Friday Recruitin' Evidently Doesn't Need A Spring Game

Friday Recruitin' Evidently Doesn't Need A Spring Game

Submitted by Ace on April 13th, 2018 at 3:14 PM

Big-Time Visit Weekend Remains Big-Time Visit Weekend

Frankly, I wasn't expecting to write this post today once Michigan cancelled its spring game, but the recruiting process cares not for spring weather, and the coaches have ensured this is still a major visit weekend.

TMI's Sam Webb has a comprehensive, free rundown of this weekend's visitors. I'll hit on the highlights, including all of the official visitors—remember, this is the first year since the rule change that allows OVs in the spring.

The headliner is five-star OH DE Zach Harrison, who will spend Saturday on campus before heading home Sunday, per 247's Bill Kurelic. This will be an unofficial visit for Harrison, whose recruitment is shaping up to be a Midwest battle with Ohio State currently holding all 12 of his crystal ball picks. Michigan and Penn State are chasing the Buckeyes. The Wolverine's Brandon Brown is hearing Michigan is at least making things interesting:

"It was a two-horse race for a while with Ohio State and Penn State but Michigan has probably made it a three-horse race in recent weeks," a source close to the situation said. "I don't think anyone else has a realistic shot, though he'll still list Clemson and Notre Dame."

This weekend's visit will be important for making up ground on the Buckeyes, who are still the presumed favorite.

While this isn't setting up to be a carpal tunnel weekend, Sam has sounded a potential commitment watch—albeit without a gut feeling—for four-star FL CB Te'Cory Couch, a very soft Tennessee commit who's expected to wind up at either Michigan or Miami (YTM). He told 247's Andrew Ivins those two schools are the ones he's most focused on, and he's certainly hearing the right things from the Wolverine coaches:

"I just want to see what it's like there how the players live and stuff like that," he said when asked about the Wolverines. "I just want to see what they do on a day-to-day basis and the education. I'm talking a lot with [defensive coordinator Don Brown]. He loves me. He tells me that I'm the No. 1 corner on his board all the time."

A decision could come soon. While Sam didn't issue that gut feeling, he put in a Crystal Ball pick for Michigan, which is pretty close.

[Hit THE JUMP for more on weekend visitors.]

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.

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

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Submitted by Ace on June 23rd, 2017 at 2:57 PM

Give This Kid A Raise

Michigan hosted one of their top targets on the defensive line last week in four-star TN DT Rick Sandidge, and the word from M recruiting gurus is universal: they knocked this one out of the park. While the likes of Jim Harbaugh or Greg Mattison are normally the focus when prospects and their families discuss these visits, Sandidge's mom couldn't stop raving about a support staff member when recapping the visit with Sam Webb:

In most cases the meeting with the headman serves as the crescendo for any school’s campus visit. While that is true typically at Michigan also, it wasn’t the case this time. The visit-show was stolen by a student recruiting assistant named Sam Popper, who served as one of the Sandidge’s tour guides.

"Sam is the best ever,” Sandidge’s mom Keshia said. “He should be the superstar of that school, I promise you. He made our visit absolutely wonderful. I wish there was a Sam at every program that we've been to thus far."

“He was down to our level trying to understand how our dynamics are built as a family.  He just kind of became one of us that day and let it all hang out. Usually folks don't do that.”

I haven't ever seen something like this before:

Getting mom in your corner is always a plus. Rick himself was also impressed with the trip, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

"I know that Michigan’s defense is amazing," he said. "I know that they run a four-man front which is something that I like. Those are definitely a couple of things that stand out. I also know that they don’t play all of their defensive linemen the whole game and that’s there’s a solid rotation to keep everyone fresh."

247's Steve Lorenz added that Michigan will be a "real factor" going forward in Sandidge's recruitment. Sandidge, Tyler Friday, and Michael Thompson are the top three targets at DT after Alim McNeill omitted Michigan from his top six. (No, I don't want to talk about it.)

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