Most of Michigan’s 2020 football recruiting class sealed the deal last week by signing their letter of intent and faxing it to Ann Arbor. There are still a few guys out there for the taking, but this class is pretty much complete.
On this week’s “Attack Each Day: The Harbaughs’ Podcast,” head coach Jim Harbaugh broke down the class and talked individually about the players who signed last week.
On three-star Aaron Lewis: “Nobody compares to Aaron Lewis’ energy and enthusiasm.” Harbaugh noticed when he saw Lewis play, he plays “all out. He’s running sideline-to-sideline, really athletic.”
On four-star Jaylen Harrell: “Long and athletic. Can run and rush the passer. He’s got a great family as well. Great young man. Extremely articulate. Got big plans for himself.”
On four-star Braiden McGregor: “Been recruiting him since early in his sophomore year. Another long, athletic, strong defensive player that’s a really good basketball player as well. Has 227 career tackles. He’s a great guy, great family. Someone who committed early on and has been active in recruiting the class. Go Blue guy all the way.”
On three-star Kris Jenkins: “Kris’ dad was a huge defensive lineman, and Kris looks like a chip off the old block. He had a heck of a (senior) year.”
On the position in general: “We’ve seen all the linebackers on tape, seen them live, we’ve seen them compete. It’s gonna be a position of need for depth starting this season. They’re gonna come right in and be able to compete for backup time and playing time.”
On four-star Kalel Mullings: “Another youngster that seems like we’ve been recruiting for a long time, at least three years.”
On four-star Osman Savage: “Like Kalel Mullings, Osman started off as a running back. Another Aaron Lewis type, in terms of enthusiasm, bringing the energy, really liking football. He’s a great addition.”
On three-star Nikhai Hill-Green: “The first time we saw him we offered him. We’re really excited about him. Serious demeanor, he’s got a plan. He’s serious about being good, having an opportunity and taking advantage of it. Great awareness of his opportunity.”
On four-star Makari Paige: “Makari is a classic safety, a true safety.”
On four-star Jordant Morant: “Remember (Troy) Polamalu? Jordan Morant reminds me a lot of him. Same type of safety Makari is with great coverage ability. Has that Troy Polamalu factor. He’s got the instincts, good safety blitz, could line up anywhere.”
On four-star RJ Moten: “Good and athletic enough to be a corner. Therefore he could also be a good safety. He’s a strong, powerful type of athlete as well. Rock solid in every way, just like all four of these defensive backs.”
On four-star Andre Seldon: “True corner. Very competitive, that’s the thing that stuck out to me. You can talk about guys showing up in camps, they have a tenancy to just stand there and do interviews, wearing flip flops, sunglasses, visors, that is not Andre Seldon. He shows up, he’s looking to compete and show what he can do.”
On the defensive class in general: “It’s a heck of a defensive class. Super excited about each and every guy we signed. We know them well from long recruitments, camp, watching them practice, play in games, and they come from really good programs. Really competitive guys that also like to hit the books and play football.”
On three-star Reece Atteberry: “It hit me within five clips, this guy could be an NFL type center. Even though he was playing tackle in high school, he’s gonna be a center. Reece has the ability. He could be a guard, but don’t be surprised if you see Reece as a really good center.”
On four-star Jeffrey Persi: “He’s a guy that walks through the door and you’re like ‘that’s a tackle.’ He had a tremendous senior year. He really came onto the scene. After he committed, everyone was trying to get him to visit. He was with Michigan all the way.”
On four-star Zak Zinter; “Zak Zinter is gonna probably be one of those really big inside guys. Guard, but athletic enough to play tackle. Very mature guy.”
On the situation, and three-star Dan Villari: “JD Johnson was committed since 2018, and then has a heart issue that is no gonna allow him to play football. When it became apparent he wasn’t gonna be able to play football, we began looking for another quarterback. Dan Villari really stood out at that time. As you’re watching these games, Dan Villari is doing everything offensively. Kind of like a hidden gem. Kept watching him, and then he visited the last weekend of recruiting. We’re really happy to have Dan. Throws the ball extremely well and is a very strong runner. Excited to have him as part of the class. The feeling we have is we’ve uncovered a hidden gem and we’re glad we got him. Plays with a really good rhythm in the passing game. Had he been playing at IMG or Mater Dei, I have full confidence and belief he would’ve been a national guy. He’s worthy of playing at a program like Michigan.”
On four-star Blake Corum: “Big-time back. Blake is a national-type of recruit, national-type of talent. The thing that why we zeroed in on Blake, Blake or bust, there’s no finer work ethic in a high school player than we saw in Blake Corum. He’s got that Ronnie Bell quality at practice, it’s like watching other guys in a game. Blake’s the cream of the crop of guys that want to train and be good, combined with being really talented. Home run hitting running back who is sturdy and can run all the assortment of plays. Jay Harbaugh has been so excited. Can’t wait to get him on the field.”
On three-star Matthew Hibner: “Matthew Hibner came on our radar late last winter. In the winter, he’s starting to show up at camps, in the 240s, 245. Quickly invited him to campus, came with his great family. He’s gonna be a 250-255 guy to go along with the athleticism.”
On three-star Eamonn Dennis: “Look at Mike Sainristil and that’s what you’ll be getting. Player and a competitor like Sainristil. First time I watched him on tape it was like watching Sainristil again. Good enough to be a wide receiver or corner. Last time I talked to him, Eamonn was leaning toward corner.”
On four-stars A.J. Henning and Roman Wilson: “Talk about speed in space, these are two legit football players. Not just fast but they make plays in games. Some of the catches Roman Wilson makes...and also blocks.
“A.J. Henning. Tremendous receiver. His high school used him as running back, any way they could give the ball to him. Wildcat quarterback.
“Legit speed and football play-making ability with all three of those youngsters.”
My biggest takeaway from all this is the Michigan coaches seem to feel they have a versatile class, especially on defense. Harbaugh raved about the defense, and they spent more than half the podcast talking about it. From the defensive backs to the defensive line, it sounds like these kids can line up pretty much anywhere, which definitely isn’t a bad thing.
It also sounds like the two athletes of the class — Dennis and Moten — will get a shot to compete at a few different spots. Harbaugh mentioned Dennis was leaning toward playing corner, which is an interesting development. He also mentioned Moten was good and athletic enough to play corner or safety, so it’ll be interesting to see where he winds up as well.
All in all, this is a solid recruiting class with the chance to add a few more play-makers by the February signing day.
To listen to the whole podcast, click here.