A similar note as the recent basketball crootin post: I'm taking these posts over for the time being and am still in the process of catching up on target boards and needs and the like. Also, my tabs app crashed the first time I tried to put this together, so I'm missing some stuff from before the last few days. Not making this easier: much of the recent action is with the 2021 class, and it's gonna take me a little longer to get up to speed with that group. I appreciate your bearing with me.
Commit Updates: RJ Moten is an Athlete
While RJ Moten is probably going to wind up at safety or VIPER, one can learn a few things by watching him on the other side of the ball:
— Josh Newkirk (@JoshNewkirk7) September 13, 2019
Invisible jetpack: check.
The Wolverine's new hire, EJ Holland, has hit the ground running. He provided updated scouting reports on each of Michigan's linebacker commits; he's highest on Kalel Mullings, but the Cornell Wheeler writeup caught my eye:
If you are looking for an old school thumper, look no further than West Bloomfield’s (Mich.) Cornell Wheeler. At 6-foot, 230 pounds, Wheeler is built like a true inside linebacker. While he’s a bit undersized, he fills gaps quickly and is a violent hitter.
If he's got some mobility in coverage, that profile sounds familiar.
High school stats are often hard to contextualize, but it's easier when you play against the best program in the country. Blake Corum rushed for 252 yards and a score in St. Frances's 34-18 loss to national #1 Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei; he's now inside the Top247 and may continue to move up.
MGoFish's Harry Hillman posted lengthy scouting reports on two of Michigan's more under-the-radar commits, OT Jeffrey Persi and DL Aaron Lewis. He's quite high on both, comparing Persi to Taylor Lewan and Lewis to Chris Wormley.
One bit of recruiting news among the 2020 commits: Jordan Morant took an official visit to Texas A&M, but heading into the trip there wasn't much concern on Michigan's end. Sam Webb posted a previously unpublished quote from Morant's coach—Anthony Campanile's brother, Vito—in which he said Morant would take a visit to A&M because of a long-standing relationship with DC Mike Elko. There's been nothing from the A&M end since the trip; it doesn't seem like Morant had his recruitment change dramatically.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
2020 Updates: I'll Take One Guess Regarding His Visit Host
#Michigan extends a new 2020 offer out - mammoth 6-7, 306-pounds Tobias Braun. He's originally from Germany but moved to the states and now plays in Connecticut at Salisbury School https://t.co/J1oUXJrSGi
— Brice Marich (@BriceMarich) August 26, 2019
Braun is currently the #735 overall player on the composite and, rather remarkably, the #8 prospect from Germany. He's got some solid offers, including Florida State, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, and Oregon; with a player of his profile, that list could expand rapidly.
Three-star AZ WR Brendan Rice has set a commitment date, though he told 247 he still has to figure out a critical bit of that:
"I'm going to be dropping my commitment video on October 6," Rice told 247Sports. "That will be right after the visit to Oregon. I have already started recording that video a bit, just kind of the intro stuff, but right now I have no idea where I'll be going. It's wide open. My head has been bouncing back and forth everywhere."
After an unbroken string of Michigan predictions, four of the last five crystal ball picks for Rice have been Colorado (the other was "foggy"). While momentum could swing with Rice's recruitment, it seems more likely that'd favor Oregon than Michigan since he's already been to Ann Arbor.
In "maybe good news, maybe bad news," four-star Canadian TE Theo Johnson canceled a visit to Miami (YTM) and has two trips set up to Michigan. Where's the bad news? Per Rivals's Josh Helmholdt:
“I decided I’m not going to be going to Miami anymore,” Johnson reported. “I’ve been talking to Alabama a little bit now, talking about possibly taking a visit for their LSU game Nov. 9th. Nothing is for sure, but I’ve been talking to them a little bit more now.”
Here's hoping Bama prioritizes other tight ends.
I'm not going to go over the many bye-week visits because it's tedious and doesn't necessarily mean that much (and much of them were to 2021 kids), but this is an interesting exception: Shaun Nua dropped in on four-star Florida State RB commit Lawrance Toafili, per TMI's Brice Marich. Michigan has continued their pursuit despite Toafili's pledge and are pushing for an official visit. The staff appears intent on adding another back to the class if they can get one of a certain caliber.
Four-star FL DE Jaylen Harrell will take an official visit for the Notre Dame game, per 247's Steve Wiltfong. He also set up a trip to Miami (YTM).
