Wednesday Recruitin' Is Signing Most Of The Class

Wednesday Recruitin' Is Signing Most Of The Class

Submitted by Brian on December 20th, 2017 at 12:16 PM

It's early Signing Day, hooray?

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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:

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

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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. 

Etc.

Former Michigan commit Leonard Taylor currently forecast to go to... Kentucky. Bad move on the decommit.

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.]

Friday Recruitin’ Is Probably Not My Neighbor Mike

Friday Recruitin’ Is Probably Not My Neighbor Mike

Submitted by Seth on September 29th, 2017 at 4:33 PM

[That’s not the usual author note: Ace is off today for a family thing so you get me.]

Ol’ Doyle Rules

Yes we found a second quarterback for the class, and lo Kevin Doyle already has a prospectin’ name: a commenter in Ace’s Hello post suggested “Ol’ Doyle Rules” and this somehow got past the Sandler-hatin’ boss so it’s official. We also got a handful of post-commitment takes to share, no thanks to longtime/beloved Ireland striker Kevin Doyle who chose to muddy up recent news searches by retiring from soccer yesterday.

INSCMagazine’s Evan Massey posted an interview yesterday with Doyle (the quarterback) where he shared what Michigan liked:

“He has said that he thinks I am a very good quarterback and have played well this year against very good talent (we have played three to four games against Top 25 talent: #4, #7, #14). He said that I have shown very good signs of knowing the game cerebrally.”

He fits the pattern. Doyle described his game as a cross between Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith, two quarterbacks who tend to keep plays alive. Elsewhere, Rivals Adam Friedman on the apparent lack of offers:

He had his heart set on going to a Top 25 program and waited for one of those schools to come calling. In doing so, many of his earlier offers dried up.

Brandon Brown named offers from Iowa, MSU, Ole Miss, Nebraska, and West Virginia, FWIW. Also Yale and Princeton. In the first link Friedman also listed some areas for improvement:

He needs to consistently throw accurate passes and consistently get the ball out of his hand quickly," Friedman explained. "Those are things he's able to do early in games but it seems to fade late in the third and fourth quarters.

[Hit THE JUMP for what’s a guy gotta do to get a receiver offer, and some ill news from the southern front]

Monday Recruitin' Hits A Lull

Monday Recruitin' Hits A Lull

Submitted by Ace on September 11th, 2017 at 2:16 PM

Weekend Visitors: The Other Sport

I don't envy recruiting writers on a post quota this month, as the start of both college and high school football has led to a very quiet stretch with recruiting. That's particularly the case with Michigan, which didn't host any major football visitors over the weekend; they're loading up the Michigan State and Ohio State weekends with visitors instead.

The basketball team, on the other hand, hosted a couple top targets over the weekend. The top 2018 target on the board, Canadian wing Ignas Brazdeikis, took his first official visit to Ann Arbor, and per Chris Balas he came away impressed:

"The trip was amazing," Brazdeikis reported (with two exclamation points). "I enjoyed everything so much. I just need a little time to soak it all in."

What that means is anyone's guess, but come might construe it that he's contemplating a commitment. He is slated to visit Florida and Vanderbilt, but U-M has long been one of his leaders.

Michigan is on a run of Crystal Ball picks for Brazdeikis, including one from 247's director of hoops recruiting, Jerry Meyer. If that holds, Brazdeikis will be the centerpiece of the class.

Three-star OH wing Justin Ahrens told TMI's Josh Henschke he had an "awesome" visit, and he hit it off with Brazdeikis and two current 2018 commits:

With multiple Wolverine commits in tow, Ahrens says the entire group, including Brazdeikis, connected and discussed the possibility of playing together in the near future.

"David DeJulius, Brandon Johns, Iggy and I all got along really well," Ahrens said. "We did discuss how sweet it would be if we all went there. That would be a major recruiting class."

Ahrens has an obvious fit in John Beilein's system as a sharpshooter who hopefully can work the high screen game as well. Henschke CB'd Ahrens to Michigan; we could see this class wrap up in the relatively near future.

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

Thursday Recruitin' Goes To The Source

Thursday Recruitin' Goes To The Source

Submitted by Ace on August 17th, 2017 at 2:29 PM

Chris Hinton Slides Into Your DMs

ESPN released their initial Junior 300 for the 2019 class, and they're a major outlier for Michigan's top commit, five-star defensive lineman Chris Hinton. They rank Hinton, who's no lower than 14th overall and 2nd among SDEs on the other three sites, at 97th overall and 9th among DTs, with the rationale that they believe he's a better prospect on the offensive line:

Highly touted Hinton should switch to offense
Defensive tackle Christopher Hinton is the son of a former All-Pro offensive linemen. The younger Hinton should follow in his father's footsteps and switch to OL. The four-star Michigan commit is a stout run-defender, but defensively he would be more of role player and run stopper. As an OL, he possesses good flexibility, feet and a frame that can support more size and on that side of the ball, by contrast he can be an excellent, "full-time" player.

