After a bit of a lull in the college football recruiting world that comes after every National Signing Day, things have begun to pick back up for Michigan. The staff received the in-person commitment from Aidan Hutchinson, plenty of top targets have begun setting up visits to Ann Arbor for the spring and new offers are going out daily.
Check out the latest Michigan football recruiting update, including news, rumors and analysis:
Expecting the Elite
Most of the top programs have already had their “junior day” recruiting events, which has resulted in some big time, early commitments. That includes one player myself and plenty of others believed was a good bet to end up signing with UM in Cass Tech (MI) CB Kalon Gervin, as he committed to Notre Dame the day after his trip to South Bend.
So, where is Michigan’s?
That date is not yet known but it looks like it could be set for the “open practice” that’s expected to replace the spring game. That’ll take place on April 15th.
And it could be attended by some of the top prospects in the class and targets on the Michigan board.
According to his interview with Scout’s Blair Angulo, one of the top tight ends in the class, Bishop Gorman (NV) TE Brevin Jordan, will visit Michigan in “early, maybe mid-April” ($). Along with mentioning that he’s visiting Michigan because it and Miami are “Tight End U’s”, Jordan also mentioned that his good friend, teammate and top Michigan quarterback target, Bishop Gorman (NV) QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson‘s decision is already made.
But will the top QB prospect visit with Jordan?
That is not set just yet but he also spoke with Angulo and let him know that he could be joining Jordan on his trip to Ann Arbor ($).
With DTR expected to announce his decision sometime between late April and late June, getting the rising prospect back on campus would be huge for Michigan. Though the Jedd Fisch to UCLA thing is big for the Bruins, the connections to Michigan, the potential to be the only true duel-threat QB on the roster, and the pitch against Fisch that the UM can use (the fact that he’s never stuck with one coaching job for more than three years), and I still feel very good about my Crystal Ball for Thompson-Robinson to Michigan.
Check out Thompson-Robinson’s highlights from the recent 7on7 tournament and see why he holds 28 offers without even being a starting quarterback in high school yet.
As for other top prospects that could be making their way to Ann Arbor this spring:
- According to his interview with MaizenBrew’s Evan Petzold, four star IMG Academy (FL) WR Joshua Moore is planning on visiting Michigan this spring. Moore has some of the best feet and route running ability in the country. Though he’d be a very tough pull, getting him on campus would be big for UM’s chances.
- Petzold is also reporting that Cheshire Academy (CT) LB Dillon Harris is setting up a spring trip to Ann Arbor. Harris is good friends and former teammates with Michigan freshmen WR Tarik Black. He looks like a prospect that UM should have a very good chance at landing, if the staff pushes for him.
- According to his interview with Landof10’s Brandon Justice, five star Bishop Sullivan (VA) LB Teradja Mitchell is planning on visiting Michigan this spring. He’s one of the best prospects in this class and a player who I believe Michigan has an outside shot of landing at the moment. But with a very good visit to campus and a push from the staff, they could have a shot at pitching him on being the guy in the middle of its future defense.
Jumping for Jobe
While Thompson-Robinson is obviously one of the top offensive targets for the coaching staff, Miami commit and Columbus (FL) DB Josh Jobe is one of the top defensive targets for Michigan. And they’re continuing to show him that love, even though he’s been committed to his childhood favorite Hurricanes since June 2015.
— Joshua Jobe (@JoshuaMJobe) February 23, 2017
Though flipping Jobe from his in-state program will be tough, according to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, Michigan and Alabama are in the best position to do so ($). Add in him transferring to Cheshire Academy (the same school as 2017 signee WR Tarik Black and 2018 target LB Dillon Harris), and the Wolverines’ chances at a flip have definitely increased.
Look for the staff to try and get him on campus this spring or summer, at the latest.
Faalele is a Man Amongst Boys
2018 IMG Academy (FL) OT Daniel Faalele is one of the most polarizing prospects in this class thanks to his unreal size (6’8” 400lbs) and unique story (just started playing football, really became known after his time at the Michigan satellite camp in Australia). And Michigan is in great shape early on for the gigantic prospect.
Faalele told 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow that, though his best staff relationship is with LSU, Michigan is one of the schools he’s most excited about ($). He’s also been pretty pro-Michigan on twitter in the past. Add in the staff in big time need of an elite tackle prospect in this class, among other behind the scenes information, and I really like the staff’s chances here.
Just look at what he’s been doing to other top prospects during the winter/spring camp scene:
— Gerry Hamilton (@HamiltonESPN) February 26, 2017
Faalele is still extremely raw on the football field. He just started playing the game and has a ways to go to turn his natural size and talents into an elite tackle. But if his early camp performances are any indication, it may not be long before he’s one of the top prospects in the entire class. I wouldn’t rule out a five star ranking for him by the time National Signing Day rolls around.
Hungry Hungry Hammer Panda?
