Paputa’s Recruiting Wrap: Follow the Local Visits & BBQ Visitors

The 2016 Michigan football season is just around the corner and that usually means that recruiting slows down. However, that is not the case for the Wolverines at this point. They host the annual BBQ at the Big House next Saturday before fall camp begins that Monday.

Michigan’s top three 2017 targets in the state of Michigan seem to be Cass Tech’s Donovan Peoples-Jones, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, and King’s Ambry Thomas. All have shown reason to believe they could end up at Michigan. Here are some facts:

  • According to The D Zone’s player profiles on each, Peoples-Jones has visited Michigan twelve times, Kelly-Powell seven times, and Thomas five times (there are some mini trips to Michigan and Michigan State both not included on their lists).
  • All three have visited Michigan more than Michigan State.
  • The reason these visits are a point of emphasis is because that there is usually a comfort ability factor developed on these unofficial visits that other less visited schools do not have with recruits. For example, Donnie Corley visited Michigan State over ten times (unofficially) and most importantly, visited East Lansing twice before ever making it to Ann Arbor.

Another example would be Rashan Gary. According to 247 Sports’ timeline, Gary visited Michigan four times overall as well as four visits to Gary by Michigan coaches. Gary never visited any other top target more than two times; Alabama, Ole Miss, Clemson, and USC.

Back to the Peoples-Jones, Kelly-Powell, and Thomas. All three have visited Michigan more than Michigan State and more than any other school.

Both Thomas and Kelly-Powell spoke to MGoFish today about their recruiting processes and both reported “nothing new” and Kelly-Powell said he’s “taking it day by day.” That means that they are still taking their time and checking all schools out equally, but until they visit other schools multiple times, I believe they both will end up at Michigan. As for Peoples-Jones, he has visited Michigan State and Ohio State six times each, Notre Dame four times, and Florida twice. Like Thomas and Kelly-Powell, until Peoples-Jones visits other schools multiple times and stops visiting Michigan, I believe he too will end up at Michigan.

As for the BBQ, the visitor list is as loaded as ever. Florence (Ala) safety commit J’Marick Woods told MGoFish that he will be in attendance and recruiting his fellow Yellowhammer staters as well as Kelly-Powell and Thomas. The guys from Alabama Woods mentioned were Nico Collins, Toryque Bateman, and Will Ignont. Woods said “Michigan has a shot will all three of them.”

Photo Credit: Maize and Blue News/

Evan Paputa