Many prospects would ignore this perceived slight or lash out at the site in question. Hinton chose a different tack and went straight to the source to see how he could improve:

That's certainly not how High School Me would've handled things.

Meanwhile, Michigan still did well in ESPN's rankings. The rest of the commits:

  • OH OG Nolan Rumler: #3 OG, #48 overall
  • KY DE Stephen Herron: #11 DE, #82 overall
  • IMG ILB Charles Thomas: #3 ILB, #250 overall

Two players in the top three at their position and two more in the top 100 overall. Not too shabby for a four-person class.

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

Monday Recruitin' Hopes For Sturdier Fence

Monday Recruitin' Hopes For Sturdier Fence

Submitted by Ace on May 22nd, 2017 at 3:20 PM

Buckle Up

If you want to get ahead of the game, you may want to familiarize yourself with the above highlight reel. Four-star Grand Rapids Catholic Central OT Jalen Mayfield is set to announce his decision tomorrow evening:

Jalen Mayfield, a 2018 four-star offensive tackle from Grand Rapids Catholic Central, is scheduled to make his commitment at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at his school's athletic complex. According to 247Sports, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska are his finalists.

Mayfield, as you may remember, committed to Minnesota in February, then decommitted a month later after fielding a Michigan offer. All 15 picks on his Crystal Ball are for the Wolverines.

In related news, 247's Steve Wiltfong reports that Michigan is in excellent shape with four-star Traverse City West OT Ryan Hayes, who could start his collegiate career at tight end while packing on weight to his 6'7", 252-pound frame:

A source with knowledge of the situation reiterated to 247Sports this week that Michigan remains in pole position for Traverse City (Mich.) West standout Ryan Hayes, who could play tight end or offensive tackle in Ann Arbor if he does indeed choose the Wolverines.

Hayes and Mayfield could eventually be the top two in-state prospects in the class. Mayfield moved up to the top spot in 247's latest update, though he's only sixth in the composite—ESPN and Rivals combining for zero scouting reports on him probably plays a factor there. Hayes is third in the composite despite Rivals giving him a cursory three-star ranking that puts him 17th in the state. With Michigan and other regional powers looking quite willing to pass on both Marquan McCall and Kalon Gervin, the current top two in the composite rankings, we could see a shakeup when senior evaluations come in.

Meanwhile, Michigan made the top four for four-star 2018 GA OG James Ohonba, alongside Alabama, LSU, and USC. Ohonba told Steve Lorenz that his interest in the Wolverines has grown considerably since he was offered:

"Honestly, my interest in Michigan was very little at first," he said. "After they offered, I did a little bit more research and my interest in them increased greatly. A few recruits have told me a lot of great things about the program as well, which has helped things. I really like the personalities on their coaching staff the more I've gotten to know them."

He has tentative plans to take a visit soon and says he wants to be an engineering major; "academic prestige" will be a factor in his decision, which can't hurt Michigan's chances.

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Has More Diverse Selection Of Large Man Pictures Now

Tuesday Recruitin' Has More Diverse Selection Of Large Man Pictures Now

Submitted by Brian on March 7th, 2017 at 12:40 PM

Obligatory Daniel Faalele section, now with content

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FL OL Daniel Faalele gets his own SI profile complete with Vulcan Bill Brasky stories:

In one of Faalele's early practices Elder taught him to punch the pass rusher with both hands, then grab his chest. During a one-on-one drill that day, Faalele fired his hands to disrupt the lineman's charge. Then one hand disappeared inside the rusher's shoulder pads and the kid went limp. Sensing something wrong, Faalele let go and backed away. "He had grabbed [the defender's] collarbone," Elder says, shaking his head at the memory. Elder clarified: Seize the chest plate of the shoulder pads. "His hands are steel," Elder says. "If he gets them on you, it's over. Doesn't matter if he has good technique or bad technique, it's over."

