Inside the Fish Bowl is Never Gonna Give You Up

Oh, recruiting. You devil dog, you. Whether it’s players changing their mind at the last second before their announcement, getting back to back commitments from top targets or parents talking their child into staying closer to home, it’s a wild and crazy thing. And the fun is only beginning as we are exactly one month from National Signing Day.

Never Gonna Give You Up

While Michigan fans are hoping one recruits picks his mother’s rumored favorite (Gary), they aren’t too happy with another top target picking his mother’s favorite as North Mesquite (TX) OT Jean Delance chose to stay home at Texas over moving up north to Michigan. Her reaction says it all:

Michigan and Texas recruiting analysts can argue over where Jean wanted to go but I don’t think anyone can argue the fact that his mother wanted him to stay home in the Longhorn state and was the deciding factor here.

But now the question is, will she be able to keep him there?

According to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, Michigan isn’t ready to give up on Delance just yet ($). With exactly one month until NSD, expect the staff to try and change Jean’s mind though it looks like it will be very tough seeing how badly his mother wants him to stay home.

Harbaugh even released a response to Delance’s decision.

However it works out, here’s to hoping he’s completely happy with his decision and everything works out for him. You can never fault a player for wanting to stay close to home and making his mother happy.

Elliott Records his First Sack

As for a Texas recruit that the Wolverines beat out the Longhorns for, Westside (TX) DT Jordan Elliott put a reporter from Horns247 on blast after reporting that he believes Elliott will flip from UM to UT:

Elliott has had a checkered past in terms of remaining committed to a program so I understand why some analysts and fans think a flip is possible. However, he continues to say that he’s 100% to Michigan, will sign with UM and won’t respond to any other coaches.

Elliott also spoke with Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz about why he’s sticking with UM over UT and it’s exactly why most believe Michigan should beat out Texas for the same targets ($):

There’s a bunch that still try to contact me and I don’t respond to them. I only talk to Michigan coaches. They were talking to me and telling me how I would fit in. I’ve been to Texas many times and the last time I went up there it wasn’t really the same. A lot of it is about stability. You never know about the stability of a program. It’s different with Coach Harbaugh at Michigan though.”

So, don’t worry, Michigan fans. It looks like it would take Jim Harbaugh taking an NFL coaching gig (which isn’t happening) in the next 30 days to keep him from signing with the Wolverines.

Commitments Coming? 

I won’t lie, I was wrong about Michigan landing a commitment at the Under Armour All-American game. From all of the reports and from my experience, I thought Delance would talk his mom into it and choose UM but that didn’t happen.

So, I completely understand if you take this with a big grain of salt:

Michigan SHOULD land at least one commitment at the Army All-American Game on Saturday.

Santa Margarita Catholic (CA) WR Dylan Crawford is expected to announce his decision at the game and all signs point to Michigan after Oregon is reported to be out of room in their class after landing West Orange (FL) WR Eddie McDoom a couple weeks ago. And unlike Delance, according to Steve Lorenz’s sources, Crawford’s mom is all about Michigan ($).

Add in how high of a target Crawford looks to be on the staff’s board and the need for at least one more receiver in the class and, though crazy things can happen and UCLA looks to be a threat, I believe the west coast star will be donning a Michigan hat on Saturday.

As for the possibility and likelihood of another receiver joining the class before NSD, we’re still keeping a close eye on Paramus Catholic (NJ) WR Donald Stewart.

If/when Crawford makes his decision, it’ll be very interesting to see what exactly happens with that last(?) receiver spot with Stewart and Miami Senior (FL) WR Keyshawn “Pie” Young having UM out front.

Receiver is a spot that has several questions heading into NSD but there are only a couple questions surrounding the cornerback position. Outside of possible attrition, the main question asked is, if Michigan lands Detroit MLK (MI) CB Lavert Hill, will they have room for Loyola (CA) CB David Long?

That’s a pretty simple answer IMO: Yes.

Long is a top target on the staff’s board and looks to be a take no matter what. As for the possibility of UM landing Hill, that could end up happening in the near future.

According to Hill’s interview with 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong, he could make a decision at the Army All-American Game on Saturday and it’s down to UM and MSU ($). Most believe he is Michigan’s to lose and I happen to agree. We’ll just have to wait and see if he decides to announce at the game or not.

Could there be more coming in 2016? Some are taking Flanagan (FL) LB Devin Bush Jr‘s recent tweet that way:

I’m not exactly sure what he’s referring to as it could just be talking about the possible commits throughout the month or he knows something about an upcoming commitment. I’m trying to do some digging on it and will try to keep everyone updated if I find anything.

2016 isn’t the only class that may see commitments this month. Texas grad transfer C Jake Raulerson, who has two years of eligibility remaining, will officially visit Michigan on January 15th and, from the look of things, UM may be the team to beat:

Now, tweets don’t tell the entire story but, if I had to guess, the relationship with likely 2016 starter QB John O’Korn and the questions at center heading into the offseason, I think the staff could put the full court press on him during his trip to secure a commitment.

That would obviously make up for missing out on Delance and DeMatha (MD) OG Terrance Davis in 2016.

On to 2017, according to Rivals’ Blair Angulo, Valor (CO) QB Dylan McCaffrey could be making his decision in the near future and Michigan is the team to beat ($).

After doing some digging, this looks to be very possible to happen. I’ve had McCaffrey in my 2017 BGRC since day one and believe his commitment could really jump start the class, especially with the staff turning full attention to the class starting February 4th.

It’ll Only Get Better

Speaking of the 2017 class and Michigan’s momentum, things are looking very, very good moving forward as McCaffrey could just be the tip of the iceberg.

According to his interview 247Sports’ Luke Stampini, elite Poly Prep (NY) OT Isaiah Wilson still has Michigan out front in his recruitment ($).

Add in The Wolverine’s Tim Sullivan saying that Wilson is “extremely likely to end up at Michigan” ($), all eyes will be on him when he unofficially visits Ann Arbor on February 6th.

Sullivan also talked about Michigan’s improving chances with two of the other top 20 recruits in the junior class, Cass Tech (MI) WR Donovan Peoples-Jones and Alabama commit/Antioch (CA) RB Najee Harris.

The 2016 class looks likely to end up being a top 5 class but the 2017 class has a good chance to be even better. So strap in and stay tuned.

#AllofTheNFLExperience 

When news broke that the Indianapolis Colts would likely be letting head coach Chuck Pagano go after the season, I tweeted about how great of a addition he would be to the Michigan coaching staff. Now, I was just kidding about that as I figured a guy with two division titles and a 40-23 record in the NFL in the last 4 years would have his choice at another head coaching gig. Well, it looks like I may have been on to something.

According to The Wolverine’s Michael Spath, Pagano has an offer to join Harbaugh at Michigan as a defensive consultant ($).

It’s not known if this will happen but Pagano was rumored to be a legit defensive coordinator candidate before Don Brown took the job. Add in his nephew, DE/OLB Carlo Kemp, already on campus as an early enrollee and the chance to take a year off of head coaching to relax a little, and it looks (potentially) like a beautiful marriage in the making.

As for the possibility of Devin Bush Sr. joining his son in Ann Arbor, a trusted source close to the situation told me “at this point, SR will be back at Flanagan”.

That’ll be another situation to keep an eye on if any other changes happen to the Michigan coaching or recruiting staff.

Quick Hitters on the Secret Visitor 

  • The internet is running wild with the report from The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb about an “elsewhere committed prospect” that’s good friends with Paramus Catholic (NJ) DL Rashan Gary expected to visit Michigan in mid-January ($).
  • One name has been thrown out there a whole lot lately but since I do not know exactly who this recruit happens to be and the fact that the recruit didn’t want his name out there, I’ll keep my guess to myself.
  • My suggestion: Stay patient, tuned in and respectful of the recruit’s wishes. Nothing good comes out of Michigan analysts losing a player’s trust.

Photo Credit: Dylan Crawford