Michigan Knocks One Out of the Park
Michigan had a pretty important visitor come to campus over the weekend. 2015 four-star defensive back Garrett Taylor, who is quickly becoming a priority for the coaching staff. It appears that Michigan really knocked their visit with Taylor out of park calling it his best visit yet in a recent interview ($) with Steve Lorenz from 247Sports.
"Michigan was my best visit," he said. "They really have and showed me the total package as far as academics and athletics are concerned. I don't have any top schools specifically, but Michigan is definitely up there. I am going to be talking with my coach tomorrow and with my family about narrowing things down. I may be making my decision within the next month or so, but it's not for certain yet."
The main thing Michigan had to offer and really prepared well for is the academic side of things that really stood out for Taylor. He discusses the highlights of the academic portion of the tour:
"I got to meet with (Michigan Academic Success co-director) Shari (Acho) and that whole part of the visit may have been my favorite," he said. "I'm seriously considering pre-law and/or business, and she was already prepared in giving me different routes I could take towards potentially putting myself in position for law school. Other schools weren't necessarily as prepared as Michigan was, and they also didn't try steering me towards something else. It's not an easy school either, and knowing they have a lot of networking, a huge alumni base, and tons of support for their students is a huge plus for both my parents and I."
Taylor also mentioned that he received a tour of the Ross Business School from Professor Brian Wooten. Taylor said it was really nice to see someone take time out of a busy semester to show Taylor and his family around campus. If Michigan ends up landing Taylor, fans know who to thank.
Taylor also mentioned spending time with freshman quarterback Wilton Speight and others during the visit to get the full college experience:
"I stayed with Wilton for the night and got to experience some of the campus life on Friday night," he said. "Another big thing that stood out for the visit was the fact that every Michigan player I talked to was incredibly friendly. Some sort of look at recruits like they're competition or that they don't really want to hang out with you, but I didn't get that here at all. The hospitality was great. I hung out a lot with Mason Cole, Channing Stribling, Derrick Green, Shane Morris and a lot of other guys as well."
Michigan Makes the Cut
Late Monday night, Taylor also released his list of top schools on his Twitter account:
Top 5 Michigan Stanford Tennessee Michigan State South Carolina— Garrett Taylor (@gtaychillin) March 18, 2014
That list may not be in order, but 247Sports' Crystal Ball feature has seen an increase (FREE) of Michigan selections since Taylor's visit to Ann Arbor.
Adam Friedman from Rivals spoke with Taylor ($) on his list of top schools and this to say about Michigan:
"We went to see the stadium and met with some coaches," said Taylor. "I sat down with coach Manning who is my favorite recruiter. He is also my recruiting coach and position coach. We talked about Michigan and how they are changing their defense to play more cover 3 and man so they can be more aggressive. He said they are looking for long, very physical corners, which is good to hear. We also met with coach Mattison and had the same sort of conversation. He definitely impressed my parents with the way he answered my mom's questions. We talked with coach Nussmeier and some of the other coaches. That was probably the best visit we've gone on so far in terms of academics and football. They really put their best foot forward and my parents came away really impressed."
Always good when you can impress the parents.
I feel like Michigan did enough to secure a commitment from Taylor in the future. Originally, Stanford was the team to beat but with what Michigan showed him and his family and with Virginia being relatively closer to home compared to Stanford, Michigan has a great shot.
Hilliard Reacts on Visit.. Brings Much Want to Campus
2015 linebacker Justin Hilliard is a recruit I have wanted to be a Wolverine for quite some time now. I am quite enamored with the skill of this linebacker from Ohio and I feel like he is the perfect fit for what Greg Mattison wants in this defensive scheme.
Hilliard visited Ann Arbor over the weekend and Lorenz caught up with him to discuss his visit.
On his first overnight trip, Hilliard reflects on the visit as a whole:
"I got to spend some time with the players and experience the campus life more than I had before," he said. "Blake Countess was the player who hosted me for most of the weekend and we went out and ate at some places and did the things that the players do in their free time. Getting to experience that campus life is the thing that stood out to me most on this visit and I really enjoyed it."
Hilliard also reflects on Mattison potentially being his new position coach and how it might change his standing with the Wolverines:
Hilliard also mentioned that he would like to cut his list down to ten schools and then decide where to take his official visits to in the coming months. Although he doesn't plan on visiting campus anytime soon, Hilliard feels that he has visited campus enough times to know where Michigan stands with him. However, if he has a free weekend in the summer, Michigan may just get another visit from him.
As for an official visit to Ann Arbor, Hilliard leaves us with this:
"At this point I'd say they're going to be an official visit for sure," Hilliard said. "I just want to make sure I see other schools first before fully committing to taking those visits anywhere though. I want to be as thorough as possible."
Michigan will have some tough competition for Hilliard and it seems to me that this will drag out for quite some time. Although getting the early word that Michigan will get an official visit from him is a very good sign, Michigan will need to have a solid year on the field to add more incentive.
Below is a highlight tape from Hilliard.
General Odds and Ends
Josh Helmholdt from Rivals caught up ($) with 2015 defensive back Brian Cole to discuss offers, future visits and more in a recent video interview.
Want more from the Camp Pride football camp held at Northwood University from over the weekend? Eric Rutter from Scout has you covered (FREE). He includes a good amount of information regarding the local talent in attendance.
Allen Trieu and Sam Webb have more from Taylor's visit here ($) and here ($). If Michigan has "set the bar" and a decision could be looming like both articles suggest, can one deduce that Michigan has a really good shot to land him? We shall see.
Rutter also caught up with ($) 2016 wide receiver Aaron Matthews about his first trip to Ann Arbor.
Rivals released a list (FREE) of the top 25 recruits in the state of Michigan for the class of 2015. Highlighting the list are Michigan targets Mike Weber and Tyriq Thompson.
247Sports Clint Brewster caught up with ($) 2015 linebacker Reagan Williams after a recent visit to Michigan over the weekend.