Inside the Fish Bowl: Mid January Recruiting Update

Welp, have you got over last night yet? No? Me either. But while it makes me jealous, it also gives me hope that having an elite head coach, like Harbaugh, is the biggest factor in turning a team around. Ex: Saban and Meyer.

Speaking of Harbaugh, national signing day is just over 3 weeks away and the new Michigan coaching staff has plenty of work to do to put together a strong class when the quiet period ends on Friday, the 15th.

Offers a Plenty

The new Michigan coaching staff has extended an offer to four 2015 recruits, including DE Charles Omenihu and CB Damon Arnette last week and DE Reuben Jones and ATH Chris Williamson today.

Look Who\’s Visiting Now

To kick off the end of the quiet period, Harbaugh and company will be hosting at least four of the top players remaining on the board in the first week:

  • 5* TE Chris Clark
    • The former commit will be on campus for his 3rd time on the 16th and looks like the safe bet for Harbaugh\’s first commit. I expect the staff to push a little for a commitment (probably a \”we need you to be a leader for this class\” sales job), and because of that, I like Michigan\’s chances in landing him this weekend.
  • 4* LB Roquan Smith
    • With Durkin on board, Smith made it a priority to set up a visit to Ann Arbor. And he\’ll be on campus on the 16th as well. I think Michigan has a very real shot to land him, especially with a home run visit. If Clark commits, that\’s another voice (and friend) in his ear.
  • 3* CB Damon Arnette
    • Arnette is one of the more underrated recruits in the country. While he\’s committed to South Carolina, he\’s also let it be known that he\’s still looking around. He seems to be very high on the recruiting board, so expect them to roll out the red carpet.
    • He also told GBW\’s Sam Webb ($): “So if I feel like something better could out beat what I already have, then I’m going to have to go with the better option.”
  • 5* CB Iman Marshall
    • Marshall is the highest profiled recruit visiting in Harbaugh\’s short time and, as for right now, is the only visitor for January 19th. I think Michigan has a much more realistic chance here than many believe.

As for Michigan commits, Andrew David and Tyree Kinnel will be taking their officials that weekend as well. I wouldn\’t be surprised to see more commits show up to help recruit and meet the staff.

 

Go Blue Wolverine\’s Tom Beaver had some other non-Michigan commits that could also visit that week ($) which includes former top CB target Marcus Lewis, Alabama LB commit Joshua McMillon, FSU WR commit Auden Tate, OSU commit/ex-Wolverine RB commit Mike Weber and the new RB coach\’s son ATH Tyrone Wheatley Jr (more on the last two later). If S Arrington Farrar visits, it won\’t be until the 23rd or later.

Two QB class?

According to Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor, Harbaugh will visit unranked QB McLane Carter after the quiet period is over:

Jim Harbaugh coming to Gilmer to see McLane Carter. He has a pretty good eye for qb\’s. Florida and Texas Tech just called as well.#Winner

— Jeff Traylor (@CoachTraylor) January 11, 2015

Carter is a talented QB prospect that, for some reason, has yet to be offered. However, that should change before National Signing Day. I don\’t believe he will see an offer, thanks to the small class, but I wouldn\’t be shocked to see him offered a preferred walk-on spot.

Another Home Run Hire

One of the members of the staff most players and recruits will be excited to meet will be newly hired RB coach Tyrone Wheatley. As a former college and NFL star/coach, his name holds plenty of weight in the football community. And with him on board, there are two names at the top of his recruiting to-do list, Mike Weber and, his son, Tyrone Wheatley Jr.

With Wheatley Sr on board, 247Sports\’ Steve Lorenz says things are looking extremely positive in Michigan\’s chances for junior ($):

\”Both said that Wheatley would end up at Michigan if his dad took the job after direct conversations with him, and that if his dad didn\’t take the job, he would likely choose Alabama, not USC as has been guessed by some others.\”

Lorenz isn\’t the only person hearing that as TJ\’s Crystal Ball predictions are over 90% in favor of the Maize and Blue. Also, Go Blue Wolverine\’s Sam Webb has also hinted at Senior\’s hiring being a huge factor for Junior.

As for Wheatley\’s other top target, Weber is probably more solidly committed to the Buckeyes than ever, thanks to the NC win last night, but that doesn\’t mean Michigan won\’t throw everything at the Cass Tech star.

I\’d be shocked if Weber isn\’t the first call on Friday morning for every member on the coaching staff, starting with Wheatley. While their best chance at getting him is by getting him to visit campus, 247Sports\’ Steve Wiltfong spoke with Cass Tech head coach (and former Michigan RB) Thomas Wilcher about Weber\’s recruitment and Wheatley\’s impact ($):

\”247Sports asked about Tyrone Wheatley being hired, and we were told Wheatley gets who he wants at Cass Tech. We\’ll see if that holds true with Weber.\”

So, we\’ll have to wait and see what happens with Weber. As for his best friend, John Kelly, things are not as much of a \”sure-thing\” as most expected. He has yet to schedule his visit to Ann Arbor (don\’t worry, he let it be known he needs to meet Harbaugh) and is getting a strong push from both Tennessee and Minnesota. However, at the end of the day, I see him staying home and committing to his boy hood favorite Wolverines.

Also, if Harbaugh lands Kelly, that\’s a big time selling point and recruiter for Weber. Like Steve Lorenz said ($):

\”I expect Michigan to push hard for Kelly not just because he\’s a good player, but because he could help persuade Mike Weber to flip back to the Wolverines.\”

Other Names on the Recruiting Board

The Harbaugh hire obviously caught the 2015 recruits attention but the class it will have the biggest impact on is the 2016 class. And three of the best recruits (and several others) are now interested in visiting the Wolverines thanks to him and his coaching staff, including 4* DE Isaiah Chambers, via Lorenz ($), and 5* LB Keion Joyner, via Sullivan ($). The third name is former top 5* QB target KJ Costello, who told Rivals Adam Gorney he\’s trying to visit Ann Arbor again before making a final decision ($).

Peace Out…..

  • 3* DE Charles Omenihu who tweeted out that he will not be visiting Ann Arbor because of the weather. I can only imagine what Harbaugh had to say.
  • 2016 5* RB Kareem Walker committed to OSU at halftime of the national championship game. Solid day for the Buckeyes.