Today kicked off to a busy start as Michigan extended offers to four prospects that have been on their radar for quite some time. In the 2015 class, wide receiver Devante Peete (St. Aquinas/FL) and tight end Hale Hentges (Helias/MO) have earned offered after staying in touch with the staff for quite some time. In early January, Peete said that the Michigan coaches were "on the verge of offering" him.
This proved to be true as the Wolverines came through with an offer after visiting St. Aquinas earlier today. Hentges, on the other hand, is a name that has hung around the conversation at tight end for quite some time, although it was unclear if he would receive an offer down the road. At 6'4" and 230 lbs., Hentges is another big body at a position where Michigan prefers big bodies. His versatility in the passing game has drawn attention from across the country, garnering a scholarship offer from 16 different division one programs, most notably Florida State, Michigan and Ohio State.
Joining Hentges as a junior tight end drawing interest from Michigan, Chris Clark (Avon/CT) was offered during a visit from the staff today. Michigan tight end and special teams coach Dan Ferrigno dropped by to inform the 6'6", 247 lb. prospect of the news.
Avoiding the brutally cold weather that Ann Arbor is experiencing, Wolverines defensive coordinator Greg Mattison traveled to Gulliver Prep in Miami, Florida to personally extend an offer to sophomore defensive end Joseph Jackson. Anchoring the strong-side of the Raiders defensive front, Jackson is an imposing force at 6'6" and 240 lbs. who doubles as an equally-competent pass catcher at tight end. This versatility and potential has made Jackson a name to watch in the Miami area, as the sophomore sensation already has offers from Appalachian State, Cincinnati, Illinois, Pittsburgh and UCF in addition to his newly-acquired Michigan offer as well.
One particularly interesting note was learning that Kareem Walker may receive some company as an offered running back in the 2016 class. That distinction belongs to Miles Sanders of Woodland Hills, Pennsylvania. Sanders is a rising name in the state of Pennsylvania after a 1,000 yard, 14 touchdown season cemented his place as one of the state's top running backs. It was before the 2013 began, however, that Sanders learned that he may receive a Michigan offer.
"I found out last summer before my sophomore season," said Sanders. "It's very exciting and I'm blessed that I'm getting recruited as only a sophomore."
With Sanders, Michigan is hoping to rekindle the success it had with other recruits from Woodland Hills- most notably Steve Breaston and Ryan Mundy. After moving on from the Raiders program, both Breaston and Mundy assumed meaningful roles with the Michigan Wolverines. Breaston left Michigan as the school's all-time leader in punt return yards (1,599) and kickoff return yards 1,993). His work as a punt returner also set the standard in the Big Ten Conference.
With these ties to the Michigan program, Sanders looks at the Wolverines program in a very fond light. Sanders, much like every competitive athlete, strives to be the best at his craft. Michigan has a track record of producing NFL talent, including players from Woodland Hills, PA, and this fact does not fall on deaf ears.
"I like Michigan because two Woody High alumni have played there and are now in the [National Football] League- Steve Breaston and Ryan Mundy- I always wanted to play in the Big Ten," said Sanders. "They visited during the season at our practice too."
This communication has helped to keep Michigan at the forefront of Sanders' mind and has established the Wolverines as one of the top programs in pursuit of his talents. In addition, the Michigan staff has remained in close contact with Miles after extending an offer over six months ago. Sanders was the recipient of a visit from Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, and the two finally had the chance to meet in person.
"They basically told me when I turn a junior they're going to offer me," said Sanders. "That is what coach Funk said."
If Sanders can be as successful as those who have come before him- maybe at Michigan- then he will have accomplished a great deal in his college career. For now, he has his sights set on what his junior season may hold.
"Hopefully I will get 2,000 yards," said Sanders. "I really want to just ball out and work hard with my teammates and hopefully make it back to the championship."
With Sanders at the head of a Woodloand Hills running attack, this goal is very possible. Look for Miles to draw even more interest from schools across the country, although he has an eye for Big Ten schools, of which Michigan fits the bill. Sanders speaks positively regarding all aspects of the Michigan program and he is looking to visit during the summer.