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3 recruits leaning toward and away from Michigan

Let’s get trendy and evaluate how Michigan stands with half a dozen of their targets.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

With Michigan on bye and not much to talk about, unless you want to re-litigate the Devin Bush turf-stomp over again, it’s a good time to take stock of where Michigan stands with a handful of players on the recruiting trail.

This reflects where the prospects stand right now. It’s recruiting, which means everything could change in an instant, but as of today, this is how Michigan is trending with some of its top targets.

Trending Up

Zach Harrison — 2019 5-star DE

Harrison’s visit for the Wisconsin game a couple weeks ago created a frenzy, with 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong believing the 5-star would not pick the Buckeyes if he had to choose today. This is obviously good news for the Wolverines, considering that opinion was generated after his visit to Ann Arbor.

Penn State may be the biggest rival for Harrison’s services. Wiltfong has said if their campus was located in Columbus, he’d be committed to the Nittany Lions already. But Michigan’s proximity and his ever-growing relationship with linebackers coach Al Washington have maybe given the Wolverines a slight edge.

Wiltfong switched his crystal ball to cloudy, and another pick came in for Michigan a few days later, but from someone likely without legitimate inside information.

Harrison was initially believed to be visiting for Michigan’s tilt against Penn State Nov. 3, and that may still be in play. If Harrison visits for a game between two finalists, and Michigan keeps up its level of play as the last two weeks, it should put the Wolverines firmly ahead.

Mike Sainristil — 2019 3-star DB/WR

Remember him? The Massachusetts native took an official visit back in June and appeared poised to flip to Michigan, possibly even silently committing to the staff. Everyone was gearing up to add the potential cornerback/slot receiver to the class...and then nothing.

It seemed as if the communication between the two went radio silent for the next couple months, as there were no updates or reasons why he didn’t switch his pledge to the Wolverines.

Well, he’s finally back in the spotlight after announcing he’ll be in Ann Arbor for the Penn State game. This is good news, as he’ll have to pay for the trip since he already used his official visit over the summer. That indicates the interest is still strongly there for the 3-star athlete.

And then, late last night...

All of this points towards Sainristil finally pulling the trigger for the Wolverines. I’d say the staff should be on commit watch for the Penn State weekend, if he doesn’t commit beforehand.

Justin Rogers — 2020 5-star OL

5-star offensive linemen from Michigan don’t come around often. Never, in fact, since the turn of the century.

Now, there’s three in the next two classes.

Michigan fans are understandably upset the two in the 2019 class, Logan Brown and Devontae Dobbs, are heading to other schools. Adding to the pain was that Justin Rogers, a 2020 guard, had 100 percent crystal ball selections to Ohio State until recently.

Georgia has received a handful of predictions lately, but Michigan has also worked hard to rekindle their relationship with the Oak Park native. He visited for the Maryland game and made some midweek trips earlier in the season. He’s stated in interviews he’s reconnecting his relationship with the staff and planning another gameday visit.

Rogers isn’t shy about the recruiting process. He likes taking visits all over the country and could very easily leave the mitten state. But because he enjoys the process so much, he’s planning to wait until the February signing date in 2020 to make a decision. That gives Michigan ample time to form a stronger relationship and get him on campus plenty before then.

Trending Down

Isaiah Foskey — 2019 4-star TE

The 4-star tight end from California has always been a luxury for the 2019 class, as Michigan’s roster is deep at the position and already has a tight end committed in both the 2019 and 2020 classes.

Yet, the reason Foskey is trending away from the Wolverines is because it’s looking like he wants to play another position at which Michigan is similarly stacked, defensive end.

Out of Foskey’s five finalists — Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Washington and Cal — it looks like the Golden Domers are the only school pitching Foskey on the defensive line, and that strategy is working. Notre Dame holds 92 of the crystal balls, with the other 8 percent on cloudy.

All the picks came after Foskey’s official visit to South Bend at the end of September. Michigan could try to stem the tide if they convinced him to take an official to campus, but no word on a visit has materialized yet.

The combination of an official visit and the relentless pursuit by friend Giles Jackson gives Michigan the best chance here, but the ship may have already sailed.

Kyle Ford — 2019 5-star WR

The 5-star receiver has always been a longshot to land all the way from Southern California. He tore his ACL a few weeks ago, ending his senior season, so he’s been less in the news than usual, and the injury probably affects his ability to visit schools.

He’s only taken one official this season, to Washington in the beginning of September. He has three left to use, after visiting Colorado last summer. Michigan has always been one of the names he’s mentioned that will receive an official visit, but he still hasn’t scheduled anything.

I view this recruitment the same as Foskey’s. If he doesn’t end up ever taking another trip to Michigan, you can effectively count the Wolverines out. Washington apparently made a big impression on him, and USC always waits until really late to turn up the heat on local kids. I wouldn’t hold my breath unless he schedules a visit.

Aeneas DiCosmo — 2019 3-star DE/OLB

This battle swung back and forth between Michigan and Stanford for a while. Both schools received runs of crystal balls for the 3-star defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid, but the Cardinal had the last one, and it doesn’t look to change.

There have been reports DiCosmo isn’t really considering anyone besides Stanford anymore. That makes it strange he hasn’t committed yet, but he may be waiting for admissions. As someone who wanted to dual major in business and theater, with a minor in Chinese, I doubt academics will be a problem for him.

Michigan took its best swing, and were possibly leading for a stretch of time, but Stanford has been DiCosmo’s dream school. There’s not much else the staff could do to hold the lead as the experience at Stanford seems to have won out.