In an otherwise slow week, word came out yesterday that NC ATH Quavaris Crouch is set to take an official visit to Michigan for the following weekend’s game against Wisconsin. There aren’t many visits as crucial as this one given the small number of sure-take prospects left in the 2019 class (Crouch is ranked 28th in 247’s composite), and it’s made all the more important by Michigan’s standing in Crouch’s mind. Clemson247’s Anna Hickey reports that Michigan is one of three schools—the others are Tennessee and *shudder* Clemson—that have separated themselves from the pack.
The game-day atmosphere for Crouch’s visit should be impactful, and 247’s Steve Lorenz is reporting as much. There’s no other game on Michigan’s home schedule—night game, ranked opponent, early fall weather—that is likely to be as much of a spectacle. Whether Michigan wins that game, though, may be less important than you might think. Crouch spoke to Clemson247’s Anna Hickey about what he has seen from the colleges he’s considering so far this season and his comments were interesting.
"Everybody started off kind of slow. It's like 'oh my god.'," he said. "Michigan has come on a little bit. But you never know, you and some other guys they recruit could come in and change the program. It might just take time, you've just got to be patient. I'm not going to say I'm used to losing, but I've played at places where you've had to build a foundation."
So, uh, thanks Florida and Georgia, and almost-thanks Syracuse and Texas A&M. It’s not only unclear what school Crouch will choose but what position he will play at said school is also up in the air. The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown recently wrote that Crouch seems to be planning to play linebacker in college, while 247’s Steve Lorenz said this week that it works to Michigan’s benefit to have a number of recent examples of two-way players they can point out to Crouch.
TN RB Eric Gray, the subject of a great deal of speculation with regard to the solidity of his commitment, is also expected to be in Ann Arbor for the Wisconsin game, according to 247. Steve Lorenz notes that Gray’s recent visits to SEC schools, including a visit to Ole Miss that ended with a few crystal balls in their favor and rumors of flipping in its wake, did not catch the Michigan coaching staff off guard. They still believe Gray is solid, and it can only help that he’ll be in town for a game in what will be his first visit back to campus since committing.
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247’s Ohio expert Bill Greene has seen WR Quintel Kent play in-person more than any other recruiting reporter I know about, and the things he has been saying this season lend credence to Kent’s status as an MGoSlack fave rave. Kent’s highlight tapes show a receiver who makes great mid-air adjustments, has good hands, and has the footwork to create space for himself. There’s evidence of all of this from his highlights against Cass Tech, and I implore you to watch the play that starts at 00:53. According to the composite, that is the country’s 1,258th best player. That seems not right. You see that. I see that. Bill Greene sees that.
Kent is a precise route runner, has great hands and is playing in a program that prepares their players to be successful at the college level. The more we see Kent at 247Sports, the more we feel he is a recruiting steal for the Wolverines.
The above-linked piece also contains a game clip/eval video that Greene put together, and he went on to elaborate on Kent on 247’s message board. When asked about Kent’s speed, Greene said that he has never seen an official time for him but has seen him run by everyone in the two games he has observed. Greene’s primary area for improvement for Kent is adding strength, and he added that he doesn’t think that will be an issue at Michigan. Taken together, this makes Kent appear to be a prime target for a re-rank. Greene didn’t respond when asked about this on their message board, but he noted in his article that 247 already has Kent significantly higher than the other services; they have him 656th overall, the 89th-ranked receiver overall, and 27th-ranked player in Ohio compared to 1258th, 145th, and 53rd, respectively, in the composite.
One guy who is likely to get moved up is CA RB Zach Charbonnet, though once again that re-rank is less likely to come from 247 than one of the other sites. 247 has him as their fourth-ranked back and 41st overall, while Rivals has him the 13th-ranked back and 236th overall, and The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown wrote this week that Charbonnet is expected to climb their rankings. Rivals also has some reporting that addresses rumors that Charbonnet might be getting ready to look at other schools. Per Rivals analyst Adam Gorney:
"I haven't heard a thing about that," Gorney said of Charbonnet looking around. "If it was going on that kid would do it behind the scenes for sure but I don't get the impression that he is even considering anyone else. He doesn't seem like the drama type."
