Hello: Matt Brown
Michigan's added a late PWO to their 2017 class, Ohio LB/FB Matt Brown, who decided to forgo a Quinnipiac lacrosse scholarship to walk on at Michigan.
— Matt Brown (@Matt_b1213) April 3, 2017
Brown's HUDL page lists him at 6'0", 220; he was the AP and USA Today's Ohio defensive player of the year. With Michigan's extensive linebacker haul in this class, adding 20 pounds and playing fullback is the clearest path to playing time for him... but that path is very clear, what with both scholarship fullbacks graduating this year and no clear heir apparent.
Gant, Babb make it to campus
OH LB Dallas Gant, currently the only 2018 linebacker Michigan is recruiting, made it up to Ann Arbor over the weekend and was duly impressed:
"Coach Harbaugh was a great guy," Gant said. "He took a lot of time out of his day to talk with my dad and I one on one and gave us an inside look of what the program is like and how he runs things. It was definitely impressive, and his track record speaks for itself."
More encouraging than the quote is Gant telling Steve Lorenz that he's planning on coming back up for Michigan's spring game next weekend. Back-to-back visits speak to a real interest even though he's just a short drive down US-23. Gant plans to commit on his birthday on May 16th, so this one is going to wrap up quickly. Lorenz thinks he's a "Michigan/ND type kid," FWIW, despite a current OSU lead on the crystal ball.
— Kamryn Babb® (@kamm_o) March 31, 2017
MO WR Kamyrn Babb also took in Ann Arbor, offering Wiltfong some fairly generic quotes about the trip. Lorenz asserts Michigan is a "serious contender" but that OSU still is the likely leader. News is better for NJ WR Jahan Dotson, who is probably an OSU/PSU/M battle with neither other school feeling very confident.
Also visiting in the recent past are GA CB Christopher Smith and OH DE Tyreke Smith. Christopher is a 3.5* guy who might be due for a rise given the schools that are after him. Georgia is the crystal ball favorite and Michigan has been hot on the trail as well. Tyreke has been a name on the fringe of the board who most people assume will go to OSU because he is from OH and has an OSU offer.
Visits in the near future
3.5* FL QB Joe Milton will be up for the spring game, which means Michigan will have both of their top QB recruits on campus simultaneously. Confidence is "tepid, but existent" per Lorenz.
Confidence is still running high with 4* GA CB Myles Sims, who had an extensive interview with Sam Webb and plans a second long-range unofficial for the spring game and a decision shortly thereafter. The shape of that recruitment is very positive for Michigan.
Also coming up next weekend: 4* TX TE Mustapha Muhammad, who Michigan and everyone else badly wants. Michigan had seemed to be fading for him as he concentrated on schools closer to home; a second unofficial is obviously a big step in the right direction.
4* WA ATH Tre'Shaun Harrison has somewhat less vague plans to get to Ann Arbor this summer, or possibly earlier. Wiltfong put in an early CB for Michigan a few weeks ago; Lorenz relates that the unofficial is not something he expected a few months ago and that this indicates a level of mutual interest.
Camps, camps, camps
— Brian Stumpf (@Stumpf_Brian) April 2, 2017
Soft commit and IN OL Emil Ekiyor checked in as a very big dude at an Opening regional in Chicago:
An extremely powerful player at 6-foot-3, 339-pounds, Ekiyor projects at guard or center on the next level.
He posted the top SPARQ score amongst linemen, as you can see above. When Emil Ekiyor says he trusts you as far as he can throw you, he means it as a compliment.
A second name from that same camp is instate OL Tyrone Sampson Jr, who has not fielded Michigan interest to date because everyone projects him as a center and Michigan got a guy the recruiting industry believes is the best high school C prospect in a decade last year in Cesar Ruiz. Nonetheless Sampson might be a name of interest at some point:
Detroit (Mich.) East English Village Top247 offensive lineman Tyrone Sampson Jr.’s dominance on the camp circuit continued in the Windy City as the nation’s No. 2 center per 247Sports continues to have his way with interior defensive linemen. The 6-foot-3, 295-pound Sampson is strong, has good feet and plays with that nasty streak on every snap.
Sampson's offer list does not match up with his recruiting hype so far, as they're in the UK-Minnesota-Syracuse-Virginia range. Michigan State's lack of interest is especially perplexing.
Finally, Wiltfong mentioned MI OL Jalen Mayfield in passing as the guy "with the most upside" amongst the OL and MI DE commit Aidan Hutchinson as a "unique frame, high upside" guy.
Grudging 2019 section is maybe less grudging this time
GA DT Chris Hinton is a potential five star and a name that's been in the grudging 2019 section at least a few times; his brother Myles is a 2020 OL. Steve Wiltfong has put in early—very early in Myles's case—crystal balls for both to Michigan based on "buzz at Atlanta Nike".
MD WR DeMarcco Hellams will visit for the spring game. Yes he is a real person and not a Fast and the Furious character. FL LB Anthony Solomon plans a return visit and that is a sign Michigan has a strong early lead for him; he just came up a couple months ago. GA RB STEELE CHAMBERS is a recent offeree and it won't take long for him to arrive in AA: he's got a visit scheduled for the 17th
4* FL ATH Houston Griffith, the son of BTN analyst Howard, is "very interested" in Michigan, vague visit plans, no top list, etc. At IMG.
5* TX S BJ Foster rides horses, wants to be a cowboy.
4* TX TE Malcolm Epps has vague Michigan visit plans, mentions the cold.
Not quite happy trails but probably to IA DE John Waggoner, who was told by Greg Mattison that Michigan is looking for one more DE and that he'd have to wait for another spot to open up.