Michigan football is going to lose a few recruits before the cycle is over; it’s just a matter of how many. With the program cratering, there is a lot of uncertainty around the program exacerbated even more by the fact that no one has been allowed to make visits where they can meet with the coaches in person since March.
With the early signing period less than two weeks away, prepare yourself for impending decommitments by seeing who is most likely to leave, separated by tiers.
One Foot Out the Door
Four-star WR Xavier Worthy
It always seemed too good to be true Michigan could go and beat out Alabama, Oregon, LSU and others for a top 100 prospect who had never visited. Worthy eventually made it to campus earlier this season, which seemed to be the final step needed to ensure he would sign with Michigan.
However, Michigan’s season has been too abject for Worthy not to listen to other schools still pursuing him. He deleted a tweet saying he was still 100 percent committed, removed references to Michigan in his social media bios and then visited Alabama for the Iron Bowl.
Now, Worthy has set a decision date between Alabama and Michigan on Dec. 16, the first day of the early signing period. The Wolverines still have a chance, but they need to make their intentions clear about the futures of Jim Harbaugh and Josh Gattis as soon as possible.
Four-star LB Jaydon Hood
Hood has been likely to leave the class even before the season started. He’s been heavily courted by Minnesota and Miami throughout his commitment to Michigan. Like Worthy, Hood committed to Michigan sight unseen, but has yet to make a trip to Ann Arbor. He had plans to visit with his teammate Ja’Den McBurrows for the Wisconsin game, but did not make it.
Since then, Hood has said he won’t be signing in the early period, which is a pretty clear indicator he is still looking around. He has close connections with Minnesota commit Steven Ortiz Jr., a childhood friend of his. And unlike Michigan, he’s had the chance to visit Miami, which is closest to home.
Four-star LB Branden Jennings
Poor Branden Jennings. He committed to Florida State back in February, but when the Seminoles got off to a 1-3 start, he flipped to Michigan before the season had started. Now, Michigan has had a horrid season and Jennings could look for a third, less dumpster-fiery option.
Miami was in Jennings’ top three after he decommitted from Florida State and has his older brother on the roster. The Hurricanes would make the most sense, but they may not have room with three linebackers already committed while they still go after Hood and five-star Terrence Lewis.
Three-star S Rod Moore
Moore may not seem like much of a risk to leave since he’s from Ohio and is the only player at his position in the class. But there are a few reasons that could lead him to head elsewhere.
His future position coach at Michigan, Bob Shoop, hasn’t been with the program since the summer. While Shoop is apparently still recruiting and just not coaching on the field, there is obviously something going on behind the scenes that could make it unlikely he returns next season.
Moore also may not have a super positive view of Michigan after his teammate and friend Markus Allen decommitted in September. After Michigan landed Andrel Anthony, the coaches slowed their communication with Allen and let him read the writing on the wall. Allen clearly didn’t respond well to being slow-played and that could affect Moore.
And after a great senior campaign, Moore has been picking up some more offers from other schools. He’s reported at least offers from West Virginia and Washington State, and could be on track to pick up bigger ones down the line.
Three-star WR Andrel Anthony
Ironically, the recruit that caused Allen to leave the class could himself end up decommitting. Anthony chose Michigan over Michigan State after a late surge by the Wolverines. But the demoralizing loss to the Spartans could have swayed the East Lansing native’s opinion back towards his hometown school.
Anthony has been supportive to the program on social media lately after posting some cryptic tweets, but his ears have definitely perked up. With Rayshaun Benny choosing Michigan State, the in-state momentum sides with the Spartans.
Could Look Around
Four-star WR Cristian Dixon
Dixon is the least likely of the three wide receiver commits to leave, but given his proximity to Michigan, he could still be a candidate to flip somewhere else. He did just visit campus with Worthy a few weeks ago, and while I don’t think Worthy looking around will cause him to decommit, losing a player he has a strong connection with would hurt.
Four-star RB Tavierre Dunlap
This is another recruitment where I simply think distance is more of a factor than any reports of Dunlap looking around. If Michigan fires Jim Harbaugh, I find it very unlikely running backs coach Jay Harbaugh stays on, so Dunlap’s primary recruiter will be gone as well. He could easily opt to stay closer to home and choose former finalist, Oklahoma State.
Three-star CB Ja’Den McBurrows
McBurrows is much more likely to stick compared to his teammate Hood. He did take his first visit to campus with the big group for the Wisconsin game and has affirmed his commitment in interviews since then. Other schools have kept recruiting him, though. Even Ohio State has been keeping him warm. I think it’d take a lot for McBurrows to go somewhere else, but I don’t think any cross-country commit is completely safe right now.
Everybody else in the class looks solid on the surface. McCarthy has done a great job keeping the core of the class tight. All of the Northeast guys should stick with Michigan, even if Don Brown gets fired. Boston College has been trying hard to flip Louis Hansen for a while, but he just visited campus with his family and has no issues.
Recruiting can be fickle, especially in the middle of a pandemic with a lame duck coach. It’s safe to say that the class could look much different now than in February.