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Recruiting Roundup: In-state star reflects on gameday visit to Michigan

For the first time this season, recruits got to experience game day at the Big House.

Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images
Erik Bean Erik is a lifelong Wolverines fan born and raised in West Michigan. He covers a variety of topics related to Michigan football including game analysis and recruiting.

After a two game self-imposed visit ban, recruits finally got to make their way to Ann Arbor this past weekend to see the Michigan Wolverines in action for the first time in 2023. The atmosphere was rocking under the lights, and the offseason upgrades to the Big House, which included the sound and lighting, have received rave reviews. Anything capable of enhancing the atmosphere provides greater home field advantage, but also assists on the recruiting front.

Saturday’s first look at the new night game enhancements left recruits impressed, including one prospect who had nothing short of a rave review.

2025 DB attends first game at the Big House

Anyone who desired an enthusiastic primetime matchup experience got just that on Saturday night. That was especially true for 2025 three-star athlete Elijah Dotson. The junior out of Detroit Jesuit was in attendance for the game, and On3’s Zach Libby ($) wrote the visit was one that left him impressed.

“I know people say that Michigan’s stadium is big and stuff, but that was my first time being there with fans there, too. and it makes you feel ready to play. Looking around and seeing so many people and supporters around, it’s great,” Dotson said.

Dotson acknowledged he wasn’t there to just take in the atmosphere, but also evaluate Michigan’s defensive backs, the position he is being recruited for.

“I saw that all of (Michigan’s) safeties are tall and are built like me. I see myself playing there every time and thinking, ‘Okay, what is he doing? Let me look at what I can do and how I can play like that.’ It was good to see that in person,” Dotson said.

Co-defensive coordinator Steve Clinkscale, who is spearheading Dotson’s recruitment, has already gotten him on campus twice prior to Saturday’s game. The Wolverines and several 2024 commits who were also there made a good effort to make him feel at home. He has not yet released a top list, but acknowledged Michigan will be up there.

Allen Trieu of 247Sports has already submitted a Crystal Ball prediction for the Wolverines. With Dotson already planning on returning to Ann Arbor this season for a second visit, things appear to be trending in the right direction.

At 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, Dotson is No. 394 overall on 247Sports’ composite and holds offers from other schools like Tennessee, Pit, Penn State and Wisconsin.

Michigan in heated battle with Florida State for four-star S

One of the top safety targets for Jay Harbaugh and the Wolverines in the 2025 class has officially included Michigan in his early “top two” alongside Florida State.

“Michigan is in my top-two right now with Florida State,” Messiah Delhomme told On3’s EJ Holland ($). “I like the way both defenses play, how they fly to the ball and how they use their players in coverage.”

Delhomme, a four-star from Virginia, is about as well-rounded of an athlete as you can find. He has good size for a safety, listed at 6-foot-1 and 196 pounds, and plays both sides of the ball. He recorded 15 total touchdowns on offense last year, and put up 61 tackles, 2.5 sacks and eight interceptions — two for touchdowns — on defense.

His efforts as a sophomore earned him First Team All-State and regional Defensive Player of the Year honors. This led to a recruiting boom for Delhomme, as he now holds offers from 13 different schools, a list that is expanding quite rapidly.

Delhomme last visited Ann Arbor for the BBQ at the Big House this summer and plans on taking a visit for a game in the coming months.

“I just want to see what the atmosphere is like during game time,” Delhomme said. “I want to see how the coaches and players act around each other. I’m looking for a big, loud and supportive crowd.

“I just want to see the wins. I’m going to watch everything with the secondary in general. I want to see them break on the ball, make tackles and things like that. I do believe Michigan can win it all if they stay focused.”

Delhomme’s interest in Michigan has a lot to do with his main recruiter, Jay Harbaugh.

“He just calls and checks in on how I’m doing and how my family is doing. I like that he’s all about his players. He expects his players to be great on the field and past football,” Delhomme said.

The Wolverines have made culture and team morale a priority in the last couple seasons, which has paid dividends. This does not go unnoticed by recruits such as Delhomme, who seems to be looking for teams whose players perform at a high level and give 100 percent every snap. Although it’s early, Michigan being high on his list looks promising nonetheless.