Faalele's starting to put some steak behind the sizzle as well, impressing at a UA camp:

The massive Australian import created the most oohs and ahhs in the trenches Sunday with his power. He worked up and down the line but most at left tackle, where anyone trying to make a move on him inside felt his incredible punch and it was usually paired with what looked like a finishing move. Faalele buried more defenders than any other lineman on this day and it wasn't particularly close.

Hopefully Michigan's satellite camp appearance will put them ahead of the curve for a dude who can Vulcan nerve pinch guys accidentally.

No public leader for DTR

Since he was talking up UCLA previously, this is a good sign for Michigan in their pursuit of 4* NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson:

Dorian Thompson-Robinson maintains that the schools in his top 12 are all running even, but no doubt he's high on Michigan and UCLA, schools that are scheduled to get a spring visit.

Thompson-Robinson returns to UCLA this coming weekend and Michigan will get him to campus around April 11.

New Michigan offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has made a fast impression and the opportunity to play in a pro-style offense under Jim Harbaugh is advantageous.

Meanwhile UCLA wants to talk to him about being a dentist, because death by electrocution's like life under Jim Mora. The pro-style/dentist statements are not quotes but they do seem like things that DTR told Steve Wiltfong, because ain't nobody else know about dentistry plans.

FWIW, Wiltfong expanded on that short note with a full article. DTR says he's "really built a relationship" with Hamilton in the last couple months; he also repeats the fact that UCLA picking up Jedd Fisch is "huge."

Actual (mostly) scheduled visits

  • 4* GA CB Myles Sims has locked in a visit for this weekend. Lorenz previously reported that he was very high on Michigan's board, so this might be a situation to keep an eye on.
  • 4* MI OL Ryan Hayes will visit "sometime this month" per Lorenz after being forced to cancel a planned official last weekend. Lorenz implies this is likely to come down to Michigan and Notre Dame, with Greg Frey a major asset since Frey recruited Hayes's older brother at Indiana.
  • 4* NJ DT Tyler Friday has set a visit for the 26th, which will be his first trip to AA since a camp appearance last summer.
  • 4* NY TE Jeremy Ruckert says he's "going to try" to see Michigan again that same weekend. He's not planning to take his recruitment out much longer than that; with Jay Harbaugh moving away from TE he hasn't met his actual position coach yet. Adam Friedman says OSU is "clearly in the driver's seat," but Adam Friedman.

Obligatory list of new names

  • 4* WA ATH Tre'Shaun Harrison grabbed an offer, says he'll visit in the spring or summer, says he's considering academics heavily, and he doesn't care about distance.
  • 4* OR ATH Talanoa Hufanga: offer, interest, vague visit plans.
  • 3* NC DE/DT Alim McNeill grabbed an offer, says he's focused on a "forty-year decision," and that he has vague plans to visit AA over the summer. He told Rivals that Michigan "will be in it to the end."
  • 5* FL CB Patrick Surtain Jr says he wants to visit Michigan, but it sounds like he's got a number of other visits locked in and Michigan is currently up in the air; he does not list Michigan in a group of six leaders.
  • 3* NY WR Aron Cruickshank is a slot type who has an offer type substance; trying to set up a visit, Brown reports that he's a "mid-tier target" who interest might ramp up in later.
  • 4* FL ATH Amari Burney apparently got an offer back in May; he reports that he doesn't hear from Michigan offer but they are still a "very big player" for him.

Grudging 2019 section

FL RB Cesare Mellusi fields an offer, speaks highly of Michigan. This section exists mostly because of his name. 

GA ATH Javonni Cunningham gets an offer; it's his second and Howard is the other so naturally he declared Michigan his leader. Vague visit plans. 2019 CA RB Charles Mincy Jr says Michigan leads amongst his four offers. One of the others is Oregon, so that's not bad.

MI CB Marvin Grant, who's at King, was offered by Iowa. He told Allen Trieu he will be visiting Michigan today. Big Ten offer this early for Grant probably means he'll join the Belleville kids amongst the most sought-after players in the 2019 class.

Etc.

FL QB Joe Milton, who's the entirety of the Michigan QB board other than DTR at this moment, also impressed at that UA camp:

From drills to one-on-ones even through seven-on-seven work, Milton was the creme of the Orlando crop on Sunday. He is physically impressive on the hoof, tall and well put-together, but his arm was fluid with a quick release through the afternoon.

Scout lists him at 6'4.5", so he's definitely a pocket guy.

MO CB Mario Goodrich reiterates a tentative lead for Michigan early in the process, saying they're "probably at the very top right now." Vague visit plans.

CA CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart says Michigan is a possibility for an official, but doesn't really mention any unofficials and says he might commit in late summer if he's ready.

