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.

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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...

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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.

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Tuesday Recruitin' Makes Summer Plans

Tuesday Recruitin' Makes Summer Plans

Submitted by Ace on May 2nd, 2017 at 12:09 PM

Busy Month Ahead?

We've covered the distinct possibility of Michigan adding quarterbacks Joe Milton and Tyler Shough to the 2018 class this month. 247's Steve Lorenz went over a few more potential additions in his post on May's top recruiting storylines:

There are a handful of heavy Michigan leans out there who could decide at any time, with Traverse City (MI) West four-star offensive lineman Ryan Hayes being among them. Grand Rapids (MI) four-star Jalen Mayfield is also sitting out there and still appears to be a heavy, heavy Michigan lean. Jersey City four-star Shayne Simon has mentioned shutting things down early, although that could easily change.

Hayes and Mayfield both appear to be near-locks to end up in the class sooner or later. Simon, a S/OLB prospect who'd probably be a VIPER at Michigan, has several top programs in the mix; he ran down his extensive spring visit tour—Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, UCLA, and Stanford—for 247's Steve Wiltfong. He had high praise for all of them, but his crystal ball reads 100% for Michigan, and that includes picks from both Steves. He maintained he has no current timeline for a decision, however.

Another top target whose recruitment may come to a close in the near future is four-star NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, who has named four finalists—Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wisconsin—and is eyeing a summer decision, likely in July, per Scout's Brian Dohn. Ruckert's choice is expected to come down to Michigan or OSU; the Buckeyes currently have all nine picks on his crystal ball.

Four-star PA WR Jahan Dotson is also nearing a decision after narrowing his options to Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, per Wiltfong. The Nittany Lions currently hold the edge after a recent visit but Michigan will get a visit this month to make an impression. They have a potential edge; Dotson is originally from New Jersey:

When Dotson returns to Michigan it will be his first time in Ann Arbor since last year.

“Michigan they have a big New Jersey connection and Coach Partridge he’s been close to me so that’s been a good connection for me. Big stadium, there’s a lot of people and the campus is in town and that’s cool.”

It should be a busy month.

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