In the aftermath of 2017 QB Dylan McCaffrey‘s commitment to Michigan on President’s Day, there has been a lot of salivating over the Wolverines future quarterback rotation.
— Dylan McCaffrey (@dcaf20) February 16, 2016
I’m certainly no exception; once I heard the news I jumped up to high five my girlfriend and after she realized I had started to talk about recruiting yet again, she shooed me away so she could carry on with The Bachelor.
So here I am, spilling it out onto you lucky readers. McCaffrey’s commitment is thrilling to say the least; he is the 2nd-ranked pro-style quarterback and 44th-ranked player overall in the 2017 cycle. He is likely the only quarterback that Michigan will need in the 2017 class given the logjam at the position currently; even when he enrolls in the fall of 2017, there will still be some combination of John O’Korn, Alex Malzone, Wilton Speight, Zach Gentry, and Brandon Peters, who is the heavy favorite to take over after O’Korn graduates. But the quarterback depth chart is not the matter at hand here – it’s Harbaugh’s recruiting in the west.
In addition to McCaffrey’s prestigious national and position ranks, he is also the top rated recruit in the state of Colorado. Although Colorado is not famous for churning out Division I talent at the rate of Florida or Texas, for example, the top talent coming from Colorado is still no joke The top Colorado prospect in the 2016 class was a name Michigan fans know well: future fan favorite and early enrollee LB Carlo Kemp. Michigan also landed Colorado’s top recruit from 2013 as well, OT Chris Fox, who retired from football and is now a student-coach on medical scholarship with the team.
3 of the last 5 #1 Colorado recruits have enrolled at Michigan. We’ll have to wait and see on how the more recent duo fare in the maize and blue, but there does seem to be a pattern developing. Harbaugh recruited nationally more than what Michigan fans were used to in the last decade, targeting Florida, New Jersey, and California (with massive success) more than the Midwest like past coaches have. He developed and cultivated the New Jersey pipeline that started with Peppers and Partridge into signing Kareem Walker, Ahmir Mitchell, and Rashan Gary (and many more), and is targeting 2017 LB Drew Singleton and ATH Bo Melton, and 2018 QB Allan Walters. Harbaugh went way down south and signed three players from Florida state champs Charles W. Flanagan (Devin Gil, Devin Bush, Jr., and Josh Metellus) and quite possibly their head coach to boot (Devin Bush, Sr.). He’s got east and south, now it’s time to go west.
Could Colorado be next? Two players in two years is hardly a pipeline, but when you put it in terms of what Colorado has to offer, it is a big haul. It starts with Kemp and McCaffrey and trickles into the coming classes, the future state champions that were freshmen when the current Wolverines were senior leaders. It soon becomes public knowledge that any top recruit from Colorado goes to Michigan, and soon after that it becomes an expectation that they go to Michigan. Who knows?
If the staff is looking to go 3 for 3, then their next target will be 2018 4-star OLB Adrian Jackson from Mullen High School in Denver. He is currently the top recruit in Colorado, the 4th-ranked outside linebacker in the country, and the 87th overall recruit in the 2018 cycle, according to 247. He already holds offers from Nebraska and Colorado State.
Geographically speaking, Harbaugh’s final frontier would be Canada…from which he already has a recruit: 2017 CB Benjamin St-Juste. What’s next, the moon?
Photo Credit: John O’Korn (@johnokorn5) on Instagram