Michigan’s last big recruiting weekend before the season kicks off is upon us. The BBQ at the Big House has become an annual tradition that has shifted focus toward hosting underclassmen in recent years as prospect’s commitment timelines keep getting earlier.
While there will be plenty of 2021 studs on campus, there will also be two key targets that would be great additions for the 2020 secondary class. See who’ll be visiting with this visitor’s list from Maize n Brew.
West Bloomfield (MI) Makari Paige - 4-star, #243 overall, #22 S
Michigan’s chances with Paige have done a complete 180-degree turn in the last couple weeks. Once seen as a strong lean to Ohio State, Paige has backed off after their safety room has filled up and turned his attention back towards Michigan. Kentucky and Penn State are the other contenders.
Delran (NJ) RJ Moten - 4-star, #287 overall, #26 S
Fresh off his new ranking in the top 100 by 247Sports, Moten is set to visit Ann Arbor again. The BBQ is not-so-coincidentally on the same day as Moten’s announcement date, so you can put two and two together here. He could be part of what would be back-to-back amazing safety hauls.
(One notable omission from the list is Darion Green-Warren, who was slated to visit but had to cancel because of family vacation plans. He still intends to take an official for a game this season)
Belleville (MI) Damon Payne - 5-star, #29 overall, #4 DT
Getting Payne on campus is huge for a number of reasons. First, the Wolverines could use some defensive tackles, and having an elite prospect in their backyard helps out greatly. Second, Payne has been leaning toward Ohio State and Florida State lately, so having him visit again will help greatly in turning the tide back toward Michigan.
Clarkston (MI) Rocco Spindler - 4-star, #41 overall, #6 DT
Spindler is the member of the Clarkston duo that has been trending toward Michigan strongly, and the one who has best maintained his ranking near the top 10 status he was at previously. The crystal ball is still split with Notre Dame, but Michigan’s have been put in much more recently. Despite being listed as a defensive tackle, the coaches are recruiting him as an offensive guard.
West Bloomfield (MI) Donovan Edwards - 4-star, #61 overall, #3 RB
Edwards will be joined by his teammates Makari Paige and Cornell Wheeler on his trip, which should be a big help, especially if Paige commits on the visit. Edwards’ recruitment will take a little bit longer, as he is set to take a trip to a bunch of southern powerhouses like Alabama and Clemson next week.
Damascus (MD) Ryan Linthicum - 4-star, #84 overall, #1 OC
This seems like a race between Michigan and Clemson, based on Linthicum’s social media. Facing Clemson in a recruiting battle is daunting, but the Wolverines have a few feathers in their cap. Linthicum has been on campus multiple times already and has formed a really strong relationship with J.J. McCarthy.
West Lafayette (IN) Yanni Karlaftis - 4-star, #111 overall, #9 OLB
The younger brother of true freshman defensive lineman George Karlaftis seems much more likely to leave his hometown of West Lafayette to play his college ball. While Michigan ended up missing out on George, they got a lot of face time with Yanni during visits, which has laid a nice foundation for his recruitment.
Clarkston (MI) Garrett Dellinger - 4-star, #118 overall, #15 OT
The second half of the Clarkston duo is Dellinger, who is more likely to leave the state than Spindler. The word is Dellinger will be tough to pull from Notre Dame, but getting him on campus again this weekend will be big for Michigan’s chances. With current commit Giovanni El-Hadi visiting as well, that means the top five players ranked in Michigan for 2021 will be in the Big House on Saturday.
Noble and Greenough School (MA) Drew Kendall - 4-star, #119 overall, #2 OG
Kendall plays in the same league in Massachusetts as Zak Zinter and Kalel Mullings, and both will be on campus this weekend. Given Michigan’s success in the state, you can almost guarantee it’ll be one of his top schools as long as the coaches want him.
Blair Academy (NJ) Aaron Armitage - 4-star, #129 overall, #11 SDE
Speaking of preppy high schools, Armitage attends Blair Academy, the same high school David Ojabo attended. This will be Armitage’s first visit to campus after being offered at the end of April. He’s mentioned having Ojabo on campus will help Michigan’s chances here.
Roger Bacon (OH) Corey Kiner - 4-star, #168 overall, #10 RB
Kiner received a bunch of crystal balls for Michigan after his last visit in March. Since then he’s received an offer from Ohio State, which will be dangerous, but the staff got out in front in this race and choosing to visit Michigan again is significant.
