Every Friday before a home game, I write up a list of visitors that will be on hand to witness a Michigan football game live. They always end up being somewhat inaccurate or incomplete because recruits cancel or decide to visit on a whim.
This has made me want to write a retrospective after Saturday to break down who actually was on the sidelines and see what trends I can pick up about Michigan recruiting. Well, after the biggest recruiting weekend of the season is as good as any, so let’s read some tea leaves.
Michigan wants to add another linebacker (or two) in 2019
Linebacker was going to be a focus in the 2020 class, and that was going to be before the Drew Singleton transfer. Without Singleton, that makes only three linebackers taken in the last two classes.
With only Charles Thomas in the current class, the Wolverines clearly want to pad those numbers. Thankfully, they are in with some really talented players.
The first was the main headliner of the weekend, 5-star Quavaris Crouch. It’s not certain he’ll play linebacker at the next level, as Michigan is recruiting him as an athlete that can play on both sides. But after starting his recruiting process as a running back, Crouch’s attitude has shifted more towards playing linebacker full-time and moonlighting on offense. Crouch is probably best suited in the SAM role, as a bigger, more athletic Josh Uche, if you can even imagine that.
A late announced visitor was a pleasant surprise. Before committing to Florida State, 4-star Kalen DeLoach was on top of Michigan’s board. He’s a smaller, speedier missile in the mold of Josh Ross or Devin Bush. Well, after a disastrous season by the Seminoles, DeLoach has been looking around. Michigan will be battling Auburn to try to flip the Georgia native. After the visit, 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong believes Michigan at least has DeLoach’s father on board ($). The next big hurdle may be the weather.
At least Crouch looks comfortable!
Lastly, Michigan had another ACC commit on campus, one who should be able to handle the cold. Ohio 4-star Tommy Eichenberg is committed to Boston College, but recent offers from Michigan and Ohio State have him thinking. He’s more of an old-school, thumping middle linebacker type who measures in at 6-foot-3, 225 pounds. The Buckeyes have the better chance to flip, but you can’t count Michigan out (Zach Harrison says hi).
A handful of wide receivers are trending blue
After linebacker, wide receiver is probably the next biggest position of need in 2020. Michigan also did some work at that position this weekend. In-state 4-star Rashawn Williams was leaning towards Ohio State for a bit, but I think Michigan has reeled him back in tight. Williams was definitively on Michigan’s side for the Michigan State game, as evidenced by his Twitter feed. This is especially notable considering Williams attends Detroit King, a notorious pro-Michigan State football program for a long time.
After being on the sidelines against Penn State, he’s getting his mom on Michigan’s side, as well. Plus some pushing from Giles Jackson of course.
Commit— G5 (@gilesjackson__) November 4, 2018
Another talented receiver with strong Michigan vibes is Georgia 4-star Josh Downs. He visited for the BBQ and got a Wolverine crystal ball afterwards. Wiltfong has let it be known he’s really impressed with Downs, and The Michigan Insider guys agree. Being on campus with former teammate DJ Turner could only have helped keep the good feelings rolling.
Finally, another in-stater, 3-star Devell Washington. He’s been on campus multiple times this season, plus he was at the Michigan State game. There’s a crystal ball each for Michigan State and Ohio State, but Michigan is right there, if not leading. At 6-foot-4, he could be fill the outside receiver role that needs to be addressed.
Holy 2021, Batman!
Question: What do the following seven players have in common?
Answer: All are composite 5-star recruits in the 2021 class. And all of them were on campus this weekend. In the visitors list Friday, I said seven was a possibility, but there was a slightly different lineup. It looks like Wisconsin defensive end JC Latham didn’t make it, but Texas tackle Hayden Conner did.
Nevertheless, it was still an incredibly impressive collection of sophomore talent. I know, I know, it’s a long time until their signing day. But laying this foundation can never hurt.
Front-row seats of the Revenge Tour for this quartet
We’re all aware of how fun and dominant the revenge tour has been these last three games. Now imagine being on the sidelines for each of those. That’s what these following four recruits have done in the past month.
Darrion Henry - 4-star, #44 overall, #5 SDE
Jaheim Thomas - 4-star, #246 overall, #16 OLB
Devell Washington - 3-star, #449 overall, #83 WR
Garrett Dellinger - 5-star, #2 overall, #1 OT
Wisconsin at home, Michigan State away, Penn State home. What an impression that must have created on these guys. I’ve already mentioned the latter two. The first two are teammates from Ohio, and thus naturally have 100 percent crystal balls to OSU. But attending two consecutive Michigan home games means you have strong interest in the program. I’m just saying, if you weren’t sure about Michigan before all this, you definitely are now.
If I had a crystal ball, I’d put one in for Quavaris Crouch, Rashawn Williams and Josh Downs. It’s too early for me to prognosticate 2021, but Garrett Dellinger, Damon Payne and the newcomer Hayden Conner look the most promising. Michigan has some serious recruiting momentum going right now, and are looking to capitalize in a big way.