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Michigan Recruiting Roundup: Reading the tea leaves on top-100 commit

Michigan could be on either side of a flip heading up to signing day

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Happy December! It’s certainly not very jolly around the Michigan football program, with recruiting in limbo while Jim Harbaugh’s status remains up in the air. A decision has to be made soon if Michigan wants to keep most of their recruiting class before the December 16th signing period. The clock is ticking, Warde Manual.

Top-100 commit goes cryptic on Twitter

The big story of Michigan recruiting this past week was four-star wide receiver Xavier Worthy visiting Alabama for their Iron Bowl blowout over Auburn. Following the visit, fans of both programs were understandably looking to gauge his reaction and see where he is leaning.

However, Worthy tweeted on Monday that he wouldn’t be doing any interviews at this time.

Of course, Michigan fans are taking this as a sign that he is planning to flip soon. But, this could just be a recruit overwhelmed by constant social media interactions with two of the biggest fanbases in the country and wanting some space.

Either way, we’ll have to wait a little bit to see if the visit did enough to sway his - and his mom’s - opinion enough to flip his commitment to the Tide.

Former DT target decommits from SEC school

Back in the winter and spring, one of the top defensive tackle targets on the board was 350-pounder Victory Vaka. Then, he committed to Texas A&M in early May and hasn’t been heard about in regards to Michigan since.

On Monday, Vaka re-opened his recruitment. With Michigan in dire need of defensive tackles, it raises the question if interest between the two parties is going to resume. The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich says that it’s not likely to happen ($).

Marich was told by sources “not to expect anything to come from it.” Vaka has dropped steadily in the rankings since his commitment, going from a 91 four-star rating on 247Sports, to a 87 three-star rating.

What is interesting about Vaka’s recruitment is that Penn State offered him right after he announced his decommitment. This is notable because the Nittany Lions are considered the primary competition for four-star defensive tackle George Rooks. If Penn State ends up taking Vaka before Rooks, who is taking his time deciding, it could open the lane up wider for Michigan to finally grab a defensive tackle.

Michigan linebackers named to Butkus Award semifinalist list

One of the bright spots in Michigan’s 2021 class is the linebacker spot. Two of Michigan’s commits had their senior seasons recognized by being named Butkus Award semifinalists, an award for the nation’s best high school linebacker, according to TMI’s Steve Lorenz (FREE).

Unsurprisingly, it was Michigan’s two highest ranked prospects that achieved the recognition, Junior Colson and Branden Jennings. Colson was just bumped into the top 100 on the composite, while Jennings slid right outside to No. 101 in the most recent update.

According to my Friday Night Recaps tracking, I have Colson with 59 tackles, 7.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, and a punt block in an injury-marred season. Jennings has totaled 112 tackles, 25 TFLs, 13 sacks, two safeties, two PBUs, and two forced fumbles.

That wraps up this week’s edition of the Recruiting Roundup at Maize n Brew! Check back for more recruiting news as the early signing day approaches.