If you kept your television on ABC after the clock struck 0:00, you saw Maria Taylor interview a fired up Chase Winovich.
Shortly after the interview ended, the cameras stayed on Winovich as he was about to head into the locker room.
What was Winovich doing that kept cameras on him, though? Was he over by the student section thanking his fellow classmates for the support?
Was he chatting it up with teammates also leaving the field?
Instead, the fifth-year senior was talking up his university to high school recruits visiting for the game.
Those kids will never play with Winovich, but he still went out of his way to try and get them to buy into the Michigan football program — odds are some of them bought in before Winovich even looked their way.
Getting the best players more often than not depends on what the current product on the field looks like, and what those recruits saw at Michigan Stadium last Saturday was a straight up domination.
The Michigan Wolverines kicked the daylights out of the Wisconsin Badgers 38-13 in what was their biggest win in two years. Beating the Badgers was huge for the rest of the Wolverines’ season, but it was also big to try and lock up some of the biggest recruits left on their board.
2019 5-star defensive end Zach Harrison, 2019 4-star offensive lineman Trevor Keegan and a handful of key 2020 recruits all witnessed the impressive win, and impressive wins were hard to come by last year.
It’s been talked about for a while — Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class was Jim Harbaugh’s lowest-ranked class during his time at Michigan, excluding his very first one that was put together in approximately one afternoon’s time. Michigan’s top commit, Otis Reese, flaked out on National Signing Day to go to Georgia, a team that just made the National Championship.
You can’t blame a kid for wanting to go to a program that just made the championship and looks poised to make run after run after run. At the time of Reese’s decommitment, the Wolverines were not showing any of that.
Fast forward to Oct. 16, 2018 and things are drastically different. Michigan has one loss and is coming off a huge win, all while looking competent on both sides of the ball.
The Wolverines also have a chance at another big win this weekend in East Lansing, which could also prove vital for their chances at the top in-state recruits for the upcoming cycles.
Players like 4-star safety Makari Paige, 4-star wide receiver Rashawn Williams and 3-star athlete Ian Stewart are just a few names Michigan and Michigan State are both heavily recruiting.
U-M has lost out on big recruits in the state of Michigan this cycle. Devontae Dobbs (MSU) and Logan Brown (Wisconsin), two 5-star offensive linemen, and 4-star linebacker Lance Dixon (Penn State) are the names that first come to mind in the 2019 cycle. A 2020 5-star offensive lineman, Justin Rogers, is currently favoring Ohio State and Georgia.
Consistency and wins against your rivals help get you into the conversation for those big time in-state recruits. And once those wins stack up, they get you in the conversation for the elite players no matter where they come from.
The goal is there — beat MSU, get that first win on the road against an AP top 25 team since 2006, beat a rival, get to 7-1 and win over some recruits along the way.
Much easier said than done, but Michigan has a different feel this season than in past years. This is very much so a “prove it” year for the team and for Harbaugh. Future success for this season and success on the recruiting trail are up for grabs.
Go get it, Jimmy.