23 days from National Signing Day and the recruiting rumors are starting to run wild. From the Rashan Gary to Ole Miss rumors to possible commitments coming to Michigan this weekend, the hot takes are getting better and better as we get closer to the finish line.
Back from the Dead…Period
On January 15th, the dead period will officially be over as recruits and coaches will start to hit the roads and skies to see their top teams. That includes a nice list of Michigan’s top targets that will make their way to Ann Arbor this upcoming weekend.
Out of the names expected, two standout and are names to watch closely throughout the weekend:
- TE Chase Allen
- The 6’7” tight end target looks to be the most likely 2016 target to commit next and it’s very possible to happen this weekend, as long as everything goes smooth and the staff accepts the commitment.
- There are multiple tight end targets left on the board to fill that 2nd spot in the class, including Allen, Jacob Mathis and Devin Asiasi. Though this is not confirmed, if Allen joins the class, Mathis may be off the board all together.
- As for Asiasi, according to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, it is not known if he’d be a take with Allen on board ($). But thanks to his ability to be an impact player at either tight end or on the defensive line, I believe the staff will continue to recruit him up until NSD. More on him later.
- ATH Khaleke Hudson
- Hudson will be making his first trip to Ann Arbor which will give the coaching staff a great chance to take the lead in his recruitment, if they don’t have it already.
- If he is indeed a take and the staff rolls out the red carpet, I wouldn’t rule out a commitment. Especially with the class nearly filled up and NSD just weeks away.
Nothing is a guarantee but if the staff pushes for it, odds are they will be adding at least one addition to the 2016 class during/soon after this weekend.
Fighting an Up Hill Battle?
Well before decommitting from Penn State at the end of November, Detroit King (MI) CB Lavert Hill has looked like as sure of a get for Michigan as there was on the board. And while I still believe he ends up choosing the Wolverines in the end, things are starting to get interesting.
According to The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb, there is “definitely talk” of Michigan State being a legit threat to land Hill ($). He made sure to say that this doesn’t mean MSU leads over UM but there is chatter about this thing not being over just yet.
Hill has been a recruit that (according to reports) has gone back and forth and back again several times. However, I still believe Michigan wins out in the end as long as the staff continues to make him a priority all the way to NSD.
Don’t Throw Out the Levi’s Just Yet
Well, that’s not what Onwuzurike is saying. He spoke with TMI’s Brice Marich about his recruitment:
— Brice Marich (@BriceMarich) January 11, 2016
Onwuzurike’s recruitment has been one of the most quiet I’ve ever seen so with all of these rumors starting to come in just a week and a half before he announces (January 20th), I’m taking just about every report with a grain of salt.
Once the dead period is over, I fully expect the staff to put on the full court press and try to sway Onwuzurike back towards Michigan with an in-home visit.
Jones Loves him Some Harbaugh
MnB’s Brandon Justice interviewed one of Michigan’s top targets on the board, LB Jonathan Jones, about his recruitment and interest in UM, which drew this great quote:
Coach Harbaugh is hands down the best coach in college football,”
Jones is obviously a huge need and want in this class for both the UM staff and fanbase thanks to the senior departures taking place this offseason. At this point, I’m sticking with Michigan as my prediction though Notre Dame is more than just a legit threat.
The Curious Kase of Caleb Kelly
By now, just about every Michigan recruiting fan knows that the staff has completely cooled on Clovis West (CA) LB Caleb Kelly. But why? There have been plenty of rumors and reasons thrown around, including Kelly not being built enough to play from day one and him not fitting an exact position of need anymore.
Well, Kelly tweeted out his side of the story on Sunday:
@calebkkelly reach out to me as they were most likely waiting for a response other than a thank you for a great visit. Time passes and we
— KANAI™ (@calebkkelly) January 11, 2016
@calebkkelly didnt* it was simply miscommunication and missed opportunity
— KANAI™ (@calebkkelly) January 11, 2016
Things like this happen all the time in recruiting but I will say this is the first time I’ve seen it with a player rated as highly as Kelly (five star, one of the top ranked linebackers). But recruiting goes on. Like he said, it was miscommunication and a missed opportunity. Both will be just fine.
Still on Top for Pie
Since Miami Senior (FL) WR Keyshawn “Pie” Young‘s official visit for the Ohio State game, Michigan has landed two more wide receiver commits in the 2016 class. Because of that, as well as the solid possibility of Paramus Catholic (NJ) WR Donald Stewart committing to Michigan in the near future, questions have arose of where Pie fits and if he would still have a spot in this class.
Well, that is not known for sure at the moment but what is known is that, according to 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow, Michigan is still Young’s leader as he goes into his final official visits ($).
Pie also spoke with Scout’s Bill Greene about his recruitment and gave Greene the feeling that “if Michigan wants this kid they’re going to get him” ($):
Pie also threw up the Block M while at that same camp:
— J.T. Wilcox (@JTWilcoxSports) January 11, 2016
I believe exactly what Greene said, if Michigan has a spot available and wants Pie going into National Signing Day, I believe he signs with the Wolverines. However, that is definitely in question with three weeks remaining in this cycle.
Top Five for Top Talent
For most of 2015, Michigan looked to be on the outside looking in for De La Salle (CA) TE/DE Devin Asiasi. However, thanks to a relentless pursuit from Jay Harbaugh, UM is back in the thick of things and look primed to steal one of the most versatile players in the class.
Asiasi not only switched his official visit from Alabama to Michigan for January 22nd (per Steve Lorenz) but he also just named the Wolverines to his top five heading into the final weeks of the cycle:
— Devin Asiasi ⛅️ (@asibo_) January 12, 2016
That official visit to Ann Arbor is huge for this recruitment. Michigan will likely roll out the red carpet for Asiasi and teammate DT Boss Tagaloa to try and sway them from the west coast.
In my opinion, if Michigan gets a good feel from either one or both, I feel like they will find a spot for them in this class. And that’s even if UM lands TE Chase Allen and either DE Levi Onwuzurike or DE Connor Murphy prior to their visit.
Quick Hitter on 2017 WRs
- Battle (MO) WR Jaevon McQuitty recently landed an offer from Michigan and let TMI’s Brice Marich know he is “crazy interested” in UM and is looking to visit Ann Arbor for his spring break ($).
- St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) WR Joshua Palmer named Michigan his leader soon after landing his offer from UM this summer and he let Scout’s Corey Bender know they are still on top ($).
- Cuthbertson (NC) WR JT Cauthen recently committed to North Carolina but, according to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, he still may take a visit to Michigan ($).
Photo Credit: MaxPreps.com
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