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Monday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: Food & Friends

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The BBQ at the Big House was a major success for Harbaugh and staff.

BYU v Michigan Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Making Moves For Darnay Holmes

One of the most intriguing bits of news from this weekend’s festivities is Michigan doing what it needed to do to stay in the race for five-star cornerback/receiver Darnay Holmes. In fact, Michigan is in extremely good standing ($) after a successful weekend.

According to one source, the strong belief as of now is that this recruitment will eventually come down to Michigan and UCLA. The Bruins have been the under the radar leader for a while according to most we've talked to because there's a pull to keep him closer to home. However, the Wolverines made significant headway on Friday and Saturday and have positioned themselves well.

Michigan will be able to find some good reasons why someone would move out of state to attend; convincing friends and family of those may be the one big hurdle remaining.

The Marathon For Nico Collins

Nico Collins has been considered an eventual lock for Michigan, and while that’s not quite the case, Collins did seem like he has a solid idea about the recruiting process and what schools can offer him. Here’s an excerpt from Scout ($).

However, though, it has grown a little tighter, he says.

“Right now it’s tight with everybody,” Collins said. “Its tight with Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and Florida State, those are my leaders. But Michigan is No. 1.”

Why is Michigan No. 1? Well, Collins says it’s because U-M has an “it” factor that he hasn’t experienced at other schools.

“It’s just the coaching staff, the players and the vibe up here,” Collins said. “It’s a great place to be, a great university. There is something about Michigan that I love. It’s something different about them.” ...

“I want to (wait until) signing day, but really it would probably happen before then,” Collins said.

Some viewed Collins as a possibility to commit this weekend, which certainly didn’t happen. Michigan is currently the #1 option in a race where Nico seems to know what to expect from everybody at this point, and while that seems like something you could make plans around, Nick Saban is one of the few coaches who could find a way to come from behind and snag Nico’s signature. The race isn’t over.

Happy Trails, James Hudson?

A name that’s been printed a lot in these pages will be announcing his college choice later today, and MSU is the runaway favorite to get a pledge from Central Catholic’s James Hudson. Hudson is a versatile two-way lineman, and the kind of three-star Ohio kid that Mark Dantonio has built his program on.

Terrific Visit For Deron Irving-Bey

Irving-Bey is a name that hasn’t come up a lot, although you may remember him for his mother who was extremely enthusiastic for him to get a Michigan offer. Anyway, the four-star defensive end prospect from Flint took both himself and his mother down for a visit, and the result was predictable ($).

“It blew me away. The coaches, the friendships among the players, the facilities… another thing was the (Jordan) gear. The gear, man… everything is so nice! Everything I experienced (during the barbecue) stood out. It was way more than what I expected. It was a 10.”

This was the first trip to Ann Arbor for someone who at one point almost committed to MSU.

“It was a really good experience,” his mother, Dionne Richardson-Bey, said. “I liked that visit (more) than any other visits that we’ve been on. But like he has told people before, I’m a Michigan fan anyway! (Laughter). That was actually my first time being there and seeing the stadium. It was really great. I like the atmosphere, I like the communication, the closeness… it’s a real friendly staff. They kind have me reassured that if he came there he’d be in good hands.”

Deron now plans to commit sometime close to the end of the season.

Updates On Wilson, Harris

Perhaps unsurprisingly, five-stars who were on the fence received the staff’s attention most heavily. Isaiah WIlson and Najee Harris both came away very happy.

Both Jim and Jay Harbaugh were locked in on Harris and spent a ton of time with him and his mother (which was a big, big deal) throughout the trip. That was the same with Wilson and the offensive coaching staff as the source said “they were all over him today and say he’s huge on their list”.

Michigan has apparently leap-frogged ($) back into the lead for Wilson; Alabama had apparently overtaken Michigan for a while there. Michigan also has the full attention of Najee Harris going forward, with multiple sites saying Michigan is in great position with him. This was the absolute best result possible coming out of the BBQ.

Other BBQ Notes: Cancellations, Good Vibes

First, I should mention that the number of attendees was smaller than what had previously been reported. Jedrick Wills didn’t make it, and is a goner as far as Michigan recruiting is concerned. Sione Heimuli-Lund didn’t make it, and remains committed to Stanford. Michigan has been running in second place for the exciting tailback from the West Coast, and it’s hard to see now how they can leapfrog the Cardinal.

Some other late cancellations came from Jordan Anthony, Josh Falo and Markquese Bell, though these should be merely disappointing and not concerning. Michigan really could have used the trip to solidify where they stand with Falo, but traveling from the West Coast is a big deal to accomplish and Michigan’s tight end recruiting is taking a back burner for now anyway. They still have time to get Falo up for an official.

As for the people who did show up at the BBQ, Michigan did very well for the ones who haven’t been mentioned yet. I’ll let Garrett Fishaw take it away.

Now, one very good source did mention players giving the staff a good feeling about where things stood. Though they said “not really”, when I asked about commitments going down today, they did say that a lot of visitors informed the staff they are leaning that way but are planning on waiting.

Steve Wiltfong echoed that ($), saying, “I feel confident in my 247Sports Crystal Ball forecasts in favor of the Wolverines regarding five-star receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, Top247 cornerback Ambry Thomas, Top247 safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell and Top247 receiver Nico Collins. All four will enjoy the process, take visits, and continue to evaluate other schools but Michigan is sitting pretty with each prospect and their families.”

Oliver Martin is still considering all his options, but Michigan remains in good shape ($) with him, comparable to where they were before the BBQ.