Connecting with Connecticut: Michigan Targets Three More from CT

One of the biggest stops on the 2016 Michigan satellite camp tour flew a little under the radar. That was the stop in Cheshire, Connecticut where the staff was able to get a firsthand look at four of the state’s top players including one of their 2017 commitments.

Cheshire (CT) WR Tarik Black, Cheshire (CT) ATH CJ Holmes and Newtown (CT) LB/FB, Darian (CT) OT Andrew Stueber and UM commit Ben Mason all attended

The Michigan Insider’s Eugene Hankerson was at the camp and put together a nice video highlight of their performances:

If it looks like Black is rocking all Maize and Blue gear, you’re eyes are correct. According to Hankerson, Black and his family were all decked out in Michigan apparel ($).

While clothing doesn’t always tell the whole story, I think it may tell quite a bit. Black has been a name that has been on and off of my Best Guess Recruiting Class since May of 2015 thanks to his fit in the offense and his longtime love for the Wolverines. However, the unknown amount of spots available to receivers and the improving outlook on both Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins, on top of him also being very high on Alabama and Stanford, has kept me from solidifying his spot on the list. But that could change this summer.

Black mentioned to Hankerson that he wants to visit Michigan this summer before making a silent commitment before his senior season kicks off (and yes, I know how ridiculous silent commits can be). But if he does indeed make his way to Ann Arbor this summer (possibly for the BBQ?) and loves what he sees, I can’t imagine the staff turning down a player of his caliber.

So, could the staff really bring in three big, elite receivers in 2017? If room is available, they’re in good position to do so with Black, Peoples-Jones and Collins.

While Black was the top ranked player in attendance and Mason was the only commitment in attendance, Holmes was a guy who caught a lot of attention from both the UM coaches and fans.

Michigan offered CJ at the beginning of May and, while it flew a little under the radar, he’s a guy who I believe could rocket up the staff’s board this summer, if he’s not already getting near the top of the pure athlete list.

Holmes showed his physical talents at the satellite camp on both sides of the ball which was expected after watching his highlight tape. He flashes the ability to play several positions at the collegiate level, including safety, tailback or wide receiver.

The versatile two-way star also spoke with Hankerson after his performance at the Michigan satellite camp and Holmes talked about his chance to prove himself to and build his relationship with Don Brown, who offered him as a safety:

It’s something that I feel I can do,” said Holmes of his defensive abilities. “It’s funny because I actually play running back for my high school team. I took the defensive reps just to show coach Don Brown that I appreciate him recruiting me on defense and that I can be dominant.”

Holmes also mentioned his plans to visit Ann Arbor this summer. At this point, I see Michigan sitting in the top 3 for Black (possibly 2nd behind Stanford) while it’s more of a wait and see with Holmes because of the more recent offer and newer relationship. However, if that visit goes down before his late summer decision, Michigan could become more than just contenders for the teammates services.

As for Stueber, he was a name that has flown under the radar for quite some time. However, at a legit 6’6”, he is a player that passes the eye ball test with flying colors. Add in what he can do on the field and what he showed to the Michigan coaches at both the satellite camp at Cheshire Academy and Big Man camp in Ann Arbor, and you can see why the staff quickly offered him.

He spoke with our own Evan Paputa soon after his Big Man camp performance which was more than enough info for me to put in my Crystal Ball prediction for Stueber to Michigan. A decision is not expected until later this summer and could come at the BBQ at the Big House in August.

Connecticut hasn’t been a main pipeline state for Michigan in the past but the 2017 class could end up featuring 2-4 commitments depending on how the staff pushes and sways the top talents in the state.

Photo Credit: Irish Sports Daily/Twitter