Thursday Recruitin' Examines Blueberries

Thursday Recruitin' Examines Blueberries

Submitted by Ace on May 19th, 2016 at 4:35 PM

Jim Harbaugh, Picky Shopper


NOPE

Maize n Brew's Brandon Justice penned an article on four-star CA C Brett Neilon for the Detroit News that contains what I believe is the first food-related Harbaughism that isn't about red meat:

A conversation Neilon had with Harbaugh earlier this month may have placed Michigan at the top of Neilon’s list among schools he is considering.

The topic: blueberries.

“He told me, if you buy a pack of 30 blueberries and one is moldy, it will affect the others, and that’s why he doesn’t recruit moldy blueberries,” Neilon said, laughing, recalling his talk with Harbaugh. “(Harbaugh) thinks I will fit perfectly at Michigan.”

While Neilon won't cop to having a leader, he acknowledged Michigan is recruiting him harder than any other school. USC and Washington are M's primary competition. Notably, the California native says distance from home won't play a factor.

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

Monday Recruitin' Doubts The Doctor Needs A Raise

Monday Recruitin' Doubts The Doctor Needs A Raise

Submitted by Ace on May 16th, 2016 at 3:08 PM

An Entire Section On Top-100 Receivers With Serious Interest

While that isn't an ordered top ten, Michigan is the first program listed by five-star TN WR Tee Higgins, a one-time Tennessee commit who's expressed his interest in paying his way to Ann Arbor this summer, per 247.

“I know I want to get down to Michigan and Florida State,” Higgins told 247Sports National Analyst Ryan Bartow last week. “(Michigan’s coaches) really want me to get on campus, so I just told them I’d get down there."

Clemson is the current Crystal Ball favorite, receiving all the predictions following Higgins' decommitment from UT. A visit could chance that outlook, but there's no question Higgins will be a tough pull.

The most plausible five-star wideout option is still just a few minutes down I-94. Cass Tech's Donovan Peoples-Jones took another visit to campus last weekend, and according to The Wolverine's Brandon Brown, it might have put Michigan out in front:

The 6-1, 188-pounder was at U-M yesterday and was able to tour many of Michigan's medical facilities and also got the chance to speak with many doctors and medical professionals during his trip. The visit went so well that people in the know at Cass Tech now feel that Michigan may be firmly in the driver's seat with his recruitment.

Michigan is still competing with a pile of top programs that Peoples-Jones plans to visit before a decision. As an expected early enrollee, Peoples-Jones doesn't have as long to check out all those schools as most prospects, however, and a lead by the home team could be tough to overcome. Fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, 247's Steve Lorenz posted some expanded thoughts on Michigan from top-100 AL WR Nico Collins, who named the Wolverines his leader after his recent visit:

"Coach Harbaugh is a laid-back fun guy that you can talk about anything with," he said. "They care about you. Right now they are standing out. The coaching staff really stands out. The program that they have and what they are going to do for you after college is over. They have you set up for life. That was the main thing they care about. They want you to graduate and to get better at life too. It's a life decision. It's not a big lead, but they've been my best visit so far for sure. Georgia and Alabama were the other schools I've really enjoyed so far." 

Guarded optimism seems to be the proper response in Collins' case. For the receiver position as a group, you can probably increment that up to full-blown optimism. With Harbaugh at the helm and a five-star quarterback in the fold, convincing top-flight wideouts to come to Michigan shouldn't be too difficult.

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

Thursday Recruitin' Lacks D-I Talent

Thursday Recruitin' Lacks D-I Talent

Submitted by Ace on May 12th, 2016 at 3:18 PM

An Unexpected Twist

When an out-of-region prospect cancels a visit, it's usually a death knell for a program's chances of landing him. So, when top-100 AL WR Nico Collins didn't make it to the spring game, I assumed Michigan was out of the picture.

I was wrong. Collins got to campus last week, and he told 247's Georgia outlet he has a new leader in the aftermath:

"Right now, Michigan has caught my eye," Collins said. "I fell in love with them on my visit. They might be my leader - with Georgia, Alabama, and Clemson pushing them. There is just something more with Michigan - they have a plan for you after college - plus their football program is pretty nice."

We'll see if that holds once the post-visit afterglow has faded. Even if the pack catches up, Michigan is in excellent position; Collins noted two important factors are his relationship with the coaches and the quarterback situation at each program—M should fare well on both counts.

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

Monday Recruitin' Awaits Test Scores

Monday Recruitin' Awaits Test Scores

Submitted by Ace on May 9th, 2016 at 3:06 PM

A Late Riser Emerges?

The young man you see above displaying a visceral hatred for rims is 2016 Grundy (VA) Mountain Mission SG/SF Harold Baruti, who at the moment looks like the most likely option to fill one of the two open basketball scholarships. Baruti came to Ann Arbor on an official visit last weekend, and it sounds like a scholarship offer is on the way as long as he clears an academic hurdle or two:

At 6'6", ~200 pounds, Baruti could provide much-needed depth on the wing. According to Quinn, Utah and Texas Tech are also showing late interest in Baruti, who holds scholarship offers from SMU, UNC-Wilmington, Utah State, and Tennessee Tech. While he doesn't look like the most polished prospect, he's got plenty of athleticism—he looks like a guy who could eventually fill the GRIII role of cutter/finisher who shoots just well enough on corner threes to keep defenses spaced out.

Speaking of wing depth, the just-released senior highlights of 2016 signee Ibi Watson are worth watching. While the highlight video caveat applies, he looks like a strong finisher and impressive passer; if he can hold his own on defense he can see a significant role right away as a backup at the two and the three.

In other hoops recruiting news, Michigan's offer has vaulted them into the top three for in-state 2017 SF Jamal Cain, per TMI's Josh Newkirk:

“(Michigan) is for sure top-three,” Cain said. “My top three, well, the schools that have been in contact the most have been Michigan, Marquette and Xavier.”

Cain mentioned academic support as something that stood out on his visit, and later said that factor is of significant importance in his decision, which should come during or after his senior season.

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

Friday Recruitin' Leaps More Things

Friday Recruitin' Leaps More Things

Submitted by Brian on March 25th, 2016 at 12:11 PM

Donovan Peoples-Jones remains ridiculous

The assembled Cass Tech students took this entirely in stride.

Or possibly lost their minds, as one does.

A tentative and incomplete list of Spring Visitors

There will be a ton. A bunch of in-state guys not listed will be there, but they often decide late. There will probably be another half-dozen regional guys who make it in who either aren't talking or haven't been unearthed by recruiting sites yet.

2017:

  • NJ DT Corey Bolds.
  • NJ LB Drew Singleton Bolds and Singleton are both at Paramus. Looks like it will come down to M or Clemson for both. The duo pushed back their visit from random spring practice to the game itself. Don't expect Singleton to drop; his dad told Sam Webb that they have a suite of visits set up ranging from Cal to PSU to Auburn. He also said having Partridge around was "huge" and "huge" and "HUGE."
  • NJ DT Fred Hansard. Hansard's visit is a bit of a surprise since he set a decision date and usually that means your mind is made up. Nobody thought it was made up in favor of Michigan; a two-day visit will give them a chance to change his mind.
  • AL WR Nico Collins.
  • NM RB O'Maury Samuels. Michigan is the first major offer for Samuels. More on him in a bit.
  • FL LB Jordan Anthony will be there.
  • FL OL Robert Hainsey.
  • FL OL Cesar Ruiz. All three of the FL guys are from IMG. Ruiz revised his visit schedule, trimming a bunch of teams but leaving M and FSU and maybe Maryland as prime contenders.
  • MI OL/DL Phillip Paea. Paea's been on campus three times since his M offer. Spring will be #4.
  • maybe CA DL Popo Aumavae. Said he was trying to work it out.
  • maybe OH TE Trey Pugh. Pugh was up a couple weeks ago and said he may return.