Former commit and OH LB Antwuan Johnson lists Michigan amongst a number of schools he'll be visiting over the summer. Looks like a team tour kind of thing since there are a wide range of schools on the list, ranging from Georgia and Michigan at the top end down to Toledo and Purdue on the bottom.

CA OL Tommy Brown says he's trying to get money together for an unoffical to Michigan, possibly at their Big Man camp.

Michigan begins to fade for FL DE Nik Bonitto.

Monday Recruitin' Swaps Shirts

Monday Recruitin' Swaps Shirts

Submitted by Ace on June 20th, 2016 at 2:54 PM

The 2017 recruiting board was updated heading into the weekend. Meanwhile, I'm taking off for vacation tomorrow and will be out until next Wednesday. Naturally, today's send-off roundup is one of the longest of the year.

D-Tackle Out Of Nowhere

There was very good reason nobody saw Aubrey Solomon's commitment coming. Solomon didn't even initially plan on being in Ann Arbor last weekend; he was supposed to be on an unofficial visit to Alabama. He told Sam Webb that once he got to Michigan and found out he had an offer, things moved quickly from there:

“I came into Michigan not knowing that I had an offer,” Solomon said. “Once I found that out it really changed everything.  Then seeing what they could do for me in the future, like 10-20 years after football, I just fell in love with it. It wasn't just football, it was ‘what would I do for the rest of my life after football?’"

Solomon credited Chris Partridge and Jim Harbaugh for convincing him Michigan was the place to be.

The commitment of Solomon's 2018 teammate, Otis Reese, came as far less of a shock; Reese had previously named Michigan as his leader and he has ties to the area—his older brother is a redshirt freshman receiver at Central Michigan. Reese described the scene when he and Solomon committed to Webb:

"(Solomon) was feeling it but he kind of shocked me,” said Reese.  “I didn't know he was going to commit."

"Coach Harbaugh was on the phone with my mom and we were talking about my commitment. Aubrey got on the phone talking to his mom and he said he wanted to commit. It was just like the whole room was lit… full happy emotions. They were jumping around. Actually my receiver coach (who brought them up on the visit) and Coach Harbaugh traded shirts. Coach Harbaugh still has (Lee County) shirt on, and my coach has his on.  It was just a happy moment and it was a blessing."

Michigan nearly added another commitment on the weekend. Three-star CT OT Andrew Stueber impressed the coaches at camp enough to pull in an offer, and in the aftermath Steuber told 247's Steve Wiltfong that Michigan is "the one to beat" in his recruitment. Based on what Sam tweeted over the weekend, it sounds like Steuber will join the class as soon as he can get his mom to campus.

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Anticipates Influx

Tuesday Recruitin' Anticipates Influx

Submitted by Brian on March 15th, 2016 at 1:31 PM

Spring practice brings all the recruits to the yard

We've just had a bit of a down period where

  • Michigan "offered" every single recruit in the 2017 and 2018 classes,
  • those recruits said they were interested, and
  • visits were suggested to be on the docket but not actually scheduled.

Here's the platonic ideal of the form from VA LB Teradja Mitchell:

As for what's next for what's next for Mitchell, he plans to visit Florida and Florida State this spring, but no dates have been set. Then this summer, he hopes to get to Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State.

He claims no favorites at this time.

All right then. Thankfully, the opportunity to see a Jim Harbaugh practice is beginning to clarify who's actually interested and who's just talking. Two guys in the "just talking" category appear to be MS RB Cam Akers and CA RB Najee Harris. Harris scheduled a trip to OSU that does not include a swing by Michigan. Lorenz doesn't offer an explanation on Akers but "is from Mississippi" suffices for our purposes.

Visits of the recent past

WI OL Tyler Beach completed a visit last week. Surprise: it went well.

Beach maintains that M and Wisconsin are at the top; he's visiting ND, NW, and MSU in the near future but those schools are making up ground per Brandon Brown:

"I plan on committing in April or May," Beach said. "Michigan and Wisconsin are my top choices right now and I'll just pick whatever place feels right."

If Michigan gets Beach I want to see Wisconsin message boards put in an octagon with Washington mods.

OH OL/DL Howard Watkins was also on campus around the same time. Watkins is a new name out of Cincinnati Colerain, Joe Bolden's alma mater; he says he's been a Michigan fan his whole life. He's currently under the radar, unranked by 247 and a two-star guy to Scout, so he might have to impress as a senior. He's got an Indiana offer.

