Welcome to this week’s Tuesday Michigan Recruiting Roundup here at Maize n Brew. Today’s roundup focuses on the trenches, with updates on a couple of defensive and offensive tackles each. Let’s start with everybody’s favorite position: defensive tackle.
Michigan sitting good for in-state four-star DT
One of the most important recruits still left on Michigan’s board is Oak Park 2021 four-star lineman Rayshaun Benny. He recently spoke with 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong about the status of his recruitment, which is shaping up well for the Wolverines ($).
The versatile lineman can play on either side of the ball at the next level, but Michigan prefers him on the defensive side, which is his preference. In fact, the article states “no one is pushing harder than the Maize and Blue” for Benny.
“I talk to coach Nua, their whole staff from offense to defense,” Benny said. The receivers coach, coach Nua the d-line coach, coach (Jim) Harbaugh, I talked to everybody.”
Michigan’s pitch is hard to beat, with the chance for early playing time and not having to stray far from home.
“That’s my hometown team, too. I like the opportunity I have if I do go there to start as a true freshman or at least get true playing time as a freshman,” Benny said.
After not putting Benny in my 2021 mid-cycle class prediction, this update has me feeling better about him eventually joining the class. I’m still worried about a push from the Buckeyes, but they will probably want him on offense, which isn’t where he wants to play.
Michigan pushing for three-star DT
Another defensive tackle who isn’t discussed as much as he should be is Pittsburgh 2021 three-star Dorien Ford. The coaches have been in continuous contact with him since he was offered last January and remain high on his ability, according to The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich ($).
Ford was a priority to get on campus this spring or summer, but he obviously didn’t get the chance before visits were canceled. Still, the Wolverines are in a good spot here given the teams they are competing against.
In-state schools Penn State and Pitt look to be the strongest contenders, although the Nittany Lions may not be pushing that hard. If Michigan really wants Ford, I think it will have enough juice to overcome Pitt, even though it’s the hometown school.
Late run being made for in-state four-star OT
When 2021 four-star offensive tackle Garrett Dellinger announced his commitment date of June 24, it was assumed LSU would be the obvious choice. However, Michigan is not giving up per TMI’s Sam Webb, and may have a chance to change his mind at the last second ($).
Dellinger said he talks to Ed Warinner and Jim Harbaugh every day, and he has not stopped his weekly Zoom chats with the coaches after setting his commitment date.
This is not just a courtesy to the coaches, as Webb reports Dellinger’s commitment video has multiple endings, leaving him open to change his mind on a school at any moment.
This wasn’t enough for Webb to flip his crystal ball away from LSU, but he did lower his confidence rating. This one will be interesting to follow until the finish.
Harbaugh connects with three-star OT
While Dellinger speaks with Harbaugh daily, California 2021 three-star offensive tackle Thomas Cole just had his first opportunity to speak with the head man himself. Last Thursday, Harbaugh jumped on the phone with Cole and left a very positive impression, according to TMI’s Marich ($).
“He reached out yesterday morning and we got on the phone,” Cole said. “It was awesome. I really enjoy him. We are getting on the phone with my parents and him soon. He told me about himself and about his family. We then talked about all the stuff Michigan has, and a little academics.”
This probably reflects the Wolverines’ decision to push hard for Cole as they search for another true tackle in the class and four-star guard Drew Kendall continues to keep his recruitment open, which might cost him a spot.
Cole hasn’t visited Michigan’s campus yet, but it will be a priority once he is allowed. In the meantime, he is having continued Zoom calls with the coaches.
“We are talking next Thursday again with the family. I think with coach Warinner also,” he said.
I think once Cole gets to visit Ann Arbor, it will be difficult for the other schools to beat the Wolverines here.
That wraps up this week’s Tuesday Recruiting Roundup, check back again soon for more recruiting news!