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Recruiting Roundup: How coronavirus precautions will affect Michigan on the trail

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Michigan coaches will not be out on the trail for at least the next month.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 17 Indiana at Michigan

Welcome in to the final Michigan Recruiting Roundup of the week!

Things got shaken up a bit within U-M athletics yesterday, as the department announced restrictions due to the coronavirus. These restrictions will last until at least April 21, when the winter semester ends.

Unfortunately, recruiting is one of the aspects affected by the virus, as the university stated in a press release, “For the health and safety of all involved, Michigan will not be allowing coaches to conduct off-campus recruiting activities or host recruits on official or unofficial campus visits during this time period.”

Therefore, there will be ZERO recruits on Michigan’s campus for at least the next month and a half. This is obviously a huge deal, as Michigan was bound to have plenty of kids visiting over that time span. This is the time when recruiting starts to pick up with the upcoming class. But things will be halted for a bit, as the Michigan athletic department is rightfully looking out for its best interests.

Michigan football usually has a pretty big recruiting event sometime in April, so that likely won’t happen. As for the usual bigger recruiting event in June, as well as the BBQ at the Big House in July, those will have to be reevaluated later on.

According to ncaasports.org, April 15-May 31 is what is called the evaluation period, where “an authorized recruiter can use one evaluation day to assess a recruit’s athletic ability.” Michigan coaches will be unable to do this for at least the first week due to the restrictions.

As for the basketball program, this won’t have as much of a negative impact. April 9-22 is what is called the recruiting/contact period, so Juwan Howard and company will still be able to call a recruit, but they just won’t be able to have face-to-face interactions.

This is obviously a huge detriment to everyday life for everyone, but U-M recruiting is going to be taking a hit as well. Let’s hope some of the top targets don’t visit elsewhere and be swayed to go elsewhere during this time.

Phew. Okay, we got through that part of the roundup. Now let’s get to a couple updates on some football targets.

Son of future NFL HOF looking to visit U-M this spring

The in-state coup is crazy good in 2021, and it’s looking to be real good in 2022, as well. One of the kids making it so good is Dearborn Fordson’s Antonio Gates Jr., the son of future Hall of Fame tight end Antonio Gates.

The younger Gates is unranked at the moment, but one would imagine his recruitment will be a crazy one. He recently spoke with 247Sports’ Allen Trieu ($) about getting a few new offers while on a camp tour, including from Ole Miss, Memphis and Southern Miss.

While discussing his new offers, he went on to mention several schools he is hoping to visit this spring, and the Wolverines made it on that list.

“I want get to Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Indiana, Clemson and Ohio State,” he said.

Gates Jr. does not yet hold an offer from Michigan, but it probably won’t be terribly long until he does. He is listed as a wide receiver at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds. Trieu also mentions in the story he is a candidate to be a guy in their top 247 rankings, so don’t be surprised if he gets that Michigan offer sometime soon.

2021 five-star OL also hoping to visit U-M this spring

One position Michigan sits pretty at in 2021 right now is offensive line, which should come as no surprise due to the work Ed Warinner has put in on the recruiting trail.

A top prospect along the offensive line in 2021 is five-star Nolan Rucci, who hails from Lititz, Pennsylvania. Listed at 6-foot-8 and 289 pounds, the kid already looks poised to suit up for a college team now, but that won’t happen for another year.

Michigan is among the schools Rucci is planning to take a trip to this spring, according to The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb ($), who recently spoke to him about his recruitment.

“We’re definitely looking at getting back up there this spring. It’s pretty high up on the list, as far as visits this spring, trying to get to,” Rucci said. “We kind of took the month of February, now that it was kind of slow, just to kind of map things out as far as visits go. We’re definitely trying to get up to Michigan, maybe sometime in April or March.”

It definitely won’t be March or April anymore due to the aforementioned restrictions, but it is good news he remains interested in the Wolverines. Three crystal balls are in for the hometown Penn State Nittany Lions, but Clemson just picked up a crystal ball for itself, so you cannot rule out other schools in this recruitment just yet. Warinner has done a good job keeping Michigan in it, and schools like Notre Dame and Clemson are chasing his tail, too.

Obviously Rucci would be an amazing addition to Michigan’s 2021 class, but if he were to go elsewhere, Warinner has set the Wolverines up nicely for other recruits. Some of those other recruits include four-stars Rocco Spindler, David Davidkov, Greg Crippen and Garrett Dellinger, and three-star Caleb Tiernan.

That is all for now! Come back on Tuesday for another Recruiting Roundup!