Inside the Fish Bowl: Late April Recruiting Update

While at my best friend’s bachelor party in New Orleans (I’d recommend going if you’ve never been), plenty went on in the world of Michigan basketball and football recruiting.

Tip of the Cap to Hatch, Michigan

Michigan shooting guard Austin Hatch has decided to devote his time to his academics and has decided to accept a medical scholarship and stay on as a student assistant for Beilein.

You really have to commend John Beilein and the University of Michigan for not only keeping their promise to bring in Hatch after everything he has been through, but also by keeping him on the staff and giving him everything the other scholarship players will receive, including full gear, food, locker, etc.

Hatch has been through one of the most horrific things that anyone could imagine and is a true inspiration. Here’s to hoping he’s apart of the coaching staff for a long time coming.

So, Who Fills the Spot?

Most saw the medical scholarship coming but only if Michigan felt like they were going to add another 2015 recruit. And with the latest news surrounding #1 overall recruit Jaylen Brown, including cutting his list down to a final 5 and 14 straight 247Sports analysts putting in Crystal Ball predictions for the Wolverines, Beilein just may pull off the unthinkable.

Brown’s decision could come at any time between now and mid to late May, so hold on to your horses. Kentucky looks to be a real threat here.

If it’s not Brown for the Maize and Blue, you’d have to believe former VCU commit Kenny Williams is next up. And Michigan will (likely) get a chance to impress him even more on his official visit to Ann Arbor in the near future.

Either way, Michigan looks very likely to walk away with either of these very talented players with Brown being the top prize.

Offers for Everyone

Back to football, the staff has been on a tear as they have been traveling all over the country and handing out offers like hot cakes, including their first 2018 quarterback offer and a 2019 offer.

  • 2016 OL Will Fries (Cranford, NJ)
    • Fries is another New Jersey target to land an offer from the Wolverines and would be a nice fit in Harbaugh’s power run game. He’s a name to keep an eye on.
  • 2016 OL Jay Jay McCargo (Arlington, VA)
    • While being a candidate for the best name in the class, McCargo also happens to be a North Carolina commit. However, he seemed very excited about the offer so there may be a small chance they could make him rethink his commitment.
  • 2016 TE/DE Evan Hinston (Deltona, FL)
    • Hinston is another commit that received an offer from the staff. However, he happens to be committed to both Miami’s football and basketball team. Thanks to his size and athletic he shows on the hardwood, he’s a mismatch nightmare as a Devin Funchess/Vernon Davis style tight end.
  • 2017 WR Jaylen Harris (Cleveland, OH)
    • Harris is one of the top players in the Midwest for 2017 and will likely be a tough pull from Ohio State. However, this is only his second offer (Kentucky being the other) so Harbaugh gave himself a better chance by getting in this early.
  • 2018 QB Joey Gatewood (Jacksonville, FL)
    • There’s a chance Gatewood is the #1 player in the 2018 class thanks to his size, athleticism and arm. He reminds me a ton of a young Cam Newton and would be a fantastic get for Michigan. However, it will may be tough to pull him out of the South.
  • 2019 WR/TE Blake Hinson (Deltona, FL)
    • The younger Hinson brother is Michigan’s first 2019 offer (yes, that means he’s in 8th grade). It would be a lot more of a shock if it wasn’t so common now-a-days and when you look at his size (6’5” 200lbs). With his brother committed to Miami, it will be difficult to bring him up north.

Bush Will Be Back

Michigan’s coaching staff is swinging at the fences in terms of linebacker recruiting for 2016, and one of the top targets on the board is Flanagan (FL) linebacker Devin Bush Jr.

The son of former FSU safety Devin Bush Sr but it looks like his son will not follow in his footsteps and the Wolverines are in fantastic shape here. He spoke with GoBlueWolverines’ Sam Webb about his “amazing” visit to Ann Arbor with his dad, who Junior said loved it even more ($).

According to Junior, Bush’s are already planning a return trip and Junior is looking to bring along his teammate and Miami (FL) commit Devin Gil, who holds an offer from the Wolverines.

If they can impress the Florida visitors even more the 2nd time, this will be a visit to keep a close eye on.

Next on Deck

While Bush looks to be a possible addition to the 2016 class, Michigan has five guys who are very good possibilities to be the next additions to the class, including:

  • OT Devery Hamilton 
    • One name that has not landed much publicity in Michigan circles is Hamilton, and it’s time to remember his name. He’s a big, athletic tackle that could play on either side of the ball and looks to be one of the staff’s top OT targets. And according to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, his visit went so well that he’s thinking about putting in a Crystal Ball prediction for him to the Wolverines ($).
  • OL Ben Bredeson 
    • Bredeson is a name most Michigan fans know about as he was one of Hoke’s top targets overall and that early interest will Harbaugh a lot. Add in his brother joining the Wolverines baseball team and 247Sports’ confirming that he will take one of his last official visits before his decision this weekend ($), you have to like Michigan’s chances here.
  • WR Dez Fitzpatrick 
    • The Louisville commit is the name that everyone, myself included, thought would have flipped by now. However, that has yet to happen and some doubt has been thrown out there that it will happen. In my opinion, this will still go down. When? I’m not quite sure. However, I can’t imagine Dez passing up the opportunity to play for his childhood favorite Wolverines.
  • DB Tony Butler 
    • Butler is one of the latest defensive back offers for the staff and, even though he’s committed to Pitt, things look very good for a possible flip here. According to The Wolverine’s Tim Sullivan, he is bonding with the other top Michigan targets and he believes the Wolverines could be the favorite, as long as OSU doesn’t get into the mix ($). Either way, I think Michigan has a fantastic shot here.
  • LB Jonathan Jones 
    • Jones has had Michigan out front in his recruitment since they offered and now the Wolverines will have their chance to land his commitment as he raved  to 247’s Luke Stampini about Michigan and his plans to visit Ann Arbor on June 17th ($). If/when he gets on campus, #CommitWatch will likely be in place.

Name to Watch

2017 WR Andrew Papantonis (Morristown, NJ)

– Papantonis is a possession receiver out of New Jersey that will be camping at Michigan this summer, searching for an offer. Keep an eye out for his performance.