Michigan coaches have been hot on the crootin’ trail, but not the traditional way they’d normally be. Instead of hopping in their car or on a plane to visit kids, they now are doing it from the comfort of their homes over the phone, whether that be with a standard call or a FaceTime video conversation.
In the case for 2021 three-star Hawaiian wide receiver Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, he got to catch up and see his biggest Michigan recruiters this past Thursday.
“I was on FaceTime with coach (Shaun) Nua and coach (Jim) Harbaugh,” he told Maize n Brew. “They just talked to me about how important I am to them, and about the school and business programs.”
That call lasted about 30-45 minutes. After Mokiao-Atimalala stopped talking with them, Nua wanted to speak to a couple other important people when it comes to recruiting.
“After I talked to them, coach Shaun was talking to my dad and mom,” Mokiao-Atimalala said. “We’re blessed.”
You could argue winning over the parents is just as important as winning over the kid when it comes to recruiting. Nua appears to have done a good job doing that, especially considering once the call was over, Mokiao-Atimalala decided to include Michigan as one of his five destinations for an official visit.
When that visit exactly happens is to be determined, and will likely be that way for a while until the pandemic subsides. The only other school he plans on officially visiting as of now is a school that always goes head-to-head with Michigan for recruits — Notre Dame.
But there is something Michigan has that Notre Dame doesn’t have — another Hawaiian wide receiver on the team. And when Mokiao-Atimalala was first offered by Michigan, it didn’t take long for that other Hawaiian receiver to reach out to him.
“How you feeling Michigan, bro? Too far for you or no?” incoming true freshman wide receiver Roman Wilson messaged Mokiao-Atimalala after he was offered back in November.
“Naw, that’s too big of an opportunity to miss,” Mokiao-Atimalala replied.
Will Nua’s relationships with Mokiao-Atimalala and his parents, as well as the blooming relationship with Wilson, end up leading him to Michigan? Only time will tell, and it will likely be a long time before any decision is made.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder from Ewa Beach, Hawaii is the No. 346 overall recruit on 247Sports’ composite rankings. The lone crystal ball is in favor of Notre Dame. He holds other offers from Oregon, Nebraska, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Cal, USC, Utah, Washington State and more.