Thursday Recruitin' Tethers Self To Laptop

Thursday Recruitin' Tethers Self To Laptop

Submitted by Ace on August 4th, 2016 at 4:00 PM

BBQ Visitors: Offense

The weekend in which I can't leave my laptop for more than 30 seconds is nearly upon us. The BBQ at the Big House is on Saturday, and it features a visitor list absolutely loaded with top-end talent. 247's Steve Lorenz has the full, updated list posted for free, as well as an excellent VIP post that goes in-depth on each uncommitted 2017 and 2018 prospect who'll be on campus. I'll do my best to cover the highlights. Keep in mind that every 2017 Michigan commit save for Aubrey Solomon, Kai-Leon Herbert, and AJ Dillon is slated to be in attendance.

The headliner, of course, is #1 overall prospect Najee Harris, the California running back committed to Alabama. According to Lorenz, Bama insiders think Michigan is the top threat to flip him from his current commitment, and Harris will be accompanied by his mother on the trip. Harris won't be the only back at the BBQ; four-star UT RB Sione Heimuli-Lund is a Stanford commit who could wind up at RB, FB, or LB (or, given Harbaugh, all of them).

Michigan's top four targets at wide receiver will all be in attendance. Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins need no introduction at this point; Michigan leads for Collins and is the presumed leader for DPJ. Four-star IA WR Oliver Martin is ramping up his recruitment now that baseball season is over—this weekend should give us a good idea of where Michigan stands compared to MSU, Iowa, Wisconsin, and his other contenders. Four-star CT WR Tarik Black has Michigan in his top group, though Lorenz thinks Notre Dame and Stanford are out ahead at this point. Michigan's top tight end on the board, four-star CA TE Josh Falo, will also be at the BBQ.

With three-star AL OT Toryque Bateman naming Michigan his leading heading into his BBQ visit, the offensive line is the most likely (though far from only) source of a weekend commitment—Bateman pegged his chances of committing at 50% and potentially higher if the visit goes as well as his last trip to Ann Arbor. Four-star tackles Isaiah Wilson and Aaron Banks are also on the list; Wilson is a Michigan/Bama battle right now, while the Wolverines are hoping to lure Banks away from top-tier Pac-12 programs.

As I was writing this, Steve reported that four-star OT Henry Bainivalu will make the trip from Washington. This is the second unofficial for Bainivalu, which is especially notable for a prospect from the other side of the country—Michigan definitely has a shot, and...

...oh boy, we might have a situation here.

One prospect who'd been mentioned as a possible visitor who won't make it: five-star KY OT Jedrick Wills, who looks like a longshot at best.

In the 2018 class, four-star Oak Park OG Marquan McCall—who could also wind up at DT—will accompany his committed teammate, OT JaRaymond Hall. While I've avoided mentioning the 2019 class, early rankings have Belleville OT Devontae Dobbs as a five-star prospect; he'll be at the BBQ with a couple classmates from a program that's got a lot of young talent.

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

Tuesday Recruitin' Masters Weaknesses

Tuesday Recruitin' Masters Weaknesses

Submitted by Ace on July 12th, 2016 at 2:49 PM

Winter Is Coming

I posted most of the post-Opening evaluations of Michigan commits yesterday, but these highlights of Benjamin St-Juste were published after that went up, and they make it clear why he's almost certainly headed for a ratings bump. St-Juste didn't just test well—though he certainly did that, posting the second-best shuttle time at the combine—he also made a lot of plays on the ball in the 7-on-7 portion, and his quickness is on full display in the drills at the end of the video. 247's Barton Simmons:

"(St-Juste) may have been the best big cornerback at the event," Simmons told Wolverine247. "He moves so well for a guy of his size and was the most impressive cornerback physically as well. He was challenged a lot but was rarely beaten. He was really impressive and really stood out throughout the weekend." 

247 hasn't updated their rankings yet; when they do, I'll be surprised if St-Juste is still a three-star. There aren't many 6'3" corners that move like that.

Simmons also went into more detail on Dylan McCaffrey's performance for Steve Lorenz's latest post at the Freep:

"He was an upper-tier quarterback at the event," Simmons said. "The biggest reason for that is the mental grasp he has on the position. He's a guy that was so decisive with his reads. He knows where the ball needs to go and gets it there quickly. In that setting, knowing where the open man is and connecting with him quickly should be routine and he was able to do it all day.

"He has some slight mechanical issues he has to correct, but he has a coaching staff at Michigan that is obviously fully capable of getting him where he needs to be. The coaches at the event raved about his ability to take coaching and wanting to learn about the game. He's far beyond your average quarterback in that regard."

Still no word on the specifics of those mechanical issues, unfortunately, but Simmons clearly isn't too concerned, especially once Harbaugh gets involved—he called the Harbaugh/McCaffrey pairing "a perfect match."

File this away for later: Bleacher Report's Michael Felder, who helps coach at The Opening, had an enlightening exhange with Jaylen Kelly-Powell:

Playing more free safety should help Kelly-Powell improve on his zone coverage. He's clearly a coachable kid—something that was noticeable at SMSB, too.

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