IL OT Trevor Keegan is certainly looking at other schools given that he has yet to commit. He told The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown that he does have a date set: his sister’s birthday, December 11th. Brown also reports that Keegan has two official visits scheduled, one to Ohio State this weekend and another to Michigan next weekend.
While Trevor Keegan is still deciding what to do with his offer, some are just getting them. OH LB Tommy Eichenberg, a composite four-star whose brother plays for Notre Dame, picked up an offer from U-M yesterday. Ohio State offered him last week, though, and 247’s Allen Trieu posted his thoughts on their forum on where Eichenberg ends up should Notre Dame follow suit. HIs thoughts? Not Michigan. Trieu had that as the fourth most-likely scenario for Eichenberg.
You know what else is an unlikely scenario? A team throwing a screen to an offensive tackle 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage, and said screen going for 20 yards thanks in part to a BIG MAN JUMP CUT. And yet there's GA OT Trente Jones catching the ball 10 yards behind the line of scrimmage and busting out a BIG MAN JUMP CUT to keep the play alive.
Michigan offered another prospect with a recent Ohio State offer in MA OT Zak Zinter. The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich reports that Zinter recently got a call from Michigan offensive line coach Ed Warinner, who told Zinter they liked what they saw from him at camps and what he had put on film this year, and that they wanted to offer him a scholarship. Zinter is currently a three-star prospect ranked 414th in the composite, but his offer list (U-M, Ohio State, Penn State, etc.) says there’s probably just not been much scouting done on a guy from Massachusetts. Michigan may have a leg up here, as Zinter attended a camp at Michigan and then took an unofficial visit for the BBQ later in the summer. He told Marich his main goal is to find a school that excels academically and on the field, and he seems like someone who is true to his word: Zinter’s next unofficial visit is a trip to Stanford this weekend.
One prospect who’s had an offer since May 2017 and the coaching staff’s attention since he started high school is GA QB Harrison Bailey. He told Rivals’ Chad Simmons that he thinks he will commit in late December or January, but that he could also commit at any time. I give this four crootins out of five, good stuff. Bailey says he has a good idea where he wants to go, but he wants to take a few more visits. One of those visits will be to Michigan this weekend, a school Bailey has visited a couple of times for camps but not yet for a game. Bailey’s thoughts on Michigan, in his own words:
"Michigan is a school that has been recruiting me since I was going into high school. They have showed me they really care, that they like me and that stands out to me. I like the way they have recruited me, the coaching staff and their balanced offense."
Bailey is ranked no. 60 overall in the composite and the only quarterback in the top targets section of 247’s prospects list.
Other players are being recruited with similar diligence, though the source of the texts and calls is not the coaching staff. The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich caught up with recent commit Cornell Wheeler, who told Marich that he’s working hard to get teammate Makari Page, a four-star safety, and four-star Detroit MLK WR Rashawn Williams to commit to Michigan. Belleville CB Andre Seldon has been working in tandem with Wheeler to help build the 2020 class, including working on five-star Oak Park OG Justin Rogers, the 14th-ranked player in the country in the composite. Marich says Seldon has also been working to convince WR Ian Stewart and WR Devell Washington to join them in the 2020 class. Must be a heck of a compliment if you’re a wide receiver and a cornerback wants you to play on the same team.
Andre Seldon plays way bigger than he is. You can see it on film, and you can read about it in this MLive article in the words of Belleville head coach Jermain Crowell. Also of note from that article: fellow Michigan commit DL Tyrece Woods has played sparingly in recent weeks because of a groin and hamstring injury. Eric Gray is averaging 11.3 yards per carry (118 carries) and has 21 touchdowns, and Zach Charbonnet is averaging 9.3 yards per carry (93 carries) and yes I do love high school football stats. Michigan told 2019 MI ATH Jalen McGaughy that they see him on defense during a recent visit, but weren’t clear about which position or whether they would offer him. CA WR Kyle Ford, ranked no. 30 overall in the composite, tore his ACL and is done for the season; this won’t impact how hard Michigan recruits him, though