Since the arrival of Jim Harbaugh, there haven’t been many individual position groups that have received more fan fare than the fullbacks. Sione Houma got it started in 2015 but it was Khalid Hill, this past season, who set the Twittersphere on fire thanks to his 10 touchdowns during the season and his self-given nickname, the hammering panda:
— Ace Anbender (@AceAnbender) October 9, 2016
After Hill’s emergence as an h-back in Michigan’s offense, it only makes sense that the staff is looking for the next recruit to fill that role. And they may have a guy who could fit that role or potentially the role of Hill’s teammate and fellow fan favorite, DT Maurice Hurst, who has blown up on Twitter thanks to his big play celebrations:
That guy is said to be Sanderson (NC) Jumbo ATH Alim McNeill.
According to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, McNeill is a name to keep an eye on moving forward as the staff is very high on him as they see him as a mix of Hill and Hurst ($).
Getting in early on here could be huge for Michigan’s chances. He’s starting to receive bigger and bigger offers as the cycle goes on but with UM pitching two of its top (expected) contributors in 2017 as his potential positions in the maize and blue, Michigan should be a top contender for McNeill as long as the staff pushes for him.
Scaling Back the Heat-o on Bonitto?
2018 St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) OLB/DE Nik Bonitto has been a player that has been high on Michigan for quite sometime. He’s a prospect that has a very high ceiling as an outside pass rusher and looked to be a player the Wolverines staff wanted in this class.
But that may not be the case anymore, according to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz.
Lorenz is reporting that now that Michigan has DE Aidan Hutchinson in the fold, its defensive end recruiting may be pretty much done, mentioning Bonitto specifically as a player he’d be surprised to see UM push for anymore ($).
Question is, did anyone tell Bonitto that?
The talented pass rusher spoke with the Sun Sentinel’s David Furones about his top teams, mentioning Michigan among Louisville, LSU and Michigan State as programs who have “really hard on (him) lately”:
— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) February 26, 2017
This is may become a very interesting recruitment to watch. Though Lorenz would be shocked to see Michigan continuing to pursuit Bonitto, it would shock me a bit to see the staff cut off communication with one of the best pass rushers in the class from one of the best high school programs in the country, regardless of open scholarships. You never know what could happen throughout the cycle. No need to burn any bridges. Especially bridges with such high ceilings.
Quick Hitters Galore
- There were plenty of concerns about Michigan commit and Cathedral (IN) OG Emil Ekiyor visiting Florida State last weekend, especially after he told The Wolverine that UM hadn’t been in as much contact with him as of late ($). However, the top 100 prospect told Brandon Brown that he’s fully focused on Michigan and recruiting for the Wolverines ($). A recent Alabama offer will make things a little interesting but all signs continue to point towards the big man sticking with Michigan.
- St. Francis De Sales (OH) LB Brian Asamoah recently tweeted out his announcement date (April 21st) and named his top six, which includes Michigan, Penn State, UCLA and Cincinnati. Though he’s expected to visit Michigan on March 18th, I’d be pretty shocked to see him be a take for the UM staff with such little space in this class and little need at the linebacker position.
- American Heritage (FL) DL Andrew Chatfield told MaizenBrew’s Evan Petzold, back in November, that he was planning on visiting Michigan in April. And that looks like it may still go down as Chatfield updated his recruitment with 247Sports’ Luke Stampini at The Opening regionals in Miami, telling him that he’s high on Michigan early on ($).
- Though I doubt Michigan’s 2018 class is full of in-state recruits, the staff extended an offer to one of the top prospects in the class, Traverse City West (MI) OT Ryan Hayes, this past week. And he’s a name to watch closely. Though MSU looks to be the early favorite there, the issues in EL could be something UM uses to its advantage here, if the staff really wants to push for him.
- 2018 Lee’s Summit (MO) CB Mario Goodrich told TMI’s Josh Newkirk that his recent offer from Michigan has pushed the Wolverines to the top of his list ($). He also mentioned that he’s planning on visiting Ann Arbor this spring.
- Michigan is looking to dip inside the Peach State once again this cycle to land some of the top talent. One name that’s getting a lot of love is Hapeville (GA) CB Chris Smith, as he told TMI’s Josh Newkirk that Michigan is making him a “priority” ($).
- Safety is a big position of need for Michigan in 2018 and they’re in good position early for one of the top safeties in the class, Oxbridge Academy (FL) S Cajuan Smith. He told TMI’s Josh Newkirk that Michigan is in his top five, thanks to the early offer, the opportunities in Ann Arbor and one of his favorite teachers being a UM graduate ($).
- Michigan received a visit from one of the top quarterbacks in the 2020 class last week, Marietta (GA) QB Harrison Bailey. And though it’s super early, he’s a legit quarterback prospect and a name to watch as the 2020 class becomes more of a focus for the staff.
Photo Credit: 247sports.com