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:
Told y'all Sam joined the family... Love it!!! pic.twitter.com/TG10ejSkHA
— Keshia Sandidge (@Kesandidge) June 16, 2017
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.]
M/ND Battles Extend To Actual News
After four-star NJ OLB Shayne Simon looked like a strong Michigan lean, Notre Dame has gained a lot of steam in his recruitment lately. Yesterday morning, Irish247's Tom Loy dropped some news* that portended very bad things for Michigan's chances:
The 6-3, 215-pounder, a U.S. Army All-American in the class of 2018, has informed Irish247 that he will no longer visit Michigan in June or July. “Nah, I’m not getting out there,” said Simon via text, when asked if he was still visiting Michigan.
Not so fast, my friend. Moments later—though not before I, an idiot, flipped my Crystal Ball pick to ND—Wolverine247's Isaiah Hole dropped a newsbomb of his own:
On the heels of Tom Loy's report that Jersey City (NJ) St. Peter's Prep outside linebacker Shayne Simon won't be visiting Michigan in the foreseeable future, I spoke to someone close to the Michigan side of things who wasn't at all alarmed.
Simon made a quiet, surprise visit to Ann Arbor this past Sunday on Father's Day.
Steve Wiltfong, whose pick is currently on Notre Dame, says he "could see it go either way" at this point. Simon, who Michigan is recruiting as a VIPER, wants to make a decision before his senior season.
— Cam McGrone (@McGrone_Strong) June 22, 2017
In other potential Michigan/ND battles, Michigan hosted four-star IN OLB Cameron McGrone yesterday, not long after he'd visited South Bend for the Irish Invasion camp. Based on what he told Wiltfong, the trip couldn't have gone much better:
"Michigan is truly a special place," he said. "Haven't been to a place like it.
"I got real comfortable up there with all the staff and players. Felt like another home."
Michigan is recruiting McGrone as a MIKE. Based on the quote above, I put in a pick for the good guys.
*[Loy later edited the piece, without noting he edited it, to mention Simon's weekend visit:
We're told the 6-3, 215-pounder, a U.S. Army All-American in the class of 2018, visited Michigan this past weekend, following an Irish Invasion trip to Notre Dame earlier this month.
The planned visit to Michigan for July will no longer take place.
That's one way to journalism, I guess.]
Visits Past and Current
Sam Webb caught up with top-100 FL OT Nicholas Petit-Frere for a reaction to his recent visit. It sounds like Michigan made a strong impression; it also sounds like Petit-Frere won't be making a decision any time soon:
"I'm still in football mode now. We're starting up our workouts for Berkeley football and trying to make a run back at the state semifinals. (We’re going to) try to overcome that and get all the way to the state championship and try to find a way to win the first championship at Berkeley. That's my main priority right now. Once we get through that then I might try to go ahead and think about schools, but I really don't know at this point. It's just kind of working out, getting bigger, faster and stronger, the entire team is trying to do that."
He's a prospect worth waiting on.
Meanwhile, Michigan's second weekend of on-campus camps is happening as I type this. I'll save most of that news for next week's roundup after things have wrapped up. Lorenz has a free post listing a few top targets who made their way to campus yesterday; 2019 Belleville prospects Julian Barnett and Devontae Dobbs also made it in today, as did 2019 five-star OH DE Zach Harrison, who's making his second visit to Ann Arbor.
2019 Updates: Top Three For Lacey
According to Tom Loy, four-star 2019 KY DT Jacob Lacey has three schools out in front—Clemson, Michigan, and Notre Dame—with a decision closing in:
Lacey is unsure on a time table for a final decision. He says it could come before his junior season or after a few game day trips this fall. Either way, it’s coming up quickly.
“Yeah,” said Lacey, when asked if he knows where he is going to end up. “I have a few main schools i’m deciding on. They are neck and neck. We are looking at the pros and cons of both schools.”
Lacey visits Stanford on Thursday and Michigan on July 29. After that, his summer visits will be complete. He recently visited Notre Dame, Clemson, Vanderbilt, Louisville and Tennessee.
Lacey has been to South Bend five times now, so they may have an edge, but Michigan will get at least one more shot next month, and we're very far away from Signing Day 2019. Oh, and Notre Dame went 4-8 last season, in case you forgot.
Four-star FL OT William Putnam added a Michigan offer on Tuesday. He told TMI's Evan Petzold that the Wolverines have his interest:
"I'm very interested in Michigan," he stated. "Michigan is a great team with a great tradition. Michigan is a school I definitely want to visit. The offer caught me by surprise, so I have not yet planned a visit. However, Michigan is a school I want to visit and build a relationship with."
Michigan also sent out an offer to top-50 AL OG Clay Webb, who told TMI's Brice Marich he's looking into a summer visit, but Webb is a highly touted lineman from Alabama with an Alabama offer, so this is probably the last time he gets mentioned here.
Let's Check In On MSU
Ohio cornerback Arquon Bush, the #604 overall player on the composite, on his recent commitment:
“My recruitment came down to Cincinnati and Michigan State. I really don’t know, it was just like I woke up this morning and was thinking hard about it. Then got on the phone with my mom, at first we talked and we got on a 3-way with my coach to. We all decided that Cincinnati would be a perfect fit for me.”
With the head-to-head win, Luke Fickell's Bearcats are now only ten spots behind the Spartans on the composite team rankings.
MLive's Matt Wenzel profiles Jalen Mayfield.
Brandon Justice, who's moved from Land of Ten to Wolverine247, says Michigan is the "clear early leader" for four-star 2019 IMG ILB Charles Thomas. He'll be on campus this weekend.
Michigan offered 2019 Alabama commit Pierce Quick a few weeks ago. Let's see how that's gonna go:
"I’m 100% solid to Alabama," he said. "Schools kind of stopped recruiting me because I’m an in-state kid committed to Alabama so they can connect the dots.