’t expect it to be that way much longer).

That blackout results in the kind of reports you see about Harris, where guy who works for team-oriented recruiting site asks team sources how they feel. Naturally they feel real good. 247's Hank South is their main Alabama guy and reports that "a source familiar with Harris's recruitment" believes Harris will stick with 'Bama, which is basically what they've been saying for a year with no more or less conviction.

The other running backs

Harris's uncertain status and AJ Dillon's BC flip puts the other two RB commits in the spotlight. MSU appears to be kicking the tires on 3* GA RB Kurt Taylor. Dillon's decommit should make Taylor's spot in the class much more secure. Still worth noting since that's the only non-Michigan activity on Taylor's profile since April, when he may or may not have taken an unofficial to South Carolina.

Meanwhile NM RB O'Maury Samuels was upgraded to "moderate" on the imaginary flip watch spreadsheet after his official had to be delayed until January so he could re-take the ACT. Sam mentioned a potential Brad Hawkins redux in the Scout best guess list; not everyone is up for a prep year if someone else will take you immediately.

If Harris goes the wrong way Michigan could end up with a thin RB crew. Probably doesn't matter a ton since they have three contributors returning and Davis/Walker coming off redshirts, but I really liked both Samuels and Dillon as prospects.


In case you'd like to know how competitive Michigan State is in the race for MI DE/DT Deron Irving-Bey's commitment, here's an MSU recruiting insider bombing the talent level of the only instate four star other than MSU legacy Hunter Rison the Spartans have a shot at:

A source added that, "Irving-Bey's senior film wasn't that impressive and doesn't play with a high motor."

Spartan Tailgate was told Irving-Bey is not likely to end up at Michigan State unless they miss out on several other defensive linemen targets ahead of him. That's one of the reasons why Irving-Bey hasn't taken an official visit to Michigan State yet.

Irving-Bey will announce on January 7th at the Army game. MSU's several DL targets in front of Irving-Bey... will not do that.

Also in mmmmhmmmm:

A source close to Harris told SEC Country recently that he prefers Alabama’s weight program more so than Michigan’s. In fact, one player Harris personally knows at Michigan became very out of shape, and it was off-putting. Harris is a workout freak and Alabama strength coach Scott Cochran may be the best in college football.

That is almost certainly Harris's trainer and indicates where he wants Harris to go more than anything else. The idea that there's a huge problem with a Michigan S&C program that is about to put 12 kids in the NFL draft is bush league pyschout stuff, man.


Senior film from 4* MI LB commit Josh Ross:

Ross is a bigger version of his brother and will probably play ILB what with Michigan recruiting various safety/LB hybrids for the Peppers spot.


CA CB Elijah Hicks is in a holding pattern after his official to Michigan. His coach still swears up and down he'll sign with ND, but he is an unreliable narrator. Michigan stopped by PA OL and PSU commit CJ Thorpe for whatever reason. Unless things go haywire down the stretch that's unlikely to amount to anything either way.

2018 CA WR Amon-Ra St Brown, younger brother of ND WR Equanimeous, says he will definitely visit Michigan. ND turmoil might open the door for M. 

2019—you are old and will die soon—GA OL/DL Chris Hinton Jr is a potential five star who Michigan has offered. He's worth a mention even at this early stage because both his parents went to Northwestern. I'm giving him an honorary hyphen and expect he'll be a hot name around this time next year.

Former MSU DT Craig Evans lands at Oregon State after a JUCO year. Oregon State is where Gary Andersen is after he left Wisconsin in a huff, largely because he couldn't get guys like Evans, a former UW commit, in. So there's a thing.

MI CB Donovan Johnson shot up to #7 in the state on the composite, which is a bummer for Michigan twitter screenshotting. Johnson just committed to PSU. MSU didn't even offer, which is the weirdest thing about this year's in-state recruiting.

Also I just need to say that Alabama is recruiting guys named "Buggs" and "Ruggs" at the same time. That is all.


Monday Recruitin' Braces For Commit Avalanche

Monday Recruitin' Braces For Commit Avalanche Comment Count

Brian December 12th, 2016 at 5:01 PM

Peoples-Jones sets a date


5* MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones will announce Thursday evening on ESPN. There has been a Rashan Gary-esque recruiting panic... wait just a sec...


There. Anyway, Gary-esque recruiting panic based on a rumor that DPJ was down to OSU and FSU posted literally during his official visit to Michigan. A last-second in-home from OSU only amped up the fainting couch wing of Michigan fandom further.

Nobody seems to buy this. Steve Lorenz, Steve Wiltfong, Allen Trieu, Sam Webb, and Bill Greene all believe it will be Michigan. Even the gentleman who posted the thing didn't believe it, which sort of defeats the purpose of being an information gatekeeper.

It is worth noting that DPJ, like Harris, doesn't talk to people much or at all and thus most of these assertions are less than iron-clad. I mentioned this last week: this is not a recruitment where anyone is sure what will happen because the recruit is so quiet, and in those circumstances you can have the proverbial shocker. It would still be a shock.

Obligatory Najee Harris section

Nobody knows. The end.

[After the JUMP: a real Najee Harris section! That is no more informative than the first one!]


Friday Recruitin' Is A Ninja

Friday Recruitin' Is A Ninja Comment Count

Brian December 9th, 2016 at 12:23 PM

Bruh you gotta take that ring to Mount McDoom


enjoying the fact that this picture's filename is 0_0.jpg [Scout]

4* CA OL Aaron Banks is announcing in a few hours. The recruiting world's expectations: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. This is one invisible four-star recruit. Until yesterday he had got one Crystal Ball, that a year old from the weirdo who puts in a pick for every recruit in the country way early and then forgets about most of them.

One thing we can probably deduce from Banks's visit schedule: it's Michigan or Notre Dame. He took officials to those two schools and Oregon, which just imported a new staff. If Oregon was still in it he'd delay his announcement to catch up with the new guys. Cal and Stanford, the local-ish schools, aren't in it. There was some UCLA chatter after Jim Mora had an in-home, but he hasn't been to Westwood since this summer. Apparently that was the first time Mora had ever met Banks. That would be a weird way to pick up a commit.

FWIW, Lorenz says Banks is take and that he doesn't know what'll happen; Brandon Brown first said Michigan would pass but then backtracked on that; Wiltfong notes that ND has really been putting on a full court press, while Michigan sending Jay Harbaugh to close the deal instead of the head man could be construed as something other than all-out effort.

The most definitive opinion is from Scout's Greg Biggins, who feels pretty strongly that it'll be Michigan since "it's the only school he talks about" to the point where coaches from other schools on official visits mostly hear about Seoul Street's Korean street food, renovations to the IM building, and Stadium Boulevard being closed until spring. We have put a crystal ball for Banks to Michigan mostly because that's the most definitive take out there. Tom Loy, naturally, put one in for Notre Dame. Neither outcome would surprise.

[UPDATE: we've now flipped our CB to ND as Biggins reports that Michigan passed.]

DB cancellations

The perils of naming any visit list ever: CA CB Darnay Holmes and PA S Paris Ford will not be on campus. That's a minor bummer. Sam Webb says that Michigan is focusing on ND commit Elijah Hicks as their fifth DB at this point. As of a few days ago Hicks's imminent flip from ND had been downgraded to "up in the air" after a hard ND push. You'd think that 4-8 and not having a defensive coordinator would make it hard to push.

Brad Hawkins can get up

4* NJ WR Brad Hawkins is a rare prep-and-follow guy for Michigan who actually came through and joined the next recruiting class. I was surprised, and now I'm not.

You know it's a good WR highlight video when the wide open touchdowns are in the second half; that is a man who can go get footballs.

The above and news that Michigan might not have room for one of the four very good WR prospects they're pursuing means we can shelve Hawkins-to-safety talk for the time being. Wiltfong told the ND 247 site that Michigan had removed itself from pursuit of 4* IA WR Oliver Martin because they were more or less full at wide receiver, which is a very good sign for the three names other than Martin currently on the board. 4* CT WR Tarik Black announces in a week and 5* MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones is an early enrollee whose last visit before a decision is to Michigan this weekend; only 4.5* AL WR Nico Collins looks set to take it to signing day.

Obligatory Najee Harris section

5* CA RB Najee Harris told Bleacher Report that he wanted to take all five officials before deciding, which... uh... probably not since that would mean two visits in addition to Michigan before the 12th. Cal is feasible because it's nearby, and it appears that the Bears did indeed host Harris. They sent him a party bus and everything. USC is maybe less realistic.

