Inside the Fish Bowl is Coming for Your Commits

No, this is not deja vu. DJ Durkin’s Michigan defense once again shutout it’s opponent for the 3rd straight week and happened to do it in front of some of the staff’s top targets on the board, including an Ohio State commit, the teammate of two other commits and the younger brother of the defense’s starting safety.

Check out the latest Michigan football recruiting update: 

Flip-chigan 2.0?

When Jim Harbaugh took over the Michigan football program at the beginning of 2015, he and his staff only had a month and some change to try and fill out their 2015 class. And since most players were already committed to their chosen programs, the staff had to become the “Flipmode Squad” in order to fill out that class.

Well, that went over pretty well and it looks like they’re going back to that strategy to help fill and improve their 2016 class.

De Paul Catholic (NJ) RB Kareem Walker

The top ranked visitor in attendance for the Northwestern game just so happened to be an Ohio State commit and, from all reports, things went very well.

Here is his official response that was given to ESPN’s Tom Vanhaaren:

As for the behind the scenes info, both The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb and Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz have reported very positive notes on Walker’s visit and Michigan’s chances.

According to Webb, everything Michigan offers along with the possibility to be apart of a stable of running backs and staying fresh is a big selling point to Walker. He also mentioned the possibility of Walker making a quick return trip this weekend for the MSU game ($), which would obviously be a fantastic sign.

While Lorenz heard many of the same things, he also heard from a source that Walker is “heavily interested”, the New Jersey connection is strong with him and the current Michigan commits and the staff obviously feels good enough about their chances to send Tyrone Wheatley to his game on Friday night ($).

While things are definitely trending towards positively towards Michigan here, I’m not ready to put him in my October BGRC just yet. However, if he does make the return trip for the MSU game and sees the Wolverines beat the Spartans in person, that could be huge.

Add in his New Jersey ties to Recruiting Coordinator Chris Partridge as well as current commits Ahmir Mitchell, Brad Hawkins and Ron Johnson, as well as possible future class member Rashan Gary and Jordan Fuller, and I believe he could end up donning the Maize and Blue on National Signing Day.

Detroit King (MI) CB Lavert Hill

While Walker is still a bit of a long shot to flip from one B1G historic power, it looks like just a matter of time for Michigan to flip two in-state commits from another B1G “power”, Penn State, in CB Lavert Hill and K/P Quinn Nordin.

The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb spoke with Scout’s Kaitlin O’Toole about their chances at the two, as well as another in-state target committed elsewhere:

As for Hill, it has looked like he would be a part of this class for awhile now. He’s very close with the staff, he’s made tons of visits to Ann Arbor, his brother is the starting safety on the team and when you add in the performance of Michigan vs Penn State so far this year, it looks like just a matter of time.

Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz and Steve Wiltfong have been feeling like this for awhile now as well and continue to say it’s a matter of “when and not if” ($).

According to Webb in that video interview, Hill will make a return trip to Michigan for the MSU game and I believe another big win could end up being the final factor needed for him to flip.

Rockford (MI) K/P Quinn Nordin

Remember Nordin? He’s the nation’s #1 kicker who took a ton of flack after committing to Penn State over Michigan via a Bleacher Report video where he was on a private plane. Well, hopefully Wolverines fans didn’t say anything too ridiculous to/about him because it looks like he’ll end up being a member of this class.

Nordin told Scout’s Allen Trieu that the Michigan-Northwestern visit was “the best (he’s) taken during (his) recruiting” ($).

He also spoke with The Wolverine’s Tim Sullivan about his trip and while he didn’t really answer if he’d be flipping his commitment, he didn’t deny it either ($). He also already fits the Michigan mold as he’s not a fan of Michigan State and will be visiting again this weekend for that game:

“I’m going to Michigan next week,” he said. “Personally, I’m not a big fan of Michigan State, so I’d love to see Michigan whomp ’em. It’ll be good to go down there and see Ron [Johnson], Ahmir [Mitchell], some of the guys are planning to be down there again. It was good to hang out with them, and see how they go.”

While it wasn’t known for sure if Michigan would take a kicker in this class with the few spots available, John Baxter has obviously won that (for a lack of better word) argument. And from all reports, it looks like he will not only get his wish but will also likely flip the nation’s #1 kicker from a divisional rival.

Next Couple Commits?

As for the other big time official visitor in attendance for the Northwestern game, Berkeley Prep (FL) TE Jacob Mathis clearly had himself a fantastic time.

Here’s what he had to say to Scout’s Corey Bender ($):

I’d give (the visit) a 10 out of 10,” Mathis said. “It was a great visit and I don’t think there’s anything I would have changed to make it better.”

While there wasn’t video of it, this is how I imagine he said it:

While he clearly loved his trip and is high on Michigan, he told Bender he doesn’t have any leaders in his recruitment at the moment. That’s not shocking to read but is it true? There have been reports before that he is favoring Michigan. But with Florida reemerging (we’ll see how it goes after Will Grier’s suspension), I believe they’re much more of a threat than before.

Flanagan (FL) LB Devin Bush was the other top target that made his way to Ann Arbor for the Northwestern game and like Lavert Hill and Quinn Nordin, it just looks like a matter of time until he commits to the Wolverines.

Bush’s father spoke with The Wolverine’s Tim Sullivan quickly about his son’s trip ($) and he had a short but, possibly, big comment about Jr’s mindset:

He’ll talk to you about the visit, but not tonight,” his father, Devin Sr. said. “He wants to do some thinking tonight.”

Though Sullivan made sure to say it’s unfair to look too much into that comment, it wouldn’t shock me if he is thinking about making a decision. He’s another recruit who everyone is predicting to be a part of this class, including myself. I’ve even heard rumors over the summer that is was expected to happen then. And I won’t lie, I thought he was taking this “secret” trip up to Michigan to commit in person.

Though an in-person commitment did not take place, I wouldn’t be shocked to see his recruitment end in the not-so-distant future to guarantee himself one of the linebacker spots in 2016.

Feeling Good about Gary

Quick updated on the nation’s #1 player, Rashan Gary. While he did not make the trip to Michigan this weekend with the other top New Jersey recruits, things are still looking fantastic for the Wolverines here.

Not only did Michigan wide receiver commit and fellow New Jerseyan, Ahmir Mitchell, tweet out his dream end to UM’s 2016 class….

But I was also able to talk with another NJ commit, Ron Johnson, who feels very good about Michigan’s chances to land the top player in his state and the country. So, there’s that. There’s also this video interview 247Sports’ had with Gary:

Could Michigan really pull off the unthinkable and land almost every top player in New Jersey in 2016? If they continue to perform the way they have on the field and the NJ commits continue to stay on Gary, Fuller and Walker, it definitely looks possible.

Quick Hitters

  • I know most are sick of hearing about former Michigan commit and former UCLA tight end Chris Clark but he happens to be one of Jay Harbaugh’s latest follows on Twitter. Does that mean they’re targeting him? Doubtful but it’s something. He may just be following him to follow him but it seems like a strange move while Clark’s taking visits to potential schools.
  • Brophy College (AZ) DE Connor Murphy has four standing out in his recruitment, including Michigan, per Scout’s Jason Jewell.
  • In the aftermath of the Steve Sarkisian mess at USC, in-state five star Skyline (MI) OLB Daelin Hayes has decommitted from the Trojans. However, I don’t believe there’s much of a chance at all Michigan goes after him or he’s interested as it’s been reported many times before that he’s looking to get out of the state to play college ball. All signs point to Notre Dame at the moment.