2018:

  • NJ DE Dorian Hardy. Michigan was Hardy's first offer.
  • NJ DE Jayson Ademilola.
  • NJ LB Justin Ademilola. Yes, twin brothers.
  • OH DE Leonard Taylor. Taylor visited with new LB commit Antwuan Johnson a couple weeks ago; a return visit indicates serious interest.
  • FL TE Judge Culpepper. Big ol' dude already who is a name priority so we can scream "I AM THE LAW" when he scores. Florida legacy.

Nico Collins impresses

AL WR Nico Collins is one of those kids who has a bunch of southern schools and then Michigan on his list. Normally those recruitments end up with the player staying in the SEC, but people say Michigan has a real shot with Collins thanks to his dad. Here's hoping pops wins the day here, since Collins brings something Funchess-esque to the table. ESPN scouted him at the local Opening regional:

He has tremendous height and nice length. He has big, strong hands and a wide catch radius and was consistent catching the ball. He was not the fastest target in attendance, but did display good ability to drive off the line quickly and among the biggest targets there he did flash ability to use his size.

Collins will be up for the Spring Game; Alabama is the favorite but Michigan will have an opportunity to overturn that. Right now Collins is planning to take his recruitment through official visits.

A running back or two emerge

Michigan's running back board to date:

  1. EVERYBODY
  2. some other dudes
  3. lol idk

MA RB AJ Dillon is one of those dudes. He completed an unofficial on Tuesday and—surprise—enjoyed it.

"Toured campus, got a feel for Ann Arbor and was really impressed by the school after seeing the academic studies," Dillon said. "Seems like a great town. And the facilities were amazing."

In the aftermath 247 OSU analyst Alex Gleitman entered a crystal ball for Michigan. Lorenz says he's "as in tune" as anyone is with Dillon's recruitment. That ballz was quickly followed by a mighty one from Steve Wiltfong, who says the visit was a "game changer." Dillon has already been to Notre Dame and Wisconsin, the schools previously thought to lead. Those CB flips seem pretty meaningful.

If Michigan does land Dillon they're getting a heck of an athlete:

At last summer's New Jersey/New York Nike Football The Opening Region, Dillon posted the top Nike Football Rating of the day with a score of 114.12, Dillon measured in at 6-foot-1, 229-pounds and ran a 4.64 electronically time 40-yard dash, a 4.39 shuttle, a 38 ½-0 power ball toss and 36-6 inch vertical.

Donovan Peoples-Jones, who is ridiculous, turned in an electronic 4.45 at about 40 pounds lighter than Dillon—for a 230 pound guy dude can move. Heck, 4.64 is the same time Dylan Crawford ran at the Opening, which placed him eighth overall. If Dillon played better competition he might be a major, major recruit. Instead he's at the tail end of most top X lists.

Meanwhile, NM RB O'Maury Samuels is suddenly on the radar after crushing a Dallas Nike camp:

Samuels, who came into the event with just an offer from New Mexico State, was the talk of the event when it was done, beating out a number of Texas natives for RB MVP honors and more importantly, became the first player from the state of New Mexico to ever be selected to The Opening Finals.

He ran an electronic 4.45 just like Peoples-Jones and regrets that since his hamstring was a little wonky. Michigan fired out his first major offer right after that camp and he will be up for the spring game. Samuels is shaped more like Fitz Toussaint than an angry horse, so he and Dillon might not overlap much in terms of skillset.

Samuels has induced the first Ludicrous Statement About Running Back from Tyrone Wheatley:

"Coach Wheatley (compared me to) a young ‘AP’ (Adrian Peterson),” said Samuels.

Samuels is listed at 5'10", 188, which means two of him stacked on top of each other would equal one Adrian Peterson, who emerged from his father's head fully formed with switches in both hands. Must be something Fred stashed in the beverage fridge.

Finally, TX RB Eno Benjamin is still very serious about Iowa:

“They were both nice,” he said of his visits to Iowa and Michigan. “It’s hard to compare the two, but I think Iowa had the edge there.”

Benjamin cites the fact that Iowa is operating with two- and three-star running backs and he could have a bigger impact. I don't think he's heard about AIRBHG yet. Four star running backs who head to Iowa City are signing up for Final Destination: Cornfield. Benjamin's already visited a bunch of places; at this point you have to take the Iowa lead seriously.

Devin Bush Sr. goes to work

A bunch of guys from Miami were on campus all of a sudden yesterday:

Four-star linebacker DeAndre Wilder, who has an offer from the Wolverines already, is one of the notable names. Joining him will be freshman running back Nayquan Wright, a phenom who already holds offers from Alabama, Miami, Florida State, LSU and Notre Dame.

Wilder said he and Bush "go back." Lorenz believes he'll return for an official visit, which was M's primary goal.

Also in attendance was FL CB Naytron Culpepper. Sounds like they're taking a bunch of guys with various talent levels around, as one of the stops on their tour is EMU. MSU and ND are also on the docket.

Other visitors

Fast and furious they are as Michigan tries to import kids before spring practice ends. Cass OL Jordan Reid, who has an offer, was at Michigan for the third time in a month yesterday and may end up at that Ford Field practice. (I'm guessing one of the primary motivators for opening the practice is for its utility as a recruiting tool.) Ditto Cass S Jaylen Kelly-Powell, who is entering Lavert Hill territory as far as omnipresence in Ann Arbor goes.

Instate OL/DL Phil Paea, as mentioned, was also in. 6'8" MI DL/OL Robert Hudson, a new name, stopped by as well. Hudson is obviously far too tall to play DT, where Scout ranks him, but hasn't even tried out at OT yet. Probably a guy to watch through his senior season and a potential late riser.

I forgot to mention OH CB Amir Riep, who visited a week or so ago. Riep is from Colerain, Joe Bolden's alma mater. Bolden's dad is the coach there but OSU's DB coach was hired away from Colerain so there are connections on both sides. Riep said nice things about the visit but…

“It was really important for me to get up there to be honest,” he said.  “Growing up in Ohio and watching Ohio State, I would have never really thought much about Michigan.  It was so much different than what I had pictured in my head.  It amazed me how nice everything was up there.”

…sounds like OSU is still the favorite. ND and LSU are also in the picture.

AL S J'Marick Woods was planning to come up for the Spring Game but bumped that visit to right now.

Grudging 2018 section

Legacy MI DE Aidan Hutchinson picks up his first offer from LSU. Les (and Cam Cameron) do throw out random Michigan offers from time to time, especially when they know the family, but rarely do those end up with serious pursuit; guessing that's the case here.

This one is weird. Per Brice Marich, NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson says he will return to Michigan for the A4 QB camp "for sure." Michigan was very attentive on his recent unofficial:

“I talked to the whole offensive staff individually, toured through the football facility and campus, sat down with numerous people dealing with the school part of my visit, and went to the Big House.”

Harbaugh included—he talked to the head man for an hour. Probably about laser tag and fire tweets.

Okay. So that all sounds good.Here's Thompson-Robinson talking to Bucknuts:

"…at Ohio State every coached welcomed me. Only one or two offensive coaches and coach (Jim) Harbaugh welcomed me at Michigan. I kind of prefer Ohio State. It seems like more of a fit, especially the offense.”

WTF? This is why I try not to pay too much attention to 2018 at this juncture.

OH RB Jaelen Gill includes Michigan in a top five that looks like a top two:

"I love Ohio State," Gill said. "They are definitely in my top five for sure, along with UCLA, Michigan State, Tennessee, and Michigan. Ohio State and Michigan are very similar in a lot of ways. They are just two great schools and programs."

USC and UCLA are up next so he's not close to having a final list; could maybe probably come down to a classic M/OSU battle.

