Happy Friday, folks, and welcome in to another Michigan Recruiting Roundup.
It hasn’t been a last good week or so for the Wolverines, both on the field and the recruiting trail. Could more bad news be on the way? Let’s get right into the biggest story line.
2020 four-star S commit not 100% solid to U-M?
One of Michigan’s top ranked players in the 2020 class is four-star safety Jordan Morant. The 5-foot-11, 212-pounder from New Jersey has been a verbal pledge since June 23, but that doesn’t mean he is looking around and keeping his options open.
In fact, that is exactly what he’s doing. He took an official visit to Texas A&M two weekends ago, and the visit reportedly went well. Texas A&M’s defensive coordinator, Mike Elko, is a New Jersey native, a big reason for Morant’s relationship with him.
Remember, a big reason Morant felt comfortable enough to commit to Michigan is because of the Jersey connection with linebackers coach Anthony Campanile and safeties coach Chris Partridge.
According to Sam Webb over at The Michigan Insider ($), he believes Michigan is trying to get Morant back on campus to “completely slam the door on other suitors.” As of now, that visit date may come for Michigan’s game against Notre Dame next month. It would be Morant’s first visit to campus since committing back in June.
Another thing Webb thinks will be vital is getting Morant’s mom to Ann Arbor. According to Webb, Morant’s mom has yet to see U-M’s campus, which would be a big factor in shutting down his recruitment for good and solidifying his commitment to Michigan.
Whether this all happens or not remains to be determined, so it will be very interesting to see how all this plays out. For the Wolverines’ sake, they better hope their relationships with Morant are stronger than Elko’s.
2021 four-star S eyes U-M visit after the season
The safety class for Michigan in 2020 is one of the best in the country (unless something happens to the aforementioned Morant). And it appears the Wolverines are off to a good start in the 2021 class as well, as 247Sports’ Brian Dohn ($) is reporting 2021 four-star safety Tysheem Johnson is looking to check out Ann Arbor in the near future.
“I want to go see Stanford, Oregon, Ohio State (and) Michigan (after the season).” he said.
Johnson — a 5-foot-10, 185-pounder from Philadelphia — has already taken unofficial visits to Penn State, Maryland and Florida this year. He also holds other offers from Ohio State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Texas A&M and more.
Johnson has been playing a plethora of positions this year in high school, but he said U-M is eyeing him in the defensive backfield.
“I was talking to Michigan the other day and they thought it would be best if I come in and practice with the defensive backs,” he said. “They said I could learn all the defensive stuff, and the maybe get on the field on offense just to lengthen my career.”
Johnson is the No. 8 ranked player in Pennsylvania, No. 9 ranked safety and No. 243 ranked overall player in his class, per 247Sports’ composite.
2020 OL commit looking good to begin senior season
Finally, let’s end things on a big positive note, since a lot of what has happened in the world of Michigan athletics over the past week has been negative.
One of Michigan’s under-the-radar commits in the 2020 class is three-star offensive lineman Jeffrey Persi. The California native transitioned to the offensive line for the first time last season, much like current Wolverine Ryan Hayes did before getting to college, so you can understand why he is a bit of a project player and why he isn’t a highly ranked prospect.
But 247Sports’ Greg Biggens ($) watched Persi play last weekend, and he came away impressed.
“The (J Serra Catholic) Lions’ offensive line was the story of the game and no one was more impressive then Persi,” Biggens wrote. “At 6-foot-7, Persi is so long he’s tough to get around. He has long arms, good feet and moves laterally very easily. He’s starting to fill out and looks like he has gained a solid 10-15 pounds from his junior season.”
Biggens also complimented Persi’s pass protection, and called his run blocking “dominant” while making “really nice blocks when he got out and pulled, showing very good athleticism for a big tackle.”
Persi could be due for a boost in the rankings if he continues to impress. He is currently No. 402 overall in the 2020 class, so it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that he creeps up toward four-star territory.
Unless all hell breaks loose next year, Persi is bound for a redshirt season to put on more weight and continue to learn how to play the position.
That’s all for this week! Come back on Monday for more Michigan recruiting updates.