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Monday Crootin’: Michigan Staff Making Headway on Elite Defensive Recruits

Three different defensive assistants are making positive gains on recruits from California, New York and Michigan.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan has a decent history with California corners. Most recently, 4-star David Long out of Loyola (Los Angeles) High spurned Southern Cal, UCLA and a host of Pac-12 offers. Late in the Lloyd Carr era, 5-star Donovan Warren shipped to Ann Arbor after graduating from Long Beach Poly.

Heck, throw guys like Morgan Trent and Cato June (before he switched to linebacker), who both were born in San Diego and Riverside, respectively.

Cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich is working hard to secure a pledge from another in 2020 four-star Darion Green-Warren out of Santa Ana. The No. 124 player nationally per Rivals plays for the 2-time defending state champion Mater Dei and legendary coach Bruce Rollinson.

Green-Warren was previously committed to Oklahoma, but announced on Twitter over the weekend that he is now looking elsewhere.

As Brandon Brown of The Wolverine reports, Michigan’s offer in late January got the ball rolling on the decommitment. Zordich and tight ends coach Sherrone Moore are at the forefront of this recruitment.

“Michigan is recruiting me heavily and I like Michigan a lot,” Green-Warren said. “I am making plans to unofficial there this spring or summer. My main recruiter is Coach [Sherrone] Moore and we talk at least once a week. I also talk to Coach [Mike] Zordich periodically.”

Green-Warren, the No. 15 player in the Golden State and the No. 12 corner nationally, intimated that he forced himself on Oklahoma, which insinuates a lack of mutual interest. Zordich and Moore are working with the Californian to schedule a summer visit to Ann Arbor.

Brown compared this recruitment to that of 2019 Georgia four-star Jalen Perry.

“Perry was an out-of-region prospect committed to the home state Georgia Bulldogs and ultimately opened things up and is now in Ann Arbor as an early enrollee,” Brown writes. “Green-Warren isn’t from Oklahoma but he’s an out-of-region kid who seems very interested in the Wolverines. If he does end up visiting once or twice before a fall official, he should be viewed as a very real option for the Wolverines.”

Georgia, Southern Cal, Texas and others are also in hot pursuit.

Shaun Nua Shooting Free Throws with 4-star Braiden McGregor

Evan Petzold of Wolverines Wire relayed a funny story about new defensive line coach competing with 2020 four-star defensive end Braiden McGregor in a free throw shooting contest.

The 6-foot-5, 248-pounder is a front court presence for the Port Huron (Mich.) Northern Huskies. After a 58-46 victory over crosstown rival Port Huron, Nua noted that the No. 27 player nationally per 247 Sports “needs to get them free throws down.”

McGregor jokingly challenged Nua, who took on the request with gusto. Per Petzold:

“In a best two-of-three series, Nua shot first and went 8-for-10 from the charity stripe. McGregor countered with a 6-for-10 mark.

Nua 1, McGregor 0

The second set of free throws were once again dominated by Nua. The 37-year-old coach tossed in 7-for-10 free throws, and McGregor only managed to go 5-for-10.

Nua 2, McGregor 0”

It’s a piece of evidence that shows how Nua and McGregor are bonding on the recruiting trail. It’s things like these that are going to separate Michigan from a pack that includes Notre Dame, Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State.

“It’s just the people there and the culture,” McGregor said of the Wolverines. “That’s what keeps drawing me back. It’s pretty funny (coach Nua) wanted to beat me that bad.”

Final Quick Note

New defensive assistant Anthony Campanile has helped schedule an unofficial visit from 2020 outside linebacker Cullen Coleman of Rye (N.Y.), reports Steve Lorenz.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder is currently unrated, but holds offers from Alabama, Notre Dame and Ohio State, as well as Michigan.

Campanile and Don Brown are collaborating on this one, which makes sense. Coleman is the sort of diamond in the rough prospect that Brown has unearthed before, including defensive ends/rush linebackers in Kwity Paye and Josh Uche.

Here are some highlights from the New Yorker.