Michigan’s 2017 Recruiting Battles: Sparring with Sparty

In-state recruiting is the most important thing for college football programs. It’s vital to protect your backyard, build a fence around the state and to win the recruiting battles between yourself and the other in-state programs. That’s especially true in the Great Lakes State where there are two Big Ten programs that are fighting tooth and nail for the top talent in the state and region.

Both programs have won a couple head-to-head battles, including Matt Dotson to MSU and Joel Honigford to UM. But now the fun starts. Check out which 2017 recruits the Wolverines and Spartans are battling for with less than 7 months to go until NSD:

CB Ambry Thomas

The Detroit King standout put on a show at The Opening at both the cornerback and wide receiver position. He did that on the team HyperCool which was full of top Michigan targets and commitments, including QB Dylan McCaffery. Thanks to that experience, Michigan continues to look like the favorite in this race but MSU is still very much alive. Their ties to King HS and the staff’s long relationship with Thomas cannot be overlooked. However, UM may end up with the trump card when Thomas’ cousin Cass Tech (MI) DB Jaylen Kelly-Powell announces his commitment, which every believes will be to the Wolverines.

  • Crystal Ball: Michigan

WR Oliver Martin

Another player that put the world on notice with his receiving skills for Team HyperCool at The Opening. His performance was so good that not only did he catch every analyst and teammate’s eye but he also caught the Michigan staff’s eye which resulted in an offer. Michigan State was* the Crystal Ball favorite but the UM offer looks to have put them in a good position moving forward. MSU and Iowa are said to still be the favorites but I fully believe a visit to Ann Arbor could change everything.

  • Crystal BallMichigan

DL Deron Irving-Bey

The big man out of Flint has faded a bit off of the Michigan recruiting radar as the staff looks to have shrunk their board after adding four defensive lineman to the class already. But even if UM was still heavily targeting, MSU could still have the upper hand thanks to their early offer. At this point, all signs point to the Spartans.

  • Crystal Ball: Michigan State 

WR Donovan Peoples-Jones

The top recruit in the state is a priority recruit for both Jim Harbaugh and Mark Dantonio. While Michigan State looked to be a real threat early on, and still technically are, Michigan has grabbed the reins as of late thanks to his father’s ties to the University, the staff’s willingness to air the ball out and him wanting to go into medical school.

  • Crystal Ball: Michigan 

DB Jaylen Kelly-Powell

There isn’t a recruit in the class that I feel more confident about committing to Michigan than JKP. And though MSU has done their best to stay in the game and will continue to do so until his recruitments over, it looks like just a matter of time before the Cass Tech standout chooses the Wolverines.

  • Crystal Ball: Michigan

Michigan and Michigan State will be in on several of the same recruits up until National Signing Day. Which players will sign with the Wolverines and which players will sign with the Spartans? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

Garrett Fishaw