Anyway, that Bleacher Report article is yet another in which Harris's quotes about Harbaugh are eyebrow-raising, especially in direct comparison to Nick Saban:

"He's a legend in my area in a way," Harris said. "What Harbaugh did—to go to the NFL and do that, then go to college at Michigan and do that again—that's one of the best coaches."

He acknowledged Harbaugh and Alabama head coach Nick Saban are "extremely" different coaches but noted "they're both good people."

Harris observed Saban operates with a "straight business" approach, while Harbaugh is "juiced" and "full of energy." Most importantly, they share a penchant for developing winners.

That's the third article where the reserved Harris says some effusive things about Harbaugh. Will it be enough? Like Banks, nobody knows. Harris's mom has a twitter account that is very heavy on 'Bama stuff; Sam Webb's gut declared that people inside Schembechler think they lead. But nobody really talks to Harris outside the odd BR or newspaper article, so nobody's got a read.

You go to hell and you die, Georgia


Sometimes crystal balls are silly, like when Rutgers led on Isaiah Wilson's for four months

Georgia was a thorn in Michigan's side last year and they may be again. Unlike last year, location plays in Michigan's favor for 5* NY OL Isaiah Wilson. Alabama is perceived to be the main competition, but with the primary Bama 247 guy flipping his crystal ball to Michigan a couple days ago it appears the only thing standing between Michigan and Wilson is this weekend's official visit to Athens.

Nobody is talking about this outside of the Georgia sites because nobody expects much to come of it. Wilson told Adam Friedman* that his mind was just about made up a few days ago:

“The school I’m thinking of just seems perfect. That’s the best way I can put it. I’ll leave it at that. People can go on an do their guessing. I think I pretty much know where I’m going."

Always some small danger, but I'd be much more worried about Bama for an out-of-region recruit. To Wilson they probably look the same except one has Nick Saban and the other has Bootleg Nick Saban.

*[Yes, the guy who said Wilson was an OSU/Clemson battle earlier this year. This is a direct quote so Friedman's tendency to say CLEMSON EVERYTHING does not interfere.]

Meanwhile Michigan has a road game against Georgia (and Alabama, and apparently the rest of the SEC) for 4.5* GA DT Aubrey Solomon. Solomon just announced that he's going to spend that fifth official on the Bulldogs. Or not, and instead they'll spend it on Auburn.  He's already been to Bama and M; his January schedule will take him to USC on the 13th, Georgia or Auburn the following week, and Florida just before Signing Day. Right now it seems like Michigan is where he wants to go, but they've got to dodge a ton of bullets to get to the finish line. UGA 247 reporter Kipp Adams has it about right:

This is an all-out war. Every school should be worried about everyone.

I dunno, man. Auburn—which has not been involved so far—kind of seems like another southern option that might be a compromise between Michigan (where Solomon wants to go) and Somewhere Close (where mom wants him to be). USC does not fit this narrative, admittedly, but I go back to that recent interview where Michigan seemed to be the choice.

I though that about DaShawn Hand, too, so don't take that too seriously.

Reitmaier set to stick with Oregon?

There's a poster on Rivals's board who is clearly connected with TN DT Rutger Reitmaier; he asserts that after Willie Taggart's hire at Oregon Reitmaier looks set to stick with his commitment. Message board rando discounts apply but this guy in particular seems consistent and credible.

I wouldn't write him off just yet, since it seems clear where his parents want him. Reitmaier's dad talked with Sam Webb for a very long piece, which is usually a good sign. In it he's pretty open:

When Coach Harbaugh and Coach Mattison reached out to us and once I started talking to them and doing the research I'm like, ‘oh boy, this is a really good school, and obviously, the program is great.’ But I didn't realize how (great) on the academic side it is. So (what you’re) kind of trying to figure out as a parent is, you want to have him play where he wants to play, but also give some (perspective) to the youth that doesn't have experience.

Michigan probably doesn't have room for all four of the DL currently on the board but they really need at least one NT type, and Reitmaier is in the Glasgow mold. 3.5* MI DE/DT Deron Irving-Bey probably tops out as a three-tech. Getting at least one and preferably two of Solomon, Reitmaier, and 4.5* UT DT Jay Tufele is neck-and-neck with a ready-to-play tackle as the most pressing need remaining in the class.


FL LB Jordan Anthony has set a commit date of 12/22 per this Epic Oskee-level video on Hudl. Speaking of!

Lorenz reports that Anthony will visit Ann Arbor on an unofficial this weekend instead of taking an official to Maryland. If so that is game over, man. Anthony's announcement will have zero suspense, which is the way I like my announcements.

MS LB Willie Gay is at one of those State versus State All Star games and sounding like a pretty good Peppers analogue: "Gay is really fluid and speedy from his linebacker position and he's got safety cover ability to go with his heat-seeking run support style." Michigan is still after him hard.

Lorenz also reports Michigan thinks 3.5* OH DE James Hudson's senior film is really good too. He and Stueber are probably the most underrated guys in the class.

4* 2018 MI LB Ovie Oghoufo is a Notre Dame commit but sounds very open about listening to Michigan, as you would expect after Notre Dame went 4-8. 4* 2018 GA LB commit Otis Reese just got a trio of heavy-hitting offers: Bama, Georgia, and Florida. If there's going to be wobble in his recruitment it'll start now. He sounded very committed just a couple weeks ago.

MI CB Ambry Thomas commit process details. Similar article on AL S commit J'Marick Woods.


Friday Recruitin' Is On Flip Watch

Friday Recruitin' Is On Flip Watch Comment Count

Ace November 25th, 2016 at 3:00 PM

GIF Is Unrelated But Necessary

While all thoughts at this point are on tomorrow's capital-G Game, there are some recruiting developments to cover from last weekend's slate of official visits.

Top-100 NY OT Isaiah Wilson isn't saying much about his leaderboard, but the returns were positive from last weekend's official visit, per Sam Webb:

Another factor helping strengthen Wilson’s positive view of Michigan is the opportunity for early playing time.  The four-star lineman isn’t bashful about expressing how significant that consideration will be in his final decision.  That’s why offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Tim Drevno and Jim Harbaugh made it a point to mention it.

“The vibe is good,” said Wilson.  “We are very comfortable with each other. We went over film and talked logistics about if I was to attend.”

Wilson has upcoming official visits to Alabama, Georgia, and LSU; his recruitment is expected to come down to Michigan and Bama.

Despite all the things implied by taking an official visit to an out-of-region program faring much better than the one to which a recruit is committed, the high school coach of three-star CA CB Elijah Hicks made it a point to say Hicks was "100 percent" committed to Notre Dame heading into last weekend's trip to Ann Arbor. That is not the post-visit vibe according to multiple reporters, including 247's Steve Wiltfong:

247Sports is told Hicks left impressed.

If Hicks didn't have any intentions of rethinking his decision to Notre Dame before the visit, a well-placed source on the Michigan side told 247Sports he certainly is now.

I'm not predicting a flip, but nothing would surprise me.

Scout's Greg Biggins talked to a few sources close to Hicks who feel there's "a very strong chance" he flips to Michigan. The push for Hicks makes sense in conjunction with the feeling that Darnay Holmes is likely to stay in California, probably at UCLA; Holmes has been non-commital about his official visit to Michigan lately. We just put in a Crystal Ball pick for Hicks to flip.

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


Friday Recruitin' Gets All The Hyphens

Friday Recruitin' Gets All The Hyphens Comment Count

Ace November 18th, 2016 at 2:30 PM

This is going to be short because I'm on enough cold medication that I can barely spell my own name. You've been forewarned.

Weekend Visitors: Wilson, Reitmaier Headline IU Game

247's Steve Lorenz has graciously posted this weekend's visitor list for free. Official visits of note:

Top-100 NY OT Isaiah Wilson is already on campus. Lorenz says there is "considerable optimism" on the Michigan end of things from a source close to his recruitment.

Three-star TN DT Rutger Reitmaier is an Oregon commit, which should make Michigan look enticing by comparison. His father didn't downplay the chance of a flip at all when talking to 247's Steve Wiltfong:

Reitmaier's father Rik was recently on the Michigan campus and says the Maize and Blue have a shot here.