Happy trails to four-star FL CB Henry Gray, who committed to Nebraska yesterday.
2021 Updates: Rocco's Recruiting Life
Michigan had Clarkston (MI) top-100 2021 OL Rocco Spindler on campus for the Army game, and despite (makes sweeping hand gesture), he enjoyed the experience enough to want more, he told The Wolverine's EJ Holland:
Spindler is set to return to campus soon, and it’s clear Michigan is in a strong position to keep the Rivals100 prospect at home.
“I’m seeing Michigan a bunch this season,” Spindler said. “They are at the top of my list. I really love them. I have a great relationship with Jim Harbaugh. Michigan is a great program.”
He'll be at each of the major rivalry games. Holland put in the Rivals equivalent of a crystal ball prediction for Spindler to Michigan and said he could see Spindler dropping "earlier than expected"; he also put in a Michigan prediction for 2021 West Bloomfield four-star RB Donovan Edwards.
In other predictions, TMI's Brice Marich put in Michigan crystal ball picks for 2021 four-star IN DE Rodney McGraw and top-100 2022 CO QB Nicco Marichol. McGraw picked up an offer while visiting for MTSU while Marichol, who got his offer after camping at Michigan over the summer, was on campus for Army.
2021's top-ranked inside linebacker, Florida prospect Branden Jennings, paid his way up to Michigan for the MTSU game, and he told Marich that he plans to be back:
“Everything was great,” Jennings said. “I’m very interested now.”
When asked if he plans on returning to Michigan in the future, Jennings simply replied, “Yes, I will.”
Jennings has offers from a number of top schools, including local favorite Florida State. He'd be quite a pull.
Top-30 Olney (MD) Good Counsel OT Landon Tengwall has already chopped his list down to three finalists, he announced Tuesday night: Michigan, Notre Dame, and Penn State. He'll visit Ann Arbor for the Notre Dame game and told Wiltfong some encouraging things about his preferred climate:
“Coach (Ed) Warinner,” Tengwall started in. “I still always tell everybody whenever I went up there, what I loved the most I went up there for a practice and he’d pull me aside after every play and explain to me why they did this.
“Location. I like the North. I’m not a very Southern guy. I like the cold. Ann Arbor is a great fit. It’s not too far from home. It’s a great school. Has a great business school. One of the best in the nation. That also makes it a great fit.
That's definitely an offensive lineman.
Michigan looks to be off to a strong start with offensive linemen in the 2021 class; they hosted four-star Tristan Leigh at the MTSU game, and he told Holland he "liked the visit and the staff a lot." He holds an impressive early offer sheet. The Wolverines are thought to be out in front for three-star Detroit Country Day OT Caleb Tiernan, who just added Ohio State to a rapidly expanding offer sheet; he told Marich he "love[s] it all" about Michigan after visiting for the Army game.
Finally, 247/TMI has reported several top 2021 targets will visit for the Ohio State game, including:
- Top-100 AZ DE Quintin Somerville, per Marich. He previously visited for the spring game.
- Four-star CA DT Victory Vaka(!), who got a call from Jim Harbaugh at midnight when the most recent contact period opened—and appreciated that gesture, to be clear—according to Marich.
- Three-star VA S Bryce Steele, whose interest from the likes of Notre Dame and Ohio State indicates he'll likely move up the rankings, per Wiltfong.
- Rhode Island DE Jason Onye, who fits the Don Brown sleeper recruit mold, per Marich.
May victory beget Victory.
It sure is nice to see this staff focusing on stocking up on good offensive linemen the last several years. Sounds as if we may be getting back on track with having a top notch RB in every class too. Now, let’s get a couple DTs like Smith and Hinton in every class.
Wow, that is some impressive acceleration from Moten. It looked like someone had hit the FF button. Looking forward to seeing him deploy that on the basepaths and the diamond, too.
Also impressed with Corum’s performance against Mater Dei. 252 yards with one TD means that he didn’t just have a bunch of 70-yard untouched TD runs.
"Cornell Wheeler: undersized ILB at 6' 230#".
I looked up Andy Cannavino (1980 Michigan all-Big Ten ILB) one of the first UM players that I remember because of his stint of the USFL Panthers... he played at 6'1'' 220#.
High school kids are big these days.