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.]
Michigan is expected host three official visitors in addition to Couch and quarterback commit Cade McNamara.
Four-star SC TE Luke Deal is taking a number of officials in advance of his May 25th commitment. Clemson has all three crystal ball picks for Deal but this one feels far from over. He's already taken an official to NC State, and in addition to Michigan, he'll take OVs to Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Auburn before his announcement—all in a week's time. We'll see how things shake out after his marathon visit week.
Two of Couch's high school teammates, four-star WR John Dunmore and four-star S Keontra Smith (a Kentucky commit) will accompany him on official visits. Neither has mentioned Michigan much, if at all, through the course of their recruitments, and Dunmore is expected to wind up at Florida State. Maybe that'll change after seeing campus, but Couch looks like by far the most realistic option of the Chaminade-Madonna Prep trio.
Sam mentioned hearing some rumblings that four-star OG commit Nolan Rumler might be wavering in his commitment, but since Ed Warinner replaced Tim Drevno, that doesn't seem to be a problem anymore. Rumler tweeted this in anticipation of his weekend visit:
100% committed https://t.co/6mb4Peztws
— Nolan Rumler (@steamboat_70) April 13, 2018
I don't think we have much to worry about there. Rumler is a Michigan lifer.
Michigan could bolster their O-line class by putting in more work with in-state three-star OL Karsen Barnhart. While Michigan State was the early favorite, Michigan has shown increased interest, and 247's Allen Trieu—who currently has a pick in for MSU—told Sam he believes the Wolverines have "at least made things even." At 6'4", 282, Barnhart probably projects to the interior of the line even though he's currently listed, like most high school linemen, as a tackle.
The biggest uncommitted name to take an unofficial is top-100 Rhose Island OT Xavier Truss. If you saw Rhode Island and thought, "I wonder if he played with Kwity Paye," the answer is, yes, of course he did. From TMI's Josh Newkirk:
“I’m talking to pretty much everybody,” Truss said of U-M. “Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and coach Don Brown I talk to. I probably talk to coach Brown the most from Michigan because he recruited Kwity Paye from my school, he was class of ’17. So while he was in the recruiting process to Michigan, Don Brown the defensive coordinator came to talk to him and kind of got interested in me.”
There's plenty of competition for Truss, who has a who's-who list of power programs on his offer sheet and plans to check out Auburn, Georgia, Clemson, and Ohio State before enrolling early. Even for an elite prospect with elite options, though, you have to like Michigan's chances with Don Brown going hard after an East Coast kid.
For the rest of this weekend's visitors, make sure you click over to Sam's overview.