"Now Oregon is the leader but I think once he sees Michigan and the coaches, he really likes (Greg) Mattison, They have an opportunity to showcase their program" the elder Reitmaier said. "I was up there a couple of weeks ago, my youngest son plays travel hockey, and (Jim) Harbaugh invited me to meet with him. I was impressed with him and the coaches I met."

Three-star GA FB Tory Carter, an LSU commit, will take his long-awaited official along with high school teammate and 2018 Michigan commit Otis Reese. Michigan also hosts three-star Notre Dame CB commit Elijah Hicks, though his coach makes it sound like a change of heart is exceedingly unlikely.

Five-star MS RB Cam Akers, who's always been considered a longshot, cancelled his planned visit. Unless Michigan makes an unexpected move for USC commit Stephen Carr, it's Najee Harris or stand pat at running back.

Several commits and a handful of 2018 prospects will also be in Ann Arbor. Check out Steve's post for the full list.

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


Monday Recruitin' Adds To OL Pile

Monday Recruitin' Adds To OL Pile Comment Count

Ace October 17th, 2016 at 2:21 PM

Exit: Chase Lasater

I'm a little late getting to this after the bye week, but fullback Chase Lasater is no longer a member of the class. Lasatar announced his decommitment on his Twitter account, which is now set to private. He said he and his family "feel it is best" to reopen his recruitment and that Michigan remains one of his top schools; he thanked Jim Harbaugh and Bam Richards for recruiting him.

With Michigan going after LSU fullback commit Tory Carter, who has an official visit scheduled, it would be a surprise if Lasater ended up back in the class.

Busy Bye

The coaching staff didn't take it easy during the bye week, instead heading out for a long list of recruiting visits headlined by Jim Harbaugh's stop in Antioch to see the #1 recruit in the country, CA RB Najee Harris. Scout's Josh Henschke has a full, free rundown of who the coaches saw.

Notably, a few new offers went out, including one that spurred a new Crystal Ball prediction. That came after Michigan offered three-star TN DT Rutger Reitmaier, who's committed to Oregon, a program you may recall hiring a defensive coordinator with a very strong track record of unearthing excellent defensive linemen. Reitmaier has some impressive junior film (see above) and Oregon commits are ripe for picking these days. This offer looks like a reflection of both Reitmaier's ability and M's waning hopes of bringing Aubrey Solomon back into the fold; Sam Webb was in Lee County during the bye and came away saying M's chances at Solomon are "essentially nil."

Harbaugh also offered top-100 Las Vegas Bishop Gorman S Bubba Bolden, and Sam Webb says that despite the late timing of the offer, Michigan could have a shot:

Michigan offered four-star safety Bubba Bolden from Bishop Gorman. Despite the relative lateness of that offer, the interest definitely appears to be mutual. Bolden has two open visit dates and has expressed a desire to give Michigan one of them. No firm date has been established but a trip to Ann Arbor now appears to be a distinct possibility.

The coaches also offered four-star AZ S Isaiah Pola-Mao, who currently has Washington on top of his list. The multiple new safety offers could be a result of commit J'Marick Woods, who recently had high praise for his Arkansas official visit, taking a look around; I highly doubt it's a product of losing confidence in their ability to land Jaylen Kelly-Powell.

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


Monday Recruitin' Utilizes Bye Week

Monday Recruitin' Utilizes Bye Week Comment Count

Ace October 10th, 2016 at 2:58 PM

[Googly Eyes Emoji]



“I’m going to take my five visits, but I just don’t know where,” Harris said. “Let’s say this: My mind isn’t set on Alabama. I’m not 100 percent set on Alabama. I’m trying to see what else is out there for me. I’m using my visits to see. As much attention as I’ve gotten, I feel like I have helped my teammates get some offers, too.”

That is the top-ranked player in the country, CA RB Najee Harris, going on the record about his recruitment for the first time in... months? It feels like months. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle dropped this pertinent bit of news in their ongoing series on Harris that mostly focuses on his life outside the lines:

Next week, when Antioch hosts Liberty, another wrinkle comes into play: Harbaugh, the Michigan head coach, is planning to attend the game, hoping he can persuade Harris to flip his verbal commitment to Alabama and play in Ann Arbor instead.

