Crystal Ballin: Holmes to Michigan

In the famous words of Michael Scott and Wayne Gretzky, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. Those are words to live by, especially when you’re a holder of Crystal Ball powers. And though I’ve been pretty safe with the majority of my picks, I’ve decided to take a shot and put in my Crystal Ball prediction for five star Calabasas (CA) CB Darnay Holmes to Michigan.

Holmes is a composite five star cornerback out of one of California’s most talented high school programs. Though he’s not the biggest corner in the world, he makes up for that lack of length with speed, quickness, instincts and a high football IQ that aren’t seen in most high school recruits. Those traits have helped him become one of the most sought after recruits in the 2017 class. For a player comparison, you don’t have to look much further than Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis.

So, you can see why he’s been a top target for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan coaching staff for awhile now. That pursuit from the staff is what drew Holmes to make his first visit to Ann Arbor this past weekend for the 2016 BBQ at the Big House and, from all reports, things couldn’t have gone any better.

Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz is hearing from multiple sources that the staff “knocked it out of the park” this past weekend ($). He’s also hearing this is now expected to come down to a Michigan vs UCLA battle. The Bruins look to hold the edge on paper because of the in-state factor but UM looks to have the momentum.

Hearing similar things about this now becoming a UM-UCLA fight, The Wolverine’s Brandon Justice also mentioned two of Holmes’ good friends and freshmen at Michigan, David Long and Kekoa Crawford, being main recruiters for Holmes moving forward ($). Those connections to Long and Crawford were one of the main reasons I went into this visit thinking Michigan was primed to make a big move.

Another main reason I believed Michigan would not only make a move but could become a favorite was his need for a high level education. A source informed me that Holmes would already be committed to Stanford if the Cardinal were allowed to accept early enrollees. However, that wasn’t available for the five star cornerback. So, it made sense Michigan, who brings in early enrollees on a regular basis, pitched both Holmes and his dad on the educational opportunities in Ann Arbor.

Holmes spoke with Scout’s Greg Biggins about his weekend visit to Michigan and absolutely raved about the trip as well as what UM could offer him on the field and in the classroom ($):

I loved everything about it, I can’t think of a single thing that I didn’t love out there,” Holmes said. “I loved the campus and the school itself and academically, Michigan is the No. 1 rated public university in the country so that’s huge. I want to major in business/finance and the connections there at Michigan are tremendous.”

He also mentioned the staff pitching him on playing both ways for the Maize and Blue. Basically putting a cherry on top of their recruiting pitch.

There’s still a ways to go in this recruitment but when you add up everything in Michigan’s favor (Long and Crawford friendship, A+ BBQ visit, elite educational opportunity and the chance to play early/both sides of the ball), things are looking good. Throw in UCLA’s recent struggles on the recruiting trail and Holmes officially visiting Ann Arbor in just over a month for the Colorado game, and the staff will have the chance to sway the momentum even more in their favor throughout the fall.

Photo Credit: RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn Newspapers