It’s here. The Game. The best rivalry in all of sports. And though I will not be on hand to watch it (stupid 12 hour drive from Atlanta), there will be a ton of top football recruits at the Big House today to see Michigan and Ohio State.
It’s been a minute since Michigan was on #CommitWatch but that fun hashtag is expected to be thrown out into the Twitterverse, possibly multiple times, this weekend.
I have confirmed with a couple future recruits that a decision could very well be made during the trip. While I can’t give out the names, they have let me know that if things go well and get the ok from both their parents and the coaches, they’ll make the decision. And before you try to guess who it is, i’ll tell you one thing, they’re not a duo. I don’t even believe they know each other.
As for the chances of a 2016 commitment, there are three names to watch closest:
- DT Jordan Elliott
- WR Keyshawn Young
- OG Terrance Davis
Elliott’s name was first put out there by The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown as a very possible weekend commitment ($). Brown was given some intel from sources that indicated that Elliott could commit to UM “either before, or during his official visit”. The Wolverine crew also touched on possible commitments this weekend in their latest Inside the Fort ($).
Brown isn’t the only analyst hearing good things about Michigan’s chances with Elliott as 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong is also hearing it’ll be UM for the talented Longhorn State star ($).
Thanks to those reports, lets just say we’re getting ready for his possible decision here at MGoFish:
— She Wants The Meme (@BillionBus) November 28, 2015
Along with Elliott, both Young and Davis are names to watch thanks to the fact that Michigan has publicly led for both for months and they both may need to jump on the open spots now while they are for sure available (Young more than Davis). Wiltfong touched on the chances of both them as well in his weekend visit primer.
It probably helps UM’s chances that Young already met one of the most well known Michigan players of all time during the first day of his visit:
— MIAMI_PIE (@youngpie_1) November 27, 2015
Could FlipMode Squad 2.0 Debut this Weekend?
As for the two visitors who have long looked like the next single from the FlipMode Squad aka the Michigan coaching staff, Penn State commits K Quinn Nordin and CB Lavert Hill are expected to be at the game and, like always, flips look possible. Neither has hidden their love for Michigan while being “100% committed to Penn State” and if recruits start dropping this weekend, they may try to jump on board as well.
The two in-staters/Penn Staters are not the only recruits committed elsewhere that could use this weekend (or the near future) to do a back hand spring into the 2016 class. USC commit and Lake Gibson (FL) DL Keyshon Camp is in Ann Arbor for an unofficial visit and is another name to watch closely.
Reading the tea leaves here but when a recruit from Florida makes an unofficial visit in late November to a school they are very high on and has a good friend/ex-teammate (LB Reuben Jones), things look pretty good. Add in the high possibility of an Elliott commitment this weekend and Camp may need to jump on board now before his spot is gone.
Moving on Up
There’s a good chance at commitments this weekend but an even better chance at Michigan becoming a top team for several 2016, 2017 and 2018 visitors if the trip goes as well as expected.
Out of the 2016 visitors, there are several official visitors who UM is looking to make a big move with, including elite ATH Mecole Hardman, LB Dontavious Jackson and OLB Jeffrey McCulloch. While they seem to be long shots going into the trip, I wouldn’t rule out Michigan making a big move for all three this weekend.
Jackson visited for the spring game and left very impressed. And if that crowd impressed him, he may fall in love today when he sees 110,000+ in the Big House. As for Hardman and McCulloch, if the staff truly feels like they can make a move on them, they’ll likely roll out the red carpet for them and their families. And we’ve all seen how well that has worked in the past with the likes of Rashan Gary and David Long.
247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong also likes Michigan’s chances at moving up Jackson’s teammate Alief Elsik (TX) DB Chris Brown‘s list ($).
As for the juniors, one top 2017 target, St James (AL) LB Sterling Jones is one name to keep an eye on in that regard. He recently landed an offer from UM and quickly set up this trip to see Ann Arbor for the first time. And since arriving in A2, he’s been tweeting out a ton of love for the Maize and Blue:
UM has one of the nicest facilities I’ve been to
— Big Ster (@_sterlingjones7) November 27, 2015
— Big Ster (@_sterlingjones7) November 28, 2015
Besides Jones, there are a couple big time juniors who I believe Michigan will become a top team for by the time they return home from the trip, including OL Cesar Ruiz, DT Fred Hansard and WR Tarik Black. Add those names to the top 2017 visitors Michigan is already in great shape with, which includes ATH Allen Stritzinger, OT JaRaymond Hall, ATH Collin Smith, LB Corey Malone-Hatcher and LB Drew Singleton, and things are looking very good for UM moving forward. As for a big time non-visitor that has already moved Michigan up his list, five star Poly Prep (NY) OT Isaiah Wilson, let it be known who leads for his services:
I cant hide it anymore. If you havent picked up on it. Michigan is my leader. I love every school in my top 8 but as of right now Mich is it — †zαу’ѕ ιѕℓαиd† (@savagezay74) November 27, 2015
It’s still pretty early for junior recruits but if Michigan keeps the momentum going in this class, they will be fighting for the #1 class on National Signing Day 2017.
Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
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