In-State Tackles Come In Pairs
Michigan added a pair of high-upside four-star in-state tackles last week in Jalen Mayfield (Hello) and Ryan Hayes (Hello). As per usual, there are some additional scouting reports that have come out after the commitments. Barton Simmons detailed why 247 ranks Mayfield higher than the other three sites:
"I think with Mayfield, you're seeing a guy who already possesses a lot of the tools you can't teach," he said. "He's long and extremely athletic for his size. Then you turn on his film and you're seeing a guy who is beating the hell out of the guy across the line from him on a consistent basis. Those are really three of the bigger things you look for in a high school offensive lineman; he has them in spades. In a 2018 tackle class that isn't the strongest, I think Mayfield is a guy who has the potential to develop into a first round pick down the line. Michigan will get time to develop him and work him into a big-time player. When you trust your weight program and can find a guy like this, you're going to want one like him 10 out of 10 times over a 330-lb. tackle who may be maxing out towards the end of his high school career."
247 ranks Mayfield as the top player in the state. Rivals has him way down at #19. Rivals' Josh Helmholdt explains why he's a bit wary:
"Any time you have to put weight on a prospect there are risks involved with that," Helmholdt explains. "You can’t perfectly project how that weight is going to affect their athleticism and with athleticism being one of Mayfield’s strengths, any additional weight is going to be a bit of a concern.
"The thing that concerns me when I look at him, frame wise, is that he doesn’t have those big coat-hanger shoulders that you look for on guys who need to add weight. The guys with shoulders like that are often able to add that weight and maintain athleticism a little easier in my experiences."
Scout's Allen Trieu, who's seen more of Mayfield than anyone else from what I can tell, doesn't share this concern:
As a sophomore, Jalen was about 230 pounds when we first saw him, then 245 the next time we saw him and now he is 260 pounds and measured nearly 6-foot-6 at the NIKE Opening Regional in Chicago, which is a tad taller than what we expected, so I am not concerned about his weight at all. He will fill in easily. He has not really been able to put forth his full effort into gaining weight as he plays basketball too and I, along with most schools, would much rather have to add weight to a kid than have to cut it off of him.
In message board rumors that seem too specific to be made up, a poster on the TMI board says Mayfield fielded an Alabama offer in the week leading up to his commitment and Brian Kelly made a late push for an in-person visit that Mayfield rebuffed.
There's been much less on the scouting front for Hayes, who's a bit out of the way in Traverse City and hasn't hit the camp circuit to gain exposure. We do have a fun note from Steve Lorenz about Michigan making up a lot of ground on Notre Dame to snag him:
This is a really nice win for Greg Frey over Notre Dame, as the Irish were well out in front to begin this recruitment (as Wiltfong posted yesterday). Frey is the potential beneficiary of two in-state players that fit his mold at the tackle position to a tee. You think about how the Wolverines were victimized by Florida State (more than anyone else) with speed rushers on the edge beating tackles consistently. Hayes and Mayfield are the types of prospects with the potential to slow those types of players down at the tackles. They're two really, really valuable commitments in that regard.
Lorenz thinks Hayes is arguably M's most important commit because of the flexibility he gives the staff in approaching recruiting at two positions: tackle and tight end. As detailed in his Hello post, Hayes will begin his career at TE while adding the requisite bulk to play OT.
Meanwhile, Michigan's other O-line commit, top-100 IN OG Emil Ekiyor, had previously mentioned his contact with the coaches hadn't been as frequent as he'd like, and Alabama emerged as a potential threat. In that light, Trieu's note that Ekiyor reached out to Mayfield after his commitment and said he's "all in" is comforting. The coaches won't let Ekiyor go without a fight.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Rivals Rankings Update: Reese Rises
Rivals updated their 2018 rankings and the most notable movement for a Michigan commit is GA OLB Otis Reese rising 83 spots to #132 overall:
“Reese is a safety who can lay the wood and run the alley or he is an athletic linebacker who can cover. He has a great frame, he plays aggressive and he is always looking for contact. Reese has been committed to Michigan almost a year, but Florida, Georgia and LSU are schools he still has interest in.” – Rivals.com Southeast Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons
A few top targets also made big moves up the board, including IMG OT Daniel Faalele (#162) and AZ QB Tyler Shough (#192). Shough has been gaining a lot of steam lately; 247's Barton Simmons mentioned him as one of the top uncommitted QBs out there:
Tyler Shough, AZ – A slender 6-foot-5 quarterback that will grow and develop into his frame, Shough already spins the ball as well as any quarterback in this class. The big programs have been catching on and while Michigan is the Crystal Ball favorite, this one doesn't feel like it's over any time soon.
