Many Michigan commits joined the Wolverines this week in kicking off their football seasons, with plenty of positive results. Let’s see how some of the newcomers fared in their season openers in the latest edition of Friday Night Recaps.
Matchup of the Week
There were plenty of high-profile match-ups featuring Michigan recruits last weekend, including Roman Wilson and the Saint Louis Crusaders helping knock off perennial state champions Bishop Gorman, and J.J. McCarthy losing a tough one to St. Louis powerhouse Cardinal Ritter.
However, I’m going to focus on a local in-state contest between the Freep preseason No. 1 West Bloomfield Lakers and the No. 4 Oak Park Knights. This game was littered with Michigan recruiting targets, including two commitments. Four-star safety Makari Paige and three-star linebacker Cornell Wheeler helped West Bloomfield come away victorious in a tough 20-14 battle.
Wheeler was involved throughout the game, recording multiple tackles and a sack of the Oak Park quarterback. After Oak Park’s Maliq Carr had a 91-yard touchdown wiped out because of a penalty, Paige was called on to shadow him for the rest of the night. He helped seal the game with an interception on a desperation pass as time expired.
#Michigan 2020 DB commit Makari Paige seals West Bloomfield’s 20-14 win against Oak Park with an interception. @SamWebb77 @TremendousUM @BriceMarich @JoshHenschke @AllenTrieu @makaripaige pic.twitter.com/ckZPUZYiRj— Josh Newkirk (@JoshNewkirk7) August 31, 2019
West Bloomfield was also aided by 2021 four-star running back Donovan Edwards, who is near the top of Michigan’s overall board for his class. On his first touch of the night, Edwards raced 60 yards for a touchdown. He ended up with 105 yards on 13 carries.
Several teams with Michigan commits on the roster have realistic shots at winning state titles, which means there will be plenty of blowouts of outmatched teams along the way. This week, St. Frances Academy just edged out Andre Seldon and Belleville for the honor of biggest blowout by one point. St. Frances crushed Chicago powerhouse Simeon 55-0, while Belleville only shutout Salem by a measly score of 54-0.
Blake Corum, who received a bump in the rankings following his Week 1 performance, contributed another two touchdowns in only about a half of work. On defense, Nikhai Hill-Green also found the end zone on a pick-six, backing up my positive assessment of his zone coverage from last week’s game. I’m expecting another huge score differential next week, when they play the American Collegiate Academy from Florida.
Most Impressive Stat Line
As one of the lowest rated recruits on a middling Texas team, Nick Patterson isn’t talked about much when discussing the 2020 class. However, Patterson contributed his fair share in San Antonio Christian’s 42-19 loss to Central Catholic. The three-star tight end caught 10 balls for 134 yards in the game, and is clearly one of the focal points of the offense. These are big numbers for any tight end, especially in high school. It will be interesting to see if he can keep this pace for the rest of the season.
Best WWE Impersonation
McGregor is flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the fact, but my goodness what a tackle. pic.twitter.com/BOZKiGl15s— Nathaniel Bott (@Nathaniel_Bott) August 29, 2019
McGregor showed some impressive strength in this body slam of the ball carrier, but did understandably pick up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the play. Hopefully in the future, McGregor can keep his victims on the ground so his plays actually count. Even without this tackle not officially counting, McGregor still racked up 4 tackles for loss and half a sack.
Throughout the first few weeks of the season, Michigan commits have only suffered three losses in their games combined. Seven commits have still yet to play, including Bergen Catholic and Jordan Morant, whose game against St. Thomas Aquinas was canceled because of Hurricane Dorian. See how everyone else performed with the weekly chart:
(click to enlarge)