Ohio State Visitors List Impressive
Michigan's on-field struggles haven't kept it from putting together a long and very impressive list of visiting recruits for The Game. Steve Lorenz of 247 put together a list($) of players who will be in attendance. Headliners:
2014 RB Vic Enwere - The Texas native is a powerful back who is currently committed to the Cal Golden Bears, which hasn't defeated an FBS team this year. I don't think he flips this weekend, but I wouldn't be surprised if he comes away impressed and reconsidering his college decision.
2014 DE Malik McDowell - Michigan, MSU and OSU are all in it for McDowell, but it looks like the two in-state powers are the real contenders. Malik has kept things very close to the vest; we do know that his parents like Michigan.
2015 DE Jashon Cornell - The five-star defender likes Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan. He won't decide any time soon, so this visit will be a stepping stone in a long process.
2015 OT Sterling Jenkins - Jenkins just visited Ohio State, which happens to be Michigan's main competition in his recruitment. In my opinion, the Wolverines are the favorites to land Jenkins.
2015 OLB Tanner Muse - I really, really like Muse as a SAM prospect, and the staff liked him enough to offer a few weeks back. He likes the east coast schools.
2015 QB Alex Malzone - Malzone has had an awesome year and has seen his stock rise as a result of it. He's one of the many 2015 QBs looking for that ever-elusive QB offer.
2016 OL Erik Swenson - Swenson was offered by Michigan quite some time ago. He's a lock to be a four-star player, already standing above 6'6" and weighing 290 pounds, and he's also the heavy favorite to be Michigan's first commitment in the class of 2016.
This is only a fraction of the players who will be in Ann Arbor this Saturday. Many of the 2014 and 2015 commitments will be on hand, including WR George Campbell, LB Michael Ferns, CB Jabrill Peppers and QB Wilton Speight; all four have been critical in the recruitment of other prospects and commitments, so it's vital that they're there during a rough stretch for the Wolverines.
Williams Eliminates Michigan
Defensive end Jhonathon Williams was seen as the replacement for Da'Shawn Hand, being offered hours after Hand dumped Michigan on national television. Ten days later, Michigan is again searching for a defensive end who can get to the passer:
2014 DE Jhonny Williams (Berrien Springs, Mich.) tells me he is down to Missouri and Notre Dame. Michigan is out.— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) November 24, 2013
Options are thin for Michigan in the 2014 class. With Lawrence Marshall, Taco Charlton, Mario Ojemudia, Frank Clark and Brennen Beyer all on the roster next year, the staff might be able to afford to put the press on two elite ends like Jashon Cornell and Keisean Lucier-South. It's doubtful that the staff doesn't evaluate more prospects in the class of 2014, but they wouldn't totally reach for a prospect if they're confident in their chances with multiple 2015 prospects.
General Notes and Multimedia Items
Receiver commitment Maurice Ways had a great senior year:
Ways saw his production step up in a big way this year, due in part to his hard work on the field and in the weight room.
Michael Ferns' little brother Brendan Ferns, who will most likely be recruited by Michigan down the line, took his first visit to Penn State this weekend:
Remember the name of the future SAM linebacker.