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Thursday Recruiting Roundup: Coaching shakeup could help with defensive prospects

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A past relationship could push Michigan over the top for one of the best in-state players in 2022.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 02 Michigan at Maryland Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan had yet another assistant coaching shakeup this week, but this time it wasn’t as drastic as the last. Some of the assistant coaches changed places, and that may very well benefit the program for some key 2022 prospects. We will discuss some of those prospects in today’s edition of the Recruiting Roundup.

2022 four-star could be coached by former HS coach

Among the top in-state targets for Michigan in the 2022 class is four-star athlete Dillon Tatum. He plays running back and defensive back at West Bloomfield High School, but excels mostly on defense. He was the backup to Michigan 2021 signee Donovan Edwards, so he still does have time to prove his skills on offense if he so chooses to do so.

But for now, the Wolverines are recruiting him to play on defense. Funny enough, Tatum’s former high school head coach, Ron Bellamy, just moved over to coach the safeties at U-M.

He reacted to that news to The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb ($).

“He said, ‘Dylan, man. I got some news. I’m moving to safeties. I’m coaching safeties.’” Tatum said. “I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, dang.’”

“It’s crazy. I think it’s really exciting. I think he has the past experience (playing and coaching the position), and he’s just going to be moving over and recruiting me as hard as he did when I was in high school.”

Tatum later said Michigan was “already up there” in his recruitment, but now thanks to Bellamy moving to coach the safeties, admitted, “it’s probably going to help them out a little bit.”

“They were already up, basically at the top of my list. Going back and forth between one and two.”

In recent days, Webb and TMI’s Josh Newkirk put in a crystal ball for Michigan to land Tatum. It sounds like Michigan is the team to beat for Tatum, who is the No. 5 player in the state of Michigan and No. 249 overall player on 247Sports’ composite.

U-M could increase standing with LB after coaching switch

Among the early top targets for Michigan at the linebacker position in the 2022 class is Micah Pollard, a 6-foot-3, 200-pounder from Jacksonville, Florida. He may be unranked as of today, but with offers from schools like Penn State, South Carolina, Indiana, Mississippi State, Louisville and more, odds are he won’t be unranked for long.

He was offered by a plethora of U-M coaches on a Zoom call back in January. Among those coaches was new linebackers coach George Helow, who also happens to be a Jacksonville native. That relationship could go a long way for the Wolverines, as Pollard reacted to Helow taking over the linebacker coaching duties.

“It’s amazing because we have a great relationship and him moving to my position group is even better,” Pollard told TMI’s Marich ($). “I was the first person he called to tell the good news.”

The fact Pollard was the first player reached out to after the switch was official goes to show how interested Helow and the Wolverines truly are in Pollard. I would expect Michigan to continue to recruit him as hard as any linebacker in the country in this cycle.

U-M in ‘top 10’ for 2022 LB

Even though he was offered by former linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary, 2022 linebacker Joshua Josephs is still a prospect Michigan likes and will continue to recruit, according to TMI’s Brice Marich ($).

“Yes, I talk to them regularly,” Josephs told Marich. “They just really like my film and my size and my character off the field.”

Josephs also said he doesn’t want to give away his top schools just yet, but Michigan is among the “top 10 for sure” as of now.

With linebackers being a position the new defensive coaching staff seems to be hitting pretty hard hard, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Josephs become a guy we talk about regularly on here. It seems like linebacker is a spot where they could take more than initially thought in the 2022 class, so stay tuned for more developments.

Josephs is currently an unranked prospect from Kennesaw, Georgia. He stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 207 pounds. He holds other offers from Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Duke, Boston College, NC State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Washington State and more.

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