Michigan landed a solid duo at cornerback in 2020 with Andre Seldon and Darion Green-Warren, but it’ll need another class like that in 2021 to maintain the depth the roster has enjoyed the last few years.
Right now it’s hard to tell which cornerbacks Michigan is high on and vice versa, since so many have received their offers in just the last month or two. Here’s an outline of what we do know now.
Cass Tech (MI) Kalen King - Four-star, No. 326 overall, No. 25 CB
Michigan has had a long string of Detroit cornerbacks lock down opposing receivers on the field, and King looks like he could be next. At 5-foot-11, he actually is slightly bigger than guys in the past like Jourdan Lewis, Lavert Hill and Andre Seldon, which will give him a higher ceiling. It’s not known yet if Michigan will also have to take his twin brother Kobe King, a three-star linebacker, if it wants to land his commitment.
In the Mix
Kimball (TX) Ishmael Ibraheem - Four-star, No. 124 overall, No. 12 CB
The hire of Brian Jean-Mary has helped out with a few linebackers as discussed yesterday, but his connections in Texas have also helped out with Ibraheem. Since offering at the end of January, Ibraheem has already said Michigan will receive one of his official visits, which he plans to take in the spring. He also mentioned LSU, Texas and Georgia as likely schools he will officially visit.
Camden (NJ) Duce Chestnut - Four-star, No. 249 overall, No. 18 CB
Michigan is familiar with Camden in New Jersey, the school where Cesar Ruiz and Brad Hawkins once played. Those relationships should help with the pursuit of Chestnut. Miami is another contender in this race, along with in-state Rutgers, where his fellow teammate and cornerback Alijah Clark is currently committed.
Brentwood (TN) John Howse IV - Three-star, No. 537 overall, No. 41 CB
Howse first visited campus for the BBQ at the Big House with a couple teammates last summer. Although he had to wait until December to receive his offer, his interest in Michigan has not diminished one bit. In fact, Howse was back on campus again this weekend in the first opportunity for prospects to take visits following the dead period. I think Michigan can land the three-star if it wants him.
Princess Anne (VA) Tony Grimes - Five-star, No. 7 overall, No. 1 CB
This recruitment has been similar to Damon Payne’s in that it’s hard to keep track if Grimes likes Michigan or not on any particular day. Early on, Grimes and his father were very high on Michigan, taking a trip and scheduling multiple more. However, somewhere along the line, communication was dropped and the Wolverines missed out on his list of top schools. But recently Grimes indicated he was still interested in Michigan and the coaches had reached back out. Either way, the point is probably moot since Grimes will likely end up at Georgia.
Westside (NE) Avante Dickerson - Four-star, No. 93 overall, No. 8 CB
Dickerson is a somewhat rare elite cornerback prospect from the Midwest, but Michigan did not extend an offer until December. Local Nebraska has built up a big lead here that will be hard to surmount.
Mater Dei (CA) Jaylin Davies - Four-star, No. 110 overall, No. 11 CB
Davies was also offered about a month after Dickerson, but will be an even harder pull given the long distance and a crystal ball to Alabama. Michigan will still likely stay in contact, especially as it recruits his teammate Cristian Dixon for wide receiver.
Wait and See
Newton (GA) Nyland Green - Four-star, No. 96 overall, No. 9 CB
Ensworth (TN) Andre Turrentine - Four-star, No. 136 overall, No. 14 CB
Lehigh Senior (FL) Omarion Cooper - Four-star, No. 242 overall, No. 17 CB
IMG Academy (FL) Markevious Brown - Four-star, No. 281 overall, No. 23 CB
I’m creating this new section for this preview because of the unique nature of the cornerback offer board. It looks like Mike Zordich waited to evaluate junior film for a lot of these guys until after the season ended, then fired out a bunch of offers in December, January and February.
The recruitment of all these guys is relatively open, with none of them holding crystal balls, so Michigan will have a chance to get the foot in the door. However, there’s been little chance for the coaches to get these guys on campus or have extensive contact because of the dead period, so it’ll be easier to see where these guys fall in a few months.
Under the Radar
Kingswood-Oxford School (CT) Jeffrey Davis - Three-star, No. 499 overall, No. 38 CB
Another classic Northeast prospect, another Big Ten school has actually made Davis a higher priority. Penn State has hosted Davis multiple times and is set to receive one of his official visits. He’s also high on Rutgers and holds other offers from Purdue, Syracuse and Tennessee.
Quince Orchard (MD) Ryan Barnes - Three-star, No. 546 overall, No. 42 CB
Keep your eye out for Barnes, who has caught the attention of several schools because of his length and performance on tape. He’s received a ton of offers as of late and Michigan is one of the few he is considering highly. He plans to visit campus in early April.
This position is especially tough to predict for all of the reasons discussed above. I think Michigan will have to take at least two guys so it can continue to have at least three cornerbacks they can trust to play at any time on the roster.
Kalen King seems like the likeliest candidate, so I’ll pencil him in. Past the in-state guy, Ryan Barnes and Ishmael Ibraheem seem next on the list. Michigan may have to get lucky with some musical chairs that see the other schools Ibraheem is considering fill up before he commits, but his official visit could be enough to make the Wolverines his leader.
We’ll wrap up the 2021 position previews tomorrow with the safeties.