Michigan Offers a Pair of Under-the-Radar Prospects
Earlier in the week the staff reached out to Louisiana safety Mattrell McGraw. His highlights:
I love what I see on tape from McGraw. He has solid explosiveness, elite instincts and above average ball skills. Instincts are so underrated by scouts these days; 247, Rivals and Scout all rate McGraw as a three-star safety, presumably because he isn't a physical freak. He holds offers from Alabama, Arkansas, California, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon and a host of other schools; I'm not about to throw him on the commitment watch list.
The offer that really excites me is the offer to Maurice Ways, which went out last night. He called Michigan his dream offer when I interviewed him. Al Borges went as saw Ways work out in person, later calling him and offering Ways a full scholarship over the phone. Michigan is by far and away his best offer to date, and I think he'll be committed to Michigan by the end of the month, with K.J. Williams and Artavis Scott adding pressure. I think Michigan looks to take two all-around receivers and one slot type, leaving one spot open for one of Ways/Williams and the other open for Scott, who can fill the slot vacancy. Drake Harris wants Ways in Ann Arbor:
We'll know who the receivers in this class will be soon enough, Drake.
Yet Another Solid Visit Weekend Upcoming
TE Ian Bunting - Bunting is a four-star tight end who holds offers from some solid schools, including Oklahoma and Florida State. Michigan could move up quickly this weekend.
TE/WR Mark Andrews - Andrews is a very versatile TE with the ability to play both receiver and tight end in college, although he'll likely end up at tight end full time once he thickens up. He's from Arizona, and the Wildcats probably lead for him.
LB Kyron Watson - Kyron was recently offered and should be on commitment watch this weekend. Michigan is his best offer to date.
CB Parrker Westphal - I can't count how many times Westphal has been in Ann Arbor. He's a solid four-star corner who could also pull the trigger this weekend.
Commitment Watch List
Michigan is extremely hot on the recruiting trail right now. The staff might be on the cusp of another ridiculous string of commitments. Names to keep an eye on in the coming weeks, in order from most likely to commit down:
WR Maurice Ways - Michigan is his dream offer. He grew up watching the Wolverines. He takes his academics seriously and wants to find an elite institution. His mother loves Michigan and wants to see him play for the Wolverines. What part of this doesn't scream future Michigan commitment? Add in the fact that Michigan is hot on the heels of Williams and you've got yourself a ticking commitment bomb.
WR K.J. Williams - Williams was blown away by his Michigan visit not too long ago, naming the Wolverines his leader right there and then. He then showed up to a passing camp donning a Michigan hat. I'm interested to see if he beats Ways to the punch or waits for more offers: his recent camp performances could lead to more high-level offers that would force him to rethink his leader board.
TE Daniel Helm - The four-star tight end visited Michigan last week, nearly pulling the trigger while he was at it. He has since changed his timeline and plans on making a decision sooner rather than later. I think the staff takes two tight ends in this class, but he might want to get in ahead of Ian Bunting just in case.
LB Kyron Watson - Watson was recently offered and tweeted about a phone conversation that he had with Greg Mattison, which obviously went splendidly. Michigan is definitely his best offer to date.
CB Parrker Westphal - Parrker will be on campus again this weekend, making it visit number one thousand to Ann Arbor. I don't know if the staff would slow play him for Peppers or take both of them -- Westphal could easily move back to safety -- but if the staff wants him they can probably get him. This one could get interesting.
DE Malik McDowell - McDowell would be higher on this list if it weren't for yesterday's offers from Alabama and LSU. Michigan still looks like the leader here, though, and I still think he could pull the trigger at any moment. He hinted at committing to Michigan a long, long time ago, and I think those feelings are starting to bubble up once again.
CB Jabrill Peppers - Peppers is a recruit who could commit tomorrow or wait until signing day. There have been reports of him wanting to see Stanford one more time, and if they don't do something spectacular to impress him he could end up committing to Michigan before the summer ends.
ESPN, 247 Sports Release New Rankings
The annual ESPN 150 has finally been released. All five Michigan commitments made the cut, making ESPN the first scouting service to give quarterback Wilton Speight a fourth star. Don't expect me to break down their rankings too much: I personally believe in the big three and that's about it.
247 Sports had their initial rankings out months ago, and they released yet another updated to their rankings. Their rankings are constantly being updated, which usually only results in players receiving small bumps up or down; this was the case for Michigan commitments Drake Harris, Mason Cole and Michael Ferns, but Bryan Mone saw his stock rise a decent amount. He's also firmly within ESPN's top 100, so I'll go ahead and tell you I told you so.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Potential five-star 2015 running back Damien Harris would like to join the other Harris kid in Ann Arbor:
It would be pretty tight if me and Drake Harris both committed to Michigan! #HailToTheVictors— Damien Harris (@Damien_D1Harris) April 16, 2013
Michigan is firmly in the lead here, and I wouldn't be surprised if Damien ended up being one of the first commitments in the class of 2015. The staff will make him a priority.
There are talks of five-star Da'Shawn Hand mentioning Michigan to fellow five-star defensive lineman Andrew Brown, and that Brown's interest in Michigan might be spiking as a result of it. We'll wait and see if there's actually anything to this.
Five-star California athlete John Smith has a top five of USC, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame and UCLA. I don't think the Wolverines will be in this one until the end, but you never know. Michigan also made the cut for New Jersey tight end Garrett Dickerson, who has Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State, Stanford and Northwestern at the top. Michigan will be in that one for a while if they don't fill up at tight end too quickly, although he could come in as a defensive end as well.
Steve Lorenz of 247 Sports has quite a few predictions made on Michigan recruits. He has Alex Bars, Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Da'Shawn Hand, Daniel Helm, Malik McDowell, Jabrill Peppers, Parrker Westphal and K.J. Williams all heading to Michigan, for what it's worth. He also put together a heat map of where Michigan's offers fall. Pretty cool to see all of the different areas that Michigan hit hard this year.