There is a LOT of recruiting news swirling around the Michigan program as the early signing day approaches, and the staff crisscrosses the country to meet with every prospect they can. Throw in the Urban Meyer retirement and Michigan is in strong position to finish with the best recruiting class in the Big Ten.
Michigan plans for second in-home visit with Zach Harrison
Tomorrow, Jim Harbaugh, Al Washington and Greg Mattison will all be heading down to Columbus in order to meet their highest ranked target left on the board, 5-star defensive end Zach Harrison, according to The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb ($).
This will be the staff’s second in-home visit after seeing him last Tuesday. This trip adds the benefit of having Jim Harbaugh along with them, who didn’t go last week. Having the Michigan staff in-home so soon after this gives them the opportunity to hammer their message home early and strongly.
As I discussed yesterday in the aftermath of Meyer’s retirement, this development may not be as momentous as it seems. Losing OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson would have a much bigger impact in this recruitment, as he has the strongest connection with Harrison. Well, rumors are now popping up if Mike Locksley takes the Maryland head coaching job, Johnson is a strong possibility to join him as defensive coordinator. Michigan fans should be rooting for this to happen, as it would probably end the Buckeyes’ chances.
Harbaugh duo visit 5-star target
The other 5-star Michigan has the best chance with, linebacker/running back Quavaris Crouch, received a visit from Jim and Jay Harbaugh Monday night in his hometown of Charlotte.
TMI’s Steve Lorenz laid out the details of how the visit went down ($).
Crouch had several family members and friends with him during the visit, including his mother, grandmother and sister. This is important because distance is a major factor so his mom and grandma can travel to see him play. When they made the trip for Crouch’s official visit, it was big news.
Apparently, Crouch didn’t have any remaining questions to ask the coaches. The visit was just about spending time and increasing his familiarity with the Harbaughs.
“...the staff has given Crouch and his family everything they need to know heading into a final decision as it pertains to the Wolverines,” Lorenz said.
“Confidence is growing” following the visit, but the crystal ball is still 100 percent in favor of Clemson. Crouch still plans to give a silent commitment to the school of his choice before the early signing period, then publicly announce his decision at the All-American Bowl on Jan. 5. I have a feeling we’ll know well before then where he’s going.
4-star wide receiver target taking official visit next weekend
Lorenz also reports Connecticut 4-star Cornelius Johnson will be in Ann Arbor next weekend for his official visit ($). The 6-foot-3 prospect has already taken an official to Notre Dame and will reportedly be at Penn State for an official the day before he heads to Michigan.
Michigan’s main competition for Johnson has been Stanford and Notre Dame, but the latter may be out of the running. It’s questionable if he would be a take for the Fighting Irish right now as scholarships get tight.
Still, battling against Stanford is always extremely difficult, especially when Johnson’s father is a Cardinal alum. Michigan’s chances lie with the fact his mother graduated from Michigan, and it’s a much shorter trip to Ann Arbor from Connecticut than Palo Alto.
Johnson may be the staff’s best shot at landing a top-tier outside receiver prospect, especially with Kliff Kingsbury being hired at USC and how that could affect Kyle Ford’s recruitment.
New tight end target sets official visit date
As per usual this time of year, new names are coming out of the woodwork as the staff looks to fill out their recruiting class. One of these emerging prospects is 3-star tight end Sam Snyder.
The Florida prospect was committed to Louisville until Monday, when he opened his recruitment back up. Maybe not coincidentally, that was also the same day Al Washington visited Snyder for an in-home visit.
Now, according to Lorenz, Snyder will also be taking an official visit to Ann Arbor on Dec. 15 ($). This will be Snyder’s second visit to Michigan, after taking an unofficial back in April.
Michigan sits well with the 6-foot-5, 215-pound Snyder, who is also strongly considering Baylor and Florida State, who offered him on Monday.
Two 2020 4-star OL say Michigan will receive an official visit
Continuing with official visit news, a couple of highly-touted junior linemen said Michigan will be one of the five schools to receive an official visit when their time comes to take them.
The first is 6-foot-8 offensive tackle Andrew Gentry, from Littleton, Colorado. Talking with TMI’s Brice Marich, Gentry revealed his connection with Ed Warinner is what’s driving his interest ($).
“I’ve been texting coach Warinner quite a bit,” Gentry said. “He’s been talking a lot about how much improvement the offensive line has made this year. He also just texts to check in quite a bit. He’s really cool.”
Gentry hasn’t visited Ann Arbor yet, but explained, “I know I can start taking officials in April and my guess is I’ll take one then.”
The No. 14 offensive tackle says he’s looking to decide in “late spring/early summer of 2019.” Michigan and BYU hold one crystal ball each.
The second lineman to say Michigan would receive an official visit hasn’t been connected to the Wolverines much, so it’s a welcome surprise. 4-star offensive tackle Miller Merriweather-Lewis recently told Lorenz ($), “I am definitely looking to make Michigan an official visit.”
Warinner is again the one forging the bond here, according to Merriweather-Lewis.
“I’m texting with coach Warinner multiple times a week and am probably getting mail from Michigan every day,” he said.
At 6-foot-3, a move to the interior is probably in the Florida prospect’s future, but for now he is rated as the No. 19 offensive tackle in his class and 135th overall.
LSU is standing out in this recruitment so far, holding all three of the crystal ball predictions.
That wraps up a packed edition of the Wednesday Michigan Recruiting Roundup. There’s going to be much more news as signing day frantically approaches. Stay with Maize n Brew as we have plenty of content in store.