Inside the Fish Bowl is Full of Spring Game Leftovers

Michigan just wrapped up one of its largest recruiting weekends of the year. And though the staff didn’t receive any public commitments, there was a lot that took place outside of the spring game that should have Wolverines fans excited about the 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes.

Check out the latest Michigan football recruiting update:

Latest on Thompson-Robinson

2018 Bishop Gorman (NV) QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson was the top recruiting target on campus for Michigan this past weekend. Making his way across the country on his own dime yet again right before his decision was huge and the staff, and everyone else, knew it.

According to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong, the coaching staff wasn’t the only group of people trying to sway the highly ranked dual-threat quarterback to Ann Arbor as the fans did their part to make him feel more than welcome ($):

It’s an eye-opening experience!” Thompson-Robinson said. “I’m signing autographs and taking pictures left and right, they make me feel like a celebrity out here.”

But the love from the fans wasn’t the only thing that caught his eye.

DTR spoke with Scout’s Blair Angulo about his trip and raved about Michigan’s offense, how it is just like his current high school system, as well as dropped a significant line about the staff’s approach to the position in this class ($):

And the offense, it might not look like it, but we run the same stuff at Gorman. The under-center stuff, we run the same pass concepts but they just have different verbiage. That definitely stood out. The coaches sat me down at least three times (Saturday). Coach (Jim) Harbaugh had left campus after the spring game and actually came back to sit down with me at night. We talked with coach (Pep) Hamilton and that was real straight up. They told me they want to take two quarterback regardless of whether I commit or not, so those were some good conversations.”

With the beautiful weather, exciting game, large recruiting visitors list, and fans running wild, it’s safe to say Michigan knocked this visit out of the park.

However, was it enough to overtake UCLA’s lead heading into the trip?

Well, everyone will find out at 10pm (EST) on Sunday, April 23rd as Thompson-Robinson is set to decide between the Wolverines and the Bruins:

At, this point, my Crystal Ball is sticking with UCLA. I’ll go into more why after everything is said and done.

Making a Massive Move for Muhammad

2018 Ridge Point (TX) TE Mustapha Muhammad has long been a top target for the staff. He’s one of the top ranked tight ends in the class and reminds me a bit of Alabama tight end and future first round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, OJ Howard, thanks to his size, length and athletic ability at the position. So, it makes sense the Michigan staff has been all over him since the start of the cycle.

And it looks to have paid off big time as all signs now point to Muhammad ending up in the Maize and Blue, per TMI’s Sam Webb:

To go along with Webb’s gut feeling, Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, as well as just about every other recruiting analyst (myself included), put in Crystal Ball predictions for Muhammad to Michigan:

Muhammad also told Webb that the plan, as of now, is to silently commit somewhere and still take his visits before announcing on National Signing Day ($). We’ll see exactly how long he sticks to that plan. But, either way, Michigan looks to be the heavy favorite going forward.

As for some not very good news, 2018 Bishop Gorman (NV) TE Brevin Jordan, teammate, good friend and visiting partner of Thompson-Robinson, committed to Miami (FL) on Sunday with a little help from MGoFish’s Brandon Whitaker:

This commitment was expected even though I didn’t put in my Crystal Ball to the Hurricanes until after his visit to Ann Arbor wrapped up. That was because there’s always a chance an on-campus trip can sway things quickly. But that clearly wasn’t the case here. Talk about a huge pick up for Mark Richt.

Plan B-east?

While Thompson-Robinson was the headliner, there was another top quarterback target on campus this past weekend that, like expected, the Michigan coaching staff fell in love with when they saw him in person.

According to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, the Michigan staff used words like “Holy Specimen” and “Manchild” when explaining their reactions to seeing 2018 Olympia (FL) QB Joe Milton in person for the first time ($).

Milton is the type of big, athletic, strong armed quarterback that every coach and fan hopes to have on their team. And though he’s a bit raw, that is something that Jim Harbaugh can likely pitch him on; the chance to develop under both Harbaugh and Pep Hamilton.

Lorenz has mentioned in the past and again after the visit that Florida is fading a bit as a favorite for Milton ($). That makes the visit and potential loss of Thompson-Robinson very interesting.

Michigan is in fantastic shape for Hamilton (AZ) QB Tyler Shough with a visit expected to come this summer. So, it’ll be interesting to see exactly how hard the staff pushes for Milton moving forward. He’s a guy who has one of the highest ceilings out of any quarterback in this class. And you know that intrigues Harbaugh.

Because of that, look for Michigan to push hard for Milton moving forward, especially if they do indeed miss on Thompson-Robinson. And I like their chances, even though Georgia is surging a bit as of late as well.

More Notable Visitors

2018 Catholic Central (MI) OT Jalen Mayfield told TMI’s Brice Marich that his spring game visit was “phenomenal” ($). He remains one of the safest bets on the board to join the class. And it could come in the not-so-distant future.

Marich also caught up with 2018 East English Village Prep (MI) OL Tyrone Sampson, who ended up making his way up to Michigan on Saturday to watch the spring game. Sampson mentioned his growing friendship with current Michigan commit OG Emil Ekiyor as well as mentioning “I’m very interested and an offer would definitely change the game” ($).

One of the most intriguing spring game visitors was 2018 Paramus Catholic (NJ) DE Dorian Hardy. The four star defensive end looked to be a top target for the staff early on, enough that I had him apart of my first BGRC, but when the 2018 class became the main focal point, the push for Hardy looked to fade. But could that flame be rekindled?

If the staff is looking to bring in another defensive end in this class, according to The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown, his relationship with the Paramus Catholic crew (Chris Partridge, Rashan Gary and Drew Singleton) could put Michigan firmly in contention once again ($).

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Photo Credit: Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog

Garrett Fishaw