Weeks away from the start of Michigan’s unreal camp tour and recruiting is starting to pick back up again. Plenty of top recruits receiving offers and visits while others make their way to Ann Arbor or make plans to do so, that including multiple five star recruits who are starting to look better and better for the Wolverines.
Five Star Pass Catchers
2017 Cass Tech (MI) Donovan Peoples-Jones is the #1 player on most boards, including Michigan’s. And for more than just the fact that he’s the best player in the state. Peoples-Jones’ father is an orthopedic surgeon who graduated from Michigan’s medical school and Donovan just so happens to want to follow in his father’s professional footsteps. That’s one reason why UM looks to have the upper hand over the competition, and the Wolverines staff knows it.
According to The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown, Peoples-Jones made a bit of a surprise visit to Ann Arbor on Thursday and it was described as “mind-blowing” ($). The visit was focused around DPJ seeing the medical school and, thanks to it, Brown is hearing that UM is in great shape.
Five star recruits come in all different shapes and sizes. There are guys who are all about the football program or location. It’s a little rare when educational opportunities are a main/deciding factor but Peoples-Jones looks to be one of those guys. So with a visit like this going so well and Michigan just about checking off all of the other boxes, things haven’t looked better for the Wolverines and DPJ.
As for another five star receiver that looks to be starting to come around to Michigan more than ever, 2017 Oak Ridge (TN) WR Tee Higgins recently released his top 10 and a familiar name was at the top of the list, though there was “no order”:
💯 both edits was nice so I had to post both😅 pic.twitter.com/BOBA5h3bLO
— Tee Higgins (@teehiggins5) May 15, 2016
Higgins is another day one contributor at the receiver position, like Peoples-Jones, but looked like a reach at best for Michigan. Could he be showing his hand a bit with his latest top 10? While I think Michigan still has a lot of recruiting and proving to do to even have a realistic shot at signing the star receiver, this is a step in the right direction.
According to 247Sports, Higgins is being heavily targeted by the UM staff and “really wants to see Michigan” ($). I’d still put Clemson in the driver’s seat but if he does make it to campus this summer and/or fall and Michigan has a great season on the field, anything could happen.
So, with that, enjoy his junior year highlights:
Signees Helping with Top Targets
Do you remember 2016 signee DL Rashan Gary? You know, the #1 overall player in the class and top recruiting win in program history. That guy. Well, he spoke with The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown about his recruitment, choice, future career and his plans as a recruiter ($).
Gary had some fantastic answers to the questions but there wasn’t a better answer than what he plans to do as a recruiter for the 2017 and 2018 class:
To be honest, for the top recruits in 2017 and 2018, I’m coming for all of yall because we need everybody at Michigan. So, you know, I’m trying to get to know everybody and, you know, just start recruiting because I’m not that type of guy but, you know, I love Michigan and I’m part of the family now. I’m just trying to get everybody on board because, in a couple years, we’re gonna be a powerhouse.”
Some of the names that Gary will likely help with includes 2017 Paramus Catholic (NJ) LB Drew Singleton and DL Corey Bolds, and #1 overall player in 2017 Antioch (CA) RB Najee Harris, as well as any other defensive line targets that make it to campus.
While Gary will help recruit any and every recruit possible thanks to his name alone, signee CB David Long is already doing some recruiting in his home state. And the one guy he’s making the most headway with is the #1 corner in the class, Calabasas (CA) CB Darnay Holmes.
Holmes, who looked like a player that was very unlikely to end up at Michigan just a couple weeks ago as he’s expected to announce his commitment on June 23rd, spoke with Rivals’ Adam Gorney at the Adidas SoCal Invitational camp and the top corner has plans to see Ann Arbor thanks to Jim Harbaugh ($):
“He’s talking about how he wants me to come up there,” Holmes said. “He’s not about judgment and he’s not one of those coaches who’s talking about other programs. He wants me to come up there, see why David (Long) picked the school and with me and him on the same field, we would be dominant.”
Every class has top recruits that look like beyond reaches during the spring that end up becoming legit options by the fall/winter. Could Holmes be that guy in 2017? If he does indeed visit Ann Arbor this summer or fall, Long keeps pitching him on playing together and UM has a great on-the-field showing this fall, it looks much more possible now than it did last week.
Favorites from the Future
2018 Stephenson (GA) OG Jalil Irvin landed his offer from the Michigan staff on Thursday and quickly became a name to watch. He told MnB’s Brandon Justice that he’s hoping to visit in June and, thanks to him being from Detroit, he said it’s “very possible” that he commits during the trip.
It’s unknown at this time if he’s a take this early but if the staff extended the offer and knew his connection to the area, I couldn’t imagine him being told to hold off. But we’ll see.
As for an offered 2018 recruit that the staff wouldn’t have questions about accepting an early commitment from, Country Day (MI) LB Kolin Demens put his name out there with his performance at this past weekend’s The Opening regional in Chicago.
Demens caught up with both Scout’s Bill Greene to talk about his interest in his brother Kenny’s alma mater, which he said he loves ($). He also spoke with The Michigan Insider’s Allen Trieu about the latest with his recruitment and interest in the Wolverines:
According to multiple reports, Demens is expected to make a visit to Michigan in June which should help improve UM’s chances even more going forward. I’ve already added Kolin to my first 2018 Best Guess Recruiting Class prediction and doubt I’ll remove him from it anytime soon.
- One top 2017 target that Michigan is looking great for is Santa Margarita Catholic (CA) C Brett Neilon. The top center in the class has been a name to watch for months now and he let me know his top three consists of Michigan, USC and Washington. Though USC’s offer was big for him, UM looks to have as good of a shot as anyone to land his commitment. The staff will have another shot at recruiting him in person this June as he told me he plans on visiting Michigan’s local satellite camp and just “hang out around the staff”.
- While Michigan is looking better and better for two of the elite receivers in 2017, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tee Higgins, one name that should have pretty much been crossed off the list long ago was St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) WR Trevon Grimes. According to a source, it’s just a matter of time before he announces his commitment to Ohio State.
- As for a Grimes that is a name to watch, 2017 USC commit and Desert Pines (NV) ATH Randal Grimes told Rivals’ Adam Gorney that he’s planning on officially visiting Michigan this fall ($). At 6’4” 205lbs, he has the ability to be a game changer as a receiver, safety or outside linebacker. Though he doesn’t hold an offer just yet, keep an eye on him moving forward.
- 2018 Yoakum (TX) WR Joshua Moore may not hold an offer from Michigan just yet but he tweeted out his plans to visit Ann Arbor this summer. If he makes it to campus, an offer will likely follow.
Photo Credit: WADE PAYNE/SPECIAL TO THE NEWS SENTINEL
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