Michigan Leads For Toryque Bateman
We all know the story at this point: four commitments along the offensive line, all of them tackles, with multiple other top prospects still undecided but strong candidates to land at Michigan.
Putting aside conventional wisdom for a second, the likelihood of Michigan ending up with seven offensive linemen in this class is looking more possible by the month - even though the staff is apparently aiming for six ($). How that ends up happening, or whether the staff would accept a seventh commitment, is not clear.
Now, it’s possible that someone decommits or some other attrition happens. It’s possible Michigan ends up at seven commits, and then pushes someone over to guard. But this is all complete speculation; the only thing that seems obvious is that Harbaugh is rolling his dice aggressively.
Anyway, this is all to mention Toryque Bateman, a 6’8”, 305-pound athlete out of Gadsden, Alabama who named Michigan his leader this week. Bateman has been seriously considering Michigan and Tennessee for a while, and he had those schools #1 and #2 at the top of his top-five list, released on Thursday.
And, yes, Bateman will be visiting for the BBQ, plus he’ll be taking an official visit to Ann Arbor during the season (Tennessee will get one, as well). Crystal Balls have been coming in saying that he’ll commit to Michigan sooner or later.
"They gave me one of the best visits I've taken," Bateman said to AL.com about his most recent trip to Michigan. "It was awesome and I had fun the entire time."
A Couple People Who Probably Won’t Commit To U-M
Let’s start this less interesting subject by talking about three-star defensive lineman James Hudson (Toledo, OH), who is down to a final two of Michigan and Michigan State. His decision will come soon, and reading the tea leaves, it seems that MSU is in the driver’s seat ($).
"I don't have any final list, and I'm going to visit Michigan State on Thursday and Michigan on August 6," Hudson stated. "Michigan State is a great school, but I want to see some things I haven't seen before. I want to sit and talk with Coach (Mark) Dantonio again. I just want to see if they are the best fit for me."
"With Michigan, it's about me talking with Coach (Greg) Mattison again," he added. "He wants me to speak with the other commits and also talk to Rashan Gary. I like Michigan a lot, and I would say they are even with Michigan State right now."
Again, it’s not entirely clear what Harbaugh’s strategy is; the class is already well set on the defensive line, and the staff is pursuing Jay Tufele, Popo Aumavae, and Corey Bolds. Hudson’s Crystal Ball currently reads 77% to Michigan State.
Another name Michigan fans know well - Darnay Holmes, who talked to Rivals ($) this week about a July 21st visit to South Bend and a July 22nd visit to Columbus.
“It’s like a family thing over there,” said Holmes about Columbus. “The message from them was to make my decision on the coach, on the assistant coaches and how are the guys in the locker room. They said if I come over there or not they want to see me a few years from now being one of the first draft picks. They have a belief in me that I could be this great talent.”
Michigan did not get a visit, and was not mentioned in the article (though, he will be back for the BBQ). The Wolverines seem to be falling behind here.
Other News & Notes: Yeah, Slow Week
Isaiah Wilson has added his name to the BBQ list of attendees. So Wilson, Bateman, and four-star tackle Aaron Banks will all be in attendance that day.
MGoFish has another Best Guess Recruiting Class out. Garrett went with 31 commits. Some other good MGoFish links: some guesses and analysis of possible flips in U-M’s favor; battling Clemson; and more recruiting ranking analysis.
Also, MLive had a good piece on Aubrey Solomon, the reasons for him committing and whether he plans on looking at other schools. A great column.