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Wednesday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: The fight for Otis Reese continues

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Outback Bowl - Michigan v South Carolina Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello, and welcome to this week’s Wednesday recruiting roundup. Sorry I haven’t been around lately, but I’ll try to make up for it. Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Michigan doing well in the battle for Otis Reese

One of the important asterisks in the 2018 recruiting class has been whether Michigan could hold on to 2018 four-star Georgia linebacker Otis Reese. Yes, he’s remained a Michigan commit since before the 2016 season, but he’s also had a will-he-or-won’t-he thing going on Georgia — and he didn’t sign in the early signing period to help keep his options open.

But Sam Webb is cautiously optimistic: ($)

A couple of weeks back Reese made his way to Ann Arbor for the first time since the spring game. A source close to his recruitment indicated that he was joined by his mother and stepfather and his brother, Central Michigan defensive back Du’quaun Jamison, made it down from Mt. Pleasant for the weekend as well. I hear the visit couldn’t have gone any better. Reese and his entire family reportedly enjoyed it.

Player wise, Reese spent a great deal of time with Devin Bush, Quinn Nordin, and a few others. The comfort with the guys on the team was apparent to everyone on hand. And while he connected with the entire coaching staff, it’s his bond with Partridge that is giving Michigan a good chance at holding on.

Webb also said that Reese is close with recent 2018 commit Michael Barrett (also from Georgia), so we’ll see if that’s enough. Reese surely has good relationships on the Georgia side as well, or this wouldn’t be close.

Chris Partridge visits 2019 five-star running back

While we’re talking about the Chris Partridge effect on recruiting, I’ll throw in this nugget from 247Sports about 2019 five-star running back Quavaris Crouch. Partridge visited Crouch on Tuesday, about a week after Jim and Jay Harbaugh also traveled to North Carolina to pay him a visit. Crouch is listed at 6’2,” 224 pounds and you’ll be surprised to know he’s also fast, quick, and explosive.

Michigan has had a tough time getting elite running back prospects to Ann Arbor under Jim Harbaugh (the exception to that being Kareem Walker), and U-M has a frustrating history with five-stars before that as well. We’ll see if this breaks the mold.

Michigan in the hunt for a grad transfer OT

You’ve probably heard the name Calvin Anderson lately — I myself wrote a scouting report on him that a reader labelled as “glowing,” and Trevor Woods also sat down with him (metaphorically, of course, as this is the Internet) on Monday. Anderson visited Michigan this weekend, and the visit was a success ($).

“My interest (in Michigan) is higher than it was, and it was already really high,” Anderson said. “Michigan sits high on my list. I had great conversations with coach Harbaugh, coach Drevno, and all those guys.”

“I have my personal metrics,” Anderson said. “They are both individual places, so it’s hard for me to give a public difference between the two because they are both in their own lane. Texas and Michigan are just both amazing places.”

He added that while he originally planned to do five official visits, that might not be the case now. It seems to be down to Texas and Michigan for Anderson’s services.

And, as a recap, both schools desperately need O-line help. Michigan has Tim Drevno and Ed Warinner on staff, although it’s not clear if Warinner - who’s a notable O-line coach in his own right - will be involved in that part of the game preparation, or if he’s doing offensive analyst work to teach himself how to be a better OC. (My personal theory.)

Texas has Derek Warehime and Herb Hand — Warehime being a young guy and a great recruiter whose efforts were somewhat undone by a rash of injuries in 2017, while Herb Hand brings a somewhat dubious reputation with him from Auburn, where he just left this off-season. Both Hand and Warehime are very familiar with Anderson, and Warehime is also a Rice alum.

2017 College Football Sydney Cup Rice Owls v Stanford Cardinals Aug 27th Photo by Nigel Owen/Action Plus via Getty Images

Michigan’s new weight room is popular amongst recruits

If you haven’t checked this thing out, I recommend it.

One of the players who commented about that was Devontae Dobbs, the top-ranked player in the state of Michigan for 2019 who’s had a somewhat cool relationship with the Wolverines to this point.

“We got to see the new weight room,” Dobbs told The Michigan Insider ($). “It looks beautiful and I like how the field is right next to it. I really got a chance to sit down and talk with some of the coaches. It was a really good time that we had and I got a chance to dunk on Coach Hamilton a couple of times (laughter).

“They talked to me about how it would be as a freshman. How you would enroll... I talked with the offensive line assistant and we talked about some good drills that I can work on and just character.”

As for him and Pep Hamilton, “Me and him have possibly created a pretty firm relationship,” Dobbs said.

Sounds... ah, lukewarm. Anyway, fellow in-stater and three-star 2019 defensive end Jalen Hunt also had this to say. ($)

“The weight room is awesome,” Hunt said. “It’s not too big or too small. It then has a basketball court upstairs and an indoor field right next to it.”

“I really connected with Coach Pep,” he added. “I say that because he was the first one I met and we were playing basketball together.”

Michigan has yet to offer Hunt, although it’s worth noting that there’s a lot of talent coming out of the state in 2019. According to the 247Sports Composite, there are 37 (!) recruits who have at least three stars, and nine of those are blue-chips. Some other recent headlines this month have included Michigan extending offers to other notable 2019 in-state prospects, so this is very much an evolving situation for in-state talent.

News & notes: You’re a kicker!

Yes, I know, that’s an Ohio State reference. Please don’t banish me.

Michigan adds a 2018 preferred walk-on kicker

My ability to scout kickers begins and ends with noticing if they have legs or not. Adam Culp appears to have two of them, and they also seem fully connected.

Michigan adds a 2018 preferred walk-on interior lineman

I’ve liked Michigan’s talent acquisitions at the PWO level, which I have paid much closer attention to than most others, I presume. The ‘turnover rate’ is high and often goes unnoticed at the bottom of the roster, but some notably successful PWOs the last couple years include LB Michael Wroblewski, WR Nate Schoenle, S Jordan Glasgow, and DT Carl Myers. I’m also a fan of up-and-coming interior offensive linemen Andrew Vastardis and Sean Fitzgerald.

2020: Michigan making in-roads with top two overall recruits ($)

Obviously, this is very, very early for 2020 recruiting, but Steve Lorenz is reporting that Michigan is doing well with getting to know #1 overall prospect Bryan Bresee out of Maryland and #2 overall prospect Kevin Pyne out of Massachusetts. Bresee projects as a strongside defensive end and Pyne is a 6’8.5,” (!) 275-pound offensive tackle.

Considering the strong start to Michigan’s 2019 recruiting class, we’ll see if Michigan bounces right back over the next two cycles after a somewhat lackluster 2018 group that still managed to rank 14th in the country.

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Alright, I hope you enjoyed today’s RR. As an aside, this is the first recruiting roundup since 247 and Scout merged, so most of our information today came from one source: 247Sports. I encourage you to go check them for more recruiting content.