One of the main priorities for the 2020 class will be the defensive line, with both tackle and end looking thin on the roster right now. Thankfully, the staff seems to recognize this deficiency and is working to rectify it for the coming years.
Several touted defensive linemen have been the benefactors of Michigan scholarships and have spoken about their thoughts. Let’s dive into them to see who could end up as the next first round draft pick on the line.
Michigan jumps in race for 4-star Florida DE
Last week, the coaches offered 2020 4-star Chantz Williams, who has just about offers from everybody in the country. The No. 131 player in the country still seems to be wide open though, with only one crystal ball prediction for Miami and one for “foggy” right now.
Williams spoke with The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich about the surprising offer ($).
“I didn’t even think I was on Michigan’s radar,” Williams said. “It’s a very meaningful offer and it’s very exciting for me to hold the offer.”
As for his next steps, William is uncertain.
“I’m not for sure right now, but I’m working on something. I would like to see their campus, but it depends on my parents and my scheduling,” he said.
Williams says he’s planning on releasing a top six list “pretty soon,” but isn’t sure if the Wolverines will make the cut quite yet. Getting Williams on campus will be an important first step moving forward.
Staff offers West Coast 4-star DE
Another recruit in a similar situation as Williams is California 2020 4-star Jordan Banks, who also received his offer last week.
“(I was thinking) just that I finally got an offer from Michigan. This is a big one. Blessings on blessings,” Banks told TMI’s Marich about his reaction to receiving the scholarship ($).
Banks has a vague idea on when he’ll visit, but it isn’t locked down yet.
“Yes I do (plan on visiting Michigan) and still making plans on it, so probably in like two months maybe (I’ll visit),” Banks said. “I can’t wait and I want to learn all about the history of the college.”
Banks is ranked as the No. 303 prospect in the country. He has one crystal ball pick for Alabama, and also holds offers from Auburn, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma and Penn State.
Michigan makes top 5 for in-state DT
One Michigan native who was eagerly waiting a scholarship from the Maize and Blue finally received one a couple of weekends ago, during Michigan’s junior day. That offer immediately put the Wolverines in the top group for 3-star defensive tackle Bryce Austin.
He told TMI’s Allen Trieu about who else is up there with Michigan in his mind ($).
”My top school right now is Purdue, then Michigan State, Michigan, Boston College, and Pittsburgh,” he said.
It’s rare for a prospect to be so up-front about his rankings of schools, but Austin’s transparency is helpful, as it lets the staff know exactly where they stand.
Despite this declaration, Michigan State holds the only two crystal ball selections for Austin at this moment. He says he does not have a decision date set yet, which gives the staff some time to make up ground.
5-star 2021 DE already has Michigan visit planned
There arguably hasn’t been a state the staff hit harder during their evaluation period than Arizona, which is shaping up to enjoy an unusually loaded crop of talent in the next two cycles.
One player helping that is 5-star defensive end Quintin Somerville. TMI’s Marich spoked with Somerville recently, who had some very good things to say about the program ($).
“(When I learned) Michigan offered me, my breath was taken away because I was not expecting it at all,” Somerville said. “I was ecstatic knowing that Michigan is one of the best teams in the country and have an incredible defense.”
Somerville says he’s noticed Michigan’s efforts in Arizona as well, and that “sending people from Arizona would make it really easy to settle down especially with someone from the same city.”
The staff already has 3-star quarterback JD Johnson committed for the 2020 class, and is pursuing Somerville’s teammate, 5-star cornerback Kelee Ringo.
Somerville has quickly made plans to visit campus, showing his interest is sincere.
“I plan on attending the spring game this year unless something comes up,” Somerville said.
Also of note, his tweet about Michigan’s offer to him is pinned at the top of his Twitter feed right now.
North Carolina 5-star DT receives a scholarship offer
Yet another 5-star defensive lineman from the 2021 class offered by the staff in January was North Carolina prospect Payton Page. He’s already ranked the No. 19 player in the country, and first in his state.
He spoke with TMI’s Marich about the next steps in his recruitment following his offer ($).
Page said he’s “really interested” and thinks highly of the facilities.
The 5-star is looking to visit “either this spring or summer,” but only has a visit to Alabama planned right now. He’s looking to “learn more about the educational side of things and see all the programs they have to offer” when he gets to campus.
This will be a tough battle considering basically every school in the country is after the sophomore, but there’s plenty of time to make a move. Breaking into North Carolina would be a great move for recruiting.
As you can see, Shaun Nua has been attacking his new job with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind in the short time he’s been on the staff. That effort will look to pay off at his position in the near future.
Check back soon for more recruiting updates from Maize n Brew!