Joel Honigford Commits
Harbaugh has done a fantastic job of stockpiling receiver talent, kickers, running backs and quarterbacks. He’s done pretty well with the back seven and the tight ends, as well, though there will definitely be some more attention paid there in 2017. But the ‘17 class will be critical for restocking the lines. The more, the merrier. ($)
I've posted a Take Five of Michigan's top five offensive line targets... I don't believe that list has changed. Michigan's remaining OL board was and is still something close to this:
OT Isaiah Wilson, C Cesar Ruiz, OT Kai-Leon Herbert, OG Tedarrell Slaton, OT Henry Bainivalu
If the staff felt comfortable enough to take both Stueber and Honigford, it's very possible that they may be looking to take six offensive linemen this cycle.
And just like that, Michigan’s offensive tackle recruiting has some degree of resolution. Is it exactly what people wanted? Probably not. But Michigan’s staff has been working manically to solve their conundrum at offensive tackle, and the combination of JaRaymond Hall, Andrew Stueber and Joel Honigford gives Harbaugh & Co. some stability at the position, not to mention depth and talent as they pursue top targets.
Also, a shout-out to Tanner Wooten’s film review of Honigford.
Let’s Talk Dorian Thompson-Robinson
Some (okay, many) Michigan fans might not like the idea of a dual-threat quarterback heading back to Ann Arbor, and I certainly do understand the feeling. However, Harbaugh has given offers out to a few dual-threat guys in every cycle, and a 2018 dual-threat quarterback might actually end up committing. Four-star quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson spoke to Rivals this week ($) in a very interesting piece.
"I feel really good about Michigan. I know that they’ll be in my top five whenever that comes out. I have a lot of interest in them right now." ...
"I would love to catch a game this fall if I can," he said. "The coaches were talking to me about the BBQ on August 6. I might get there for that if I can make it.
"I don’t really have any other unofficials planned right now. That’s about it.”
One of the reasons Thompson-Robinson is drawn to Michigan is because his mom is an alum. "She’s not pushing me to go there," he added. "She would love for me to go there but she’s not pressuring me or anything."
In fact, he told Allen Trieu: “I was actually in the car with my mom when I got (offered by Michigan). She was so happy she almost crashed the car. It was a really fun time. I was really happy I got that one."
What makes this even more interesting is that Dorian hasn’t actually started for his high school team yet. Why? He’s behind an elite 2017 quarterback, and Ohio State commit, named Tate Martell.
To mitigate some of the concerns about DTR’s experience, let me point out here that Harbaugh has had a chance to work with him in person at a satellite camp this summer. Also, DTR will be able to take the reins at Bishop Gorman for his senior year, which will alleviate some of the experience issues - barring a potential injury. And, apparently, he has the kind of athleticism you can’t teach.
I know, I know.
Recruiting Tight Ends Out West
Four-star ‘17 tight end Jimmy Jaggers (Roseville, CA) talked to Scout ($) and reaffirmed a couple things about his recruitment. Michigan is still in it, but “I’m not as desperate to get away from home anymore.” He added he loved Harbaugh’s competitiveness at a recent satellite camp and is taking a closer look at USC.
Meanwhile, four-star ‘17 tight end Josh Falo (Sacramento, CA) talked about the Wolverines as well, and said, “They’re pretty up there for me.”
As far as his deciding factors in his decision, Falo says he’s looking for certain characteristics in his future program.
“No. 1 football obviously,” Falo said. “And then two, education, and three, the environment.”
Falo insisted distance would not be a factor in his recruitment, but apparently with a glaring caveat that in-state powers USC and UCLA are a big draw for him. Falo will be on Team Hypercool at The Opening, by the way.
Finally, four-star 2018 recruit Mustapha Muhammad (Missouri City, TX) is one of the early possible contenders to commit to Michigan in the ‘18 cycle, and part of the reason for that is how the staff won over his mom, according to Steve Lorenz.
"Coming into the weekend, I didn't really know what to expect with Michigan and their coaches because of all the stories you read about them. Coach (Jim) Harbaugh was very personable. He took his time with us and was able to answer any of the questions we had in the program.
