Inside the Fish Bowl has an Opening

With Independence Day and The Opening in the rear view mirror, things should really start to heat up on the Michigan recruiting trail. Multiple top targets are expected to announce their decisions this summer while the BBQ at the Big House is scheduled and starting to fill up with big name recruits from around the country. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows around the program as the leader of Michigan’s 2017 recruiting class will see his playing career come to a close before it even started.

Malone-Hatcher was a longtime four star prospect that committed to Michigan back in June of 2016 and quickly became the voice of the class. He worked closely with our video specialist, Stephen Osentoski, to put together both hype and commitment videos for the staff’s top targets. That recruiting effort from CMH was a big reason why Michigan put together one of its best classes in program history. It’s too bad things went down the way they did with the medical retirement but, like TMI’s Josh Henscke and Corey, himself, mentioned, he could be a prime candidate for a recruiting assistant down the road.

Showing Out in Oregon

The Michigan coaching staff saw four of its ten verbal commitments make their way to the Nike Headquarters in Beaverton to compete against the top players in the country at The Opening. And they didn’t disappoint.

OG Emil Ekiyor
CB Myles Sims
RB Christian Turner
CB Gemon Green

Summer Decisions

As for potential names that could join Michigan’s 2018 class, there are some heavy hitters on the staff’s board that are expected to make their decisions this summer. That includes at least one recruit that I expect to choose the Wolverines and a couple who have UM as a finalist.

2018 LB Cam McGrone

McGrone has quickly jumped to the front of the line as the next possible commitment. Since receiving his offer from the staff on his birthday visit to Ann Arbor, all signs have been pointing towards the Wolverines. I quickly put in my Crystal Ball for McGrone to Michigan after the day after he received his offer after showing love to UM prior to even being on the Michigan recruiting radar. And now, it looks like things could come to fruition in the not-so-distant future.

According to 247Sports Steve Wiltfong (who recently put in his CB to Michigan as well), is thinking like most as he mentioned the BBQ at the Big House as a time to keep an eye on McGrone ($).

On top of all that, McGrone put on a show at The Opening. According to both 247Sports Kipp Adams and Barton Simmons, the top player in Indiana showed he was one of the best linebackers in the class while in Oregon ($).

2018 SS Shayne Simon

While Michigan flipped momentum on McGrone, it was vice versa for Simon. He had been apart of my BGRC for months prior to Notre Dame making a strong push. And it clearly looks to be paying off for Brian Kelly as all of the noise has been in favor of the Fighting Irish. But Michigan isn’t out of it yet.

Wiltfong was back again to mention a decision could come sooner, rather than later, for Simon and Michigan’s isn’t out of it ($). His last unofficial visit was to Ann Arbor and it looks to have stalled momentum a bit for the Irish. but was it enough? That should be answered soon enough. Though this one looks to be too close to call, at this point.

2018 TE Jeremy Ruckert

Ruckert recently announced his final four on Twitter, as well as his plans to announce his commitment soon:

Like Simon, one team looks to have most, if not all, of the momentum here. And it’s not Michigan. Ruckert has long been a lean to the Buckeyes but there’s been one team keeping things interesting, and it’s been UM. The potential early playing time in a tight end heavy offense has the attention of the nation’s #1 tight end recruit. But, like Simon, is it enough to steal a top target away from a bitter rival?

According to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, it’s not out of the realm ($).

I’d be pretty shocked to see Ruckert choose Michigan with the long history of OSU leading here. But crazier things have happened.

2018 DT Michael Thompson

As for a player that looks to be the biggest toss up of the group, Thompson is a top target for several staffs. But, more than anyone, Missouri, his in-state school, is throwing the kitchen sink at the #2 defensive tackle in the class.

He spoke to Scout’s Josh Newkirk about his recruitment, as well as his interest in Michigan and potential plans to visit ($):

Thompson is clearly interested in Michigan but, with a decision possibly coming soon, it’s hard to see UM receive a good word then. But, an official visit, good season for UM and tough season for Mizzu could get him thinking prior to NSD.

2018 WR Kamryn Babb

Babb was once a normal member of my BGRC but things have faded off hard for Michigan. While the Wolverines are still getting a look and some love from the talented wideout, Ohio State has long been the favorite here and could land him before his senior season kicks off.

According to his interview with Scout’s Josh Newkirk, Babb could make a decision this summer ($). Will Michigan be able to at least get him on campus prior to that decision? That’ll likely be the staff’s only chance to pull of the upset. Though, i’m not holding my breath for that to happen.

Starting to Receive the RSVPs 

Speaking of summer visits, Michigan’s biggest summer recruiting event every year is the BBQ at the Big House. And, like every year, the early expected guest list is full of names to know and remember.

Here’s just some of the top 2018 and 2019 recruits expected to be in town, along with most of the current commitments (besides QB Joe Milton):

2018 LB Cam McGrone 

2018 TE Luke Ford (per TMI’s Brice Marich)

2018 OL Jerome Carvin (per Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz)

2018 CB D’Shawn Jamison (per TMI’s Brice Marich)

2019 QB JT Daniels (per TMI’s Brice Marich)

2019 WR Isaiah Williams (per Scout’s Allen Trieu)

2019 DE Stephen Herron (per TMI’s Brice Marich)

2019 DT Jacob Lacey (per TMI’s Brice Marich)

There will be plenty of other top recruits visiting for the BBQ as well. As for who to watch, McGrone (like previously mentioned) is the obvious one while Carvin and Ford are two guys who haven’t been covered a ton but could be names to keep an eye on during the trip. As for the junior class, all four guys above were a part of my first 2019 BGRC. This visit could be huge for all four of them.

Quick Hitters

Photo Credit: The Opening