Inside the Fish Bowl is Ready for the Summer

After a long Memorial Day weekend of winning championships up at Treetops golf resort in Northern Michigan, I’m back in Atlanta and back to work. And it looks to be just in time as the satellite camps have started off with a bang thanks to Harbaugh’s tweet at Saban and the fact that Michigan looks very, very likely to add multiple additions to their 2017 recruiting class in the first two weeks of June.

So, bust out the sun tan lotion and rafts, it’s time to dive Inside the Fish Bowl for the latest news, rumors and analysis on Michigan football recruiting:

Cooking with Gas

To kick off the summer, Jim Harbaugh has decided to give the college football world one hell of a start.

After Nick Saban decided to mention Harbaugh during a press conference when talking about how much he dislikes satellite camps, Michigan’s headman decided to take a shot back via Twitter, like always:

Harbaugh’s bold and direct tweet fired up the world of college football and sent out the message, once again, that you shouldn’t talk about Harbaugh or Michigan if you have skeletons in your closet. But on the other hand, I somewhat agree with Saban. Some of the pay loopholes that are still allowed in satellite camps just ask for violations. While I don’t believe Harbaugh would cheat the system, there’s clearly a handful of programs across the nation that would jump at the chance to flex their wallets. 

Overall, this tweet gave both the fans and media the perfect jumping off point to begin the satellite camp tour. As for what will start off the summer recruiting cycle…

Early Summer Fireworks

Michigan’s 2017 recruiting class has multiple positions it had to fill. Though offensive line may be the most important need, defensive end is right near the top of the list. And the staff is very likely to add two of their most coveted prospects at the position to the class over the next two weeks.

The first is very likely to be the top defensive end in the state, St. Joseph (MI) DE Corey Malone-Hatcher tweeted out his commitment announcement plans on Monday:

Though he holds offers from Alabama, Notre Dame and UCLA, every 247Sports Crystal Ball selection, including mine, is in favor of the Wolverines.

Let’s just say, it would be a HUGE shocker if he commits to anyone but Michigan.

After CMH’s decision, Michigan fans will turn their attention to, what looks like, an even bigger lock in Episcopal (VA) DE Luiji Vilain.

It was seen coming from a mile away but a set decision date was tweeted out by Vilain on Tuesday:

Like Malone-Hatcher, Vilain has received ever recent 247Sports Crystal Ball over the last couple weeks.

Thanks to his recent unofficial visit to Ann Arbor plus his familiarity with the program and fit in the defense, it would also be a complete shock if he chose anyone but the Wolverines.

Double Floridian Dip

Good news is on the way in the first two weeks of June, but what is there to look forward to for the rest of the month? Well, outside of the satellite camp fun, Michigan will also be hosting several top targets throughout the month including a nice list for their team camps on June 17th and 18th.

Two of the biggest names to watch out for are coming up from the Sunshine State in the 2017 American Heritage offensive line duo OL Tedarrell Slaton and OL Kai-Leon Herbert.

Slaton is one of the top ranked players in the class and has named Michigan his leader on multiple occasions. However, according to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, some programs, not named Michigan, may not view Slaton in the same light as before thanks to his recent performance and his dreams of playing college basketball ($).

As for Herbert, he looked like a lock to Florida for most of the cycle. But things have changed. Thanks to Michigan’s heavy pursuit of him and the staff’s high need for tackles, the Wolverines sitting pretty going into the summer. Possibly even better than anyone could have thought at this point, according to Lorenz.

On top of their trip to Ann Arbor for the Big Man camp, the duo will also be at the satellite camp at St. Thomas Aquinas on Friday, June 3rd.

If both visits go as expected and the staff can sell them on moving up north and playing together, Michigan may become the heavy favorite for both prospects moving forward. And here’s an obvious statement: adding both Slaton and Herbert would be big time gets for this class.

Cali-Family Reunion

While Michigan is hoping to sign a pair of teammates out of Florida, they’re making moves to sign two family members out of California.

First reported by Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz (man, that guy has been on fire), Michigan has reached out to former 2015 San Diego State signee WR Desean Holmes ($) who just so happens to be the cousin of five star 2017 Calabasas (CA) CB Darnay Holmes.

While Desean’s signing with the Aztecs didn’t work out after only one week on campus, he was one of the top 200 players in the 2015 class. Now, the exact reason why it didn’t work out is unknown. San Diego State head coach Rocky Long told the San Diego Tribune that Desean packed up his stuff and left out of the blue soon after getting to campus and that “The young man has a lot of problems, way too many for us to handle”.

Some may think it’s not worth it to bring a player like Desean after his decision to leave San Diego State and the fact that the staff just signed multiple slot-type receivers in the 2016 class. But he’s another dynamic talent that could be a nice fit, especially if he comes to town with his cousin.

Though Desean lives/lived with a foster family when he enrolled at San Diego State, he’s clearly very close with his cousin, Darnay. The Wolverine’s Brandon Justice (who just got the gig. Congrats, Brandon) caught up with the five star recruit to ask him about the possibility of playing with his Desean in college, specifically at Michigan ($):

We are trying to find a school that’s a perfect fit for us both,” he said. “We are taking the same official visit to Michigan.”

An official visit to Ann Arbor for the Holmes family would be one to watch as Michigan is clearly making up a ton of ground with Darnay (who recently included UM in his top 7 and has been saying all the right things about both Michigan and Jim Harbaugh) while they look to be the favorite for Desean, as long as he can clear all of the hurdles.

Quick Hitters

  • 2017 Arbor View (NV) DT Greg Rogers tweeted out his top 6 on Sunday and Michigan is included. Though USC is said to be the favorite, Michigan looks to be a real option as they’re included without him even visiting campus yet. He’s told me there’s a “high chance” of him taking an official to campus. If that happens, the Wolverines could be a threat to the Trojans.
  • 2017 Beaver Falls (PA) DT Donovan Jeter is a player to keep an eye on. He told Scout’s Brian Dohn that Michigan is one of the programs recruiting him the most and that he plans on visiting Ann Arbor this summer thanks to his love for Greg Mattison ($).
  • 2017 Murphy (AL) DT Neil Farrell has been a part of my last couple BGRC’s and, though they were shots in the dark, he told’s Ben Thomas that he’s hoping to visit Michigan this summer. If the staff can get him on campus and visit with him at one of the Alabama satellite camps, I believe Michigan could become a favorite for his services, if they aren’t already.
  • 2017 Elkins (TX) LB Kenneth Murray is becoming a top target for the staff and it’s showing on his end as he put Michigan in his top 10. If the staff keeps pushing for him and gets him on campus, he’s a name to watch.

Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports