‘Tis the season for in-home visits and the subsequent flood of photos of coaches with their arms around recruits and their families to hit twitter. The coaching staff has spent a fair amount of time checking in on already-committed prospects—Jim McElwain visited phenomenal tweeter CA slot bug Giles Jackson, Al Washington had dinner with OH SDE Gabe Newburg, Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown visited the home of FL ATH George Johnson III, Sherron Moore checked in on OH TE Erick All Jr., and so on—while also jetting around the country to see a select few prospects that would fill out a class that, at 25 current commits, is close to full.
Tight ends coach Sherrone Moore went to Texas to visit TX WR Jaylen Ellis, who took a Michigan official in early September. Ellis has been committed to Baylor since summer 2017, has a crystal ball that is currently 100% Texas, and still plans to take official visits to Baylor, Houston, and Tennessee (he officially visited Arizona in late September). Crootin’! Ellis is coveted for his speed in a class that apparently lacks that. He runs a verified 4.59 40 but has been given the “plays faster than his time” scouting note, so he’ll be worth checking out at the All-American Bowl.
Jim Harbaugh and linebackers coach Al Washington visited the home of GA LB Kalen DeLoach yesterday. You may remember an earlier recruiting roundup in which his father more or less told Sam Webb that he asked Michigan to continue recruiting his son despite being verbally committed to Florida State; Webb said on The Michigan Insider’s recruiting roundup segment that DeLoach is thinking of decommitting from Florida State not because of their record this year but because they haven’t recruited him very hard post-verbal. Contrast that with Harbaugh, who visited DeLoach’s father and mother at work yesterday. DeLoach was a composite top-300 recruit when he pledged to Florida State, got a bit of a bump with his July verbal, got a nearly 50-spot preseason bump, and has hung just inside the top 250 since.
He may not be getting an in-home visit, but one seemingly out-of-nowhere flip candidate has set an official visit date. FL LB Anthony Solomon will take an official to Miami, the school to which he verbally committed in April, on December 7th before heading to Ann Arbor for a December 14th official. That’s good news if you’re a fan of the “he who goes last wins” theory of recruiting. This is something of a shock, as the last 11 events on Solomon’s 247 timeline are all Miami-related. 247’s Andrew Ivins checked in after Miami HC Mark Richt and DC Manny Diaz visited Solomon, and the sentiment seems to be that Solomon-to-Michigan has legs and that Solomon wants to get out of South Florida.
[Things get cloudy after THE JUMP]
2019 Update, cont.:
One player who got both an in-home visit this past week and has an official visit scheduled is MO OT Danielson Ike. He told WolverinesWire’s Evan Petzold that he is “most definitely feeling Michigan” in the wake of Ed Warinner’s visit and will be in Ann Arbor for a three-day (!) official December 14th-16th. At 6’6” and 300 pounds, there’s literally a lot to like with Ike, and the coaching staff obviously feels the same; he’s one of three linemen Warinner is still recruiting. I’ll go with that over his current composite ranking, which dropped almost 200 spots in the latest re-rank for reasons I’ve yet to find listed anywhere.
The other two linemen Warriner is still after, IL OL Trevor Keegan and IN OL Dawand Jones, have either already had Warinner visit in-home/school or will soon. Jones, a 6’8”, 350-pound tackle who attends Chris Evans’ alma mater, just picked up a Michigan offer in the past few weeks and is now looking to set an official visit. He also received an offer from Ohio State last week, but he told The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown the outcome of The Game doesn’t lessen his interest in Michigan. Jones is tentatively scheduled to announce his decision on December 17th, but in gushing about his Michigan visit to WolverinesWire’s Evan Petzold, he said that date could change.
Another late offer was recently extended to MI ATH Darius Robinson. He tells The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich that the determining factors for his decision are what a degree from the school can do for him, family support, and ability to play early. He mentions how Michigan is just 15 minutes from his house multiple times in the same piece and we know what the degree can do, so playing early is the only real area that might be up in the air with regard to Robinson. He also told Marich that Michigan is the only school recruiting him as an athlete; he played tight end and defensive line this past season. Robinson has just one official visit remaining, so he may not end up visiting Michigan in that capacity. Even so, Allen Trieu moved his crystal ball to foggy and said that this is likely to come down to Michigan or Missouri; Marich notes that Michigan State, Minnesota, Colorado, and Syracuse are his other top contenders.
And now for the mixed-bag portion of our program. Sam Webb submitted a crystal ball in favor of Michigan for OH DE Zach Harrison last week. His rationale:
A crystal ball from me at that point would have been nothing more than following the crowd. That Ohio State sources had acknowledged he was leaning toward Michigan, while significant, still didn’t quell the skepticism I gleaned from well-placed sources about whether in the end he really would be able to break away from the gravitational pull of all the Buckeye influence around him. There would have to be some act or signal to suggest he would do just that before I’d make the crystal ball leap.
Yesterday I received word of such a signal. I am now confident enough to project him to Michigan. In keeping with the Najee Harris comparison, though, one has to be careful to not etch anything in stone.
Please click the link above if you’re a glutton for punishment and would like to see a picture of Najee Harris’ dorm key. Then, the Very Bad Thing happened. To most recruits it wasn’t much more than a blip on the radar, but it seems to be an alarm to Harrison. Linebackers coach Al Washington and defensive line coach Greg Mattison visited him this week, and both the staff and current commits are trying to sell him on helping make their mark on the rivalry. The thing that stands out to me from Webb’s latest board post is that he says there are no Michigan co-signers around Harrison. He spoke earlier this year about how often he hears about Ohio State and feels the pressure people are putting on him to go there, and that’s obviously only going to increase. Webb added in the above-linked board post that Michigan coaches are slated to visit Harrison again next week, so this one (still) isn’t over.
The last 2019 item of note is on Michigan’s latest commit, GA CB Jalen Perry. The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown penned a piece about how Perry fits in the class and noted that he might be a fit at safety over corner as he lacks top-end speed but makes up for it with high football intelligence. At the same time, Brown notes that he’s physical at the line of scrimmage and has good quickness, so corner isn’t totally out of the question.
Oh, and TN RB Eric Gray is gone, yes? We all agree on this? Thought so.
GA QB Harrison Bailey was considered a Michigan lean for as long as I can remember. No more. Bailey committed to Tennessee yesterday, nothing that he “likes to build stuff” and wants to take the program back to prominence. There were some rumors floating around that he might reclassify to 2019 but he squashed that pretty quickly on twitter.
But hey, Michigan at least made the top six for #1 overall prospect MD SDE Bryan Bresee. 247’s Steve Wiltfong writes that Bresee is most familiar with Georgia, Penn State, and Ohio State, but there’s obviously quite a bit of time to put in work here. Wiltfong also mentions that Bresee visited each school for a game this fall except Michigan. With five official visits, which school gets left out should be telling.
Happy trails, MI DL Tyrece Woods and VA RB Tim Baldwin. Extremely handy list of when guys are signing and enrolling from 247’s Steve Lorenz. 2021 IN LB Yanni Karlaftis has envisioned playing opposite his brother at Michigan; with Brohm staying at Purdue, that’s not happening. The younger Karlaftis talks to Greg Mattison weekly and seems high on Michigan, and he’s said multiple times he’s not as set on staying close to home as his brother was/is. Highlights from OK S Daxton Hill’s final high school game.