Michigan won't be getting the top QB in the country in consecutive years, it appears, as 2018 GA QB Trevor Lawrence seems lukewarm on a Michigan offer… possibly because M forgot they offered him months ago. Lawrence is ticketed for some SEC school.

Did I mention that OH LB commit Antwuan Johnson's dad is a Michigan fan? I might have. Either way should help that commit stick. Meanwhile, Johnson's teammate and OH DE Leonard Taylor sounds like a guy who Michigan might even lead for:

"When I was up at Michigan it felt like home, and I love the way Coach (Jim) Harbaugh is running things up there," he added. "They have a great academic program, and I really liked the city of Ann Arbor." 

I wouldn't be shocked if he dropped at or just after the spring game. Think that's < 50%, but it could happen.

Tuesday Recruitin' Leaps Tall Buildings In Single Bound

Tuesday Recruitin' Leaps Tall Buildings In Single Bound

Submitted by Brian on March 22nd, 2016 at 5:22 PM

Donovan Peoples-Jones is ridiculous

Love the guy in the background who loses it:

Yes, that is Devin Gardner in the background, and he has some box jumping skill himself:

No update on his recruitment but hanging out with Gardner can't hurt now that Al Borges is gone.

Hello Linebackers

Michigan picked up commits from MI LB Josh Ross and 2018 OH LB Antwaun Johnson over the past couple days; Johnson's hello post was updated earlier today; Ross gets his turn tomorrow. Both are four-star types. Ross cited Don Brown's defense as a major attraction:

  “Just based on what he showed me with that defense, it fits me perfectly.  I just can’t pass the opportunity up.  I just had to take it. He really blitzes his linebackers.  I know last year there was a couple of plays where I got right through on blitzes, and I’m getting better and better at blitzing.  That’s a lot of what he does and I can see myself in his system.”

Older brother James was born four years too early. Would have been a Don Brown dude for sure.

The potato door opens in 2018

Ross was always likely to follow his brother to Ann Arbor, but Johnson is an alpaca out of nowhere. His commit is a significant one for Michigan since Jim Harbaugh hadn't exactly emphasized a nearby state with a lot of talent (and Michigan's main rival) in it. Since Harbaugh's arrival only Nolan Ulizio, a late flier Michigan flipped from UConn, has fled the potato state for the friendly confines of Ann Arbor.

So. Johnson is not only a very good player in his own right but also a thorn in OSU's side. He is also the teammate of OH DE/DT Leonard Taylor, an early five-star in the 2018 class. Taylor visited along with Johnson and came back making positive noises:

"It was an A+ visit," he said. "Definitely an A+. It was really an eye-opening visit for me to see Michigan in person. It definitely had an at-home feeling to it. I didn't feel out of place there."

More significantly, he immediately scheduled a return trip for the Spring Game. Two visits in a month and a teammate committed should give Michigan a very real shot at landing Taylor. Lorenz has a "hunch" that Taylor pulls the trigger in the near future in Michigan's favor, which is… rather something, that.

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every recruit gets their Peppers photo, including Jaelen Gill.

In addition to the Springfield duo, Michigan also hosted 247's early #1 in the state, OH RB Jaelen Gill. He returned from that visit downright effusive:

"Academics, the atmosphere, the campus life, and great football," he said of the Wolverines. "The people at Michigan are wonderful."

That's a really short article but there are a couple more very encouraging quotes in it all the same. Lorenz followed up with an Inside Michigan Recruiting in which he states the visit "couldn't have gone much better"… but that he's still guessing OSU. Even so the vibe is great, man.

Per a guy on Bucknuts, Gill is not a native Ohioan and is in fact from New Jersey originally. So… all of a sudden it's not too far fetched that Michigan gets three of the top five in the 2018 Ohio class. Harbaugh? Harbaugh.

AJ Harris may or may not be on commit watch

AL S AJ Harris also came up for a visit and was momentarily expected to commit yesterday. That did not happen, obviously. Harris remains very high on Michigan, naming them his outright leader after the visit:

“They are my top school,” said Harris. “They are just from the academic standpoint. One of the best out of any school I have visited and by far the best coaching staff that you will get at the college level."