Watkins's teammate and OH CB Amir Riep already has an offer, as top 100 prospects almost universally do. His is certainly an all-caps one instead of an air-quotes one:

Former Colerain HC Kerry Coombs is OSU's DBs coach so this might be a high hurdle; he's got a ton of OSU predictions on the Crystal Ball. Lorenz relates that word from inside Schembechler is that Michigan believes they have a "very legitimate chance."

TX RB Eno Benjamin still maintains that Iowa leads after a Midwest swing. He announced a top-ten-and-change that purports to be in no order but kind of seems in order:

I can't remember the last time Michigan and Iowa were both involved with a kid from outside the Midwest.

Visits near future

Michigan will host AL S AJ Harris and AL DE LaBryan Ray this weekend; they are popularly thought to be a real contender for Harris but were previously on the fringe for Ray. The end result is likely to be the same: it'll take something special to convince an Alabama DE with a Bama offer to spurn the Tide.

Michigan has a better shot with IN LB Pete Werner, who will visit Thursday and Friday before a Saturday visit to Notre Dame. Wiltfong expects one or the other to lead in the aftermath and says Werner is expected to make an "academic decision."

IMG OL Cesar Ruiz and Robert Hainsey will visit for the spring game. It's tough out here for a Cable Subscriber:

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Michigan has a ton of competition for both gentlemen but should be in both top 5s. Hainsey is likely to be playing with or against Michigan—outside of Pitt his visit list is just about all Big Ten schools.

Michigan might land a visit from WA OL Henry Bainivalu per Washington mods who have spent the entire spring working the speed bag in anticipation of more Michigan-Washington recruiting battles.

Blame Recruit Canada

Michigan will be of more interest than usual to a couple of kids now hailing from Virginia: both VA DE Luiji Vilain and VA S Jonathan Sutherland are originally from Ontario and have moved to the US in order to make themselves more attractive to football programs. That makes Michigan one of the closest programs to home for both.

Vilain lists a bunch of schools when issued the "recruiting the hardest" question, but if you squint the local-ish programs may have an edge:

"I was pretty excited about Michigan and Michigan State," Vilain said. "I've been waiting on those two."

He will attend Sound Mind, Sound Body and hit up both instate schools.

Sutherland's list is more defined: North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Michigan. He will also visit Michigan while he's in Detroit for Sound Mind, Sound Body.

Fine, 2018 exists and let's mention it briefly

This week in "MGoBlog grudgingly talks about the recruiting class after the current one":

  • The top in-state name to know next year is MI OL Marquan McCall, a two-way lineman currently inside the top 100 on 247. He will visit for the spring game. Michigan is the favorite.
  • Lorenz reports that Michigan is going after a number of kids in Las Vegas, amongst them Bishop Gorman teammates Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a dual-threat QB, and Brevin Jordan, an OLB/TE. Michigan would be "tough to beat" for Thompson-Robinson if they offer; Michigan is expected to do so when he swings by M and OSU this week. Mom is an M alum.
  • MI DE Aidan Hutchinson is the son of former Michigan DL Chris Hutchinson. He visited last week and is a guy to keep an eye on for an offer. I'm guessing Michigan will wait for his junior season to finish before doing so since that could be a situation where the phone calls goes "We'd like to off—" "YES".
  • OH LB Antwaun Johnson, another recent visitor, named Michigan his leader, twice, after returning from Ann Arbor. Encouragingly, he is scheduled to return for the Spring Game. The catch: no OSU offer yet.
  • NJ OL/DL Tyler Friday has Michigan, Ohio State, and Rutgers as an early top three. He wants to visit all those schools.

Name Alert!

IL TE Griffin Hammer.

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Griffin Hammer is +3 with an extra 1d6 damage to chimerae.

Etc.: Happy trails to MO WR Jaevon McQuitty, who committed to Nebraska. More or less happy trails to TX OL Austin Deculus, who announced a decision date of May 20. He hasn't visited or scheduled a visit; that's 99.9% seeya. LSU is the expected choice so Michigan might get back in if Les Miles's tenure gets wobbly again.

GA QB Davis Mills committed to Stanford, ending any chance the Cardinal starts sniffing around CO QB commit Dylan McCaffrey. Trieu ranks MI OL/DL Phil Paea the #2 DL in the Midwest. Sounds like he's in line for a four-star bump from Scout.

MI OL commit JaRaymond Hall visited this weekend as well. He's an in with McCall, his teammate. Bama still leads for FL OL Netori Johnson and his amazing hair even after his decommit. MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones keeps it close to the vest, lather, rinse, repeat.