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Tuesday Recruiting Roundup: Michigan surging with 2021 targets

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Michigan is doing well with some secondary targets and some 2022 studs.

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

Welcome to the latest Michigan Recruiting Roundup, and to the month of September. Unfortunately, the recruiting dead period is still in effect for at least another month, but as we’ll see later on, that’s not stopping Michigan from hosting recruits on campus.

We’ve got some more juicy recruiting nuggets in a loaded roundup this week, so let’s dive right in.

Michigan expanding board at OG

After Michigan missed out on four-star guard Rocco Spindler earlier this month, it was assumed that four-star guard Drew Kendall would be joining the class in quick fashion. That hasn’t come to pass yet though, and Michigan is continuing to do its due diligence to make sure they are left without a full offensive line class in 2021.

The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb reports Michigan has picked up contact with Tennessee three-star Noah Josey lately, and he has been reciprocating their interest heavily ($).

“Coach Ed (Warinner), we text probably once or twice a week just catch up making sure to check in on him. So it has been pretty constant,” said Josey.

Warinner has been pushing his track record of NFL development hard to Josey, who is responding well.

“They’ve really pushed that point a lot,” said Josey. “And it’s really impressive that they have that. That’s a big number, especially in one year.”

Josey was once considered a Georgia lean, but the Bulldogs have faded once former offensive line coach Sam Pittman left to take the head coaching job at Arkansas this offseason. Josey has already been to Michigan’s campus twice, for the BBQ at the Big House and a game last fall, so he has plenty of familiarity with the program.

RB target narrows decision down to two schools

Much attention has rightfully been paid to in-state stud Donovan Edwards in the 2021 cycle, but Michigan is also in contention for another quality back. Texas three-star Tavierre Dunlap recently cut his list down to two schools, according to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong, and Michigan is one of them ($).

Oklahoma State is the other school Dunlap is considering. Dunlaps’ high school head coach, Charles Burton, broke down what he thinks about Michigan’s appeal is to his star player:

“I know coach (Jay) Harbaugh has built a really good relationship with him,” Burton said. “I think he’s talked to some current players up there and he enjoys that conversation as well. He likes their storied history as well.”

The Wolverines think they sit well because they considered Utah and USC more of threats before Dunlap narrowed his list down, but Wiltfong gives the edge to Oklahoma State right now, with the Wolverines “gaining fast.”

A decision could come as soon as this week.

Michigan in play for one of Ohio’s best in 2022 class

Also in running back news, Michigan is going hard after Ohio four-star Gi’Bran Payne for the 2022 cycle. TMI’s Brice Marich was on hand to see Payne’s four-touchdown performance in his first game of the season and caught up with him after to get his thoughts on Michigan ($).

“The relationship with me and Jay Harbaugh, the running backs coach is what I like the most about Michigan,” Payne said. “He cares about his players like they are one of his. He takes good care of you and he’s going to get you in the right direction.”

“I talk with him honestly every day and if not, then every other day,” Payne continued. “I talk with him on FaceTime. He’s telling me that I’m a big priority to him and he lets me know that all the time.”

The big caveat here is that the Buckeyes haven’t extended an offer to Payne yet. Payne says “it wouldn’t be a done deal for me” if that were to happen, but we’ve seen this happen before. Besides Ohio State looming, Payne said Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue are recruiting him hard as well.

Michigan hosting top TE target this weekend

Tight end will be a major point of focus for the 2022 class, and Michigan has already set their sights on some top targets. One of the guys at the top of the board is three-star Marlin Klein, a German native who plays his high school ball in Georgia.

TMI’s Steve Lorenz reports Klein will be visiting Ann Arbor this weekend on his own accord to get a feel for the campus ($).

Some prospects like Rayshaun Benny and Tristan Bounds have already made trips like this over the summer, and Lorenz says Michigan has a “creative plan in place with prospects who are able to make it up to Ann Arbor on their own.”

There are no crystal balls yet, but Michigan should be at or near the top for Klein, who also holds offers from Georgia, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Arizona State to name a few.

That wraps up this week’s version of the Michigan Recruiting Roundup, come back again soon for more of the latest from the recruiting trail!