Lorenz fired off a crystal ball, and it sounds like Harris is just letting things marinate before pulling the trigger. If there is a complication it would be on Michigan's end, as they have guys like MI S Jaylen Kelly-Powell high on their board.

Hansard announces announcement

NJ DT Fred Hansard will announce his destination on May 14th, his birthday. Michigan is amongst his seven finalists and his destination is very much am mystery. His crystal ball has a couple Rutgers picks from Guys Who Hilariously Pick Rutgers For Every High Profile NJ Recruit, a couple Penn State picks from Guy Who Fires Off A Guess At Every Recruit In The Country, and then the Temple 247 guy goes with M.

Bill Kurelic notes that in his tweet he "appears to be wearing an Ohio State helmet" and let's see if there might be a reason for that…

Hansard-Hero-copy

…oh.

Sullivan thinks it's Penn State, FWIW.

Spring practice visitors

AJ Dillon, a LB/RB out of Massachusetts, is on campus right now. Early yet; Michigan is in a top five with Wisconsin, ND, FSU, and Virginia. Meanwhile Sam Webb reports a bunch of guys came in for practice on Monday. One, Ross, already committed, and AJ Harris may be next.

Another interesting name is PA OL CJ Thorpe, who told Brice March that he is "extremely interested" and will pare his list down after a couple more unofficials. Thorpe told Lorenz he had a "sense of comfort" in Ann Arbor and that he would like to return for a fuller experience. This one would be a brutal blow to Penn State if Michigan can pull it off… he's a legacy.

Top X lists, tentative visits, you know the drill

  • PA RB D'Andre Swift has Michigan amongst a long list of schools that he intends to visit. That list includes anyone who's anyone. Also Penn State. He does not tip his hand in any particular direction in the above article.
  • AL WR Nico Collins doesn't have a top four but his top four is Michigan, Georgia, Bama, and Clemson. Bud Elliott also lists his height at a Funchess-esque 6'5". Collins just impressed at a regional Opening camp ("precise in his routes, caught everything with his hands and did it all on a 200-plus pound frame") and will visit for the Spring Game.
  • CN by way of FL WR Josh Palmer got his first offer from Michigan and has been on campus; he tells Tim Sullivan that he wants to see a few other Big Ten schools like Illinois and Maryland and sure let's just put Syracuse in the Big Ten because they're a mediocre program that might have some television subscribers attached. Uh. Then he will fire off a commit after spring. Michigan could be the choice but I'd be surprised if they took a three-star early when they aren't going to have big numbers at the spot and they are after Collins and Peoples-Jones.
  • Three star NJ OL Joshua Fedd-Jackson has a top three of UNC, Rutgers, and Michigan. He plans an early April visit to M… but probably not for the spring game since he'll be at UNC that weekend.
  • Three star CA WR/TE Grant Calcaterra will drop by Michigan on a seven-school Midwest tour. Calcaterra is a former teammate of 2016 signee Dylan Crawford and his list is academically-oriented, so if Michigan decides they've got room for him they'll likely be in it to the end.
  • Michigan offered TX CB Kary Vincent Jr, wants to visit, no definite plan, no top list. "Loves" Harbaugh, FWIW.
  • NV CB Alex Perry didn't want to leave the West before a Michigan offer came in; now he wants to get out for Unspecified Visit. He's got an odd list for a four star guy: he decommitted from Arizona State, visited TCU, and talks up Colorado some. As always, wait to see if he actually sets foot on campus.
  • FL CB Randall Haynie has a top five of M, Duke, Vandy, Wisconsin, and WVU. Grew up watching Denard, knows O'Korn, academic-oriented top five… if Michigan pursues they'll be in it.

Grudging 2018 mentions of the week

NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson visited and put Michigan high on his list, as you can see above. He seems, uh, enthused:

Thompson-Robinson has that Harbaugh Let's Capitalize Every Word thing going on, and his twitter handle was carefully curated by Jon Bois.

