To call the Spring Game a success would be an understatement. We saw encouraging signs of very respectable and competent quarterback play out of Wilton Speight and John O'Korn. Shane Morris was not awful, Ty Isaac ran very well and we had a goal line stand to end the game. All reason to be excited about the 2016-2017 season.
The Wolverines had a very big group in town for the game as expected. The coaching staff thus turned that into commitments from some quality football players.
Headlining the list of commitments this weekend is 2017 running back O'Maury Samuels, the number one recruit in the state of New Mexico. He's been called a sleeper but that's mainly due to the fact that he is from New Mexico and not a state more recognizable on the recruiting trail. Samuels is currently the Nike Sparq Score national leader and will be able to improve on his score at the Nike Opening in Oregon this summer.
Samuels, like fellow RB commit AJ Dillion, has excellent balance and even better speed. The thought of having both of them on the field at the same time at one point is exciting. Jim Harbaugh and company are definitely committed to running the ball and that is made abundantly clear by their effort in landing two more high quality running backs in Samuels and Dillion.
O'Maury Samuels Highlight Tape Defensive tackle Phillip Paea (Barren Springs, MI) joined the ranks of the 2017 Class this weekend too. The 13th overall recruit in the state of Michigan (24/7) chose the Wolverines of rivals Notre Dame and Michigan State as well as national Power Oregon. Continuing to win these instate battles with the Spartans is helping Michigan take back the state as well as working to become the regional power in recruiting it once was. According to Paea he will not visit any other schools. He spoke with Steve Wiltfong of 24/7 Sports and said this:
"Now I can focus on school," he said. "Get ready to play ball senior year and make sure it's the best year I ever had and then get ready to be a Wolverine. I', thinking about doing early enrollment to get to know the playbook and get settled in."
The number one center in the class of 2017 named Michigan as his top school on Sunday evening. Cesar Ruiz is an 83% crystal ball rating on 24/7 sports but competing with defending national champions, Alabama will not be easy. Stay tuned in on this one.
The 2018 class also grew stronger this weekend with another addition from OSU's backyard. This time it was 2018 LB commit Antwan Johnson's teammate, Leonard Taylor. Taylor is considered the third overall recruit in the state of Ohio. It is unclear what position Taylor will suit up as at the next level but picking off another Buckeye target from their neck of the woods is never a bad thing.
Michigan also added 3-Star linebacker/fullback Chase Lasater as reported Friday. Lasater has the goods to play either position but he is rated as the number 25 linebacker in the class of 2015. If he were to play linebacker he would accompany Josh Ross as the only other linebacker of the 11 commits to date.
As Jim Harbaugh has an opportunity to build the Michigan brand with one full season under his belt we should take notice of the following: