Michigan coaches Don Brown and Jim Harbaugh visit commit George Johnson and family
[via Johnson's twitter]

Friday Recruitin' Gets Used To Small Talk And The Smell Of Jet Fuel Comment Count

Adam Schnepp November 30th, 2018 at 12:00 PM

‘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.

2020 Update:

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.



November 30th, 2018 at 12:23 PM ^

If Harrison ends up here, he's an extremely resolute and determined young man, given the circumstances of the past week. I'm just hoping we don't have any decommitments from current members of the 2019 class.

Milton Cannon

November 30th, 2018 at 12:33 PM ^

I think if there's a set back, it will be very brief. Getting killed by OSU will likely hurt recruiting in the short term, but it'll look good when a decent number of Michigan players get their name called in the early rounds of the draft this year. Looks like Harbaugh has the program in position to have that be the case every year now, and that should stick out to recruits. 


November 30th, 2018 at 12:56 PM ^

I'll buy the idea the game wasn't positive. Not buying the idea the class hinged on a pronouncement about program status that was blown up last week.

These relationships were strong way before Michigan had a leg to stand on with being a a top 5 program. Back when it was 8-5, Harbaugh on the hot seat ruled the chatter, and the future was uncertain.

The loss Saturday might require more work than they'd hoped to have put in with a recruit or two. Then again, it might not have made a difference.


November 30th, 2018 at 1:08 PM ^

Regarding Z. Harrison, it was presumed a positive for UM the longer he went without committing to OSU. The recruiting momentum and ballz went in UM's favor the longer it dragged out. UM then proceeded to get steamrolled in Columbus and probably he is hearing from every angle, every minute how overrated UM is.

Sam W. said recently that the coaches had to address concerns with Harrison and/or his family following the debacle. My take is that the longer it goes now without a commit to UM, the more positive it is for OSU. Also, the big win secured Meyer at OSU. Now there will be no questions regarding him leaving.


November 30th, 2018 at 1:13 PM ^

You do realize there are a limited amount of teams that haven't suffered a devastating defeat in the last 14 months.  That team is Bama.

Some of you need to watch some other games on Saturday.  If Harrison is wavering because of that game I'm sure they can flip on the Purdue or Maryland tapes for him. 

Notre Dame lost by a million to Miami last year on a marquee Sat Night game.   Ask yourself if you think ND can't sign any recruits now.  I'll answer for you.  You don't.

We're ranked #7 and people on here act like we missed a bowl.  Can't land recruits?  Child please.



November 30th, 2018 at 2:52 PM ^

Exactly. People seem to be under the impression that Michigan is the only team that ever has a bad game or a bad loss and whenever it happens to us, it’s an absolutely program crushing defeat. 

It was a bad loss. It sucks. But OSU lost by 29 points to a 6 win Purdue team. Texas lost to Maryland. I mean really we could go on and on. It happens. It’s sucks, but it happens to everyone. 

If losing to OSU means we aren’t “elite,” then what does losing to Purdue say about OSU? It’s just a weak and lazy take really. 


November 30th, 2018 at 1:43 PM ^

It was actually rather amazing to see, in a disgusting way. Towards the beginning of the game, Hidgon busts that 8-yard run and Urban starts to look a little "sick". Then the Michigan defense forces a three and out for OSU and Urban is looking decidedly unwell. 

Then OSU starts to kick the shit out of Michigan and Urban looks like he's feeling great. Scumbag. 


November 30th, 2018 at 12:41 PM ^

Michigan is the Schrodinger's cat of stability:

  • Michigan is too stable for Harrison Bailey.
  • Michigan is not stable enough for Zach Harrison.

We need to find the Goldilocks zone on the Harrisons.


November 30th, 2018 at 1:07 PM ^

You'd think so but Harrison was on the edge already and the article said Harrison was embarrassed by the game. And when all he has is OSU folks in his ear all the time, it's hard to say that result couldn't be the thing that sways a kid who was on the fence as it was.

18 year old kids don't always take the long-term view and that loss wasn't just a loss, it was a complete domination and dismantling of what everyone thought was an elite defense. Losing to OSU would not have been a surprise, but I doubt anyone would have believed what happened would happen. 

I hope Mattison and Co. can keep selling this kid on his future at Michigan but (to me) it seems like our chances went from 75/25 to 50/50 at best. I still have faith in our staff and program but I do think how this game turned out really did hurt our chances with Harrison. 

Gentleman Squirrels

November 30th, 2018 at 1:38 PM ^

Top choice next is 4* Jay Butterfield. He’s a Stanford legacy and grew up a Stanford fan but they haven’t offered because they already have a commit in Tanner McKee who committed in 2018 and went on his Mormon trip. Butterfield has visited for the Wisconsin game and loved it here, but with such strong connections to Stanford and the fact that he is from CA, he would be a strong flip candidate if Stanford ever offered.

Besides that, theres 4* Parker McQuarrie out of NH, 3* Beau Allen out of KY, and I’ve also heard unranked Christian Vellieux who is a kid out of Canada. I’m sure the list of offers will expand as they evaluate more QBs


November 30th, 2018 at 12:48 PM ^

Two questions:


1. Is something (bag man-esque) going on at UT to flip the likes of Gray and land Bailey's committment in such a quick turnaround from what most thought would be in UM's favor up until 24 hrs prior to giving his pledge?


2. With Perry being seen more as a safety, the same can be said of Green and Sims in last years class, and St-Juste and Kelly-Powell were injured most of this year, are we concerned about the other CB spot next year if both Long & Hill decide to enter the draft?  Watson is obviously graduating.  Thomas would be the only other guy.  It seems someone who is completely unproven will have to produce.  Is Turner a guy people think is capable of competing as a true freshman?

Ron Utah

November 30th, 2018 at 1:00 PM ^

There are two Greens, and one is much more of a corner. There is also Gray, and, just so we have something other than colors, Sims’ work at corner was also recognized this off-season. 

I think CB is our biggest question mark but also feel we have plenty of options and at least a few will pan out. 


November 30th, 2018 at 1:32 PM ^

Concerning #1, I would say so, and it should've been expected.  Pruitt, like Kirby Smart at UGA, came from Saban's staff.  It's pretty clear that Smart set some things up at UGA, because Richt is a pretty good recruiter - but he didn't come close to what Smart is doing.

I don't think you should be surprised to learn that Pruitt was able to get something setup at UTenn, either...

Gentleman Squirrels

November 30th, 2018 at 1:42 PM ^

Gray is from TN and Bailey was always a 2 team race in which TN could sell him on being the face of a rebuild, and early playing time. He’s also close to Pep and Michigan could not guarantee that Pep will stay for a couple years.

Yes the concern is real. But if there’s one person I trust to coach the CB, it would be Zordich. If St. Juste gets healthy, I can see his length being a huge factor. Sims too. I wouldn’t count out Vincent Gray either since we heard some good stuff about him last cycle. I wouldn’t count on any freshman to get immediate playing time.