Monday Recruitin' Adds To OL Pile Comment Count

Ace October 17th, 2016 at 2:21 PM

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.

Busy Bye

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

Scout updated their top 300 for the 2017 class. Board poster Indonacoius has the full list of where M's commits and targets landed. Movement for commits:

  • 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.

Etc.

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.

Comments

what would Bo do

October 17th, 2016 at 2:56 PM ^

The Heininger certainty principle will remain extant due to the continuity allowed us by keeping Mattison.  If there's one thing Hoke/Mattison excelled at, it was finding/developing defensive lineman.  They turned low rated guys into solid contributors and four stars into All-Conference level players, almost without exception.  Our dline will be incredibly young next year, but I still expect them to be good for the foreseeable future for that exact reason; great coaching and a staff that pushes them to achieve every ounce of their potential.

Big Boutros

October 17th, 2016 at 2:51 PM ^

I am not holding my breath on Leatherwood, but the rest of the Fab 5 looks pretty realistic.

Filiaga
Ruiz
Wilson
Wills

Plus Steuber, Honigford, Hall, and maybe Slaton/Herbert. That alone would challenge Stanford 2012 as the best OL recruiting class of the paysite era. With Leatherwood, it would honestly be legendary. The only class I could compare it to would be Kentucky's 2013 basketball class.

Gentleman Squirrels

October 17th, 2016 at 2:55 PM ^

I don't think we will get that entire squad, partially because that's way too many OL recruits and partially because I don't see all of them ending up at Michigan. Leatherwood would be more likely than Wills. Fliaga, Ruiz, and Wilson, along with our current recruits (maybe switch Herbert with Slaton) would be a fantastic haul.

DonAZ

October 17th, 2016 at 2:56 PM ^

That sounds like one of those names the great announcer Keith Jackson would have fun calling out when discussing the "big men" down in the trenches.

M Ascending

October 17th, 2016 at 4:36 PM ^

Keith Jackson was the second best football announcer ever, next to Bob Ufer!
And I'm so glad we are rid of Brent FUCKING Musburger, who has been exiled to places like Starkville, Mississippi where he can get sucked off by Paul Finebaum.

1VaBlue1

October 17th, 2016 at 3:31 PM ^

And it kept that drive alive!  Without the flag, UW was punting on the play and the game would have been - for all intents and purposes (or is it 'intensive purposes'?, LOL) - over.  UW scored on that drive to get back into the game after that horrible 3rd quarter start...

Night_King

October 17th, 2016 at 3:06 PM ^

I can't wait for the day to watch five 5 star recruits starting on the O Line, devouring defenses for lunch, and watching any capable RB in the backfield average 10 yards a pop. Also bodes well for a 4/5 star QB having all time in the pocket to throw to speedy wideouts. I'm drooling over the possibilities. 

schreibee

October 17th, 2016 at 3:30 PM ^

The linked piece about the potential early signing dates made some good points, but one of it's essential premises is claiming a player signing early to a mid-tier team, then blowing up as a senior and not being able to sign with a powerhouse, would be harmful to the player. I just do not agree with that.

Maybe it's the fact he used the buckeyes as the example of the team the recruit "could've" signed with if they'd waited that left a bad taste, but I see players grabbing the Houston, Colorado, BC, directional school (what have you) offer rather than waiting til traditional signing day and going with bama, osu, fsu (whatever) not doing themselves any disservice. Except in the liklihood of playing in the playoff perhaps. But not in terms of earning playing time, development, etc.

He does make the point that this should increase parity across all levels, and benefit teams with strong talent evaluation, the game in general, and most players not in the Top 247 etc. This I do agree with.

Using Michigan as an example, less willy-nilly offers being tossed out to fringe TE/FB types, as they could then sign in June if they wanted to, locking in their place in the class. On the other hand, the Aubrey Solomon's et al would be forced to declare early if their "commitment" was real, or just a statement that they "liked" us.

Obviously you keep recruiting a player of that stature until they do indeed sign with a team, but the days of the "verbal" would be virtually over. I am for that!!!!!

 

trueblueintexas

October 17th, 2016 at 4:29 PM ^

That "issue" stuck out to me as well. There are so many players drafted from schools outside of the P5 in the NFL that you can't even argue they are losing out on that opportunity. Fact is, if you are good, you can be good anywhere and the NFL scouts will find you. 

Also, I don't understand why they need two early signing periods. What does the December period provide that is so much better than just waiting for Feb if you didn't sign in the summer? I get the June or July period. I don't see the need for a December period if they are keeping February signing day.

Steeveebr

October 17th, 2016 at 5:17 PM ^

That is not a fact.

The school you go to, the decisions you make, how you live your life outside of football... there are many more things than just your talent on the field that impact your future and your chance of ending up in the NFL.  For instance a strength and conditioning coach at Clemson might have gotten through to you, but instead you made the choice to let Brian Kelly yell at you every day...  These things matter much more than you are giving them credit.

The same is true for players who get drafted into the NFL.  One player can become a Hall of Fame player because they took advantage of an opportunity an equally talented player did not get.  Sports and life are just funny that way.