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Top QB target Harrison Bailey chooses Tennessee over Michigan

In a gut punch, the 2020 four-star swung to the Volunteers late after seeming like a sure thing

Michigan v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

This afternoon, Michigan lost out on one of their top targets of the 2020 class when four-star quarterback Harrison Bailey chose Tennessee over the Wolverines at a ceremony at his local Marietta Performing Arts Center.

This is a tough pill to swallow considering how sure of a lock Bailey seemed to be only yesterday, before a late run of Crystal Balls to the Volunteers at the 11th hour spelled doom for Michigan.

Bailey’s broken collarbone could have been what initiated this chain of events. After visiting for the Penn State game, Bailey and his father were planning to make a return trip for the contest against Indiana. But, after he was injured in his game the next week, they cancelled the plans and instead visited Knoxville for the third time this season.

Head coach Jeremy Pruitt was also pushing extremely hard for the four-star, who had to be looking at the depth chart in Knoxville, which only contains two quarterbacks. The message that he could come in and compete immediately had to have appealed to Bailey, despite the Vols losing their offensive coordinator earlier this week.

As for Michigan, don’t despair just yet. The quarterback position looks extremely bright, with Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton showing immense potential, and there are hopes Shea Patterson comes back for a senior season.

The staff is still in great position with a few highly ranked quarterbacks in the 2020 class. Their next target will likely be California high four-star Jay Butterfield. He is a Stanford legacy, but has yet to receive an offer from the Cardinal yet. They will have their highly ranked quarterback from the 2018 class, Tanner McKee, returning from a two-year mission trip next season and it’s not likely they want two quarterbacks in that class, or that Butterfield would want to join when another touted guy is coming at the same time.

Past Butterfield, Michigan identified New Hampshire four-star Parker McQuarrie early and was his first offer. Boston College has a couple of Crystal Ball picks, but Michigan could probably land him if they pushed hard.

Christian Veilleux is an intriguing Canadian prospect who moved to Buffalo this season and reclassified to the 2020 class. He doesn’t hold an offer from Michigan yet, but he’ll definitely be somebody the staff keeps an eye on.

Losing out on Bailey today sucked. Michigan football fans are really looking for a win right now, but they’re still in great shape at the position, and have built a strong quarterback room in the last few years. All hope is not lost.