The huge win over Wisconsin last weekend created a large ripple among Michigan’s remaining targets in the 2019 class, as well as prospects in the next few classes.
Luckily for the Wolverines, they have another opportunity to create the same atmosphere when they face Penn State in two weeks. The group of recruits lining up to visit for that matchup is already long and will only get longer as the date approaches, including with someone we’ll talk about below.
In the meantime, let’s look at how some of the visitors reacted to the victory over Wisconsin.
5-star targets reschedules visit again
Last weekend’s game was supposed to feature one more big name target — 5-star linebacker Quavaris Crouch. However, Crouch and the staff mutually decided to reschedule the visit for a later date. Steve Lorenz of The Michigan Insider did some digging to find out Crouch’s reasoning, as well as when he’ll be on campus again ($).
One of the main factors that will go into Crouch’s decision-making is the weather. He is concerned about playing in the cold, and 247Sports director of recruiting Steve Wiltfong has said that will be a hurdle in this recruitment.
Lorenz reported, “Crouch preferred a later visit date because he wants to experience Michigan’s cold weather to get a better idea of what life would be like later in the year in Ann Arbor.”
The main difference between now and last week is what game Crouch is expected to visit for. Initially, the thought was he’d come up for the Indiana game, so there aren’t as many visitors and he can get more individual attention like now-Michigan commit Daxton Hill. But now it seems like he’ll be coming up for Penn State.
On one hand, he probably won’t get the extra attention from staff, but he will be taking part of what should be another raucous atmosphere against a top opponent. Crouch has plainly stated the main thing holding him back from Michigan is their performance in big games. This will give them an opportunity to show the team’s improvement right in front of him. And if the game is at night like Wisconsin, it may be enough to overcome any distance or weather hesitations.
Visit blows away mother of 4-star offensive tackle
I talk all the time about how important it is to not only impress a recruit, but his parents, too. Well, a recent interview with 2019 4-star offensive tackle Trevor Keegan’s mom, from Brice Marich at TMI, should show you first-hand why that’s the case ($).
Mrs. Keegan explained what stood out the most to her on the visit. “The win. I was (shocked) to be honest with you. This to me was like, ‘let’s see where this Michigan team is really going,’ and to dominate and basically run over Wisconsin was pretty cool,” she said.
“They did exactly what I see hoping to see because outside of everything else, it’s the University of Michigan, so the education is there, the alumni is there, the location, so everything is there. They checked all the boxes.”
All that sounds extremely positive for Michigan, and it only gets better from there.
Another advantage of the official visit was the opportunity to sit down with coaches Jim Harbaugh and Ed Warinner individually, to talk about Michigan’s edge over other schools.
She admitted her meeting with Harbaugh was “very good” and “very easy” to talk with him.
Keegan still has his three remaining official visits scheduled, but he may not make it to Penn State. The other two visits are for Clemson and Georgia in November. There’s been grumblings Georgia is gaining steam in this race, so the Bulldogs getting the last visit is concerning.
Despite that, Mrs. Keegan said they could be back in Ann Arbor before Trevor decides on Dec. 11.
On paper, Michigan has every advantage you could want. He visited for a blowout with a dominant offensive line performance, his parents loved it and he has family in the area. Georgia has been a thorn in the side for many lately, especially Michigan, so that rightly has Michigan fans worried. I think everything mentioned above may be too much to overcome, though.
Visit ‘excited’ 4-star linebacker from Ohio
Another highly touted recruit in Ann Arbor last Saturday was 2020 4-star Jaheim Thomas. Michigan has an increasing presence in Ohio lately, and they’re looking to keep the momentum going. Impressing Thomas could end up impacting multiple recruits, as TMI’s Allen Trieu discovers in an interview with the junior ($).
Thomas said there was a “great atmosphere” and “one of the biggest crowds I’ve been to” on his visit.
He was definitely impressed with the way Michigan played, especially on the defensive side of the ball. “I think they played pretty good,” Thomas said. “The defense was on fire and the offense was making plays.”
Thomas added Michigan was “high on his list,” but he isn’t claiming any top schools right now.
Joining Thomas on his trip was teammate Darrion Henry, a defensive end ranked in the top-50 for the 2020 class.
Could the two teammate be a package deal? Thomas says it’s in play.
”Me and Darion have talked about playing together, and it’s definitely something me and him will look into going on in the future,” he said.
Of note, Thomas and Henry were the two recruits Chase Winovich went up to and talked with after his thrilling postgame interview. That interaction had to leave an impression.
The duo both sit at 100 percent crystal balls for Ohio State right now, but Thomas hasn’t even received an offer from the Buckeyes yet. This is another case of Ohio State writers throwing in crystal balls whenever a prospect visits Columbus no matter what. With Michigan showing love to both early, they could possibly sway the pair to play up North.
Thomas plans to visit East Lansing this weekend to watch the Spartans take on Michigan. Hopefully Michigan keeps it rolling and Thomas watches them knock off another ranked team, this time on the road.
That’s all I’ve got this week for Michigan recruiting news. Check out the site plenty this week, as we’ve got several of our own reactions from prospects that visited for Wisconsin. And as always, check back Friday for more updates!