Five-star quarterback Bryce Underwood is one of the top prospects to come out of the state of Michigan in a long time — potentially since Drew Henson back in the late ‘90s. He has been a longtime top target for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines, and they had as good a chance as anybody to eventually land his commitment.
But instead of being the hometown hero he could have been in Ann Arbor, he is opting to forge his own path and play college football in the south. Announced on social media on Saturday evening, the top overall prospect in the 2025 class will play for the LSU Tigers.
Other schools under consideration included Alabama, Florida State, Oregon, Penn State and Colorado.
At 6-foot-3.5 and 205 pounds, Underwood has already had a stellar high school career, and he still has one more season to go. He has made the State Championship Game his first three years in high school, winning the first two before losing this past year. This past year, he threw for 3,165 yards, 40 touchdowns and only two interceptions, and also rushed in another seven touchdowns. He had incredible freshman and sophomore campaigns as well, throwing for nearly 5,700 yards and 76 touchdowns across those two seasons.
Underwood was offered by Michigan all the way back in June 2021, long before any other blue blood program was pursuing him. He visited countless times throughout his recruitment, including the BBQ at the Big House this past summer and The Game against Ohio State in November.
He’s always had positive things to say about Michigan, including this most recent blurb previewing his commitment with 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong ($).
“It’s home definitely,” Underwood said. “I got a lot of people that I am close with that went to Michigan. Semaj Morgan, Amir Herring, Jeremiah Beasley, Jacob Oden, a lot of those players made a lot of impact in my life in the 7-on-7 world, being on the football team together, being with these players seeing them grow and being on the biggest platform is amazing to see. A lot of history coming out of Michigan as well. (Winning the Rose Bowl) it’s historical for sure. Getting to the Natty is their main goal and they will probably achieve it. Very proud of them. Also being the winningest program out is a great reputation to have as well.”
Underwood committing elsewhere isn’t good news for Michigan by any means; losing out on such a highly regarded prospect is never a positive development. But if there is any silver lining, it’s that the Wolverines already have a quarterback committed to their 2025 class in four-star Carter Smith, who pledged to Michigan back in November. A top-150 prospect in his own right, Smith is a good prospect who should be able to be a leader in this class and help Michigan recruit other top notch players.
It’s unfortunate that Underwood decided to play elsewhere, but this isn’t the end of the world by any means. There’s another 11 months before he signs on the dotted line; a lot can happen between now and December, when the early signing period opens up for 2025 class members. But until then, if you are Harbaugh and company, all you can do is continue to recruit him until he makes things official.