It's early Signing Day, hooray?
Anoma foreground. Probably not Cesar Ruiz background. But maybe!
I much prefer the full on early February blitz to this ghostly half-life. Should there be a liveblog? Probably not since there is one scheduled announcement relevant to Michigan, not half-dozen there usually are on Real Signing Day.
That announcement is coming from 5* MD DE Eyabi Anoma, who has been widely expected to go to Alabama for the duration of his recruitment. Brian Dohn popped up this morning to say Michigan is "making a very strong push" and could be the pick, but if that comes off like an attempt to build drama to you, you are wise in the ways of recruiting. The last second flip-flop does happen. I wouldn't get your hopes up. He commits shortly after 2 PM, FWIW.
There have been a couple of events to note. Michigan flipped German DE Julius Welschof from Georgia Tech. He's their third sleeper-ish recruit of the past week and rather indicates where this class is headed: to a spot outside the top ten, in all likelihood. Ace will assemble a hello later today; that's likely to be like the two for MI FB/HB Ben VanSumeren and MO WR Ronnie Bell, light on scouting for a relatively obscure guy.
Welschof does have a fringe four-star ranking from 24/7, excellent size at 6'6" 248, and a camp outing at Michigan. So he's only sleeper-ish.
The other thing to keep an eye on: who signs and who does not. Someone who doesn't sign probably isn't actually a commit. GA LB Otis Reese will wait until February as he decides between Michigan and Georgia. DC QB Kevin Doyle told Nick Baumgardner that he will sign in February with his teammates. Doyle hasn't undertaken any non-Michigan recruiting activity after his commit and came in with full knowledge that Joe Milton was also in the class, so that's probably not the prelude to a departure. I can't imagine Shea Patterson is going to make an impact on a guy two classes behind him.
[UPDATE: also there's this:
Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill WR Ronnie Bell will not be announced today. I'm told he can't sign another NLI this year (he already signed one to Missouri State for bball). He told our @BriceMarich he's signing a financial aid agreement now, then a NLI in February.
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) December 20, 2017
Wouldn't expect that would impact his status in the class at all.]
So what's left?
Not much. We'll take Doyle at his word, so Michigan has 18 commitments and Reese in a class that I thought might get up to 22, tops, before Shea Patterson transferred in. The fish still on the hook:
- LA WR JaMarr Chase. Chase just visited TCU. He has an official to LSU scheduled in January. Both TCU and LSU folks are talking up their chances. Kind of feels like an "everyone hears the good things" kind of recruitment.
- CA WR Chris Olave. Olave had to cancel his official last weekend but tells Greg Biggins that he plans to reschedule it in January. UCLA, OSU, Utah, and one of USC or Tennesssee appears to be the top five there. There was some optimism in Ann Arbor about Olave prior to last weekend, FWIW. He still seems pretty wide open.
- FL OL Nicholas Petit-Frere. Petit-Frere appears to be a genuine mystery recruit; since his last Michigan visit nothing of note has really happened. Florida is "in the thick of it"; Loy says ND is "definitely still involved"; etc. Nobody really knows.
- AZ OL Jarrett Patterson. Patterson took his UCLA trip, and both UCLA and Michigan sources believe UCLA still trails afterwards per Lorenz and the UCLA 24/7 site. (Sort of: Patterson "still might be leaning" to Michigan, per those guys. Very wishy-washy language.) He is still going to wait for February, it appears, but if Michigan is still ahead in the immediate aftermath of an official to his other finalist that bodes very well. We've put in a CB for Patterson to Michigan.
- GA OL Jalen Goss. Goss visited Auburn and is taking his recruitment to Signing Day. I don't think Michigan will end up being a major factor for him.
- NJ DT Tyler Friday. A Brian Dohn CB to OSU put folks on alert but it doesn't appear to be causing a stampede of any variety; the subsequent two picks, one from an OSU guy, are to Michigan. Sam Webb completed another three-part odyessy with a recruit's parent, and those are almost always indicators that the kid in question will end up in a winged helmet. Still looking good there.
- GA ATH Michael Barrett. Barrett has had no recruiting activity since his visit to Michigan but oddly has not pulled the trigger. Starting to wonder if he has a committable offer at this instant. He's the kind of guy who would probably want to secure a spot and sign early, right?
The most likely outcome is probably Patterson, Friday, and Barrett. Oh, and maybe...
Krieger Clone #5
pictured: Michigan's 2020 secondary
Michigan tossed out an offer to MI CB Vincent Gray two days ago, and I am confused about this. Outgoing defensive backs: zero. Incoming defensive backs: four. Gray does fit this class's model of a fleet of interchangeable 6'2" guys with long arms, but surely four of those dudes in one class is sufficient? I don't know.
Gray is a Mizzou soft commit who's taken recent visits to Iowa State and West Virginia. The Mountaineers expected to add him to their class today, but the Michigan offer appears to have successfully gotten him to wait:
By all accounts, Gray was set to sign with the Mountaineers on Wednesday, despite his "commitment" (rumors are he already decommitted) to Missouri. The Wolverines have asked him to wait, though, and he says that he likely will, choosing to visit Ann Arbor in January and then sign with a school later.
The WVU site believes the Michigan offer is a contingent one, FWIW. Given the way the board looks I'd be surprised if there wasn't a spot for him down the road.
Former Michigan commit Leonard Taylor currently forecast to go to... Kentucky. Bad move on the decommit.