It's Defensive End Season, Apparently
Corey Malone-Hatcher (left) announces his decision Thursday. [Fuller]
The next couple weeks should be quite eventful for Michigan on the recruiting trail after a couple top defensive end targets set their decision dates.
Top-100 VA WDE Luiji Vilain has been considered a heavy Michigan lean since his visit a couple weeks ago, and he told 247's Steve Wiltfong his mind is "made up" heading into his announcement on June 12th. Vilain will choose between Michigan, USC, and Virginia Tech; all signs indicate he'll choose the Wolverines.
The prospect of Michigan starting to fill its open spots at defensive end is probably what prompted four-star St. Joseph WDE Corey Malone-Hatcher to set his decision for Thursday afternoon.
Top schools: I will be announcing my commitment on Thursday @ 3:30pm at SJHS. Thanks to all that recruited me pic.twitter.com/E6SA0k59Du
— corey malone-hatcher (@CMH2017) May 31, 2016
While Malone-Hatcher still has ten schools in play, his Crystal Ball reads 100% for Michigan; like with Vilain, it'd be a huge surprise if he went elsewhere.
Michigan has also made a move for three-star OH SDE James Hudson, who decommitted from Kentucky just before visiting campus two weekends ago, and he picked up an offer on the trip. After speaking with multiple sources familiar with Hudson's recruitment, 247's Steve Lorenz put in a Crystal Ball pick for Michigan, and in doing so he clarified M's outlook at DE:
The Wolverines appear to be in great shape with four-stars Corey Malone-Hatcher and Luiji Vilain, both of whom are expected to make a college decision in the very near future. An eventual addition from Hudson would give Don Brown a trio of defensive ends to work with in the 2017 cycle. We would expect Michigan to take at least one more at the position in 2017 after that.
None of these potential commitments would preclude the others from joining the class. The trio of Vilain, Malone-Hatcher, and Hudson would be a great haul at defensive end, and Michigan would still have space to pursue the likes of DJ Johnson and Deron Irving-Bey to round out the group.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
It's Satellite Camp Season, Definitely
Michigan coaches have arrived in Australia for their first international satellite camp, and other members of the staff will be in Naperville (IL) today as the satellite camp extravaganza for the Wolverines is officially underway.
Jay Harbaugh, Chris Partridge, and Tony Tuioti are running the international camps, according to Lorenz. Jim Harbaugh is expected to be at the Illinois camp, which wasn't revealed to the public until this morning. If this goes at all like last year, expect a healthy number of new targets to land on the recruiting board, even if Michigan may be more discerning about accepting commitments this time around.
Commit Updates: Samuels Taking Visits
Three-star Brother Rice TE Carter Dunaway committed so long ago people seem to forget he's a part of the class, and there still isn't much in the way of scouting on the Michigan legacy. The Wolverine's Brandon Brown caught him in action last weekend at the Midwest Elite 7-on-7 camp, where Dunaway turned it around after an underwhelming start:
Dunaway is going to be the biggest player on the field in most 7-on-7 settings and he uses his size well to carve out space. He started slow, dropping a couple of tough passes that he'd say he should'v caught, but he picked it up and became a favorite target of his QB during the four-game pool play round. Dunaway is normally sure handed and is a real handful near the end zone or during jump balls. His straight-line speed is sufficient but he still needs to improve his short-range quickness in and out of breaks.
Dunaway's profile is that of a block-first, in-line tight end, to the point that some have suggested his long-term future could be at offensive tackle; adding "red zone threat" to that skillset would be quite nice.
Michigan landed four-star RB O'Maury Samuels in large part because they were the first major program to heavily pursue him after his star-making Opening regional performance. Michigan wasn't the only top-tier program to take notice, however, and Samuels told Lorenz that while "nothing has changed" regarding his commitment, he'll be checking out a handful of those schools:
"I'm going to visit USC, Oklahoma, TCU, Arizona and maybe Cal," he said. "Those are the same schools that have been recruiting me."
The coaches will have to stay on Samuels until the end. Michigan has a strong group at running back, so losing him wouldn't be crippling, but there aren't many athletes of his caliber out there—Samuels still boasts the top SPARQ score in the country this year.
In a similar vein, three-star safety commit J'Marick Woods just added an offer from LSU.
Four-star UT RB/FB/LB Sione Lund, a Stanford commit, will visit Michigan along with LSU and Notre Dame in June, per Scout's Blair Angulo.
Four-star NV DT Greg Rogers included Michigan in his top six, per The Wolverine's Brandon Justice:
Rogers bolsters a list of over 20 offers that is now down to Arizona State, Colorado, Michigan, Oklahoma, UCLA, and USC.
"All six schools are kind of mutual. I don't have a leader right now," he said. "The six schools have all been focusing on me as a player, and really showed they have interest in me."
Rogers plans to see Michigan on an official visit before announcing his decision on December 9th.
Four-star AL OT Toryque Bateman will "most likely" visit campus on June 17th, according to TMI's Brice Marich.
2018 four-star GA S Otis Reese recently added offers from Michigan, LSU, and UCLA, and he told Scout's Chad Simmons that the Wolverines are his early leader. He'll see the coaching staff up close when Michigan co-hosts a satellite camp with Georgia at his school on June 2nd.
Steve Lorenz is the latest to put in a Michigan Crystal Ball pick for four-star Detroit King CB Ambry Thomas.