The quarterback position is the thing everyone knows Jim Harbaugh for (as well as khakis), which is why those same people are expecting top QB play and recruiting throughout his Michigan tenure. And he quickly showed it off on the 2015 recruiting trail by bringing in four star QB Zach Gentry soon after accepting the job. But he may just be getting started.
It looks like Harbaugh and the staff may have narrowed their 2016 quarterback list down to three names, all of who happen to be elite talents that bring something different to the position and class:
1. KJ Costello
– Costello is the known #1 target at the position. He\’s been a fan favorite since visiting Ann Arbor over the summer and was rumored to nearly commit thanks to how much he loved it. Now, with Harbaugh in the fold, things have picked it more than ever between Costello and Michigan.
In an interview with Rivals\’ Mike Farrell ($), he looked giddy talking about his interest in Michigan. He talked about how he \”has a ton of respect\” for Harbaugh and is trying is best to visit Ann Arbor in the very near future. He also said that he\’d \”pull the trigger\” once the same team is on his mind the most \”four to five days in a row\” (he was talking about USC and Stanford). Farrell asked him who is the team on his mind the most at the moment and went with Harbaugh and Michigan, saying that \”he\’d love to be apart of that\”.
So, it looks like the Wolverines are the favorite and he\’s visiting soon to make it official, right? Not so fast (possibly).
Costello spoke with Scout\’s Greg Biggins about when he\’ll be committing and his visit plans ($):
\”I think it will happen sometime in March,\” Costello said. \”I don\’t think I\’m going to take any more visits, I have a good idea what I want to do. With Stanford and USC, I was always going back and forth every other day but I\’m pretty set now and it\’s just a matter of doing it.\”
(Commence monthly Michigan fan base freak out)
Because Costello said he doesn\’t believe he\’s going to take anymore visits and didn\’t mention the Wolverines, some people started losing their minds. To help calm the nerves a bit, 247Sports\’ Steve Wiltfong spoke with Costello on the same day as Biggins and he let him know that he \”loved\” his Michigan visit before and that he\’s trying to get a flight to Ann Arbor in the next week or two ($).
With everything but the ashes put out on the fan base freakout, Costello told Scout\’s Kyle Bogenschutz nearly the same exact thing ($) in terms of his interest in visiting Michigan. Bogenschutz also teased the readers a bit about Michigan\’s chances at landing a commitment, if he visits.
So, relax and be patient, Michigan fans. Let this thing play out and hope a visit happens. But even if it doesn\’t, I don\’t think it\’s crazy to believe the Wolverines could still stand a chance. He has already visited Ann Arbor, nearly committed to Hoke and seems to really love Harbaugh. Stay tuned.
2. Jacob Eason
While Costello is the fan favorite, the top ranked (in terms of recruiting rankings) guy on the board is the #1 overall QB in the class and Rivals\’ #1 overall player in the 2016 class, Lake Stevens (WA) QB and Georgia commit Jacob Eason.
Eason is a prototypical quarterback prospect (6\’5\’\’ 205lbs), has one of the most natural releases in the class and can make every throw in the book. He\’s a legit choice as the top player in the class, and Harbaugh knows it.
Wolverine247\’s Steve Lorenz reported that Michigan has been heavily recruiting Eason and has heard there is a chance they could possibly flip the top recruit, if he visits ($). And the staff may have found a loop hole to improve their chances.
Harbaugh invited Eason\’s head coach, Tom Tri, to the Michigan Coaching Clinic later this month to speak to local and national football coaches. That will allow his head coach to get close to the staff and program to possibly put someone very close to Eason in Michigan\’s corner. Add in Georgia losing their offensive coordinator this offseason and the door may be open for the Wolverines.
But, similar to Costello, there\’s a second side to the story from a different recruiting site.
This one comes from Scout\’s Brandon Huffman who was told by Eason that Mark Richt\’s contract extension \”cemented his commitment\” with Georgia ($).
Eason also spoke with 247Sports\’ Steve Wiltfong about his interest in Michigan and commitment status ($). He included that \”something would have to go wrong with Georgia\” for Michigan to really get into the race.
Either way, it looks like Eason is going to be a top target for the staff as long as they don\’t have a quarterback commitment. And if they can get him to visit, I\’d never bet against Harbaugh\’s chances at flipping/landing a quarterback recruit.
The forgotten man on the fan\’s quarterback board. With the dreams of landing Costello or Eason, people look at Peters as a 2nd tier option. But i\’ll let you know, he\’s no slouch.
Peters is a big, poised, sneaky athletic quarterback that reminds me the most of Harbaugh\’s star pupil, Andrew Luck, out of the three targets. He has a similar delivery, features fantastic ball placement and has the ability to make plays with his feet.
Add in Jedd Fisch\’s comparison to Peyton Manning and any Indianapolis Colts/Michigan fan may have to see a doctor four hours from now.
Whether he\’s the top guy on each fan\’s board, it looks like everyone may have to get very used to him. He told Steve Lorenz from Wolverine247 that, with the offer, Michigan is the team to beat ($).
Since saying that, he\’s landed an offer from LSU but it still looks like the Wolverines are in front, especially since Les Miles already has a top quarterback commitment for 2016 (Feleipe Franks).
Peters is expected to visit for the Spring Game on March 4th. If the spot is left empty by that date, it looks like there\’s a good chance he joins the class and becomes Harbaugh\’s first full recruiting cycle QB commit at Michigan.
Things are getting crazy and look to be possibly coming to an end in terms of quarterback recruiting in the class (I doubt they take multiple since there are only 15 scholarships open at the moment for the class).