Inside the Fish Bowl: Early June Recruiting Update

Let the fun begin! The first big recruiting visit of the weekend is in the books and while commitments weren’t on the docket, things looked to go very well for everyone in town. I spoke with the father of one of the visiting recruits who had some great things to say about the trip, saying “Everyone loved it. Staff killed it today.”

And thanks to that “Awesome visit”, Michigan may be in great shape to land several of this past weekend’s visitors.

Here Comes the Commitments?

While every visitor left Ann Arbor with the Wolverines making a move up their list, the staff clearly knocked it out of the park with Wichester (IN) ATH Kiante Enis.

According to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong, the Wolverines have jumped to the top of his list ($)

Just everything. Just the vibe I got from it, especially the coaching staff, they did a great job presenting the campus, the facilities, everything to us

While he didn’t pull the trigger on the visit, most believe it is now just a matter of time. So make sure to keep an eye on Enis over the next week or so. I see this thing ending quickly.

The other 2016 athlete that visited and looks like a very good possibility to join the class is Ben Davis (IN) ATH Chris Evans, especially after receiving his offer from the staff on Sunday night.

Mentioned by 247’s Steve Lorenz, with an offer, Evans looks to be destined for the Maize and Blue ($). After landing the offer, he told Lorenz that Michigan leads for his services. So, add his name to the list of recruits to watch closely.

UPDATE: Evans spoke with Wiltfong again and said he will be making his decision on Saturday, June 6th.

Enis and Evans were two of the most likely commitments today, but THE most likely commit was Paramus Catholic (NJ) wide receiver Donald Stewart.

Stewart is not the most highly rated target (in terms of stars) on the UofM board but from everything I’ve read, he looks to be a take. So, that’s why I was a little surprised that he did not make a decision while in Ann Arbor.

Though he did not pull the trigger, as long as he’s still viewed at as a take, he looks like a safe bet to be apart of the 2016 Michigan recruiting class.

Another offensive weapon that Michigan looks to be leading for is Ohio State lacrosse commit and up and coming football recruit, Eden Prarie (MN) ATH JD Spielman.

According to The Wolverine’s Tim Sullivan, Spielman is going with football over lacrosse and he’d be “surprised” if anyone can top Michigan ($). Now, will a spot be open for him? That’s the question with all of the 2016 athletes. I’m not sure exactly how the board is set up but it looks like each target is bound for a different position at the next level (Spielman at RB/KR, Enis at S/OLB and Evans as an all-around ATH or CB).

As for a possible future Wolverine, Michigan hosted a legacy recruit in 2018 wide receiver Will Mallory, the son of former linebacker Mike Mallory.

With the connections to the Wolverines and the early visit, Michigan looks to be in a great place with the 6’5” 205lbs star from the Sunshine state.

As for when commitments will go down, Steve Lorenz has the inside scoop ($). Look for the decisions to go down after the recruit gets home from their visit and talks it over instead of getting caught up in the emotions and making a snap decision.

Always the Contender, Never the Commit?

Most of the names I listed above look to have Michigan at/near the top of their list. However, not every top target is expected to end up in the Maize and Blue. Like always, there will be plenty of misses throughout the cycle.

While I’m not saying Michigan is out of it for these top targets but I don’t have a lot of faith here:

Austin Mack (Fort Wayne, IN)

Mack is obviously one of the staff’s top targets at wide receiver but the new staff was playing catch up from day one thanks to the poor season, coaching change and Ohio State.

The Buckeyes are the absolute favorites and even though he told TMI’s Josh Newkirk his mom “loved it” ($) and told 247’s Steve Wiltfong that Michigan is “Definitely high” on his list after the visit ($), I just don’t see him choosing anyone but the Buckeyes.

Jean Delance (Mesquite, TX)

The Oklahoma decommit spoke with 247’s Ryan Bartow and had a glowing review about the Maize and Blue ($):

Dude that program is going to be crazy. I talked to their coaches for three straight days.

He’s obviously high on Michigan but I still believe he ends up staying down south when everything is said and done.

Jeffery McCulloch (Houston, TX)

McCulloch is another top Texas target that Michigan is extremely high on. However, like Delance, he looks to be a tough pull out of the Longhorn state.

Elite Linebacker Haul?

It’s been known for awhile now but Michigan is in great shape to bring in their top linebacker haul in recent memory. And it may start this month with Oak Ridge (FL) LB Jonathan Jones.

Jones has had Michigan on top since they offered months back and it looks like it could all come to fruition during/soon after his trip to Ann Arbor. I would be surprised if he’s not apart of this class by the end of June.

Another top interior linebacker that is clearly high on the Wolverines is Alief Elsik (TX) LB Dontavious Jackson. He released his top 18 schools (he has a lot of offers) and even though it’s in “no order”, Michigan was listed first:

Now, this doesn’t mean a ton but if you add this in with his recent wardrobe, it’s obvious that the Wolverines are very high on his list.

And it looks like Jackson could be apart of something much bigger along with five star Clovis West (CA) OLB Caleb Kelly:

While neither has claimed a leader, Michigan looks to be the most realistic option for both along with Oklahoma. However, a decision likely won’t be made for awhile. But I feel very good about their chances moving forward.

Speaking of California linebackers, the Wolverines have been included in another “top list” for a top target, in Bishop O’Dowd (CA) LB Camilo Eifler:

Out of the four linebackers listed, I believe Eifler may be the toughest pull at the moment thanks to the recent Oregon offer. But that doesn’t mean they’re out of it at all. He had a fantastic visit to Ann Arbor this spring and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Michigan in his top two.