Analyzing Charles Thomas’s commitment to U-M
So, Michigan notches a win both for recruiting in the Peach State and recruiting at IMG Academy by securing a pledge from 2019 four-star linebacker Charles Thomas.
Thomas is the first commit in the 2019 class, so obligatory reminders that there’s a long way to go until National Signing Day (the one after this next one, even). But he’s really enthusiastic about his pledge - posting this video after he committed - and apparently it came down to Michigan giving him the okay to commit ($).
Thomas’s weak spot is his range, but he’s a great disruptor around the line and a heavy hitter who will make running backs remember him. He can blitz and handle the middle very effectively.
Successful weekend for Noah Cain
Composite five-star 2019 running back Noah Cain spent some quality time in Ann Arbor this past week, and the visit went about as well as a Michigan fan could have hoped.
"(Jim Harbaugh is a) very up front, real guy,” said Cain to Sam Webb ($). “All the stuff you see on TV… he's crazy I know that (Laughter)… but he's good people though. He sticks up for his players. And for me just hearing all the stories from Alphonso, Coach Harbaugh is a man of his word… and that's what I'm looking for. He's going to have his players back.”
This fits into the #1 criteria for him: “I just want to find a real coaching staff,” said Cain when asked about his decision criteria.
"I really got my eyes opened to Michigan ($) by Dave (Underwood) because the things he's told me about the school (that) I had no clue about. I knew about Michigan, knew it was a big-time program, but I really didn't know the great things it had to offer outside of football."
If Noah Cain’s recruitment continues to be successful, it could offer Michigan some more flexibility in the 2018 class - where open scholarship numbers are tight, but the staff was planning on adding two running backs.
“I'm really straight up with coaches and I'm not going to a school that has six running backs in the rotation with,” Noah said matter-of-factly. “I'm going to be very smart in my decision and I plan on playing as a true freshman. I believe my ability and my work ethic will speak for itself when it's time to come for spring ball. I plan on playing early as a true freshman so whatever school gives me an opportunity to, I'll go to."
The Cains seem like a very smart, purposeful family who are looking for a good program, not just for football but academics and life style.
"Right now, every big school, they're all going to have a wonderful sales pitch,” said Noah’s dad. “But I'm looking behind the scenes. I'm talking to the players (and) talking to the alumni just to see how it was for them when they were here. And that's one aspect, looking at the academics as well and how strong is the institution. Are they there just to get you to come in and suit up for a couple of years, and after that we're breaking ties? Some schools, they have a history of doing that… not looking out for their athletes’ best interest after football.”
Michigan’s Big Man Camp a success, as well
Michigan commit Emil Ekiyor also spoke to Scout this weekend ($) and said he got some good one-on-one time with Tim Drevno.
“It was great,” Ekiyor said. “I got to learn a lot from coach Drevno. I worked out with him separately from the group. I just learned a lot of great stuff from him, stuff I can take home an work with my high school team.”
Meanwhile, in-state center out of Detroit Tyrone Sampson spoke about his confusion with not getting an offer from Michigan, despite being a four-star in-state kid who’s heading to The Opening in a week.
“The camp went really really well,” Sampson told The Michigan Insider ($). “I came out here and dominated. I did what I had to do.”
“Coach Tim Drevno ... did talk to me and said a few things. Like I said before, I don’t know why an offer hasn’t come. It’s not important, but it’s still in the back of my mind why I wonder why I am the only lineman in the state that they haven’t offered. I think about it, but it doesn’t really matter because I’m committed to Syracuse. I’m still 100% committed to them.”
Some other big man news came from Michigan extending an offer to 2019 OT Trevor Keegan, who called Michigan’s coaches “awesome people.” ($)
“This was my first time here,” said Keegan. “It is awesome. This is such a huge family tradition for us and to get an offer from Michigan is insane. I’m very, very interested in Michigan. I grew up a fan. Yeah, this was a dream offer. I like the tradition and my family definitely since it’s such a huge tradition. They are a great school, great football program and everything about it.”
Michigan also hosted a One-Day Elite Camp on Friday and a Youth Football Camp on Saturday; we’ll have more storylines potentially from those on Wednesday’s roundup.