MD LB Osman Savage became Michigan’s highest-rated 2020 prospect upon his commitment a couple weeks ago, his composite 0.9115 edging out the 0.9026 currently held by MI CB (and future Under Armour All-America Game participant) Andre Seldon. The Wolverine’s Bradon Brown recently caught up with Savage and his co-head coach, and his recruitment is a reminder that there’s still a long time until early-but-actually-now-basically-regular signing day. Savage told Brown that he plans to visit Michigan as often as possible to make sure that it’s the right place for him.
"The coaches are supportive of me with whatever decision I make," Savage said. "Because Coach [Biff] Poggi’s son went there he likes the fit for me a lot. I do still have requests to come to other schools for visits but I don’t know what I’m going to do about that. The coaches have said they 100-percent support what I want to do."
Savage attends Baltimore’s St. Frances Academy, one of the most talent-rich programs in the country; they finished 2018 ranked fifth in the nation, per Maxpreps. Should Savage sign with Michigan, could this open up a pipeline? It doesn’t hurt that former Michigan staffer Biff Poggi is St. Frances’ co-head coach; on top of that, co-head coach Henry Russell told Brown that St. Frances’ staff is bringing a group of players to visit Ann Arbor later this week. Savage told Brown that he’ll be in his teammates ear about Michigan if they’re a fit for the program, are interested, and if he likes their style of play. He seems to be all about the fit, so I’m guessing that just means that you’re not going to get a look if you’re known among teammates as the guy who solves his problems with contemplative passivity.
He’s a good fit on the field as well, and Savage told as much to Brown in discussing Don Brown’s linebacker-friendly system. His head coach raved about Savage’s play to Brown, touching on his high IQ, athleticism, and physicality. A ringing endorsement of his athleticism is seen just in how much Savage plays; Russell told Brown that he’s really St. Frances’ only player who can play both ways for them (he saw time at running back last season).
Everything Russell mentioned is easy to see on film, particularly on defense. Savage takes good angles to the ball and reads the play well, pausing a split second to read which gap the back will hit instead of flinging himself into one—and out of the play. His short-area speed is a plus, as is his consistency in wrapping up on tackles instead of launching his body at the target. Russell said they plan to have Savage make adjustments at the line for the defense, which should make his senior film even more interesting as we look to see whether he’s able to play with the same speed while shouldering the increased responsibility.
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Four-star CA RB Daniyel Ngata seems very interested in Michigan, and Michigan’s clearly interested in him. They’ve sent RB coach Jay Harbaugh to see him, and they’ve pitched Ngata on how the offense will play faster this season. The intended philosophy (get the ball to athletes in space, and keep the offense from plodding along) fits Ngata’s multifaceted skill set. He told The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb he’s going to visit Michigan at some point, and he seems serious:
Said Ngata. “Michigan is for sure going to be there (until the end). San Diego State is going to be there, Alabama is going to be there, LSU is going to be there, Washington will be there, Oregon (will be there), and we’ll see about other schools.”
He told Webb that his priority is finding the school that best sets him up for life after football, as well as a school his family is comfortable sending him to. Comfort won’t be determined purely by miles from home; Ngata has a brother at Washington and a brother at Clemson.
Ngata isn’t the only high-level running back Michigan’s looking at, though. Jay Harbaugh made the most of his recent trip to California, dropping by the high school of five-star CA RB Kenall Milton. Milton, ranked #11 overall and the #2 RB in the composite, didn’t include Michigan in his top ten, but 247’s Steve Lorenz reports that Michigan thinks they can make a push to get in the mix for Milton thanks to a promising depth chart and their academic standing.
Michigan seems to be in a somewhat similar position with WA LB Sav’ell Smalls. Lorenz wrote that a source close to Smalls’ recruitment said Michigan might be able to get in the mix for the composite top-five backer.
OH LB Devin Hightower chatted with the coaching staff during Michigan’s junior day and was getting ready to leave when Jim Harbaugh approached and let him know they were offering him. Hightower had offers from Toledo and Bowling Green at the time, so Michigan is by default in his top three; he later told The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown that Michigan is definitely his leader. He also told The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich that it doesn’t hurt that three of his friends from St. Edward, where he played his freshman and sophomore seasons before transferring to Archbishop Hoban, will be at Michigan this fall. If Archbishop Hoban sounds familiar that’s because it’s freshman OL Nolan Rumler’s alma mater, and his friendship with Hightower could also prove influential.
Michigan sent Harbaugh, DL coach Shaun Nua, and TE coach Sherrone Moore to take in MI DL Braiden McGregor’s basketball game last week. Mark Dantonio and Notre Dame’s DL coach and DC were also there, which has to make these things so awkward. “Hey, wow, great to see you here. How’s the family? Hope we destroy you in this recruiting battle.”
CA LB Raesjon Davis picked up a Michigan offer recently, and he told The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich Michigan interests him in large part because of the school’s academic prowess. What interests me is his ranking—or lack thereof. Davis was thrown a nominal three stars by 247 but is unranked by them and unranked in the composite, but has what seems like legitimate offers from Oklahoma, Oregon, and Florida State, among others. He also told Marich that distance and weather won’t be a factor in his decision, which is always nice to hear considering I ended up checking hour-by-hour forecasts before writing the roundup from about the halfway point of the season on. Davis’ teammate, CB Jaylin Davies, was also offered by Michigan, along with current Oklahoma commit CB Darion Green-Warren.
Weather and distance won’t be a factor for recently offered four-star TX OL Reuben Fatheree either. 247’s 25th-ranked overall player told TMI’s Marich that some schools are on another level and getting an offer from them means more because of their stature, and Michigan is one of those schools for him. He told Marich he’s going to try to fit a visit in around his AAU schedule, which hooo boy, my sympathies to anyone attempting to defend a 6’8”, 300-pound kid in the paint.
Possible five-star WA WR Emeka Egbuka had interest from a number of big schools—namely Washington, Oregon, and Florida—before he ran a 4.4 forty at the All-American Combine during All-American Bowl week, and now every big school seems to be interested. Michigan is no different, as the staff offered Egbuka right after the combine, then sent Sherrone Moore to his school in the weeks after. He’s planning a trip to the Midwest to visit Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Michigan, but don’t expect a decision anytime soon: he told TMI’s Webb that he’ll narrow his list around this time next year, then take official visits during his senior year.