The 2017 recruiting board was updated heading into the weekend. Meanwhile, I'm taking off for vacation tomorrow and will be out until next Wednesday. Naturally, today's send-off roundup is one of the longest of the year.
D-Tackle Out Of Nowhere
— Chad Simmons (@ChadSimmons_) June 18, 2016
There was very good reason nobody saw Aubrey Solomon's commitment coming. Solomon didn't even initially plan on being in Ann Arbor last weekend; he was supposed to be on an unofficial visit to Alabama. He told Sam Webb that once he got to Michigan and found out he had an offer, things moved quickly from there:
“I came into Michigan not knowing that I had an offer,” Solomon said. “Once I found that out it really changed everything. Then seeing what they could do for me in the future, like 10-20 years after football, I just fell in love with it. It wasn't just football, it was ‘what would I do for the rest of my life after football?’"
Solomon credited Chris Partridge and Jim Harbaugh for convincing him Michigan was the place to be.
The commitment of Solomon's 2018 teammate, Otis Reese, came as far less of a shock; Reese had previously named Michigan as his leader and he has ties to the area—his older brother is a redshirt freshman receiver at Central Michigan. Reese described the scene when he and Solomon committed to Webb:
"(Solomon) was feeling it but he kind of shocked me,” said Reese. “I didn't know he was going to commit."
"Coach Harbaugh was on the phone with my mom and we were talking about my commitment. Aubrey got on the phone talking to his mom and he said he wanted to commit. It was just like the whole room was lit… full happy emotions. They were jumping around. Actually my receiver coach (who brought them up on the visit) and Coach Harbaugh traded shirts. Coach Harbaugh still has (Lee County) shirt on, and my coach has his on. It was just a happy moment and it was a blessing."
Michigan nearly added another commitment on the weekend. Three-star CT OT Andrew Stueber impressed the coaches at camp enough to pull in an offer, and in the aftermath Steuber told 247's Steve Wiltfong that Michigan is "the one to beat" in his recruitment. Based on what Sam tweeted over the weekend, it sounds like Steuber will join the class as soon as he can get his mom to campus.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Herbert: "It Blew My Mind"
Two of the most high-profile weekend visitors were four-star Plantation (FL) American Heritage linemen TeDarrell Slaton and Kai-Leon Herbert. Slaton isn't saying too much about where the programs recruiting him stand, but he told 247's Isaiah Hole that he's getting comfortable in Ann Arbor:
"I like the town, it feels more like home," Slaton said. "I really like the campus and I get along really well with the coaches."
Herbert, meanwhile, stopped just short of naming Michigan his leader to The Wolverine's Brandon Justice:
"The coaching staff and the campus life stood out to me most," he said. "It's far and away my favorite visit so far - it blew my mind."
As mentioned earlier, Herbert had no intentions of even considering U-M a few months ago. He was excited for this visit and the Wolverines had been recruiting him the hardest, but the visit was way beyond what he expected.
"Coming into the visit, I expected it to be like any other school," he said. "Coming out of the visit, it's definitely a school that is on top of everyone else."
He made it a little more clear when talking to Isaiah:
"I have my top list: Michigan, Florida, Miami, Auburn, Mississippi State, Tennessee," Herbert said. "I don't have a leader, but this was definitely a visit to remember."
"The school itself is great. Campus life, like I said, is amazing. The student body over here -- like everyone's about Michigan Football. The city itself: football speaks and everybody loves it. I was just looking how the facilities were and how campus life is and if I can see myself here."
We'll see where Michigan stands when the post-visit afterglow wears off; they're clearly pushing Florida and the rest of the group and could very well be on top.
Here's Hoping This Is A Future Practice Preview
Ambry Thomas vs Nico Collins pic.twitter.com/DLrb8S9Jur
— Sam Webb (@SamWebb77) June 17, 2016
Top-100 AL WR Nico Collins paid his way to campus again, and his presence at camp was enough to convince top-100 MI CB Ambry Thomas—who's planned to be a spectator—to throw on some cleats and face off with Collins one-on-one. Collins, who should not be able to move that well at that size, won the rep captured above. He told Isaiah he enjoyed the camp experience:
"The camp, it was a pretty fun," Collins said. "Playing catch with some of the quarterbacks actually here, that meant a lot. Catching balls from quarterbacks that actually go here, and the coaches helping you with the routes, telling you everything you need to do. The vibe up here: it's kind of fun! Harbaugh, he's out here having fun with us."
Based on Collins taking another unofficial, I put in a Crystal Ball pick for Michigan.
It's also looking good for Thomas, who told Sam that Michigan is beginning to feel like "another home."
