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Michigan’s defensive tackle recruiting in 2021 may not be over yet after all

The Wolverines have a massive need there.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 Ohio State at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines still need some help in the 2021 recruiting class on defense and now have about six weeks until the next national signing day in February. While the future of the program is still very much to be decided, adding some bodies upfront on defense is going to be a priority for whoever is coaching them.

The program has not had a true defensive tackle commit — they have brought in guys that were high school defensive ends that bulked up — since Greg Mattison left for Ohio State after the 2018 season. Despite the additions of Chris Hinton and Mazi Smith, there has not been much to speak of there that is currently on the roster.

One of those players in the mix could be three-star defensive tackle Victory Vaka, who released his top six schools on Friday in a group that included the Wolverines.

Those in the know seem to believe that Vaka is not much of an option, but is still on the board. The biggest fish still on the table is four-star in-state prospect Rayshaun Benny, who committed to Michigan State over the Wolverines this fall but did not sign a letter of intent during the early signing period. Michigan has continued to push there and will continue to until a signature is on the dotted line.

Four-star George Rooks is another player to keep an eye on, though recent buzz had him trending away from Michigan and instead to Penn State. Not only did he not sign this week, but he did not make a commitment either. The door appears to be cracked open there still.

There will be a historic amount of talent in the transfer portal, as well. Michigan is expected to mine that area to fill as many spots as necessary.

We will have to wait and see how it plays out, but this continues to be a major need for the Wolverines moving forward as they build for the future. Whether 2021 is the first year of the second wind of the Jim Harbaugh era or the beginning of something else, the position needs to be addressed.