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Thursday Recruiting Roundup: Offensive coaches in contact with top targets

The coaching staff is making the best of the pandemic situation by making contact with top recruits.

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

Hey everyone, and welcome in to another Michigan Recruiting Roundup!

Tonight is one of my favorite sports nights of the year — the NFL Draft. Let’s just hope it isn’t one of the ONLY sports nights of the year...gonna try and be optimistic here and say it wont’ be. However, we’ve got some time to kill until the first overall selection, so let’s get to some U-M recruiting news.

2021 five-star OL FaceTimes with Harbaugh and Warinner

According to The Michigan Insider’s Steve Lorenz ($), 2021 five-star offensive lineman Nolan Rucci had a FaceTime conversation on Tuesday with head coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive line coach Ed Warinner. The call was reportedly for more than an hour, and Rucci’s mom and dad also got to talk with the coaches.

The 6-foot-8, 289-pounder from Lititz, Pennsylvania has been a longtime top target for Harbaugh and Warinner. Rucci has visited Michigan in the past, as recent as last April, according to 247Sports. He also recently video chatted with Jim Harbaugh and the head of the aerospace engineering department at U-M, according to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong ($).

This is an encouraging sign to see both Harbaugh and Warinner speaking to Rucci, as well as his parents, but I still believe Michigan is behind numerous schools in this recruitment. Rucci put out a top nine list recently, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Michigan were closer to the bottom of his top list as opposed to near the top. Regardless, if Harbaugh and Warinner keep on him, maybe the pendulum can swing over to the good side.

2021 four-star WR in ‘pretty frequent’ contact with Gattis

Michigan is looking for a couple big-bodied receivers to fill the need in the 2021 class, and the coaching staff is looking far and wide to find the right guy. One West Coast guy that is near the top of the list is four-star Cristian Dixon.

Dixon (6-foot-2, 187 pounds) plays his high school ball at powerhouse Mater Dei. He recently spoke to TMI’s Marich ($) and told him he has been regularly talking with offensive coordinator Josh Gattis.

“Yes, I have (recently been in contact with Michigan),” Dixon said. “(I’ve been talking with) Coach Gattis and its been good building that relationship. I definitely respect his coaching because of his resume to produce my position.

“Its been pretty frequent (how much I talk with him). Lately, I would say every other day we just been talking ball and building our relationship.”

Michigan also has another feather in its cap with one of its 2020 recruits — cornerback Darion Green-Warren, who Dixon says he is tight with.

“Yeah, we’re pretty close and he said its just all love and family out there and its home, really no place like it,” Dixon said.

Michigan had a firm place in Dixon’s top eight list, which he released on Twitter yesterday. The other schools on the list include LSU, Nebraska, USC, Texas A&M, Oregon, Washington State and Cal. If Gattis and company stay on him, I could see the Wolverines sticking around in this recruitment until the end.

2021 four-star TE in contact with U-M nearly every day

TMI’s Lorenz ($) is reporting that Michigan is “in nearly daily contact” with 2021 four-star tight end Thomas Fidone. One of Lorenz’s sources also told him “they would not be surprised if Michigan and Nebraska were the two teams out front right now despite the Wolverines not yet hosting Fidone on campus.”

Considering Fidone hasn’t even take a step in Ann Arbor up to this point, and the Wolverines already having a four-star tight end committed in the class, this is very encouraging news regarding the No. 99 overall player and No. 2 tight end on 247Sports’ composite ranking.

If Harbaugh and tight ends coach Sherrone Moore can get him to Ann Arbor as soon as possible, they will have a legitimate shot with the 6-foot-4.5, 218-pounder from Council Bluffs, Iowa. Hell, it really seems like they have a legitimate shot regardless, but getting him to visit would go a really long way in this recruitment, considering he grew up a Nebraska Cornhuskers fan and has already visited there.

That’s all we got this week! Come back Tuesday for another roundup.