Last night at the Crisler Center No. 10 Michigan (17-4, 8-0) hosted the Purdue Boilermakers (13-8, 3-5) in hopes of remaining atop the Big Ten Conference with an unblemished record. For this Thursday night match-up, Michigan hosted a handful of local football recruits that all seemed to enjoy themselves during the game. Sophomore wide receiver Dwight Blakely (Cass Tech/MI) was the lone representative from his school, but was joined by an assortment of other prospects as well. Junior wide receivers Marvin White and Juan Hernandez accompanied fellow Oak Park junior all purpose back Ricardo Brown on the visit. This group of recruits took in a 75-66 victory that began at nine o'clock, making a late night for this group of recruits.
In addition to this collection of local talent, junior Pontiac athlete Ja'Mar Antwine took in Michigan's all-but-inevitable victory last night. On a team that needed a leader to emerge, Antwine helped out at multiple positions on both sides of the ball, registering time at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, linebacker and in the defensive backfield as well. This has earned him attention from a handful of regional schools, most notably Michigan State and Toledo, who is close to offering.
The Crisler Center was lively as usual and contributed to an enjoyable atmosphere for everyone at the game. Antwine particularly enjoyed himself and came away with only positive comments of his visit.
"It was another great experience for me in the recruiting process," said Antwine. "We went straight to the stadium and met one of the recruiting coordinators there. I forgot his name though, but he was cool. He asked me who I wanted to win the Superbowl and interacted with pretty much everybody."
The Michigan basketball team that was the main attraction for the night will have a busy Superbowl Sunday, as the Wolverines take the road to face Indiana at 1:00. Against Purdue, Michigan created an energetic environment in the Crisler Center and captivated Antwine at every turn.
"[Michigan] won and it was a good game," said Antwine. "All of the fans were in the game the whole time. They were also pretty loud at pivotal moments in the game. They made it so the fans may never want to leave."
This game was perhaps closer than Michigan would have liked, but it sealed another Big Ten victory and put the Wolverines one step closer to their crucial game against Michigan State at home on January 25. This game will feature a large number of recruits and it is already being dubbed as a Junior Day by the coaching staff. Expect the targets that attend this game to get the full treatment from the Michigan staff and receive an impressive presentation. Michigan has made a habit of delivering during offseason recruiting and this will present another opportunity to wow the prospects who make the trip.
A couple names to look for are first and foremost in-state targets. The first priority for the staff should be to secure a visit from Mike Weber, athlete Brian Cole (Heritage/MI) and linebacker Tyriq Thompson (King/MI). All three players hold an offer from the Wolverines and would be important potential additions to Michigan's 2015 class. It is very likely that Michigan hosts most, if not all of those three and a collection of other prospects as well.