Well, after a season of building up to this game as a major recruiting event, the day is almost here.This will be Michigan’s best chance to convince talented recruits from all across the country that this is the school for them and a win against the Buckeyes would do wonders for recruiting in the future.
The list is skewed towards 2021 and 2022 like most of the lists have been this year and are packed with blue chip talent at positions of need. Get a look of who’ll be in attendance and a brief snapshot of their recruitment below:
Greater Atlanta Christian (GA) Myles Hinton - Four-star, No. 70 overall, No. 8 OT
This will be yet another trip for Hinton to watch his big brother play at The Big House this season. While it’s still a longshot, Sam Webb did say that the staff still believes they can eventually flip the top-100 big man.
Berkely Prep (FL) Jaylen Harrell - Four-star, No. 300 overall, No. 14 WDE
After having to previously cancel an official visit to Michigan earlier in the season, Harrell has rescheduled for this weekend. While Miami and Florida State stumble through rough seasons, Michigan has a chance to nab the four-star out of his home state.
***A note on two Alabama commits***
Back in the spring, defensive tackle Jayson Jones and cornerback Jahquez Robinson, both four-star Alabama commits, said they were planning on making a trip to Ann Arbor for the game. While these two recruits are at positions of need and would be welcome, there has been zero mention of those plans since and Jones is actually planning on taking an official to Oregon this weekend while Robinson is planning on enrolling early. I don’t expect either of these guys to be there on Saturday.
Bergen Catholic (NJ) Tywone Malone - Four-star, No. 37 overall, No. 6 DT
One of the literally and figuratively biggest targets in 2021 will be Malone, who plays an important position of need at defensive tackle. Michigan has a few advantages in this battle. He’s teammates with current commit Jordan Morant, who we’ll talk about later, and has the Campanile connection being from New Jersey.
He is also a top baseball prospect, and Michigan has shown they will allow their athletes to compete in both sports in college. RJ Moten, who is on the same path and is also from New Jersey, will be taking an official visit this weekend and would be the perfect guy for Malone to talk with.
Clarkston (MI) Rocco Spindler - Four-star, No. 43 overall, No. 7 OT
Please just commit already.
West Bloomfield (MI) Donovan Edwards - Four-star, No. 62 overall, No. 4 RB
Michigan probably isn’t quite as far ahead in this race as they are for Spindler, but they’re in excellent position. Picking him up would be huge for their 2021 class and would break open the West Bloomfield pipeline.
Saguaro (AZ) Quintin Somerville - Four-star, No. 69 overall, No. 4 SDE
Somerville visited back in the spring and absolutely raved about his visit. He seems to have really connected with Shaun Nua, who will be both his position and area recruiter. Hopefully Michigan can keep this momentum going with another good visit.
Blair Academy (NJ) Aaron Armitage - Four-star, No. 152 overall, No. 9 SDE
After visiting for the BBQ at the Big House this summer, Michigan looked to have pulled ahead in this race. However, after a visit to Penn State for the whiteout game this year, another Crystal Ball came in for the Nittany Lions, splitting his predictions 50/50 between the Big Ten schools. Michigan is tough to beat in New Jersey, though, and have an opportunity to surge back ahead with this trip.
Ravenwood (TN) Junior Colson - Four-star, No. 170 overall, No. 14 OLB
Michigan has some quality targets lined up at linebacker for 2021, which will now include Colson. After earning an offer back in June, Colson will be making his first trip to Ann Arbor this weekend.
New Trier (IL) David Davidkov - Four-star, No. 178 overall, No. 23 OT
Sherrone Moore has been locking down the state of Illinois for Michigan lately, and Davidkov could be the next blue chip resident to join the Maize and Blue. In fact, Michigan was just the benefactor of a recent Crystal Ball pick and looks to be trending here.
Westlake (CA) Victory Vaka - Four-star, No. 189 overall, No. 14 DT
After naming Michigan in his top five earlier this month, Vaka will have the chance to witness the program in person for the first time this weekend. LSU is probably the biggest competition here, but Nua has put Michigan in a good spot already.
Cass Tech (MI) Raheem Anderson - Four-star, No. 201 overall, No. 2 OC
Anderson’s been on the sidelines plenty this season and has 100% Crystal Balls for Michigan. Please just commit already.
Belleville (MI) Jamari Buddin - Four-star, No. 262 overall, No. 19 OLB
Like Anderson, there’s not much else to say about Buddin. He’s got 100% Crystal Balls to Michigan and would be an awesome fit for Don Brown’s defense. Cracking further into Belleville would also be helpful.
Episcopal (TX) Cullen Montgomery - Three-star, No. 378 overall, No. 39 OT
This is Montgomery’s third visit to Michigan and second this season. That’s a lot for a prospect from Texas and speaks to his level of interest towards the Wolverines. The list of “warm” schools on his 247 profile are Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M, so he may be a bit better than his three-star ranking right now.
