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Wednesday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: BBQ at the Big House visitors taking shape

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Michigan is shaking out who will be at the BBQ at the Big House event at the end of the month.

Air Force v Michigan

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Wednesday Michigan Recruiting Roundup!

We’re in the middle of a dead period in the recruiting calendar, and the news this week reflects that. There’s not much going on besides the visitor list for the BBQ at the Big House taking shape.

However, this is just the calm before the storm. Media days are starting up and camp will start in a couple weeks. Football season is right around the corner, which will bring plenty of new developments in recruiting! In the meantime, here is what’s been happening in the past week.

4-star wide receiver talks official visit plans

The top receiver on Michigan’s board is California 4-star Kyle Ford. He’s gained a lot of national attention after lighting up The Opening, but Michigan’s staff has been pursuing him for a long time.

He recently caught up with 247Sports Steve Wiltfong ($) about what he liked about Michigan and when he plans to take his official visit. “They’re good on life after football. The connections they have back to California, everything out there is awesome,” Ford said. “I think I could see myself going anywhere as long as it sets me up for the rest of my life.”

Ford is planning on visiting Ann Arbor for the game against Western Michigan on September 8. That date is also Ford’s bye week for his high school team, which gives him the opportunity to go cross-country.

The Michigan Insider’s Steve Lorenz has previously stated he believed Michigan and Oregon are out in front in this recruitment, but Wiltfong’s interview with Ford revealed some more interest in USC than previously thought. USC holds 100 percent of the crystal ball selections, which is the smart pick based on the history of elite talent in southern California. Michigan will be fighting hard against a late surge from the Trojans in this race.

4-star linebacker set to visit Michigan for BBQ

One of the top targets on Michigan’s board for 2020 is linebacker Kalel Mullings, out of Massachusetts. The Wolverines were the first offer for the top 100 player.

Mullings previewed his trip to Ann Arbor with Wolverines Wire’s Evan Petzold (FREE). “I am looking forward to being there with other recruits,” Mullings said. “I also want to talk to other recruits about their recruiting experience. I want to exchange stories about the different schools we have visited.”

He also added Michigan will be in his top five when he cuts down his list. Michigan holds 86 percent of his crystal ball picks at this early juncture. Mullings also holds offers from Penn State, Clemson, UCLA and Northwestern, among many others.

4-star running back also visiting for BBQ

Another top 2020 prospect who plans to be in attendance for Michigan’s BBQ at the end of July is top 100 running back Mookie Cooper, as confirmed by 247Sports ($).

The Wolverines offered Cooper back in November when he visited for the Ohio State game. He attends Trinity Catholic in St. Louis, who has been pumping out talent lately. He’s the teammate of former Michigan targets Isaiah Williams and Marcus Washington.

Cooper holds offers from some impressive schools, including Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, Georgia and Texas. The latter has the only two crystal ball selections for Cooper so far.

Getting Cooper on campus multiple times before his junior season even starts is laying a solid foundation for a recruitment that looks to be going national. Jay Harbaugh is listed as Cooper’s main recruiter, and after his coup of Zach Charbonnet and Eric Gray, Michigan can’t be counted out.

5-star safety staying local for end of July event

One player who will not be in Ann Arbor for the BBQ at the Big House is 5-star safety Daxton Hill. Hill is ranked as the ninth best player in the country, and may be Michigan’s most sought after prospect. However, he will not be heading up to Ann Arbor for the BBQ.

Instead, Hill will be attending Oklahoma’s own BBQ which will be held on the same day, according to 247Sports ($). While it’s unfortunate to not get another visit from a high priority prospect, this visit doesn’t end Michigan’s chances.

The current dead period we are in ends on July 24. With summer camp starting for most teams in early August, this leaves a small window for schools to host recruiting events. The weekend of July 28 ends up being the only option, and several schools are fighting for to get their top prospects on campus during that time.

These visits have to be unofficial visits, meaning the players have to pay for their trips. In Hill’s case, driving the 45 minutes to Oklahoma’s campus makes more sense financially than flying to Michigan.

Hill is still planning on making his official visit to Ann Arbor on September 15 for the SMU game, where Michigan will probably have its last shot to make an impression. The Sooners have the crystal ball lead, with Alabama also receiving some. Hill has already taken his official to Alabama, which gives Michigan a good shot at making a more lasting impression.

That’s everything from this past week on the recruiting trail. Be on the lookout next week for a complete visitor list for the BBQ at the Big House, as well as more Michigan news and notes in the Recruiting Roundup!