Thursday Recruitin' Tries To Avoid Redundancy

Thursday Recruitin' Tries To Avoid Redundancy

Submitted by Ace on December 7th, 2017 at 2:55 PM

I've got some catching up to do and Brian has done much of the catching up, so make sure you read his recruiting refocus posts for the offense and defense. I'm going to try to avoid mentioning stuff he's already put in there to avoid redundancy.

Ohio State Visit Fallout

Like I said, I've got some catching up to do.

The highest-profile official visitor for the OSU game was five-star FL OT Nicholas Petit-Frere. Sam Webb has insisted for a while that Michigan was very much in the race, and Steve Lorenz heard the visit "exceeded expectations," though Petit-Frere himself isn't showing his cards. He did connect with his player host, another academically inclined offensive tackle:

“I got a chance to hang out with a few of the players,” reported Petit-Frere. “I hung out with (his player host) Grant Newsome and some other players as well. It was a good time.”

“We had some commonalities that we shared between ourselves,” he later added. “I enjoyed being able to talk to them. It was really more about getting to ask them how school is, what is it like being there, and everything else.”

Alabama and Michigan both dropped by his school recently, per 247's John Garcia Jr.; his coach says distance won't play a factor in his decision.

The most important visitor from a team need perspective was top-100 NJ DT Tyler Friday, who's been quiet throughout his recruitment. As Brian mentioned today, Michigan is gaining a lot of momentum here after their visit, as evidenced by the multi-part parent interview treatment from Sam. If Tyler's reaction was anything like that of his dad, Michigan is sitting pretty:

With this official, my wife and I had been there twice already, so it wasn’t like there really was anything else for us to see. It was more of just getting confirmation of what it is academically, and one thing we know is Michigan is up there. It’s just one of the best academic schools out there. So it’s a great combination. Of course, it’s an excellent football program, which Tyler of course loves. With a future when you finish football, you’ll have that stamp of Michigan. It’s just an awesome combination to have. It’s perfect. We talked about the business school because Tyler wants to major in economics and they have the top five business school. Everything is plus, plus, plus. We just go down and check off the list and they have the criteria for what we, as parents, are looking for for our child.

The visitor who appears closest to a commitment is three-star GA TE Tommy Tremble, who'd long been considered a Notre Dame lean. Not so much anymore, as this quote he gave to The Wolverine's Brandon Brown indicates:

"It was awesome," he said. "It was probably the best visit I’ve had. How much the coaches all cared really stuck out. It was really cool to see that. They weren’t acting like car salesmen at all. They were genuine and caring people and really made it feel like they wanted me. They really care about the players and not just the program and on-field stuff. During my entire visit you could really tell what kind of people they all are. It was a really good time and the atmosphere for the game was great. It was just an all-around great trip."

Georgia and UCLA are also in the mix, but Michigan looks to have taken control here.

Michigan also made a big move with top-100 LA WR JaMarr Chase, according to Sam, who posted that he's hearing Michigan now holds the lead. The Wolverines will have to sweat out an upcoming official visit to TCU, a serious contender, but I still put in a Crystal Ball pick for the good guys.

Four-star NJ DE Jayson Oweh went into his visit with Ohio State and Penn State out in front. He told 247's Steve Wiltfong that Michigan gave him a lot to think about:

"I need to sit back and reevaluate everything but they impressed way more than I thought they would," he said.

The staff also made solid progress with underclassmen like 2019 four-star CO QB Luke McCaffrey (yep, another one), who said his brother Dylan "loves it" in Ann Arbor, and 2019 four-star VA safety Litchfield Ajavon, who said the Big House was "the loudest and most intense stadium" he's visited.

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

Monday Recruitin' Retrofits Checklist

Monday Recruitin' Retrofits Checklist

Submitted by Ace on October 23rd, 2017 at 2:10 PM

A Good Thing Happened Last Week

So, yeah, this hasn't been a great week. Not all is bad, though! On Friday evening, Michigan picked up a commitment from one of their top remaining targets, four-star TX TE Mustapha Muhammad. The full Hello post is here, and there's been plenty of #content on him since. Muhammad actually made a silent commitment way back when he visited for the Spring Game, and while those don't always stick, he told Sam Webb that he didn't waver—in fact, he's even been recruiting for Michigan for months. One of the main draws, unsurprisingly, is the offense's use of tight ends actually living up to the recruiting pitch:

“(Michigan’s tight end play), definitely had an impact on me,” Muhammad said. “I had been told by a lot of tight end coaches around the nation about how they use the tight end, but when I watched them on actual game film I didn’t really see anything as impressive as Michigan’s play-calling and the different variations of how they use the tight end position. That’s really important to me… that they were really giving me everything they were selling.”

