Inside the Fish Bowl is Pondering More Crystal Balls

Michigan has been taking care of business on and off the field heading into the final stages of the 2016 season. The team is 9-0 and has set itself up for a shot at the Big Ten and National Championships. And thanks to the team’s performance, the coaching staff is using their hard work and resumes to pair with it to give Michigan a very realistic shot at signing one of the best recruiting classes in rankings history.

The 2017 Michigan class is in striking distance of the top spot, held by Ohio State. However, it’ll need to have a very hot finish. And, when you look at where things stand with several of the nation’s top players and the staff’s top targets, that’s looking more and more likely.

To see where the Wolverines sit with the top targets, check out our latest Michigan recruiting update:

Close to Crystal

Earlier in the season, there were two players from SEC territory that I knew Michigan loved as prospects. However, it looked like they were long shots to end up in the Maize and Blue, at best. Those players were Starkville (MS) OLB Willie Gay and Lafayette (KY) OL Jedrick Wills.

Well, thanks to their official visits to Ann Arbor, both have gone from long shots to now looking pretty good to join the Wolverines’ class.

Gay made his way to Michigan for his official visit for the Illinois game on October 22nd and things couldn’t have gone any better.

The talented linebacker quickly decommitted from Ole Miss, who he’d been committed to since June, told the Clarion Ledger that he “fell in love” with UM during his trip and named the Wolverines his new leader.

But could that just have been an overreaction from the visit afterglow?

Well, that doesn’t look to be the case as Gay spoke with Scout’s Chad Simmons about his new leader and what separates Michigan from everyone else ($):

So, Gay is all about Michigan. But will he be able to commit to and sign with the Wolverines? That’s a legit question at this point.

First reported by Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, Gay was a “non-qualifier” for Michigan heading into his official visit and had some work to do in the classroom before UM could take him ($).

But that doesn’t look like it’s stopping Michigan from pushing for him and working with him. Which is saying a lot, according to TMI’s Sam Webb.

In normal occurrences of recruits having bad grades, Michigan will postpone the recruit’s visit. But UM didn’t do that with Gay. And Webb’s gut believes the fact that the staff is pushing hard for him even with the issues means Michigan has faith that Gay can get his grades in order ($) and they can sign him to this class.

With Webb feeling very good about Michigan’s chances, it’s hard to not be optimistic. I’m watching this recruitment closely and could be close to putting in a Crystal Ball for Gay to the Wolverines. Just waiting to gather a little more information.

As for Wills, the big man looked to be one of the biggest “locks” in the class. All signs pointed to him committing to Alabama, which is where my Crystal Ball once sat.

But thanks to his official visit to Michigan for the Wisconsin game and the staff’s pursuit of the best offensive line prospects in the class, I’ve switched my CB to Foggy and am very close to putting my prediction in for the Wolverines.

Besides the official visit, one big reason I put Wills in my latest class prediction and am close to a CB is thanks to Alabama viewing the big man as an offensive guard ($), according to Steve Lorenz.

If Alabama sticks with that mindset and Michigan keeps pushing for him to play anywhere along the line, I believe good news could come sooner rather than later.

Making Moves with Maryland Visitors

Michigan hosted another very nice group of recruiting visitors this past weekend to watch the Wolverines dismantle another B1G program. That included some of the top names on the board, including a former commit and a four star receiver the staff looked to lock down during the trip.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest visitors and how the trips went for them:

Quick Hitters

Photo Credit: Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog