Justin Hilliard to Release Top Five Schools on Friday
Keeping up with the theme of big-name targets that are tied to Michigan, five-star 2015 linebacker Justin Hilliard (Cincinatti, OH) announced Thursday evening that he will release his top five schools on Friday morning, according to his Twitter account.
NARROWING DOWN TO MY TOP 5 SCHOOLS TOMORROW MORNING— Justin Hilliard (@JHilliard47) May 22, 2014
Michigan is expected to be included in that list, barring any unforeseen circumstances. Hilliard has been one of their top targets from the start of the process.
Outside of five-star guys like Jashon Cornell and Keisean Lucier-South, Hilliard is one of the defensive players that the Wolverines covet the most. It will be tough to pull him out of the state of Ohio, but Michigan has as good a shot as anyone, with Notre Dame in contention as well.
The biggest thing coaches look for in a linebacker is if he has good instincts and has a nose for the football. Hilliard passes the eyeball test in both of those categories, and the Wolverines would love to add him to the 2015 recruiting class.
Michigan just picked up their first linebacker commit in the form of Darrin Kirkland Jr. over the weekend and they are still looking to fill one-to-two more spots in that position group. Hilliard would be the ideal domino to fall for them in that regard.
Fred Jackson Visits Damien Harris
Even though he decided to decommit from the program earlier this year, Michigan is still in the ear of five-star 2015 running back Damien Harris (Berea, KY), who is widely considered the top player at his position in the class.
According to 247's Steve Lorenz on Twitter, running backs coach Fred Jackson stopped in to see Harris on Thursday afternoon.
Harris had committed when Al Borges was still the offensive coordinator, so when he lost his job, he decided to take a step back and see what was going on in the big picture.
Michigan still has a legitimate shot with Harris. Even though he reopened his recruitment, the Wolverines are still very high on his list and a school that he really likes.
Doug Nussmeier has been in his ear often since he replaced Borges in January. At one point, it appeared that the Wolverines would only take one running back in this class, but Nussmeier wants to run a two-back system at Michigan, so it appears they will take multiple backs.
The ideal scenario for the Wolverines would be to secure a commitment again with Harris and also bring in four-star prospect Mike Weber (Detroit, MI) as their running back tandem in this cycle.
247's Crystal Ball currently has Ohio State in the lead for Harris' services at 53 percent, with the Wolverines in second at 25 percent. Kentucky is in the mix as well.
Ahmir Mitchell Reacts to Michigan Offer
Michigan's recently flurry of 2016 offers continued Wednesday when they extended one to 2016 athlete Ahmir Mitchell (Egg Harbor City, NJ).
Mitchell, as well as many 2016 prospects, is currently not rated by any of the major services, but he has picked up six scholarship offers prior to his junior year, which is nothing to scoff at.
He has been offered by Michigan, Boston College, Florida State, Old Dominion, Rutgers and Virginia.
Mitchell spoke with Scout's Sam Webb about his offer, where he explains how it caught him by surprise and the position that the Wolverines are recruiting him at. You can check that article out here. ($)
His sophomore season highlights can be found below. As you will see, he can make an impact at many different spots on the football field.
2015 Recruiting Class Projection
Earlier in this roundup, we touched on some of the elite prospects in the 2015 class that Michigan is in contact with and interested in adding to the group.
The recruiting process is extremely fluid, but people have made careers out of guessing where a player will land and what a class will look like, so I decided I would throw my name into the ring and give the people my thoughts on what Michigan could get out of the 2015 cycle.
Over at The Big House Report, I put together my very first 2015 recruiting class projection. There are a few bold choices and omissions on there, but I went with my gut and hammered out a realistic list of guys that could join Team 136.
You can check that out here. (FREE)
As many of you know, recruiting news can be a bit slow at times, especially with abbreviated classes like the one the Wolverines put together in 2014 and with a similar quantity of players coming in 2015.
So, I will take this opportunity to extend an offer to the readers to contribute to the roundups and get some of your questions, comments or concerns addressed in my roundups each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The floor is open to you to have me address whatever it is you're looking to find in these roundups. The best way to be seen or heard is in the comments below, or on my Twitter account.
Thanks again for reading, and have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. We'll be back Monday with the latest in Michigan football recruiting news.
Be sure to follow Maize N Brew's Anthony Broome on Twitter, @anthonytbroome.