The checklist he gave 247's Steve Wiltfong appears to have been retrofitted for Michigan:

Muhammad listed those boxes.

Business School
TE Usage in Offense
NFL Pipeline
Large Muslim Population
Connections
Great dining hall
Jordan Uniforms

Scout's Greg Powers, meanwhile, updated his evaluation with a couple promising notes:

Muhammad has established himself as the type of player who can make elite plays in the passing game, whether it be a a heroic touchdown catch and run that is capped off by a full extension dive into the end zone or jumping over a defender trying to make a tackle, he possesses that special it factor, but he is also underappreciated as a blocker by many. He is an excellent zone blocker, who understands leverage and how to use his hands on defenders. He has added some weight to his frame and some strength and that has helped develop him into an even more complete package at the position.

Adding bulk and functional strength is the main thing Muhammad needs to do to see the field early at Michigan; he's already begun the process.

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

Friday Recruitin' Feels The Love

Friday Recruitin' Feels The Love

Submitted by Ace on October 13th, 2017 at 12:19 PM

MSU Visit Reactions: Addison Makes Surprise Cuts

While Michigan's first big fall visit weekend didn't go as planned, the coaching staff still managed to make inroads with some of their top targets.

The highest-ranked uncommitted official visitors were a trio of California prospects, and in at least one case it looks like the Wolverines made a move. Not long after returning from his trip, top-100 CA ATH Bryan Addison trimmed his list to five schools: Arizona, Arizona State, Michigan, Nebraska, and UCLA. Two of the three schools thought to be in best position to land him were omitted, per Scout's Greg Biggins:

Two schools that Addison always mentioned previously were USC and Washington but neither made his final cut.

"I liked USC but I had to look at this as a business decision and I just felt like the other schools were better fits for me," Addison said. "With Washington, we kind of lost communication there and I haven't been hearing as much from them as the other schools."

The third school is UCLA, who Biggins says Addison nearly committed to eariler in the process. He thinks Arizona is the wild card. Meanwhile, 247's Steve Lorenz is hearing this is a Michigan-UCLA battle with the Bruins currently holding the lead. Michigan may gain an edge, however, because they're pitching Addison as a two-way player. At 6'5", 180, he's built for wide receiver, but he's also a high-level safety prospect. With USC out of the picture, at least for the moment, his recruitment just got really interesting.

Four-star CA S Julius Irvin spoke very highly of his visit to Scout's Blair Angulo:

"I had a lot of expectations for the visit since it was my first time out there and it was just an amazing atmosphere at the game. I was surprised seeing everything in person -- it's a whole different deal than just hearing about it or seeing that on TV. What they have to offer -- the education, the coaches and their willingness to put a lot of defensive backs on the field -- all stood out to me. It impressed me a lot. Getting to know the coaches and some players on the team was awesome."

Notre Dame and Washington are the two schools holding picks on his Crystal Ball, and he has tentative plans to visit Utah and USC. Michigan did their best to make him feel at home; in addition to hanging with Addison and the next recruit in this section, he spent time with California natives Kekoa Crawford and David Long.

Five-star CA WR Amon-Ra St. Brown was considered a longshot heading into the visit, and his post-visit quotes don't give the impression that's changed. Via Rivals's Adam Gorney:

“It was fun,” St. Brown said. “Finally going to see coach (Jim) Harbaugh was cool. I wasn’t up there since my freshman year when I went up there with B2G, the whole team. To finally go up there and to have the focus be more on me now and the understanding of Michigan and what they’re about, it was a fun experience.

This is probably still a Notre Dame-USC battle.

Michigan still made progress towards landing a receiver commit, as three-star Florida native Shocky Jacques-Louis, a Tennessee verbal, told TMI's Brice Marich he's "close" with grad assistant Joe Hastings, the closest thing Michigan has to a dedicated WRs coach. His UT pledge doesn't sound particularly strong:

With his official visit to Michigan now in the books, the Maize and Blue left quite an impression on Jacques-Louis and his recruitment.

“They are definitely a factor in my decision to come,” Jacques-Louis said.

As a general rule, a "decision to come" is bad news for the program currently holding the commitment. Jacques-Louis was also a Kentucky verbal at one point, and it looks distinctly possible he continues to climb the ladder with another change in destination.

[Hit THE JUMP for visit reactions from underclassmen, notable new offers, and more.]