Episcopal (VA) Bryce Steele - Three-star, No. 390 overall, No. 36 ATH
Steele is being recruited as a safety/linebacker hybrid, whether it be the Viper at Michigan or Bullet at Ohio State. Unfortunately, after visiting Columbus last week, a few Ohio State predictions rolled in for Steele. Michigan will be able to fight back here this weekend.
Detroit County Day (MI) Caleb Tiernan - Three-star, No. 425 overall, No. 46 OT (247 only)
Michigan absolutely loves these tall-framed linemen who they can pack weight on. Tiernan has the same measurables as 2019 commit Jeffrey Persi and probably has the same amount of upside. Don’t grumble if he commits early, the sky’s the limit for Tiernan.
Bishop Hendrickson (RI) Jason Onye - Three-star, No. 445 overall, No. 24 WDE (247 only)
The last 6-foot-4, 245 pound defensive end from Bishop Hendrickson that Michigan recruited turned out well with Kwity Paye. They’ll try to replicate that success with Onye, who also has offers from Penn State, Virginia Tech, Arizona, Boston College, and others.
Belleville (MI) Deion Burks - Three-star, No. 468 overall, No. 75 WR (247 only)
Belleville will be well represented on the sidelines this week with at least four members of their team visiting. At 5-foot-10.5 and 175 pounds, Burks looks like he’ll be a slot receiver at the next level. He’s got a bunch of MAC offers along with Kentucky, Rutgers, and Cincinnati right now.
Southfield (MI) Caleb Banks - Three-star, No. 494 overall, No. 49 OT (247 only)
After receiving an offer from Michigan a couple of weeks ago, Banks is making the trip to Ann Arbor for his first visit. He has also earned offers from Iowa State, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Rutgers, Washington State, and more.
Hilliard Bradley (OH) Jack Pugh - Three-star, No. 549 overall, No. 25 TE (247 only)
Pugh has yet to receive an offer from Michigan, and this will be his first trip to campus. The 6-foot-5 tight end has been offered by Iowa State, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, and a handful of MAC schools.
Bergen Catholic (NJ) Jaeden Gould - Five-star, No. 23 overall, No. 6 CB
Kicking off a very solid group of 2022 prospects is Gould, who is teammates with Malone and Morant at Bergen Catholic. Michigan fans have been itching for another elite cornerback prospect, and Gould is a likely candidate for his cycle.
Regis Jesuit (CO) Nicco Marchiol - Four-star, No. 74 overall, No. 2 PRO
If I had to predict who will be the first member of the 2022 class, it would be either Myles Rowser or Marchiol, who has taken several visits to Michigan already from Colorado. It’s always nice to have a quarterback early to build a class around, so him committing early would be helpful.
Westview (OR) Darrius Clemons - unranked WR
Clemons is a Michigan State legacy, but is set for consecutive visits to Ohio State and Michigan, so he seems to be setting his standards a little higher. Allen Trieu recently said that he expects Clemons to be a four-star type guy when it’s all said and done.
Buckingham Browne & Nichols (MA) Tyler Martin - unranked ILB
West Bloomfield (MI) Michael Williams - unranked OLB
Belleville (MI) Myles Rowser - unranked S
You probably recognize this trio of recruits, who have been common figures on Michigan’s sidelines this season. Rowser is the younger brother of Andre Seldon, and Martin and Williams are teammates of current commits so the bonds are strong with all three.
Port Hurton Northern (MI) - Braiden McGregor - Four-star, No. 107 overall, No. 3 SDE
Bergen Catholic (NJ) Jordan Morant - Four-star, No. 166 overall, No. 14 S
Milton Academy (MA) Kalel Mullings - Four-star, No. 167 overall, No. 13 OLB
West Bloomfield (MI) Makari Paige - Four-star, No. 242 overall, No. 24 S
Belleville (MI) Andre Seldon - Four-star, No. 220 overall, No. 15 CB
Buckingham Browne & Nichols (MA) Zak Zinter - Four-star, No. 276 overall, No. 11 OG
Delran (NJ) RJ Moten - Four-star, No. 279 overall, No. 27 S
J Serra Catholic (CA) Jeffrey Persi - Four-star, No. 315 overall, No. 26 OT
St. Louis (HI) Roman Wilson - Four-star, No. 350 overall, No. 62 WR
Eaglecrest (CO) Reece Atteberry - Three-star, No. 427 overall, No. 8 C
West Bloomfield (MI) Cornell Wheeler - Three-star, No. 439 overall, No. 19 ILB
Williamstown (NJ) Aaron Lewis - Three-star, No. 448 overall, No. 22 SDE
Good Counsel (MD) Kris Jenkins Jr. - Three-star, No. 502 overall, No. 24 SDE
This is a big group of commits who are visiting from all across the country for the most important game of the year. The most notable inclusion is Jordan Morant, who is coming off of an official visit to USC last week. Importantly, Morant’s mom will be coming on the trip for her first visit to campus, which should be enough to solidify his commitment if all goes well, which it should.
It’s a bit of a bummer that JJ McCarthy and AJ Henning will be unable to make it, but they’ll be playing for state championships that day so you can’t blame them. Having McGregor, Seldon, and Wheeler on campus as the lead peer recruiters will be plenty.