In the words of Keith Jackson, “Whoa, Nellie!”. That’s pretty much the best way to sum up what the Michigan coaching staff will be expecting in terms of recruiting visitors this weekend.
The first four weeks of the season only saw two official football visitors in Ann Arbor. While this weekend’s game against Wisconsin will see multiple five star recruits and several four star recruits taking their official visits to Michigan. On top of that, there are a couple unofficial visitors expected to make it to town to see the Big House once again.
Check out who’s expected to visit Michigan for the Wisconsin game:
Leatherwood tweeted out his plans to officially visit Michigan this weekend and he’s a guy to watch. While I still believe he signs with Alabama, Michigan should make a big move this weekend with the five star tackle. The staff will roll out the red carpet for Leatherwood and his family, looking to sell the opportunities in Ann Arbor over the opportunities in Tuscaloosa.
Anthony let MGoFish know that he’ll be officially visiting Michigan this weekend and quickly became one of the players to watch closest. The Michigan staff will host all of their top linebacker prospects for the game which means some movement is likely to take place. Could Anthony drop during the trip? While it would be a little surprising, I wouldn’t completely rule it out at this point.
Ruiz tweeted out his official visit plans earlier this week, like previously reported by multiple analysts. The nation’s top center remains at the top of the staff’s wish list and looks very likely to make all of their wishes come true when he makes his decision in December. This visit should only help solidify UM’s spot atop his list.
S/OLB Brelin Faison-Walden
Faison-Walden was previously expected to visit Michigan for the BBQ at the Big House but ended up committing to Penn State less than two weeks before the event. That commitment looked to end his recruitment but then the season started. PSU has struggled once again and was blown out by Michigan last weekend. That, along with the staff ramping up their pursuit (per Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz), looks to have helped this visit happen and make BFW become a legit option for the class. I put him in my latest BGRC and have put in my Crystal Ball prediction for Faison-Walden to Michigan. Look out for him this weekend.
Filiaga was another visitor that tweeted out his visit plans this weekend and is another player to watch. Though he hasn’t received a ton of publicity on the Michigan side of things, he’s clearly a player the coaching staff is very high on and looking to make a move with this weekend. Will it happen? Likely. I believe the opportunities in Ann Arbor will push the Wolverines to/near the top of his list.
OLB Shanon Reid
If you’re looking for fireworks this weekend, Reid is the safest bet to set them off. According to a source close to the situation, the athletic linebacker is likely to drop this weekend as long as everything goes as planned and he gets the green light. Stay tuned.
Wills tweeted out his plans to officially visit Michigan this weekend. He’s a player who’s had made plans multiple times to visit Ann Arbor in the past but has cancelled every time. This time, it looks different. With the staff footing the bill, they’ll finally get their chance to host the highly ranked tackle. However, it’s hard to see Wills end up anywhere else besides Alabama, at this point.
RB Chase Hayden
First reported by TMI’s Sam Webb, the four star Arkansas commit will make his way back to Michigan, this time, for an official visit. As a running back, this visit is very interesting. The staff clearly likes what he brings to the table if they’re footing the bill for this trip. It’s also interesting because of the fact that UM already has three commits at the position and look to be “all-in” on Najee Harris. Keep an eye on Hayden after this visit.
UPDATE: According to Webb, Hayden has cancelled his trip.
OLB Baron Browning
Browning is another five star visitor that announced his plans via Twitter, which obviously has the fan base excited. He’s easily one of the best players in this class and a top target for the coaching staff. His brother played at Stanford under Harbaugh, which has clearly helped Michigan’s chances immensely. This is his second visit to Ann Arbor and, as an official, should be even more helpful than his early summer trip. Look for the staff to roll out the red carpet and make a big move for Browning.
DE Kwity Paye
First reported by Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, the Boston College commit will make his way to Michigan for his official visit this weekend. And he’s a name to watch. Lorenz put in his Crystal Ball prediction for Paye to the Wolverines on Wednesday and I’m sure more will follow soon. The only thing holding me back at this time is whether or not he’ll remain a take if the staff lands Reid this weekend. Keep a close eye on Paye during his trip and soon after.
There are conflicting reports on whether or not Bell will be making his way to Michigan for an official visit this weekend. Earlier reported by TMI’s Sam Webb, he’s expected to be there. However, Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz is reporting that UM is not planning on hosting him this weekend ($). So, we’ll see if he makes it or not. If so, he’s a player that looks like a great fit as a hybrid safety/linebacker. Though, there are questions on how hard the staff will push for him moving forward.
CB Shaun Wade
Wade was originally scheduled to visit Michigan for the BBQ in August but had to cancel the trip and reschedule his first trip to Ann Arbor for this weekend, according to several reports. But will he make it? I have yet to confirm or see anyone confirm him making the trip this weekend. If he does make it to town, it’ll be the best chance the staff will have to try and sway the five star corner back away from Ohio State. So, stay tuned to see if he makes it.
2017 LB Drew Singleton
First reported by TMI’s Sam Webb, Singleton will make his second unofficial visit of the season to Michigan this weekend ($). Clemson is still a big threat but I still can’t see him signing with anyone but Michigan, at this point.
2017 DL Deron Irving-Bey
According to TMI’s Brice Marich, Irving-Bey will be visiting Michigan this weekend ($). This is actually DIB’s 2nd visit of the season already and it looks to be a sign of where he may be leaning as of late. Michigan State was the heavy favorite for quite sometime but all of the momentum looks to be in the Wolverines’ corner as they push the in-state standout to fill one of the remaining defensive line spots.
2017 WR Oliver Martin
After changing his visit from last week to this week, Martin made his way to Ann Arbor for the first time since the BBQ. He’s a guy to watch closely as Michigan looks to have the momentum and could build a solid lead after this visit.
2018 OL Emil Ekiyor
According to Scout’s Allen Trieu, Ekiyor will be making his way back to Michigan for another unofficial visit ($). He’s one of the top ranked offensive lineman in his class and UM looks to be in very good shape early on.
2018 DT Taron Vincent
According to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, Vincent will make his first visit to Michigan this weekend ($). And this is a big one. Vincent may be the best defensive player in the entire class and looks to be a main priority for the staff. With his former coach, Biff Poggi, now on UM’s staff, they should be able to make up ground on Ohio State during this trip.
2018 OT Antwan Reed
Reed transferred from Muskegon to IMG Academy down in Florida but has already transferred back to his hometown. And that’s big for Michigan. He’s one of the top offensive tackles in the class and having him closer to Ann Arbor will only increase UM’s chances with him moving forward.
2018 RB Markese Stepp
According to TMI’s Sam Webb, Stepp is expected to visit this weekend as well ($). This is another interesting visit to watch as Stepp has been committed to Notre Dame for a couple months now. Look for Michigan to keep pushing for him, especially with problems going on in South Bend.
More names will likely be included to this list so make sure to stay tuned and check the list as we get closer to Saturday.
Photo Credit: 247sports.com