When Michigan canceled their spring game on Wednesday, like most of the fanbase, I was majorly bummed. I was disappointed for a different reason than many people were, though. Instead of being eager to catch a glimpse of what the team will look like next fall, I was excited for the major recruiting opportunity the spring game provides. With the game being cancelled, I was worried that Michigan missed out on a great chance for prospective athletes to experience what it is like suiting up for the Maize and Blue.
However, in the day since the announcement was made, I have found the effect on recruiting seems to be minimal at most. Several of the prospects who were planning on visiting this weekend still have plans to do so.
Michigan still plans to hold a situational scrimmage on Saturday inside Glick Field House, so prospects will still get to see the team compete. Witnessing the how the coaches interact with players, and how practices are run is important for a recruit to feel comfortable in choosing where he will develop over the next four years.
One of the biggest pieces that the practice inside will miss, though, is the fans. These prospects will not be able to see the amazing community that Michigan football provides. Not many schools can attract 50,000 fans for a meaningless scrimmage in April. The atmosphere, with fans tailgating and enjoying a spring day with friends and family, is a great visual for the young men to see.
The largest impact cancelling the spring game dealt, was creating more uncertainty with five-star defensive end Zach Harrison. The number three ranked player in the country was reported to be attending Michigan this weekend, and not in-state Ohio State’s spring game. This was huge news for Michigan’s chances of stealing an elite prospect from the Buckeyes’ backyard. But with the spring game no longer taking place, reports are that Harrison and his family are reconsidering coming up to Ann Arbor. Missing out on a chance to not only get Harrison on campus, but take away a visit from Ohio State is a two-for-one opportunity that doesn’t happen often. He still may end up visiting this weekend, but it is not as likely as before.
There are still plenty of talented players visiting this weekend that haven’t changed their plans. Here’s a quick rundown of some confirmed visitors.
Four-star wide receiver John Metchie is on a Midwest swing, so he still has plans to visit while he is in the area. Metchie is hitting up Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Michigan in four consecutive days. Michigan will get the chance to make a strong impression as the last school on his trip. It will be his first visit to Ann Arbor.
Three-star guard Zach Carpenter will still be making the trip as well. Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, he has not yet received an offer from Michigan yet, but looks to change that this weekend.
Three-star safety Kyle Hamilton will also be in attendance. Looking at his offer list, the Georgia native is clearly underrated. Hamilton has offers from almost any school you would want, including Georgia, Notre Dame, Clemson and Ohio State.
A new face to Michigan recruiting is Devin Boddie. The three-star athlete from Memphis, Tennessee, is looking to see what Michigan offers. Boddie does not hold an offer yet.
In-state offensive tackle Karsen Barnhart is also planning to visit. Michigan has been making up a lot of ground in the three-star’s recruitment as of late. All of Barnhart’s Crystal Balls are on Michigan State, but the Wolverines seem poised to turn the tides soon.
One of Michigan’s top targets at wide receiver, four-star John Dunmore, will be taking advantage of the new early official visit rule this weekend. Dunmore was previously a Florida commit, when Jim McElwain was still their head coach. This gives Michigan an existing relationship that will be extremely valuable in this recruitment.
Finally, also making an official visit will be four-star quarterback commit Cade McNamara. McNamara has already given his pledge to Michigan, but will be using the opportunity to have the red carpet be rolled out for him. Hopefully McNamara can be a recruiter for the uncommitted guys also visiting, especially the wide receivers.
Look out for more visitors to be announced as the weekend moves closer. Michigan is not letting the spring game being cancelled stop them making the best of the situation and getting a long list of talented athletes on campus, as they should.