What’s the future of Michigan football after the embarrassment to Florida in Atlanta?
Well, five future members of the 2019 roster are competing just 400 miles down I-75 South in Orlando.
A slew of four-star Wolverines are lacing up for the 2019 Under Armour All-American Game, including DT Mazi Smith, OL Nolan Rumler and Trente Jones, linebacker Anthony Solomon and safety Quinten Johnson.
Day One started Sunday, but here’s what to glean from the early going.
ZACH CHARBONNET SITTING OUT, ON VERGE OF FIFTH STAR
In his “Top Performers” post, Greg Biggins of 247 Sports noted that Westlake Village (Calif.) running back Zach Charbonnet was sitting out the week due to a minor injury.
He also noted that he was one of two players — the other Texas A&M tight end Baylor Cupp — that was on five-star watch this week.
Without the extra data points of competition, the No. 26 player nationally may stay put as the second-highest four-star.
MAZI SMITH VS. DEVONTAE DOBBS
The two literal biggest hauls of the in-state class — one a Wolverine and the other a Spartan — faced off in one-on-one drills.
Future battle in one on ones with Michigan State OL signee Devontae Dobbs and Michigan DL signee Mazi Smith pic.twitter.com/l3DZM6XSfd— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) December 31, 2018
Smith, out of East Kentwood (Mich.), checked in at 6-foot-3, 320 pounds, the same weight with one inch less than future teammate Nolan Rumler.
While physically ready, he mentioned he needed areas to improve over the next nine months.
“I tell you one thing, I’m glad I have this game and glad I got these practices to run around and fire up my lungs before I got winter conditioning,” he said to Allen Trieu of 247 Sports. “That was one of the weak points I had in the past was conditioning and that’s not something the coaches at Michigan don’t know.”
Early on in his recruitment, he looked like he’d join Dobbs at Michigan State. He grew up a fan, but his mentality changed after meeting various coaching staffs.
“I went from being a fan to a prospect,” Smith noted. “When you’re a prospect, you get recruited and get a feel for people and the type of relationship we could build and where it fit in.”
QUINTEN JOHNSON LOCKED IN, RECRUITING 2020 TEAMMATES
Johnson, a four-star safety out of Washington (D.C.) St. John’s, looked a holdout on the December Signing Day.
He actually delivered his Letter of Intent, but at his high school coach’s request, he is officially announcing in February with his current teammates.
Right now, he’s mostly getting in the ear of Williams, a 6-foot-1, 308-pound defensive tackle.
“At the end of the day, I live with Tre,” Johnson said to 247 Sports’ Brian Dohn ($). “That’s family. I am definitely in his ear. It’s the best of both worlds, both educationally and football. He’s starting to figure that out.
Sherman, a prototypical middle linebacker at 6-foot-3, 234 pounds, and Jarrett, a speedy receiver, both look like Ohio State leans at the moment.
Johnson mentioned he’s working on fixing that.
As noted earlier, Smith and Rumler already look physically ready. You can add Trente Jones to that list, as well.
Mazi Smith told me yesterday that he’s currently 6-3, 320 pounds and Nolan Rumler told me he’s 6-4, 320 pounds. #Michigans got some big beasts coming to Ann Arbor with those two. Signee Trente Jones is also physically impressive ready to go in that regard.— Adam Ghabour (@Qb9Adam) December 31, 2018
He plans to use that size to win the battle at right tackle this August.
He also bonded with fellow southerner Anthony Solomon.
#Michigan signees Anthony Solomon and Trente Jones as they arrived at the Under Armour All American Game week in Orlando, Fl. Two really hungry players that will bring their southern edge to the VIPER and Right Tackle positions at #Michigan. Photo cred: @RivalsPhotos pic.twitter.com/eJab00cOr5— Adam Ghabour (@Qb9Adam) December 30, 2018
The four-star linebacker out of Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) expressed relief that he didn’t stick with his Miami (Fla.) commitment in the wake of Mark Richt’s retirement.
As the five get more practices under the belt, stay tuned for more updates.