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Tuesday Morning Brews: Talking Dylan Moses

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The 2017 recruiting cycle is already getting a little more interesting.

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Hype Train Departures

News came out yesterday that 2017's top prospect according to the 247Composite, Louisiana linebacker Dylan Moses, is hoping to hear from Michigan in the coming weeks. It was a good sign that interest in the program is rising, but there are a lot of potential factors here for Jim Harbaugh as he decides how much to pursue the enigmatic high school junior.

Of course, one of the factors that will encourage Harbaugh to pursue Moses is talent. Moses is blessed with a good frame with the ability to deliver a lot of punishment, and his speed is deceptively dangerous for someone who spends much of his time guarding the run. Basically, think of Dylan Moses as your prototype, all-around interior linebacker. He's a downhill guy who can't be attacked easily by slot receivers.

A lot of teams will surely be after him, and Louisiana remains one of the most notoriously difficult places to recruit for outside teams (even though Moses is spending his senior year at IMG Academy in Florida, the Louisiana factor will probably still play a role). Still, it's interesting and probably not coincidental that Jim Harbaugh has already sent out offers to all of the top ten prospects in next year's cycle - all except the #1 prospect in the country.

Maybe Harbaugh is waiting to get to know Moses better - something he'll have a chance to do later this month, as Michigan's spring practice is headed to IMG. Maybe he's waiting for a special connection to form first. Then again, maybe he's waiting to pull out the old, Saban-patented 'late close.' Perhaps he's letting other schools woo him first before showing him a truly good university.

More maybes: maybe Harbaugh doesn't see Moses as a #1 recruit in the way the 247Composite does; that's certainly possible, as Harbaugh has gone so far as to visit the #2-ranked recruit, running back Najee Harris, at his high school in California, but hasn't gone to the same lengths with Moses. (Harris is currently committed to Alabama.) Maybe Harbaugh has a particularly big board of linebackers that he wants to stay in touch with and re-evaluate partway into the 2016 season, or he sees a much greater need at outside linebacker. After all, if some of Michigan's defensive end prospects don't work out, it's easy enough to turn them into thumpin' and effective center fielders - something that has already happened with freshman Reuben Jones.

Plus, Michigan has been recruiting West Bloomfield's Joshua Ross (brother to Michigan's James, and more of an outside 'backer like his brother) and Paramus, N.J. native Drew Singleton for some time. The Wolverines are thought to have a strong lead for both of those players. Michigan will probably still pursue another couple linebackers for the 2017 class even if both Ross and Singleton commit, but Michigan's staff might try to hold off and keep their options open with the remaining scholarships. National Signing Day is quite a ways away (once again), and they might find that only a few linebackers are sufficient while other positions could use an extra scholarship, like offensive line or special teams.

And, of course, as much as grabbing back-to-back top-rated recruits is an exciting prospect, Harbaugh's recruitment of Moses is not based around 247Composite rankings. There's an important matter of gauging interest from both sides and building the right kind of relationship - making sure that both sides match up philosophically, culturally, and academically along the way. There are a lot of things to figure out here still, and a whole lot of time in which to do it. So, don't go running for that train quite yet. The destination is something of a work in progress.

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