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Wednesday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: Impact of the Ben McDaniels hire

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Ohio is back in play for the Wolverines.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Welcome everyone to another Wednesday Recruiting Roundup. It’s National Signing Day, but it should be fairly quiet for Michigan, as they’ve locked up everybody in their class save Quinten Johnson, who will announce his signing this afternoon.

There’s still some recruiting news to cover, including the impact of new quarterbacks coach Ben McDaniels, who we’ll cover first.

Ohio is back in play with Ben McDaniels

There’s been quite some turnover on Michigan’s staff this offseason, and there’s been a consistent trend of going for hungrier and more active recruiters. That has continued with Pep Hamilton’s replacement, Ben McDaniels.

While Michigan had a vacant assistant coaching position before the Shaun Nua hire, McDaniels was out on the road in some of the most fertile recruiting grounds in the country.

He had to get back to Ann Arbor after the staff filled up, but now that his promotion is official, he can start recruiting again. What is most interesting to me about McDaniels are his ties to Ohio.

Similar to Anthony Campanile, McDaniels’ father is a high school football coaching legend. Thom McDaniels coached at Ohio powerhouse Warren G. Harding and Canton McKinley, which have produced some outstanding football players.

Ben McDaniels has coached at both schools on his way up the ladder, which should prove helpful in Michigan’s pursuit of the state down South.

After losing Al Washington and Greg Mattison to Ohio State, Michigan’s ties to the Ohio football world were severely crippled. But McDaniels should help bring back some of that production.

Of course, McDaniels’ older brother Josh is the offensive coordinator of the Patriots and has had a very successful career. Those NFL connections could also be a benefit, similar to John Harbaugh’s and the Baltimore Ravens.

Overall, McDaniels, or really anyone, will be a recruiting upgrade over Pep Hamilton, who didn’t produce much talent in his time in Ann Arbor. He’s only listed as the primary recruiter for five recruits and was mainly focused on quarterbacks.

He was very well liked by quarterbacks, and rumors of him leaving are a big part of why Harrison Bailey committed to Tennessee over Michigan.

But with Michigan and Jim Harbaugh’s history of quarterbacks, there shouldn’t be a problem getting any signal callers to choose the Wolverines. Michigan already has one quarterback for the 2020 class anyway in JD Johnson.

This is yet another upgrade on the coaching staff recruiting-wise for Jim Harbaugh in 2019. We’ll see how the results play out this cycle and beyond, but the future looks bright.

Michigan surging with 3-star TE

After receiving an in-home visit from Jim Harbaugh himself and a trip to Ann Arbor in a week, the Wolverines have made a big move for Canadian tight end Theo Johnson, according to The Michigan Insider’s Steve Lorenz ($).

Lorenz reports Johnson’s family likes Michigan the most, which is a substantial development. Johnson was considered a heavy Penn State lean just a couple weeks ago, with all three of his crystal ball picks for the Nittany Lions.

Now that the family is on Michigan’s side, and Johnson has had plenty of interaction with the coaches, this could be the Maize and Blue’s race to lose.

Lorenz also mentioned Johnson is in line to get a sizable rankings upgrade soon. This speaks to another good job the staff has done in identifying talent early so they can kick start the recruitment as soon as possible.


That wraps up a short roundup for today, but there will be plenty of other recruiting news throughout the day as the 2019 cycle wraps up. Stay tuned to Maize n Brew for any unexpected developments.