Inside the Fish Bowl: Late July Recruiting Update

Calm before the storm. That is basically what is still going on in the world of Michigan football recruiting as the coaches have just returned from their summer vacations (Yes, Nick Saban, they can do satellite camps and still have time to go on vacation) and will put all of their effort into recruiting these last couple weeks before the kick off of fall camp. So, expect to see a lot more news and probably even additions to both the 2016 and 2017 class in the not-so-distant future.

Not Going Anywhere 

For a couple weeks now, rumors have been flying around about the possibility of Farmington (MI) LB David Reese possibly decommitting from Michigan because of the staff seeing him as more of a fullback than linebacker. I’ll even admit to buying the rumors and dropping him from my July Best Guess Recruiting Class after him telling me multiple times that he wants to play linebacker in college.

Well, it turns out no one knew what the staff was really thinking as both The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown and TheMichiganInsider’s Sam Webb confirmed with Reese that he will be sticking to his commitment to Michigan and will get that chance to play defense for the Wolverines ($):

Earlier today, Reese and his father had a sit down with Harbaugh at Schembechler Hall and the verdict is that Reese will play linebacker at Michigan. Reese’s father put the chances of his son enrolling at Michigan at 99.9%, with technicalities to work out that will allow Reese to enroll at Michigan in January.”  (per Brandon Brown)

As for those technicalities, Sam Webb touched on that part ($), which is basically the staff making sure a scholarship is open for him in December since he’s planning on enrolling early.

Linebacker Recruiting 

So, what does Reese’s spot at linebacker mean for the LB recruiting moving forward?

Good question, (insert your name).

With top Buck linebacker target Xavier Kelly announcing today, and probably choosing Clemson or Georgia, the staff will likely ramp up the recruitment of their other top target, Caleb Kelly.

C. Kelly has let it be known many times that his recruitment is open at the moment but it’s no secret that Oklahoma and Michigan are the two teams standing out the most. I didn’t include him in my last BGRC thanks to learning about his connections to OU, but that will likely change for August. Look for the staff to do whatever they can to land the talented west coaster and show him an even better time on his 2nd trip to Ann Arbor this fall.

Another name to watch out for is DE/OLB Carlo Kemp. He has close ties to the program and, according to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, he’s expected to be at the BBQ ($).

As for the more traditional linebackers, the staff has three guys already on board in Reese, Dytarious Johnson and Dele Harding. Most believe Harding will eventually open his recruitment back up as he was a layover recruit from the Hoke-era, so there are 2 (maybe 3) spots remaining and plenty of top targets left.

That list includes Devin Bush Jr, Dontavious Jackson, Jonathan Jones and, don’t sleep on, Erroll Thompson.

  • Bush Jr is the top candidate to join the class, and that could definitely happen in the next 2-3 weeks.
  • Jackson is easily one of the top targets on the board but will likely extend his recruitment for awhile. No matter when he makes his decision, I couldn’t imagine the staff turning him down. Just need to get him on campus again for an official to bring back the love he had after his spring visit.
  • Jones is holding off on making a decision for a couple months, if not longer, which is why I believe he will not be apart of this class (unless he pulls the trigger earlier).
  • Thompson is the name to watch closely. He’s planning on making it in for the BBQ at the Big House, and according to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, both of his parents “would like to see him go to Michigan” ($). Unlike the other targets, he could also slide to defensive end so he may be a take at anytime. And oh boy would I love to hear Gus Malzahn’s excuse for why he missed on a target in his own backyard to Harbaugh.

So, make sure to stay tuned. Things could start to take shape during/soon after the BBQ.

BBQ Updates 

Speaking of the BBQ, the star studded list of visitors is starting to grow by the day and it’s looking more and more likely that some big news comes out of the event.

  • Most know about 2016 WR Ahmir Mitchell visiting Ann Arbor this weekend with his mom, and like The Wolverine’s Tim Sullivan mentioned ($), I believe a commitment is very possible barring any drastic changes in Columbus at Friday Night Lights. If he does decide this weekend, he’s expected to be back for the BBQ to recruit for his new squad. If he doesn’t commit this weekend, I believe he could end up deciding at the BBQ. Either way, it’s a likely win-win for the Wolverines.
  • According to Steve Lorenz, Michigan will have another shot at impressing WR Donnie Corley, and try to get back into his recruitment, as he will be visiting for the BBQ with his friends and King teammates ($). While I believe this ship has all but sailed, the staff won’t just allow one of the top in-state players to get away that easily. They’ll at least continue to kick the tires and see if they can get back into true consideration.
  • Lorenz also touched on the possibility of top 2017 in-state target Corey Malone-Hatcher possibly ending his recruitment in the near future ($). His father let me know that him and his son will be at the BBQ and, like every trip they make to campus, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him join the Wolverines.

Beilein Watching Bibby Jr 

Ending with a quick basketball note, The Wolverine’s Chris Balas reported that Michigan’s head coach John Beilein has been keeping a close eye on Phoenix (AZ) PG Michael Bibby Jr ($), the son of former NBA point guard Mike Bibby Sr. With the 2016 class looking to add two more and point guard being a #1 need, look out for Bibby moving forward.