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Recruiting Roundup: Mother of elite tight end commit explains early decision to choose Michigan

The Wolverines beat out several other major programs to land a top tight end in the 2025 cycle.

Photo by Ryan Kang/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.

Ann Arbor has been an ideal landing spot for any top-ranked tight end in the country in recent years. The Michigan Wolverines are constantly developing players rapidly at the tight end position and sending them to the league; their success and how much they utilize the position in both the passing and run game gets them looks from some of the top prospects in the country.

Colston Loveland has been magnificent this season, currently standing as Michigan’s second leading receiver. He is a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses and has made a huge impact on the team’s success this season, and the coaching staff has a lot to sell when pitching tight end prospects. All of that is starting to pay dividends in the 2025 cycle.

That, and more, in this week’s Recruiting Roundup.

Fourth commit in the 2025 cycle knew Michigan was home from the start

The 2025 recruiting cycle is slowly getting underway as prospects around the nation are mulling where they would like to continue their football career. No program in the country has yet to secure over 10 commits in the class and many top prospects are still up for grabs. The Wolverines received good news last Thursday when four-star tight end Eli Owens announced he would headed to Ann Arbor.

Owens is currently the No. 19 tight end in the class. He likes what he has seen from the coaching staff and team this year and sees himself as a good fit in the system. With his senior year on the horizon, locking down where he wanted to continue his journey is a weight lifted off his shoulders.

“He’s probably known Michigan is a place he was really comfortable with since Day 1,” Owens’ mother, Kendall, told The Wolverine’s EJ Holland ($). “He wanted to be done and take on that recruiter role. The more and more he thought about it, he just felt like now was right. He also just wants to enjoy this spring semester of high school. He does things other than football. He won’t get to do those next years. There is no better fit for him than Michigan. Now, he gets to enjoy those things without having to do spring and summer recruiting. He’ll still do some of that, but now, he’s going to just one place instead of six. He’ll get to play soccer and try to repeat a state championship in basketball. It gives him some comfort and freedom. And he said it’s not going to get any better than Michigan.”

Owens has been keeping a close eye on the Wolverines and how they utilize their tight ends. He wanted to make sure that if he was going to pull the trigger early to commit, that he would fit the bill for what the Wolverines want to have on the field. Watching what Michigan has done this year made the decision easy.

“Play style, it’s a great fit,” Kendall said. “They already have someone (Max Bredeson) doing the things that Eli really excels at — the blocking in motion, coming out of the backfield and blocking in space that sets Eli apart. Since Day 1, they have always been really forward with ‘this is what we see you doing and this is how you can enhance this position.’ Eli is an old man at heart and a bit of planner. He likes to know what he’s doing. They were really able to show him.

Owens has established a good relationship with several members of the coaching staff even though his recruitment was spearheaded by tight ends coach Grant Newsome. They made it easy for Owens to be comfortable with his decision to commit to Michigan.

“They talk to Eli like he is an adult making an adult decision,” Kendall said. “They are straightforward and honest. They are down to earth and real. He talks to Coach Newsome pretty frequently. When we were up there, any question he had got answered. We spent time with Coach (Sherrone) Moore. Coach Clink (Steve Clinkscale) is one of my favorite people on the planet. Each coach is their own person. As a parent, that was really comforting, too.”

There is a chance that the Wolverines could lose Jim Harbaugh in the offseason. Although that is a concern each year for recruits around the country, it is not a concern for Owens. He is comfortable with his decision and knows that if Harbaugh does move on, the program will be left in good hands and still perform at a high level.

Owens is so bought in that he is willing to go above and beyond like many before him and recruit on behalf of the Wolverines. Michigan beat out programs such as Alabama, Ohio State, Tennessee, and more in landing Owens.

All-American Bowl O-line coach very impressed by Michigan commit

The Wolverines have boasted a very talented offensive line in recent years and have a great position coach and offensive coordinator in Sherrone Moore. Michigan’s success in the trenches has not only produced good results on the field, but has also made an impact on the recruiting trail. Michigan landed one of the best 2024 offensive line prospects in the country in Andrew Sprague and it appears he will be a very special player for the Wolverines.

“I’m really, really pleased with him,” All-American Bowl offensive line coach Cameron Anderson told The Wolverine’s EJ Holland ($). “He’s a big, tall kid. He’s really long. A lot of kids that are like that are very clunky and can’t move, but he moves really, really well. He’s going to be really, really good. He has a high upside. He has the frame to still add some weight. He has a great first step. He has a violent punch. He makes great use of his length but still maintains leverage.”

Anderson is the former high school head coach of Colston Loveland and the currently head coach of wide receiver target Gatlin Bair. He is very close with Moore and has spent time working with him on several occasions.

“Since I spent time at Michigan, I’m familiar with how Coach Moore works,” Anderson said. “I’ve talked to him about terminology that Michigan uses. He’s very bright and wants to work. He asks what Coach Moore would do in certain situations. I can’t answer that exactly, but I can talk to him about what he’s coached at his clinics.”

Anderson is extremely high on Sprague and knows that he will be a special talent for the Wolverines. With Michigan’s ability to develop and mold players into elite talents, he has no doubt that Sprague has a bright future in Ann Arbor.

“I think he’s going to be an Andrew Gentry type,” Anderson said. “He’s going to play as soon as Coach Herb does what Coach Herb does. He’s going to be a 330-pound guy with a high NFL upside. He’s going to be really, really good at Michigan.”

Sprague is currently the No. 7 offensive tackle in the 2024 class and the No. 111 player nationally. The Wolverines beat out tough competition to land Sprague in Oregon, Penn State, USC, and LSU, among others.

Michigan makes top 10 for four-star running back

The Wolverines have a pound-the-rock identity that attracts some of the best running back talent in the country. The Wolverines molded into a more balanced attack this year but when push came to shove, the run game is what put the team over the edge. With their sights set on the 2025 recruiting cycle, they are in the running for Iverson Howard.

Howard has played on the varsity squad since he was a freshman and had a productive junior season, rushing for 334 yards on 28 carries and seven touchdowns. The Wolverines will have to beat out other high powered offenses and Big Ten foes if they hope to land the No. 7 player in the state of Maryland.