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Thursday Recruiting Roundup: OL target drives to Ann Arbor, sees campus up close

He didn’t meet with any coaches, but he did get a closer look at what U-M has to offer.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 23 Michigan at Indiana

Video calls are the new norm for recruiting, but one Michigan target recently took a trip with his family to see the university in person. It was his first time in Ann Arbor, and it may not be his last if Ed Warinner has anything to say about it. Let’s start the roundup with the most intriguing recruiting story of the week.

Top OT target drives to U-M’s campus

It seems like all we’ve really been discussing for Michigan’s 2021 class lately has been the offensive line position, but this is a pretty important update. Sam Webb over at The Michigan Insider ($) reported three-star offensive tackle Tristan Bounds, along with his dad and sister, drove to Michigan on Monday and walked through the campus.

“I really liked (Michigan),” Bounds said. “I think Ann Arbor is a super cool place. I didn’t really know what to expect. Is it going to be a college town or a big city? If you talk to different people, they say different stuff about Ann Arbor. And the same for South Bend. You hear different stuff from everybody because everybody has their own unique experience. And obviously it’s different because everything is closed at Michigan. You couldn’t go in anywhere. But it was still cool to get up there and get to lay eyes on all of Ann Arbor and not just the football facilities.”

Bounds also said he’s going to make his commitment before his senior season because he doesn’t, “want to go into the senior year with a decision this big hanging over my head.”

This was a pretty bold thing to do for the 6-foot-7.5, 285-pounder from Wallingford, Connecticut. It was his first time in Ann Arbor, and while it may not have been under the most ideal circumstances, he was still able to get a grasp of what he’d be in for as a student at Michigan.

He and his family also apparently drove to South Bend to see Notre Dame on Tuesday, so it sounds like this is shaping up to be another classic Michigan/Notre Dame recruiting battle. Buckle up for an interesting ending.

U-M still going after five-star OL

Despite it being a major long shot at this point, the Wolverines are still going after 2021 five-star offensive lineman JC Latham, according to TMI’s Steve Lorenz ($).

The 6-foot-6, 305-pounder plays high school ball at IMG Academy, where five-star Michigan quarterback commit J.J. McCarthy will finish his high school career. McCarthy is Michigan’s biggest recruiter in the 2021 class, so it wouldn’t be a stunner to see him go after Latham, along with some of his other new teammates.

If Michigan is able to make some magic happen, this would be one of the bigger recruiting wins in recent memory. All 10 crystal balls are in on Ohio State right now, but the longer this recruitment plays out, the more opportunities Michigan will have to change his mind. I’m not confident at all it will happen, but weirder things have happened in recruiting.

Michigan offered Latham in Jan. 2018, so it’s been a long recruitment for Warinner and company. He is the No. 5 offensive tackle and No. 16 overall recruit in his class.

2021 CB/S once again talks with U-M coaches

2021 three-star defensive back Ryan Barnes told Maize n Brew he talked, once again, with Michigan safeties coach Bob Shoop and defensive coordinator Don Brown. He had conversations with them on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder from Gaithersburg, Maryland has spoken with Michigan coaches a lot recently. We reported on last week’s Thursday Recruiting Roundup that he caught up with them last week, along with his entire family. The conversations he had with the coaches this week did not include his family members this time around, but Barnes still enjoyed talking with Shoop and Brown.

“(The talks) were good. We just checked in with each other for a minute,” Barnes told Maize n Brew.

Barnes is one of Michigan’s top targets at defensive back in the 2021 class. The Wolverines already have a commitment from three-star safety Rod Moore and three-star cornerback Ja’Den McBurrows. It seems they are willing to take one, maybe two more guys if they like them enough. Barnes is a guy I am confident Michigan likes enough to take in the class.

For more on Barnes, check out our previous stories on him. The final story pertains to his brother, 2022 DB Bryce Barnes, who Michigan offered recently as well:

That’s all for this week! Come on back Tuesday for another Recruiting Roundup.