Exit: Chase Lasater
I'm a little late getting to this after the bye week, but fullback Chase Lasater is no longer a member of the class. Lasatar announced his decommitment on his Twitter account, which is now set to private. He said he and his family "feel it is best" to reopen his recruitment and that Michigan remains one of his top schools; he thanked Jim Harbaugh and Bam Richards for recruiting him.
With Michigan going after LSU fullback commit Tory Carter, who has an official visit scheduled, it would be a surprise if Lasater ended up back in the class.
The coaching staff didn't take it easy during the bye week, instead heading out for a long list of recruiting visits headlined by Jim Harbaugh's stop in Antioch to see the #1 recruit in the country, CA RB Najee Harris. Scout's Josh Henschke has a full, free rundown of who the coaches saw.
Notably, a few new offers went out, including one that spurred a new Crystal Ball prediction. That came after Michigan offered three-star TN DT Rutger Reitmaier, who's committed to Oregon, a program you may recall hiring a defensive coordinator with a very strong track record of unearthing excellent defensive linemen. Reitmaier has some impressive junior film (see above) and Oregon commits are ripe for picking these days. This offer looks like a reflection of both Reitmaier's ability and M's waning hopes of bringing Aubrey Solomon back into the fold; Sam Webb was in Lee County during the bye and came away saying M's chances at Solomon are "essentially nil."
Harbaugh also offered top-100 Las Vegas Bishop Gorman S Bubba Bolden, and Sam Webb says that despite the late timing of the offer, Michigan could have a shot:
Michigan offered four-star safety Bubba Bolden from Bishop Gorman. Despite the relative lateness of that offer, the interest definitely appears to be mutual. Bolden has two open visit dates and has expressed a desire to give Michigan one of them. No firm date has been established but a trip to Ann Arbor now appears to be a distinct possibility.
The coaches also offered four-star AZ S Isaiah Pola-Mao, who currently has Washington on top of his list. The multiple new safety offers could be a result of commit J'Marick Woods, who recently had high praise for his Arkansas official visit, taking a look around; I highly doubt it's a product of losing confidence in their ability to land Jaylen Kelly-Powell.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Top-100 Linemen Still Coming Out of the Woodwork
The good feels from the Wisconsin visit weekend haven't worn off yet. Five-star FL OT Alex Leatherwood is still committed to Alabama, but told Scout's Chad Simmons he may pay his way back to Ann Arbor for another look at the program:
"I just want to get back up there to see things once again," Leatherwood said about Michigan. "The official visit was great, but I would like to get even more of a feel of things on my own time. I would like more time with the coaches, to see things again, and just see if there anymore questions I need to get answered.
"If I can get there during the season, I will, but it may be after the season before I have the time to visit Michigan again."
Alabama is the only school locked in for an official visit, though Leatherwood is still considering the three in-state Florida powers, especially the Gators. He's an early enrollee, and has set a final decision date of December 16th. If Leatherwood makes that unofficial visit happen, especially in lieu of taking an official to another school, it's time to feel really good about M's chances of flipping him. For now, it's wait-and-see.
Along those same lines, four-star TX OT Chuck Filiaga continues to say great things about his Michigan official. Just as notably, he's no longer mentioning USC—the school still leading his Crystal Ball—as a school in contention, despite being undecided between a handful of schools for his final official visit. He's already taken an official to Oregon, which was surpassed when he visited Ann Arbor; his next two OVs are scheduled for Oklahoma and Nebraska. With USC seemingly out of the picture, I put in a Crystal Ball pick for Filiaga to Michigan.
After a long quiet period, things are looking good for five-star NY OT Isaiah Wilson. Scout's Brian Dohn posted on the Victors Board that he's hearing Wilson plans to bring both of his parents and his little brother along for his official visit next month. 247's Steve Wiltfong, citing the strong relationship built between Wilson and Tyrone Wheatley, put in a CB pick for Michigan last week.
Meanwhile, Allen Trieu's latest feature for the Detroit News leads off with this quote from top-50 AZ OT Austin Jackson, who hasn't really even been on the radar:
"In my mix right now are Arizona State and USC, definitely. They recruit me the most,” he told Scout’s Blair Angulo. “I'm also into Michigan and hoping to get to the Big House here pretty soon. Texas A&M is right there, as well."
Jackson also has an official visit set with Oregon.
Jackson is a USC legacy, so he may be more inclined to commit to them despite the program not being on the steadiest footing, but that looks like a list Michigan can crack if they get him on campus. That's still a big if, however; for now, he's on the fringe in a crowded OL class.
Finally, 247's Steve Lorenz posted on their board that Michigan believes they have a "real chance" with top-50 TX OT Austin Deculus, an LSU commit. Steve expects him to take an official visit.
The natural question out of all of this: where will the space come from? Well, while Kai-Leon Herbert still insists he's committed to Michigan, he has a lot of good things to say about both Florida and Miami. His commitment appears far from firm, and if he exits the class that probably hurts M's chances with five-star teammate TJ Slaton, as well.
2017 Scout 300, 2018 Top247 Updated
- Luiji Vilain moved up from #138 to #103
- Dylan McCaffrey dropped from #101 to #108
- Josh Ross moved up from #228 to #196
- Kai-Leon Herbert dropped from #180 to #251
- Andrew Stueber moved from a three-star all the way up to #262
- J'Marick Woods moved from off the list to #280
- Corey Malone-Hatcher moved up from #296 to #293
- Ja'Raymond Hall fell off the list from #248
The big news for Michigan there is Stueber, who's impressed scouts since being a surprising, under-the-radar camp commitment.
In the updated 2018 Top247, Otis Reese moved up 16 spots to #108 overall and Emil Ekiyor moved up seven spots to #125.
Another name that hasn't really been on the radar: Rivals's Adam Friedman reports Maryland and Michigan are the two schools in best position to land four-star CA OLB Ellis Brooks. Brooks visited for the Penn State game.
Five-star FL CB Stanford Samuels, an FSU commit and legacy, is looking to set up an official to Michigan, per 247's Ryan Bartow. I don't expect anything to come of this.
SBNation's Bud Elliott on the potential impact of adding two early signing dates to the recruiting calendar.