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Thursday Recruiting Roundup: Highly-ranked defenders continuing to hear from U-M

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Michigan is doing as good a job it can in 2023 right now.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 04 Big Ten Championship Game - Michigan v Iowa Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines are preparing for their College Football Playoff matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs in the Orange Bowl this Friday, but the coaches are still being relentless with their pursuit of top targets. In today’s recruiting roundup, we’ll take a look at some of those prospects continuing to communicate frequently with Michigan coaches.

Fringe top-100 ATH building relationship with Clinkscale

The Wolverines are trying to hit the state of Texas harder in the 2023 class than they have in the past, and one of the prospects they’re going after is among the top recruits in the country in four-star athlete Mikal Harrison-Pilot.

Ranked No. 102 overall in the class, cornerbacks coach Steve Clinkscale is recruiting the 6-foot, 185-pounder to play on the defensive side of the ball. Harrison-Pilot recently recalled his interactions with Clink with The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich ($).

“He’s a great coach,” Harrison-Pilot said. “I’ve been watching how he coaches his defensive backs and just seeing them play is outstanding. I love that.”

Harrison-Pilot visited Ann Arbor last summer, and told Marich he is hoping to take another trip to U-M in the future.

“Yes, most likely,” Harrison-Pilot said. “I had a great time there, so why not go back?”

The Wolverines seem to be in a decent spot with Harrison-Pilot up to this juncture. He holds other offers from Texas, Michigan State, Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, USC, Oregon and many more top notch programs.

SEC commit calls U-M a ‘close second’

Even though he has been committed to Texas A&M pretty much all calendar year, 2023 four-star defensive end Anthony James, another Texas native and fringe top-100 prospect in his class, is still making it known Michigan is still a major threat in his recruitment.

“Michigan is a close second right now,” James told On3’s EJ Holland ($). “Texas A&M is always going to be there. They’ve been with me since the start, but Michigan is definitely a school to think about. You can’t find fans like at Michigan. The coaching is great. Aidan (Hutchinson) was up for a Heisman. They’re going to the playoffs. The players love being there. Michigan is doing something that works.”

James visited last month for Michigan’s victory over Ohio State, and his parents so happen to be from the state of Michigan, so there is a lot in the Wolverines’ favor in this one.

“I was impressed,” James said about Michigan’s win over OSU. “I liked the environment and got to go around town. I stopped in at The Brown Jug. There was a great feeling around me and my family. I like the culture. You can tell all the players want to getter. The Game was unbelievable. Aidan Hutchinson had a ton of pressures and sacks. I want to be able to do that and dominate the guy in front of me.”

James plans on returning to Ann Arbor for a visit in the spring, so Michigan is squarely in the race for the No. 105 recruit on 247Sports’ composite.