Man oh man, what a week it has been. The Michigan Wolverines dominated the Ohio State Buckeyes, Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma in the dust for the greener grass on the other side at USC, and Brian Kelly spurned Notre Dame for LSU. And that was all before midweek.
On today’s Recruiting Roundup, we’ll take a look at a couple Notre Dame commits who Michigan could go after following Kelly’s departure. But first we begin with a four-star in the 2023 class and his reaction visiting for The Game.
2023 four-star DL notices Hutchinson, Ojabo’s work in The Game
There were tons of top prospects in the Big House last weekend for The Game, and one of the many who came away impressed was 2023 four-star defensive lineman David Ojiegbe.
The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder is from Washington D.C. and was offered by Michigan back in August. This was his first gameday trip to Michigan Stadium, and as he told 247Sports’ Brian Dohn ($), he had a great first experience there.
“Overall, Michigan was great and had a great atmosphere,” Ojiegbe said. “The coaching for defensive line was great and it showed how hard they worked because they were able to affect the game in a huge way.”
Specifically, Ojiegbe pointed out Michigan’s two best players along the defensive line, Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo, for having great success in the game.
“I saw two dominant edge rushers go to work,” he said. “David Ojabo and Aidan Hutchinson were wreaking havoc. Hutch had three sacks and was able to affect Ohio State’s passing with his rush.”
Ojiegbe is ranked No. _ overall in the 2023 class on the composite. He also holds offers from Penn State, Maryland, Miami, Minnesota, Pitt and others.
ND commits to watch as early signing period draws close
With the news of Kelly heading down south to take over for Coach O at LSU, the first thought that crossed my mind was, “Well, I wonder who Michigan is going to try and poach from Notre Dame’s current recruiting class.”
Let’s start with the obvious — three-star wide receiver Amorion Walker. The 6-foot-4, 175-pounder who is from the state of Louisiana has been committed to ND since March, but that hasn’t stopped him from looking around. His recruitment really took off in June when he got offers from LSU, Michigan and Alabama, but it was Michigan that piqued his interest.
He visited Ann Arbor for the Washington game and tried to get out for The Game last weekend but was unable to due to his high school team’s playoff game. Sam Webb and Brice Marich from TMI increased their confidence levels on their Crystal Ball picks, so I think it is safe to say Michigan will flip him come Dec. 15 when the early signing period begins.
Another obvious name to watch is four-star linebacker Joshua Burnham. The Traverse City native was once down to Michigan and Notre Dame in his recruitment, but picked the Irish back in March. He hasn’t wavered one bit from Notre Dame, but will Kelly leaving make him look around a bit?
My personal feeling is he will stick with the Irish IF defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman either stays in his current role or is elevated to the head coaching gig. I would anticipate Freeman at least stays on staff, so I doubt anything happens here, but the Wolverines should at least give him a call and see where his head is at.
A couple other names to watch are four-star receiver Tobias Merriweather and three-star offensive lineman Ashton Craig.
Merriweather (6-foot-4, 185) was offered by Michigan back in June, two months before committing to ND. He has been loyal to the Irish, but one of his most recently-liked tweets is a tweet by Michigan cornerbacks coach Steve Clinkscale. Josh Gattis and company certainly were interested in him before he committed to ND, and only have one receiver committed in the class, so perhaps they can rekindle that.
Craig (6-foot-5, 283) was also offered by Michigan back in June while camping in front of the coaching staff. He took an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor for the big Victors Weekend recruiting event just a couple weeks after getting the offer; he even changed visit plans to be able to get there. He was a top target of Sherrone Moore’s before making his pledge to ND, so it makes sense for the Wolverines — who only have two offensive line commits currently in 2022 — to make another push for him.
I am not saying to get your hopes up for any of these guys by any means, but I would simply keep your eye out for them as the early signing period gets closer and closer.