Well, that was a crazy day, huh? We had attrition to the current class and multiple commits making some questionable decisions with some positive news and signs slipping in between. Quick piece of advice: get used to the craziness for the next 2 weeks. Harbaugh’s trying to put together the best class possible which means feelings will be hurt and excitement will be had. Just don’t take anything personal or put out dumb tweets and we’ll all make it to February 4th.
Since I like to stay positive most of the time, I’ll get the negative news out of the way at the start.
By now, everyone has heard and seen the news about Downers Grove South (IL) OT Erik Swenson and Michigan parting ways. There have been some reports out there between Swenson and some people which has painted Jim Harbaugh and the UM coaching staff in a bad light. And while they look pretty bad at the moment, I’ll save my judgement until both sides of the story come out. I’ll just leave it at that.
As for the other “not so great” news surrounding the 2016 class, Independence (TN) WR Nate Johnson released a fun statement on Twitter today that really had myself and several others scratching their head:
Final decision will be made on signing day!!! pic.twitter.com/opWJGrTPE2
— Deuce〽 (@natedog0202) January 20, 2016
While Johnson continues to say he’s still fully committed to Michigan, this message doesn’t really put out a “100% committed” message. It’s not known yet how the staff will approach this situation but, if I had to guess, I’ll say they continue to recruit him and his spot as if he wasn’t a commit.
Now, at the same time, I think Michigan is still the favorite to sign him and the staff will continue to let him know that Ann Arbor is the best place for him but this definitely makes things interesting as we approach NSD.
And then there’s the Westside (TX) DT Jordan Elliott news.
According to 247Sports EJ Holland, Elliott will take an official visit to Texas this weekend. Like you might have expected, this didn’t sit very well with a lot of Michigan fans after Elliott made it very clear during the Army All-American practices that he wanted nothing to do with other programs and wouldn’t speak to any coach besides the Michigan staff through NSD.
Well, so much for that.
While this obviously isn’t a good look for Elliott and Michigan at the moment, according to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, Harbaugh may nip this one in the bud ($). The UM head man was expected to be in-home with Elliott on Wednesday night and was expected to “press for Elliott to reaffirm his pledge and not visit Texas”.
If Elliott is indeed fully committed to Michigan and isn’t looking around, Harbaugh’s (possible) request will likely be taken. But it’s not known yet if the in-home visit indeed happened or Michigan’s head man asked him to cancel his trip. So, like always, stay tuned.
As for a quick negative note, like expected, Michigan missed out on Allen (TX) DE Levi Onwuzurike on Wednesday as he committed to Washington.
Alright, enough of that negative news. On to the positive, fun stuff which obviously starts with Jim Harbaugh and his latest recruiting shenanigans that has the internet split on whether he’s a genius or a creeper.
Starting off with Michigan’s very possible next commitment, Loyola (CA) CB David Long hosted five Michigan coaches on Monday night and, boy, did it Jim Harbaugh have himself some recess like fun.
He decided to play catch with Long’s siblings and then topped that by climbing a tree outside of their house:
— SB Nation (@SBNation) January 19, 2016
That wasn’t the end to the well documented in-home visit with Long as the top target tweeted out a video of him asking the visiting Michigan coaches “How’s Business?”:
— David Long Jr. (@dee_knowz) January 19, 2016
Props to LB coach Chris Partridge for being the only coach to answer the question right.
As for Long’s announcement on Thursday night, I fully believe he’ll choose Michigan before heading off to Italy for a nice vacation before NSD.
After seeing Long in Los Angeles, Harbaugh made his way to Concord to take in a World Religion class and hang out with De La Salle (CA) DL/OL Boss Tagaloa:
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) January 19, 2016
— BT (@_BT75) January 20, 2016
Along with Tagaloa, Michigan most likely spent time with teammate TE Devin Asiasi as well. And from the look of thing, UM may be a bigger threat for their signatures than most believed just a couple weeks ago. It’ll be interesting to see where the Wolverines sit on their list after their official visits this weekend.
On top of playing some catch with Long’s siblings and taking in a high school class with Tagaloa, Harbaugh made his way over the Brophy Prep (AZ) DE Connor Murphy‘s house for a sleepover with the top 2016 target and his brother/former Harbaugh player at Stanford/Washington Redskins DE Trent Murphy:
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) January 20, 2016
— Connor Murphy (@CMurph_90) January 20, 2016
Like Tagaloa, Harbaugh also spent the day with Murphy at his high school:
— Kayli Murphy (@KayliMurphy) January 20, 2016
Once school let out, Harbaugh wasn’t done recruiting Murphy as he then went to their basketball court to show off his really impressive jump shot:
— Connor Murphy (@CMurph_90) January 21, 2016
— Trent Murphy (@TMurphy_93) January 21, 2016
After knocking down several jumpers, Jay Harbaugh and Greg Mattison made their way over to the Murphy residence to do some recruiting and pick up Jim:
— Kayli Murphy (@KayliMurphy) January 21, 2016
More Positive Press
While David Long looks likely to join the 2016 Michigan recruiting class on Thursday, he may not be the only addition to the class.
According to The Wolverine’s Tim Sullivan, McKeesport (PA) ATH Khaleke Hudson will host the Michigan coaches on an in-home visit Thursday night and could end his recruitment then and there ($).
It’s not known for sure if something will go down but after receiving some more intel on Hudson’s recruitment, I am fully expecting him to be a part of this class.
Oh, it also helps when he’s rockin’ Michigan gear on Twitter.
As for a player that I mentioned as a “name to watch” on this weekend’s recruiting visitors list, Cedar Grove (GA) LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse hosted the Michigan coaching staff for an in-home visit on Wednesday:
— Elysee Mbem-Bosse (@ElyseeBoss) January 20, 2016
And it looks like I may have been onto something with Mbem-Bosse as Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz is hearing that Michigan came away feeling they could end up becoming the favorite for the talented linebacker by the end of his official visit this weekend ($).
After watching his highlight tape, you can see why the staff is so high on him and after looking at his top contenders, you can see why they believe they could take the lead for him after his visit. While I doubt a commitment happens before he leaves Ann Arbor, UM should be sitting pretty as they head into NSD.
- Michigan made a surprise in-home visit to Archer (GA) OT EJ Price on Tuesday. Though it looks like a long shot, if UM can swing an official visit next weekend, there may be a pulse in this recruitment.
- 2016 Elief Alsik (TX) DB Chris Brown included Michigan into his final three schools. At this point, I would guess he stays in-state and ends up at Texas.
- Texas graduate transfer OL Jake Raulerson visited Ann Arbor last weekend and while things still look very good for Michigan, he’ll be making visits to UCLA and Oregon before making a final decision.
Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports