Peoples-Jones sets a date
5* MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones will announce Thursday evening on ESPN. There has been a Rashan Gary-esque recruiting panic... wait just a sec...
There. Anyway, Gary-esque recruiting panic based on a rumor that DPJ was down to OSU and FSU posted literally during his official visit to Michigan. A last-second in-home from OSU only amped up the fainting couch wing of Michigan fandom further.
Nobody seems to buy this. Steve Lorenz, Steve Wiltfong, Allen Trieu, Sam Webb, and Bill Greene all believe it will be Michigan. Even the gentleman who posted the thing didn't believe it, which sort of defeats the purpose of being an information gatekeeper.
It is worth noting that DPJ, like Harris, doesn't talk to people much or at all and thus most of these assertions are less than iron-clad. I mentioned this last week: this is not a recruitment where anyone is sure what will happen because the recruit is so quiet, and in those circumstances you can have the proverbial shocker. It would still be a shock.
Obligatory Najee Harris section
Nobody knows. The end.
[After the JUMP: a real Najee Harris section! That is no more informative than the first one!]
Obligatory Najee Harris section II
It's was awesome! Thank you Jim and Sarah harbough you have a beautiful family and to all the wonderful Michigan staff you rock!! Stay warm pic.twitter.com/TEjeGle2eP
— Tianna Hicks (@Thicks2072) December 12, 2016
5* CA RB Najee Harris also doesn't talk to anyone, so it's all extrapolation from second-hand sources and reading tea leaves. This, pretty much, always.
I was told RB Najee Harris' Michigan visit went very well, but still not a great read on what he'll end up doing after the visit.
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) December 12, 2016
New ones: Lorenz reports that sources inside Schembechler are still optimistic and Harris "vibes with what Michigan has to offer as a program"; Alabama's 247 site has a source who says he "think[s] Harris ultimately ends up with Alabama"; Webb reports Harris was cruising around in flip-flops, so weather is apparently not an issue. More reports that folks inside Schembechler think Michigan leads; he still thinks mom is in 'Bama's corner.
Harris is an early enrollee and has no set date to announce a final decision. Hopefully he sets it for Saturday, since Michigan has Black, DPJ, Wilson, and Ruiz set from Wednesday to Sunday, with Saturday the only gap.
Filiaga sleuthin' time
Michigan's OL board went from overflowing with options to fairly straightforward. They have four guys they'll try to keep. They want to add 5* NY OT Isaiah Wilson, 4.5* FL C Cesar Ruiz, and 4* TX OT Chuck Filiaga, all of whom will decide in the near future. (Wilson moved his announcement up to Friday at 11:30, FWIW.) After that trio of announcements Michigan will decide how hard they want to push on 3.5* VA OL Mekhi Becton and anyone else they feel like kicking the tires on.
Michigan is thought to lead for all three of the guys announcing in the near future. Ruiz doesn't seem to have a second place team. As discussed Friday, even the Bama 247 people are projecting Wilson to Michigan. I haven't seen anything to indicate that the Georgia visit made much impact. Remember that Wilson told Adam Friedman "I pretty much know where I'm going" before his visit to Athens, and nobody thought it was UGA. Georgia also just picked up a JUCO OT to give them five OL in their class. Both those guys are all but in the boat.
Filiaga is less certain. He's been to Oregon, Ole Miss (unofficial), Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska, in that order. I think you can rule out most of those schools via a process of deduction.
- The Ole Miss and Oregon 247 sites, which are both highly active, haven't talked about Filiaga in months. Also Oregon has a new coaching staff and Ole Miss has no offensive coordinator.
- Oklahoma apparently wants to add just one more OL and looks to flip South Carolina commit Jerry Drake. I went back over some articles from his visit and there was zero optimism OU sites: "consensus from multiple sources is OU did a lot of things right but didn’t overtake Michigan at this point."
- EJ Holland, who you may remember being more correct about Jordan Elliott's recruitment than Jordan Elliott, ventured that Filiaga was "realistic" for Texas after his official to Austin because his family would like to see him closer to home. That tone is a bit different than the one he adopted with Elliott last year. Meanwhile distance might not be that important if TCU, which is 20 minutes away from Aledo, got skipped so Filiaga could check out Nebraska. Lincoln is nine hours from Aledo.
- Nebraska's won some recruiting battles against Michigan in the last year and a half but they were mostly guys Michigan tried to get in on late or players who may not have been particularly high on Michigan's board. Nebraska generally does not do well head-to-head against bluebloods even if they've made some California inroads this year.
I got a message from a source in Texas on Saturday who is close to Filiaga’s high school personnel, and was in attendance for his state semifinal game. The source passed over information that a person very close to Filiaga said he’s continuing to lean more toward Michigan, even if it’s far from his mother in Texas.
Texas remains a wildcard because of Tom Herman and proximity (three hours); with nobody else seeming at all confident and the dead period upon us, Michigan looks to be in excellent shape.
Inevitable decommit watch
4* FL OT Kai-Leon Herbert has set an official visit to Florida for the last week in January, which will follow on a couple of unofficials earlier this year. Repeated visits to the same school is not great for the team currently holding onto the player, and Florida getting the last at-bat is even less promising. He'll be a battle to Signing Day.
4* NM RB O'Maury Samuels was supposed to be in this weekend and had his official visit delayed until January. He was already a little soft, visiting Arizona, and just followed a Clemson coach on Twitter. He's also got no mention of Michigan on his account, which can be a bad sign. Upgrading decommit threat from "minimal" to "moderate" in some list I pretend to keep but don't actually.
3* GA RB Kurt Taylor got an in-home visit from Michigan, which may be a good sign for his status.
Kentucky's 247 site had an update on 4* FL OG Tedarrell Slaton that rather clarifies his position:
Four-star guard Tedarrell Slaton (Planation, Fla./American Heritage) will take the SAT Sunday. That score will determine the level of schools he can get into and allow him to start taking official visits in January.
Per that article, Slaton prefers to play nose tackle. That might rekindle Michigan's pursuit if his SAT is right. Reitmaier reaffirming to Oregon and the uncertain recruitments of 4.5* UT DT Jay Tufele and 5* GA DT Aubrey Solomon could put Michigan back on the chase for a true NT.
Texas guys have mentioned a couple of times that Michigan is making a "big push" for 4* TX DE Taquon Graham, a Texas commit. Graham's a DE, of which Michigan has plenty in this class. Don't think anything will come of it but don't be surprised if he sets an official in January.
Lorenz reports that Michigan is in strong position for NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson and NV TE Brevin Jordan, who are teammates at Bishop Gorman.
File under crootin': FL WR Michael Harley says he'll pick the winner of the WVU-Miami bowl game, which I'm now calling the Mike Harley Bowl.