“The other thing that stood out to me was what they can offer academically. Really, no matter what you want to major in, Michigan can give you an excellent foundation to build off of. That was a big thing for us, and it really was more than we thought it would be."
Ann Arbor Feeling Like Home For Silvera
Two of the biggest offensive line targets left on Michigan’s board are Kai-Leon Herbert and T.J. Slaton, four-star linemen out of American Heritage in Plantation, Florida. However, Michigan may also be a contender for one of their 2018 teammates, defensive tackle Nesta Silvera. Silvera visited Ann Arbor this month and came away impressed.
“Very interested,” said Silvera. “I like the direction the program is going in they can only keep moving forward with Harbaugh. He's a very upbeat and energetic coach.” ...
“The football facilities ... are the best I've seen so far and I've been to a number of colleges,” said Silvera.
Silvera, who called former teammate and current Wolverine Nick Eubanks a “big brother” and Kai-Leon a “close friend,” is still waiting on an offer from Michigan. However, his tape is very, very solid.
Revisiting A Couple Los Angeles Hawkins Prospects
Four-star 2018 safety Aashari Crosswell had something to prove ($) during Michigan’s satellite camp earlier this month at L.A. Hawkins - and sure enough, after the camp, Michigan came through with his 22nd scholarship offer. It’s exactly what Crosswell wanted from the experience.
"I took an unofficial visit (to Michigan already),” he said. “It was a cool little trip.... enjoyed myself, went with B2G (his 7-on-7 team). It's a cool campus."
"(Harbaugh) is a nice coach. He's really funny and he's just one of those coaches you want to play for one day."
He also called Don Brown a “hype man, to be honest," and added, “I appreciate them coming out here and showing me a little bit of tips to help improve my game."
Clearly Michigan made a strong impression, but Crosswell’s recruitment is far from over. He hasn’t even determined yet all of the criteria he’ll consider when picking a school. However, he does know what he won’t consider.
"(Distance) isn't going to be a factor," he said.
"Every school that has offered is in my top list right now," he said. "During my junior year it’ll be more serious. I think I’ll get down to my top ten and top five. As of right now I’m still getting to know every school. I’m still getting to know the coaches and stuff too."
He did say this to Josh Henschke, however.
“Michigan, to speak on them specifically, I think it’s a great school. The coaches are great and they seem like they work hard and also know how to have fun.”
Lineman Updates Of Questionable Value
Four-star tackle Jedrick Wills (Lexington, KY) has included Michigan in his top eight, eliminating Michigan State and Ohio State. Michigan and Notre Dame are the only Midwest schools; everything else is SEC country. Kentucky and Notre Dame lead, and Wills has been to both campuses numerous times. Michigan needs to get him on campus soon to have even a puncher’s chance - and he is currently scheduled to visit for the BBQ. We’ll see what happens then.
I should also mention this, but take it with a two-pound grain of salt. Four-star 2017 tackle Walker Little (Bellaire, TX) spoke to Rivals this week ($), and said that Michigan “is going to be a top school for me.” Little hasn’t released a top list of any kind, and has approached his recruitment both quietly and methodically. One of his points of emphasis is education, and Michigan is definitely recruiting him, so there’s certainly what you call a “chance.” The prevailing wisdom is that Texas and Charlie Strong has this in the bag, but that doesn’t seem to be founded on much.
Here’s the thing, though. Walker has spoken positively (“ ... is going to be a top school” is a popular phrase of his) about Stanford ($), Texas, Alabama, LSU, and Ole Miss, where he has siblings. His recruitment is still very open, you could say.
Other News & Notes: Please Avoid Top 27s
I definitely recommend this article by Steve Lorenz, who talks satellite camps, Big Ten recruiting and “top” lists. The video of Harbaugh is good, too.
Ovie Oghoufo will be attending the BBQ at the Big House this August.
JaRaymond Hall is logging his overtime by recruiting for Michigan.
Here’s a full list of Michigan’s commits and targets at The Opening, broken down with some analysis.