Hopewell (VA) TreVeyon Henderson - 4-star, #256 overall, #21 ATH
Michigan’s been working hard in Virginia lately, and Henderson is part of that effort. The electric athlete could play on either side of the ball as a slot receiver or defensive back. He also holds offers from Notre Dame, Clemson, Oklahoma, Penn State and others.
Oak Park (MI) Rayshaun Benny - 3-star, #264 overall, #31 OT
Benny is right on the edge of 4-star status and is one of the many talented offensive linemen in what could be a legendary in-state crop. Besides Michigan, he holds offers from Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, Ohio State and many more.
Frederick Douglas (KY) Dekel Crowdus - 3-star, #280 overall, #45 WR
When you talk about speed in space, you think of a player like Crowdus, who has been timed running a 4.4 40-yard dash. That’s led Florida State, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and several others to offer. I’m sure Michigan will add to that list this weekend.
Cass Tech (MI) Kalen King - 3-star, #314 overall, #22 CB
King could be the next big cornerback to come out of Cass Tech, which Michigan has turned into an All-American factory. Kalen has a twin brother, Kobe King, who is an inside linebacker and also holds a Michigan scholarship. I assume he’ll also be on campus.
Brentwood (TN) Noah Josey - 3-star, #335 overall, #14 OG
Josey is the first of a few members of Tennessee’s Brentwood Academy making the trip up. Despite his 3-star ranking, Josey has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Penn State and many more.
East Lansing (MI) Andrel Anthony - 3-star, #376 overall, #57 WR (247 only)
Michigan immediately received crystal balls for Anthony after extending him an offer in camp. Pulling Anthony would be a great way to rub it in to the Spartans, who are in his backyard.
Detroit Country Day (MI) Caleb Tiernan - 3-star, #414 overall, #45 OT (247 only)
Tiernan has also been trending hard toward Michigan on the crystal ball lately and could be a candidate to commit this weekend. At 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, he has the perfect frame to build into a tackle of the future.
Harper Woods (MI) Davion Weatherspoon - 3-star, #568 overall, #6 C
Michigan is in strong standing with several of the nation’s top centers in 2020, including Weatherspoon. He’s been on campus plenty of times before since receiving his offer last year.
Brentwood (TN) Damon Owens - 3-star, #637 overall, #60 ATH
The 6-foot-1, 203-pound Owens plays both receiver and safety for Brentwood, but could grow into a linebacker at the next level. While he may not have the same offer list as his teammate Noah Josey, he’s still got some solid schools like Penn State, Missouri, Kentucky, Louisville and Tennessee after him.
Belleville (MI) Ramier Lewis - 3-star, #639 overall, #65 OT (247 only)
Lewis is another big in-state lineman, standing 6-foot-7 and weighing 30 pounds more than Tiernan. He also has offers from Iowa State, Kentucky and Kansas. He’s teammates with current commit Andre Seldon at Belleville.
Belleville (MI) Myles Rowser - unranked S
Garber (MI) Alex VanSumeren - unranked ATH
Grosse Pointe South (MI) William Johnson - unranked CB
Nolan Catholic (TX) Emeka Megwa - unranked RB
The first three guys are from in-state and have a familial relationship with someone who has played, is playing or will play for Michigan. Rowser is the younger brother of 2020 commit Andre Seldon, VanSumeren is the younger brother of current running back Ben VanSumeren, and Johnson is the son of former Wolverine Deon Johnson.
Johnson may have the highest ceiling, as he already stands 6-foot-1 and holds offers from Penn State and Michigan State. Although, VanSumeren looks to be even more of a beast than his brother, measuring at 6-foot-3, 248 pounds as a freshman. All of them look to be studs in the future.
None of them may be as good as Megwa, however, who already holds offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, and many more as a freshman. I’m willing to bet he picks up a Michigan offer as well while on campus.
In addition to all the talented uncommitted prospects, a healthy portion of the current commits will also be on campus. Top peer recruiters like Andre Seldon and JJ McCarthy will be there, along with newer commits like Reece Attebery, Kalel Mullings, and AJ Henning, among many others. This should create plenty of buzz around the team that could lead to a few commitments in both the 2020 and 2021 classes. Whatever happens, stay tuned to Maize n Brew for the latest news on the recruiting trail.