Significantly, that tweet follows visits to Florida State, Michigan State and Ohio State. He hasn't gotten a flood of offers yet; if Michigan does send one out he's likely to be in the 2018 class.

Happy Trails

IN LB Pete Werner fired off a commitment to ND shortly after visiting both ND and Michigan. Indiana Catholic school kid was always an uphill battle. Lorenz notes that KS TE Trevor Kent is trending to Oklahoma on the crystal ball and could commit this weekend on a trip to Norman.

Thursday Recruitin' Enters A New Cycle

Thursday Recruitin' Enters A New Cycle

Submitted by Brian on February 11th, 2016 at 11:44 AM

So, uh, this is going to be shorter

Ain't much happening now other than Harbaugh fighting with the SEC commissioner about going to IMG. Michigan's sent out some offers, a few kids were on campus, and right now there's a slow trickle of news. It's nothing like the entertaining chaos leading up to Signing Day.

Talking with the man

6_3822452[1]

MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, a freshly named five-star at 247, had a conversation with one Jim Harbaugh on Signing Day.

He is a priority. Surprise!

Wilson visits, isn't committing yet

With the possible exception of CO QB Dylan McCaffrey, NY OL Isaiah Wilson is probably the top name on a hypothetical list of recruits Michigan fans are hoping to get an early commitment from. A combination of need, Wilson's rankings, and Michigan's oft-repeated status as his leader make him a prominent name early in the cycle.

We'll have to hold our horses a bit longer Wilson tweeted out a few days a go that he wasn't going to commit until "summer or maybe December." Still, things are pointing the right direction. Dude is retweeting Michigan softballists at the academic center.

Early yet big name everyone's after etc. Knock on wood and everything; feeling pretty good here.

Stritzinger reiterates Michigan lead, Wilson drops by

Wilson wasn't alone; Michigan had a select group up over the weekend. MI ATH Allen Stritzinger took another visit to Ann Arbor and reiterated to Josh Newkirk that Michigan is his leader. He has seen the Peppers, and likes it.

“(Coach Wheatley) is still on me about playing running back,” Stritzinger said of UM running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley. “But there are a lot of kids who are in the position to play both ways, and after seeing how Jabrill (Peppers) was used this year as an athlete, that’s what I’m looking at. That’s the same thing that I want to be, to be out on both sides of the ball, any way I can to get on the field.”

I expect this kind of thing to ramp up over the season to the point where McCaffrey is talking about playing some WDE. Stritzinger plans on extending his recruitment in to the fall; it would be an upset if he didn't land in Ann Arbor. Apparently as a defensive back.

The other uncommitted DB recruit on campus last weekend was Don Brown special and MI S Scott Nelson. He said some nice things and remains open. Still waiting for the Michigan State shoe to drop there.

Mending fences with Simmons

MI ATH Antjuan Simmons released a top 11 without Michigan in it, and then visited Michigan this weekend. This isn't a huge commitment since it involves walking across the street from his high school, but it does seem like whatever ill feelings existed after Michigan was slightly tardy in joining the offer parade he experienced last fall are getting patched over:

“I’m very interested in Michigan,” said Simmons. “It is a program on the rise. They are now in my top list and they're gaining ground.”

Simmons is going to look around extensively; he recently visited Texas A&M. Michigan at least figures to stick in his top list going forward.

Ambry exit?

MI CB Ambry Thomas is tough to read based on his interviews, which oscillate wildly. The latest comes from South Carolina's Rivals site after he got a Gamecock offer:

“Honestly, I’m feeling down south, somewhere down there,” he explained.

He plans a visit tour through the SEC and ACC in the spring. The last time we checked in with Thomas he was giving an ND site a midwest-oriented top five without Michigan, so… yeah. Get the feeling there are going to be a lot of changes in his recruitment. Out of state seems more likely than not at the moment.