If Thomas is at a school, you can bet four-star Cass Tech S Jaylen Kelly-Powell is there too, and that was the case again this weekend. While package deals often fall apart, the fact that the two take almost all their visits together makes this one more likely to stick; if it does, Michigan should be the beneficiary.
More Camp Fallout
This is the bounce house portion of Michigan's A4 QB camp pic.twitter.com/z60Dv2yasw
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) June 18, 2016
I'm not sure how the bounce house factored into the scoring, but to nobody's surprise Dylan McCaffrey was the winner of Michigan's A4 quarterback camp:
Top 5 scorers at A4 camp
1. 2017 Dylan McCaffrey
2. 2017 Jack Bush
3. 2020 Jack Ryder
4. 2017 Asher Smith
5. 2018 Eli McClain
— Zach Shaw (@_ZachShaw) June 18, 2016
A participant notably absent from that list is four-star Artur Sitkowski, who's been M's top target at the position in the 2018 class.
Four-star 2018 TX TE Mustapha Muhammad already holds offers from top schools around the country. After camping on Friday, he told Isaiah that Michigan will be among his top schools whenever he pares down his list:
"This has was a great visit for me," Muhammad said. "I had lots of fun. It's definitely going to be in my top schools -- I don't really have a certain number -- but Michigan is going to be in my top schools. I really like Michigan."
Three-star 2017 FL CB Randall Haynie told TMI's Josh Henschke that Michigan is "definitely" on of his top schools after he camped over the weekend.
Davis Visits, Talks Migos, Plans Official
Five-star CA OG Wyatt Davis didn't participate in camp but made it to campus as part of a Midwest swing that also included visits to Notre Dame and Ohio State. He told 247's Tom Loy that all three schools made his top eight along with Alabama, Cal, Florida, UCLA, and USC, with official visits planned to Bama, ND, OSU, and Michigan. Davis went into more detail on Michigan in a separate article by Loy; he visited with his father and got some valuable one-on-one time with Jim Harbaugh:
“It was great,” said Davis of his talk with Harbaugh. “You can really tell that he’s personable with the way he talks. He’s very relatable. It was funny. I was asking him about Migos [rap group] and being on stage with them and all the wild stuff. He’s a really funny guy. I enjoyed it and talking with him.”
Michigan is pitching Davis on the potential to play early, and with both three starting linemen set to graduate after this season, the opportunity will certainly be there; while O-linemen usually redshirt, the situation is a little different with a five-star prospect.
More Big-Time Visitors This Week
According to Steve Lorenz, five-star TX OLB Baron Browning made it to campus today with some of his family, including his other brother Barry, who played cornerback at Stanford under one Jim Harbaugh. As Lorenz says, Michigan has their work cut out for them with Browning. We'll have a better idea of whether they have a real shot after this visit.
Also visiting today is top-100 CA DE Hunter Echols, a UCLA commit, per Lorenz. He's also taking a look at Notre Dame. While Michigan has two four-star WDEs committed to the class (Malone-Hatcher and Vilain), it looks like they'd be happy to take a third if it's an elite prospect.
Tomorrow Michigan is set to host top-50 KY OT Jedrick Wills tomorrow, per Lorenz. Wills is right on the verge of five-star status. Kentucky currently leads his Crystal Ball.
Top-100 IMG WR Jhamon Ausbon, who recently named Michigan to his top four and particpated in the Houston satellite camp, is trying to visit soon, per Scout's Kyle Bogenschutz:
Recently releasing a top four including Texas A&M, LSU, Auburn and Michigan, Ausbon has visited three of the four with plans to get to Ann Arbor in the near future.
"Yes sir," he said. "I'm trying to get down there next week, some time next week."
Asked why Michigan has piqued his interest so much, Ausbon laid everything out.
"Like I said, the coaching staff has been great, the head coach has been involved in my recruitment," Ausbon noted.
Michigan should also get one of his official visits.
Top-100 UT DT Jay Tufele told Scout's Blair Angulo that he's got two official visits in mind: Michigan and Ohio State. Both schools checked in on him last week.
After a recent unofficial, three-star OH OT Joel Honigford put Michigan in his top four:
Longiford (sic), who also took in a trip to Michigan State this past weekend as well, says his top-four in no particular order includes: Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State (no offer) and Auburn.
Steve Lorenz is hearing that four-star IMG OLB Jordan Anthony is "the next best bet" for Michigan at linebacker after Paramus Catholic four-star Drew Singleton.
The early #1 prospect in New Jersey in the 2018 class, four-star DT Tyler Friday, visited last week and told Lorenz he "see[s] Michigan as a fit" in the aftermath. Michigan was the second program to offer him and he's looking to get back on campus "really soon."