I’ve been talking all week about how many recruits were at the Penn State game on Saturday. Michigan made some big moves with several top targets in this current class and beyond.
We’ve already got reactions from a handful of prospects, like Zak Zinter, Jaheem Joseph, Tyrece Woods, and Andre Seldon. But there are many more to cover, so let’s see how these prospects described their time in Ann Arbor.
Michigan targets another Florida State commit
The Wolverines already flipped 3-star defensive end Mike Morris, and are coming back for more.
4-star linebacker Kalen DeLoach was the staff’s top target at his position before he committed to the Seminoles at the end of July. Well, with Florida State going through a rough season, he’s looking around again.
Michigan not only impressed DeLoach on the trip, but his father as well, per The Michigan Insider’s Steve Lorenz ($).
”What an awesome experience it was in the Big House. The game experience was absolutely unbelievable. We’ve met a lot of great people on the visit as well. Just a ‘wow’ experience for us as a whole so far,” DeLoach’s father said.
One concern for the Georgia prospect could be the weather, but his dad assuaged those concerns. “Sun, rain or snow, the weather is just a part of life,” he said. “It’s nothing for us.”
Michigan is obviously battling Florida State, who will be trying to keep DeLoach in the class, and Auburn for the 4-star’s services.
4-star wide receiver has Michigan as one of his top schools
As I explained in my recruiting trends from the Penn State weekend, Ohio State was trending for in-state 2020 4-star Rashawn Williams, but that sentiment has changed. This view was reflected in Williams’ interview with Wolverines Wire’s Evan Petzold, who talked with him about his visit (FREE).
“The visit was great,” he said. “I loved the atmosphere, and the fans were just amazing.”
Williams assured he always held the Wolverines in high regard. “Michigan was never out of my top three schools, but I just never made a list.”
Friendships with current commits are also helping influence Williams’ decision making. “You never hear anything bad about the staff from the players and commits,” Williams said. “Andre (Seldon) and Cornell (Wheeler) tell me that it’s like family between the fans, players and coaches (at Michigan).”
Confirming my sentiment in the recruiting trends piece, TMI’s Allen Trieu and Brice Marich put in crystal balls for Michigan for the 4-star. Ohio State still holds the edge with 57 percent, but Michigan makes up the remaining 43 percent.
Top-100 linebacker enjoys his third visit to Michigan
Michigan has been the program out in front early for 2020 4-star linebacker Kalel Mullings. The crystal ball reads 67 percent for Michigan, including a pick from Northeast expert Brian Dohn following his visit.
Mullings spoke with 247Sports’ Dohn about his experience last weekend ($). “Michigan is definitely up there,” he said. “Michigan has the academic and athletic reputation that I am looking for.”
The 4-star especially enjoyed how the defense performed. “The linebackers are fast and it seems like they blitzed on every play,” Mullings said. “The atmosphere was crazy. The crowd, and even the recruits, were loud.”
Michigan is in very good standing with the linebacker, who plays a position of need for the 2020 class, and could be yet another addition in the Don Brown Northeast pipeline.
Can Michigan pull off landing two elite Ohio defensive ends?
There was a ton of buzz about Michigan’s chances with 5-star Zach Harrison following the weekend, even though he wasn’t even visiting Ann Arbor. The outlook is increasingly positive regarding Michigan in his recruitment. But what went under the radar was another top-five defensive end in the country from Ohio was actually on the sidelines this weekend.
2021 prospect Jack Sawyer is already considered elite, ranking third in the country and first at his position. This was a return visit for Sawyer, who visited over the summer. He reflected on his most recent visit with TMI’s Brice Marich ($).
“It was great. Got to talk with all the coaches again, watch walk-through and be a part of the game day experience for the first time with them,” Sawyer said. “I talked to everyone defensively and coach Harbaugh as well. Their message is that they really want me and they think I’m a great fit.”
As with Harrison, the main recruiter so far has been linebackers coach Al Washington, who has extensive connections in Ohio. So far, his message has been connecting with Sawyer.
“Me and coach Washington have a great relationship,” Sawyer said. “He’s a great coach and we’ve had a great relationship for awhile now. (His message to me is) that he feels I’m a great fit there at Michigan and I could be myself.”
The performance of the defense also stood out to the 5-star, and he even went as far to say “I could see myself playing for a defense like theirs.”
Moving forward, Sawyer says he holds no favorites, but has “always been really interested in Michigan.” He added that he feels “very good about them” and will “for sure” be back for another visit.
As is expected, Ohio State holds all eight crystal ball predictions at this juncture. But, as the staff has shown with Harrison, no prospect from the state of Ohio is safe. Look for the staff to continue to make strides here.
Like I said at the top, Michigan made major moves with some truly elite talent last weekend. The program is setting themselves up for some ridiculous recruiting classes in the next few years, especially if they keep their performance at this level. Stay tuned with Maize n Brew for more ripple effects as the program keeps the recruiting momentum going.