Looks like the visits went well
This past weekend was the first chance for Michigan's new coaching staff to host prospects on campus following the winter dead period. Six 2015 prospects took official visits while a few other 2016'ers stopped by unofficially.
The six official visits that took place came from tight end Chris Clark, defensive end Shelton Johnson, outside linebacker Roquan Smith, cornerback Damon Arnette and a pair of commits in safety Tyree Kinnel and kicker Andrew David.
This visit was particularly important for Clark, who is the nation's top tight end prospect and arguably Michigan's top overall target right now, at least offensively. Michigan seems like the best fit for him considering the offense that Harbaugh will run and his potential role in it. It sounds like the Wolverines helped their case this weekend, but he is still taking his official visit to UCLA next weekend and his recruitment will likely drag into signing day.
One of the candidates to commit this weekend was Arnette, who is a three-star prospect. That did not end up happening, but the visit seemed to have gone well enough to convince some that it is a matter of time before things flip in Michigan's directon. He will be taking an official to Ohio State this weekend.
Smith has been the player that Michigan has made up the most ground on since defensive coordinator DJ Durkin was hired. The two had built up a pretty good relationship while Durkin was recruiting him at Florida and that has carried right over to where we stand now. Georgia is going to be a factor, but I like Michigan's chances here come signing day.
Johnson seems bound for Florida State. I believe Michigan will have to look elsewhere for defensive ends.
Overall, it sounds like things could not have gone better for Harbaugh and staff this weekend, except for maybe landing a few commits. Regardless, they should feel good about where they stand with Clark, Arnette and Smith.
One visit that is in the process of taking place on Monday is five-star cornerback Iman Marshall, who arrived at Metro Airport in Detroit on Sunday evening.
Jim Harbaugh and another Michigan coach are waiting for somebody at Metro Airport.— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) January 19, 2015
Michigan's chances to convince Marshall to come to Ann Arbor this late in the process seem slim and it will take a big play by the coaching staff to get it done. We'll continue to monitor the situation through Monday.
Father of former UW commit feels "betrayed" by Badgers
Over the weekend, four-star 2015 offensive tackle Sam Madden (Barnegat, New Jersey) decommitted from the University of Wisconsin in what was considered a major surprise.
Hours after Madden's decommitment, three seperate analysts made 247 Crystal Ball predictions sending Madden to Michigan, which was odd given there has not been any contact by either side.
On Sunday afternoon, I spoke to Dave Madden, Sam's father, about what went down with the Badgers and if there is Michigan interest there.
In turns out, Madden decommitted because of an issue with admissions that would not allow him to enroll, Badgers head coach Paul Chryst informed the family.
"I went through the roof because we had been absolutely led down a path. We were asked to be loyal and not take any other official visits," his father said. "I was out of the country when I got the call and was traveling all week so I couldn't even tell Sam until yesterday (Saturday) and that was very upsetting because we felt we were betrayed.
Madden's father was very candid with me regarding the situation. It's clear the family is upset, but they are in the process of moving on and I asked them about potential interest in Michigan.
"With Jim Harbaugh going to Michigan, they are of great interest," his father said. "He’s an amazing coach and I think he’s going to turn that program around really fast. Both Michigan schools would definitely be of interest and there are a few other schools we've discussed.
"We have not heard from them (Michigan), but we would be thrilled to be. It’s a pretty exciting program with an amazing legacy to potentially join, so that would be an exciting call to get. We’ll see what’s available and what’s out there and just have a realistic conversation. I've got all of Sam’s grades ready to send anybody quickly if there’s interest."
Check out my full interview with Madden here.
More offers from over the weekend
Even though only a handful of recruits were on campus this weekend, others were still offered scholarships, mainly from the 2016 class, though there was one for 2015.
On Sunday, Michigan offered 2015 offensive tackle Nolan Ulizio (West Chester, Ohio), who is currently committed to UConn.
Ulizio is a two-star prospect, according to the 247 Composite.
Moving on to 2016, Harbaugh informed four-star wide receiver Donnie Corley (Wyandotte, Michigan) that the offer extended to him by Brady Hoke's staff is still valid, according to his Twitter account.
Coach Harbaugh said I still got the offer 〽️#GoBlue— Donnie Corley (@2Live9) January 18, 2015
Corley was in Ann Arbor Saturday for the basketball game against Northwestern along with cornerback prospect Lavert Hill (Detroit, Michigan), who's brother Delano plays safety for Michigan.
In AA wit it— Ghost (@VertHill21) January 18, 2015
That's it for Monday. Check back in with us Wednesday for the latest in Michigan football recruiting.