We'll see who else joins the fray; for now, Michigan is in great shape.
Five-Star DEs: Yes, Please
While Ohio State remains the presumed leader, Michigan made the top seven cut for five-star PA DE Micah Parsons, the one-time Penn State commit.
Parsons is still a longshot. That doesn't appear to be the case for 2019 five-star GA DE Chris Hinton, who just wrapped up a campus visit with his family, including 2020 OT Myles Hinton. It's usually an excellent sign when recruits want to keep their visits on the down low, which Steve Lorenz reports was the case this time around:
It was also a visit we were asked not to report while he was on campus for undisclosed reasons. I am told everything went really, really well on all fronts and my 247Sports Crystal Ball is firmly on the Wolverines at this point. Despite it being really, really early, I have added a prediction for Myles Hinton to end up at Michigan as well.
This was Hinton's second unofficial to Ann Arbor in the last few months. While it's early, things look very good here.
Shock 'Em Jock 'Em
Michigan has thrown their hat in the ring for a NOTY candidate, Kentucky commit and three-star FL WR Shocky Jacques-Louis, whose recruitment has taken off since his UK pledge:
Since teaming up with the Wildcats late last month, Jacques-Louis has accumulated offers from the likes of Tennessee, Louisville, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, and now Michigan.
"I know it's cold (laughter); just kidding," Jacques-Louis said of Michigan. "Living in Florida, I see lots of Michigan and Ohio State fans, so I know they have a big fan base.
"It's an honor to receive an offer from a nationally-respected university."
Jacques-Louis says he's still firm to UK, but we'll see what develops as he gets more attention from big-time programs.
Top-50 MO WR Kamryn Babb, who visited in the spring, named a top nine that included Michigan. Ohio State is out in front but there's a long way to go—he plans to take official visits.
Call Me "The Docto"
Michigan offered high three-star CA S Julius Irvin, who told TMI's Brice Marich he was "blown away" by the offer:
“I’m very interested in Michigan,” said Irvin. “It is a great school, great tradition, great football and great education all in one. I’m definitely going to look into them. It is a very prestigious offer that has great education, football and tradition. It was just an honor to get a Michigan offer.”
While no visit is set yet, he plans to see Ann Arbor. Between that offer and M continuing to push for true safety prospects, Lorenz says it's apparent the coaches want to add another safety to the class—notably, that's separate from adding another VIPER, which is where the staff projects Shayne Simon.
Another notable recent offer: Michigan expanded their 2019 quarterback targets to include four-star Texan Grant Gunnell, who's reciprocating their interest, per Marich:
“It's a big-time offer,” said Gunnell. “Very much interested. Well of course Coach Harbaugh is one of the top coaches in college football right now and the history of quarterbacks, especially Tom Brady. I think (Coach Harbaugh) is a great coach and a genius at what he does. I’m also a huge Tom Brady fan. He's a winner and his throwing motion never changes in any situation."
Gunnell is considering a visit for M's A4 quarterback camp if he can fit it into his schedule. He's the second 2019 QB to get an offer, following top-ranked QB JT Daniels.
A New "Don't Watch This Highlight Video" Highlight Video
Sam Webb posted to the TMI board that four-star NC DT Alim McNeill is "right up there with Tyler Friday" at the top of Michigan's board at defensive tackle, and mentioned as an aside that McNeill played middle linebacker for his high school team last year. The Wolverines recently made his top ten. So, yeah, I pulled up the highlight video. DO NOT WATCH THIS.
To nobody's surprise, Michigan made the top eight for four-star TX TE Mustapha Muhammad.