While 247's Steve Lorenz expects Harris to end up signing with Bama, he continues to believe Michigan is the school with the best chance to change that, and mentions that M's staff in fact thought they either led or were close following Harris's summer unofficial visit.

I'm still skeptical of M's ultimate chances to flip Harris, but going on the record to say his Alabama commitment isn't set in stone is especially noteworthy coming from a recruit who avoids the media and appears to be trying to keep his recruitment as drama-free as possible.

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


Friday Recruitin' Is A College Program

Friday Recruitin' Is A College Program Comment Count

Ace September 30th, 2016 at 3:25 PM

M's Biggest Recruiting Weekend Is Here

Michigan has stacked this weekend with visits, many of the official variety, and it's shaping up to be their most important recruiting weekend of the fall. TMI's Brice Marich has a free rundown of the top visitors on campus, and 247's Steve Wiltfong has an overview of the major recruiting storylines. Here's a quick runthrough with some additional notes where applicable.


Five-star TX OLB Baron Browning: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas, and UCLA appear to be Michigan's primary competition, and while the Wovlerines have been regarded as a fringe contender for much of Browning's recruitment, 247's Steve Wiltfong said this week his summer visit put M in better position than ND and OSU. Browning's brother played for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, which can't hurt M's chances.

FIve-star FL OT Alex Leatherwood (Alabama commit): Michigan and Florida are trying to pry Leatherwood away from Bama, but Steve Lorenz has mentioned on our podcast that this is quite a long shot unless Bama OL coach Mario Cristobal leaves the staff after the season.

Four-star KY OT Jedrick Wills: Wills looked like he'd drop to Alabama before ever making it to Ann Arbor. While that didn't occur, Bama remains the favorite.

Four-star NJ OLB Drew Singleton: There's still a lot of optimism from Michigan insiders about Singleton—who's here for his second game this season—despite the buzz surrounding Clemson.

Four-star IMG OLB Jordan Anthony: Another linebacker prospect long considered a Michigan lean.

Four-star IMG OC Cesar Ruiz: As Lorenz said in this week's recruiting mailbag, Ruiz is arguably the most important target left on the board, and with Alabama seemingly out of the picture this is a race Michigan expects to win.

[This list is long enough to JUMP mid-section. As I said, it's a huge visit weekend.]


Recruiting Mailbag With Steve Lorenz: O-Line, Decommits, Ohio

Recruiting Mailbag With Steve Lorenz: O-Line, Decommits, Ohio Comment Count

Steve Lorenz September 19th, 2016 at 3:57 PM

Ed-Ace: Recruitnik extraordinaire, regular podcast guest, and noted darts enthusiast Steve Lorenz of Wolverine247, aka The Artist Formerly Known As Aquaman, is back with his weekly recruiting mailbag. If you aren't subscribed to 247 and want to read more from Steve and the gang, they're running a buy one month, get two months free promotion.

pkatz asks: Seems to be a lot of flux in our OL recruiting - where do we stand now on elite tackle recruits in 2017? 

I feel like Michigan is not so much in a "flux" situation as they are in a "wait and see" mode on the offensive line in 2017. The only thing I would call a flux is the number they would take, which is something that could literally change by the hour. 

They have the four verbal commitments currently, and depending on who they reel in it will likely be six or seven to finish out. The names they're pursuing have remained pretty much the same (no order): Aaron Banks, Isaiah Wilson, Henry Bainivalu (could be guard or tackle), Cesar Ruiz (interior), TJ Slaton (most likely interior), Alex Leatherwood, Walker Little, Chuck Filiaga, Austin Deculus, Jedrick Wills, Toryque Bateman and I'm sure a couple of others. 

Michigan's best shots are the guys they currently lead for on the Crystal Ball: Ruiz, Wilson and Slaton. They are in the thick of it for Bainivalu, and have a puncher's chance at flipping Leatherwood and Deculus. Wills and Filiaga are future official visitors that qualify as longshots. Bateman is a wait-and-see type prospect who will probably officially visit after the season. 

Basically it comes down to the fact that the remaining names they're in on are elite talents that can afford to wait out the process. Given the need for bodies up front and a potential opportunity to play early, they should finish out very strong across the board on the OL provided they keep winning games. 

[Hit THE JUMP for Steve's takes on decommits, M-OSU recruiting battles, and several quick-hitters.]