Well, we made it. National Signing Day 2015 is finally come and gone and the class is officially signed, sealed and delivered. Be sure to check out Maize n Brew's NSD recap if you have not already.
Now, on to the good stuff.
Perhaps the 2015 class ISN'T quite done yet?
Michigan finished up Wednesday with 14 players faxing in their NLIs to the university, but there is the potential, albeit slim, that they could add one more to that group.
Four-star linebacker Roquan Smith (Montezuma, Georgia) originally committed and intended to sign with UCLA on Wednesday, but has decided to open things back up after learning that defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich is likely leaving to take a job with the Atlanta Falcons.
The four schools in play for Smith have not changed. UCLA, Michigan, Georgia and Texas A&M will all be considered and his high school coach Larry Harold says that they want to "take a week or so" to figure things out.
"It’s not an open recruitment really, it’s just the same four schools and he’s going to take a week or so to decide," Harold said. "He’s going to take this weekend off, spend time with his family and relax, be a teen-ager. And then next week maybe he’ll start calling some coaches again and rehash it all.
"(The recruiting period) isn’t over until the end of April, so there’s no rush. You know, it is a big decision and he needs to take his time, especially in lieu of what happened with the coach at UCLA leaving. So there’s a lot for him to consider. These things happen. But he needs to do what’s best for him and his family just like Coach Ulbrich did what’s best for him and his family. Everybody needs to do what’s best for their situation."
We will have to wait and see what happens here, but I don't think he will end up at Michigan. We have seen a lot of crazy things throughout the 2015 cycle though, and I would be hard pressed to say it would shock me.
Brief breakdowns on a pair of Wednesday commits
Little by little, I've been posting brief scouting reports on Michigan's commits soon after they drop. Time was not of the essence to do so on Wednesday, so those started rolling out Thursday and will continue to do so throughout the weekend.
On Thursday, the first player I took a look at was three-star athlete Keith Washington, who will play defensive back at Michigan.
Here's an excerpt of what I saw:
From taking a quick look at his film, Zordich's evaluation of him is pretty spot on. His speed at defensive back will definitely allow him to keep up with some of the quicker receivers he goes up against and he'll be able to chase ballcarriers downfield as well.
Washington just makes plays, which is something the Wolverines have lacked in their secondary for awhile. It's going to take some time for him to adjust to playing defensive back full-time, but he has the tools and the staff to help get the most out of his skill set. A college weight program will definitely benefit him, as he is still pretty lean.
This is a nice get for Michigan. He will be a project, but should be a good part of the rotation if/when he figures it out.
The other player that was profiled was three-star running back Karan Higdon, who was yet another surprise flip for Jim Harbaugh and company.
At 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, he has solid size and should be able to add some bulk to his frame before he hits campus. He runs like a back that is much bigger and appears to be pretty durable. He runs with a low pad level and is more than willing to put his shoulder down to try and get the extra yard.
Higdon is a definite north/south runner. He shows good patience and hits an opening almost as soon as he sees it. While he's not exactly the speediest of backs, he displays quick footwork and is more shifty than elusive.
Look for profiles on Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and Shelton Johnson sometime this weekend.
National Signing Day profile videos
A handful of Michigan's 2015 signees were profiled and interviewed by various outlets throughout the last few days, including offensive tackle Grant Newsome, defensive end Reuben Jones and tight end TJ Wheatley.
Newsome's video is embedded below:
Lots o' 2016 offers
Michigan was able to cast a wide net and cover a lot of ground when trying to finish out their 2015 class and it has already carried over to 2016, where several players have been offered by the staff in recent days.
Defensive back is a huge need for the Wolverines in this next class. In the last few days, they have offered four-star North Carolina State commit James Valdez (Orangeburg, South Carolina), three-star safety Calvin Bundage (Edmond, Oklahoma) and unranked safety Chris Brown (Houston, Texas).
That's it for Friday. As always, be sure to stick with Maize n Brew for the latest Michigan football recruiting news and more.