Welcome back to another Wednesday Michigan Recruiting Roundup!
The staff has still been out on the road visiting prospects in person, but with the trip to South Africa coming up, active recruiting may be put on hold for a short time. But have no fear, there is still plenty of information to cover today, so let’s jump right in.
Top target’s bond with current players grows on latest trip
Heading into yet another visit to Ann Arbor, in-state 4-star defensive end Braiden McGregor (who is now ranked in the top 100 after some industry shuffling) wanted to focus on how he would fit in with the players on the roster.
After speaking with The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich, it seems his goal was accomplished (FREE).
“With this visit, it pretty much just to get spend time with players because that’s who I’ll be with for the next four years,” McGregor said. “With me getting to spend time with them, I got that question answered. I could see myself hanging out with people like that.”
McGregor also got some time to further his relationship with defensive line coach Shaun Nua, which is especially important after the Greg Mattison tie was severed. Unsurprisingly, that portion of the visit also went well.
“Every time we see each other, we pick up right where we left off. He feels like a guy you’ve known for your whole life,” said McGregor.
When a player is itching to see if he fits in with the players on the roster, it’s a good sign they’re picturing themselves ending up at that school. Michigan has been in that position for a while though, and with no further decision timeline established, it’s still a waiting game.
The staff has done all the right things, but McGregor is being very thorough with his recruiting process. This could last another few months or end randomly one day, but either way it still looks good for the Wolverines.
Early 2021 5-star OT loves his return trip to campus
One of the many talented lineman on the 2021 board includes 5-star Nolan Rucci, who is currently ranked as the No. 30 player in his class. Rucci had already visited Ann Arbor back in January, but made the trip up from Pennsylvania again to learn more about the program.
While speaking to TMI’s Brice Marich, Rucci recapped what he experienced ($).
“Overall, it was a great day getting back up on campus and learning even more about their great program,” Rucci said. “I think the amount of support for each individual and the attention paid to each players strengths and weaknesses is what impressed me the most.”
Rucci also mentioned academics as “part of the reason for coming back to campus” and got to grab lunch with Jim Harbaugh at the Brown Jug.
Penn State has all of the crystal balls, considering Rucci’s father played for the Nittany Lions, but Michigan is continuing to fight here and making inroads. As far as Michigan goes, Rucci said he’s planning on visiting for a game in the fall.
2021’s No. 1 center enjoys his introduction to Michigan
The other highly-touted offensive lineman on campus last weekend was Maryland 4-star center Ryan Linthicum. He was similarly impressed about his visit, calling it “one of my best visits so far that I’ve had” in a conversation with TMI’s Marich ($).
Like Rucci, Linthicum spent time with Warinner, calling him “someone I could see myself playing for,” and Herbert, whom he said “it’s awesome what he has going and the plan for every athlete.”
Following the visit, Linthicum made an encouraging statement about where the Wolverines fall in his recruitment: “(Michigan) stands really good right now.”
There are no predictions for Linthicum yet, but you have to imagine that Michigan is at least one of the top schools, if not the leader for the 4-star prospect. Expect to hear more about him moving forward.
A glimmer of hope for elite TE
Early on Michigan seemed to be a contender for Nevada 5-star Darnell Washington, but things had cooled off between the two for a while. But Washington’s high school assistant coach recently told 247Sports’ Blair Angulo the Wolverines still have a chance ($).
Washington will be taking all five of his officials on trips to games during the season. Three of them are set already — Alabama, Georgia and Miami. The remaining two could go to schools he has plans to unofficially visit.
”Darnell plans to visit Texas, Texas A&M, Ohio State, Michigan and Ole Miss as well,” said Washington’s coach. “Once he’s seen those five schools, he’ll know which will be the final five trips.”
Getting Washington on campus would be a huge chance to make an impression, but the Wolverines are competing with some of the best schools in the country. Alabama and Georgia both have crystal ball picks in for the 5-star. Chances are low, but if Michigan can vault the unofficial visit into an official, this race can be taken more seriously.
That’s all for another edition of the Wednesday Recruiting Roundup. Come back again soon for your fill of Michigan-related recruiting news.