New names and quick updates

Gentlemen will pop up on the radar with frequency now. This week's batch:

  • 6'5" AL WR Nico Collins has set an unofficial for the end of March. That'll be his second time on campus, which is a indication Michigan is a real contender; Lorenz says dad is a M fan. Collins #54 on the composite. He is also 6'5". Yes, please.
  • CA OL Brett Neilon and Wyatt Davis tell Brice Marich they have set a visit for late March as well; could be a junior-day-type-thing coming together.
  • CA CB Jaylon Redd says a visit is a "strong possibility" and that he likes… wait for it… Jabrill Peppers.
  • CA CB Greg Johnson names Michigan one of four schools pursuing him the hardest. He's planning a spring unofficial to Tennessee; no Michigan trip on the docket yet.
  • CA TE Josh Falo has some interest in Michigan but won't take an unofficial. He'll have to wait for fall to come to campus. Michigan successfully executed the Asiasi recruitment in a similar situation, at least.
  • Michigan (and Alabama) offered AL DE LaBryan Ray. Ray says he doesn't know if he'll visit Michigan, so… yeah. Probably nevermind on this one.
  • Michigan offered OH TE Trey Pugh, a 6'6" 220 flex type. Duke, Northwestern, and Penn State are his other top schools so a high academic guy.
  • FL OL Tedarrell Slaton has publicly backed off his previous assertions that Michigan led while talking to Miami's Rivals site. That's the kind of thing that happens sometimes when a kid is open about a favorite or two early in the process and gets some pushback. Michigan will no doubt stay involved.

Friday Recruitin' Uses John, Calls Jay

Friday Recruitin' Uses John, Calls Jay

Submitted by Ace on October 9th, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Weekend Visitors: Three Uncommitted '16s To Take Officials

While next weekend's Michigan State game will be a bigger recruiting event for Michigan, there are a few notable visitors coming in for tomorrow's game. Allen Trieu has a free overview of the three uncommitted official visitors set to be at the game tomorrow; those prospects:

  • Three-star NJ WDE Quayshon Alexander, a Nebraska commit. While Michigan is sitting pretty for four-star CO WDE Carlo Kemp, they're still making a strong push for guys who could project to the BUCK spot, and Alexander fits the bill.
  • Three-star FL TE Jacob Mathis has been near the top of M's board at tight end for a while. Florida appears to be the main competition. One advantage for the Wolverines: former M kicker Garrett Rivas is Mathis' high school coach.
  • Three-star TX WDE Levi Onwuzurike hasn't let on much about his recruitment, but he could be another option at BUCK.

Several current commits will take their officials this weekend, including a crew from New Jersey—Brad Hawkins, Ron Johnson, and Ahmir Mitchell—who'll likely work on recruiting Alexander.

This late-breaking news also seems worth mentioning:

Walker had significant interest in Michigan before the Hoke era drew to a close; he committed to Ohio State in January, when Jim Harbaugh was desperately cobbling together a full 2015 class. Walker visiting Ann Arbor is a sign there's still legitimate interest. Steve Wiltfong reports it will be an official visit ($).

This even-later-breaking news, reported by Wiltfong, will also be of interest:

247Sports has learned that Top247 linebacker Devin Bush Jr. will visit Michigan this weekend for the Northwestern game.

It's an unofficial visit.

That is especially intriguing since Bush is paying his way for a visit from Florida, leaving open the opportunity to visit again on an official visit. Michigan looks to be in very good shape with one of their top remaining targets on the board.

According to 247's Steve Lorenz, several 2017 in-state targets will also be in attendance: TE Carter Dunaway (commit), OT JaRaymond Hall, WR/CB KJ Hamler, WDE Corey Malone-Hatcher, OLB Josh Ross, and RB/CB Allen Stritzinger. Hall's 2018 teammate Marquan McCall, a talented offensive lineman, will also be on campus, as will a pair of promising 2019 quarterbacks in Southfield's Sam Johnson and Belleville's Dwan Mathis.

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