Crystal Ballin: Bainivalu to Michigan

“First!” Did I do that right? I know that’s what message board posters like to do when they’re the first person to comment on an article. Well, I’ve done something similar as I have gone out on a limb by myself and become the first person to put in a Crystal Ball prediction for Skyline (WA) OL Henry Bainivalu to Michigan.

Bainivalu is one of the higher ranked players and offensive lineman in the 2017 class but he hasn’t received the love from Michigan fans that his ranking would expect. Though it makes sense when you think about the difficulty that goes into pulling a player out of the Northwest and bringing them to Ann Arbor. But there’s actually a little history on the Wolverines side of things, most notably, in the form of former UM offensive lineman Stephen Schilling (Bellevue, WA).

History obviously isn’t a real factor at all here in my prediction. That was brought on by him making his 2nd visit to Ann Arbor this weekend for the BBQ at the Big House. As a player from Seattle, paying his way across the country to see a program says a ton about where Michigan sits on his list.

In an interview with Scout’s Scott Eklund, he quickly named Michigan as a school sticking out to him and openly talked about how much he enjoyed his first visit to Ann Arbor thanks to the similar weather and how much he liked the people ($). That is what first opened my eyes about Bainivalu being a realistic option for this class.

I included the big Northwesterner to my May BGRC as a shot in the dark. But once I started to do some more digging on him and reading the tea leaves, that prediction started to look pretty good.

From Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz continuing to mention how high the staff is on him ($) to multiple Washington reporters not feeling good about UW’s chances, including RealDawg247’s Ruth Robbins who recently said that she believes he’ll leave the state for his college ball ($), things are looking much better than people think for Michigan here.

When you add all of those points together and look at where things stand with UM’s offensive line recruiting already, I believe Bainivalu will end up choosing Michigan. Will that happen this weekend? I wouldn’t rule it out. But, either way, keep an eye on Bainivalu throughout the fall as he’s very likely to make a 3rd trip to Ann Arbor for his official visit.

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