Michigan offers a pair of 2015 defensive prospects
As we charge towards national signing day in a few weeks, Michigan has some work to do on the recruiting trail to finish out their 2015 class, namely on the defensive side of the football.
Of their six committed players, safety Tyree Kinnel is their only defensive commit. That will absolutely change, but it's where we stand right now.
In the last few days, Michigan has extended scholarship offers to a few players on that side of the ball. The first is three-star Nebraska defensive end commit Reuben Jones (Lakeland, Florida).
Jones is the 44th-ranked strong side defensive end in the 2015 class and would fill a need at the position.
Clint Brewster of 247 Sports took a look at what Jones brings to the table. (FREE)
Jones doesn’t necessarily have your prototype frame and body type at the defensive end spot but he makes up for it with his physicality and tenacity to get up the field and create havoc. He plays with outstanding toughness and finds a way to win against the offensive tackle. Jones is able to get lower than offensive lineman and get underneath them because he’s not a very tall guy, which helps him. He displays a physical slap and rip through to get in the backfield and a really strong lower half to win the leverage battle. Jones’ effort and toughness on the field are special, which makes him a big time recruit. He doesn’t give up on plays and shows he can make tackles well down the field. Jones’ isn’t a very highly ranked player because of his lack of ideal size at the position and he’s still raw from a technical standpoint. Solid speed once he gets going but by no means does he have great speed.
The second 2015 prospect that was offered in the last few days is athlete Chris Williamson (Gainesville, Georgia), who projects to be a college cornerback.
Williamson's recruitment has picked up in recent weeks, as he has received offers from the Wolverines, Georgia, Notre Dame, North Carolina and Florida. An official visit to Michigan is not out of the question, but nothing has been announced or reported as of yet.
Durkin reaches out to 2016 DE/OLB
Defensive coordinator DJ Durkin has been almost as busy as Jim Harbaugh on the recruiting trail since he was brought in, so it is not much of a surprise to hear he has already contacted some of the top prospects in the country right off the bat.
The latest highly-ranked defender Durkin has reached out to is four-star 2016 defensive end/outside linebacker Rahshaun Smith (Towson, Maryland), per his Twitter account.
Just Got A Chance To Speak With Michigan New DC Coach Durkin Great Things About To Happen At That Place— Humble & Hungry 〽️ (@Nextlevel_shaq) January 13, 2015
Smith is considered one of the top players at his position in next year's class and actually already holds an offer from Michigan that was extended to him by Brady Hoke's staff. He does have ties to Durkin, who was recruiting him while on Florida's staff.
Early football signing period on the horizon?
Currently, football recruits are unable to sign their letters of intent with the school they have committed to until the first Wednesday in February. While that date appears to be locked in stone, a window to sign earlier than that could be approaching.
According to a report from ESPN's Jeremy Crabtree, a committee assigned to look into an early signing period for college football recruits may recommend a mid-December window for prospects to sign early with their respective schools that would go along with the mid-year junior college transfer signing date that occurs in the third week of December.
An early signing period has been an idea that has been thrown around college football for awhile. Currently, college basketball has two signing periods that allows recruits to send in their letters of intent in both autumn and spring.
That's it for Wednesday. Check back in with us Friday for the latest in Michigan football recruiting.