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Thursday Recruiting Roundup: Moving on to 2022

It’s time to focus on the next class.

Army v Michigan Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

Welcome to today’s Michigan Recruiting Roundup!

The 2021 class is all said and done, so now it is time to turn all our attention to the 2022 class. In this week’s roundup, we will go over some junior prospects on defense who are likely to be pursued hard by the new coaches.

Top 100 S becoming a priority

One of the top defensive backs in the 2022 class is four-star safety Xaivier Nwankpa. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder is the No. 1 player in the state of Iowa, No. 7 safety and No. 76 overall talent on the 247Sports composite. Flip on the tape and you could argue he should be ranked higher, because this kid can really play.

The new defensive coaching staff in Ann Arbor is beginning to show Nwankpa some love, as The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich ($) reports.

“I was on FaceTime with coach Helow,” Nwankpa told Marich. “I was excited. They have prioritized me with the new staff, which the old staff didn’t really do.”

Nwankpa was a first-team all-district and first-team all-state player this past season, playing at Southeast Polk High School in Altoona, Iowa. He recorded 41 tackles and six interceptions, with one of those picks being returned for a touchdown.

This is good to hear the Wolverines are beginning to pick up on this recruitment. I think Nwankpa is one of the top talents overall in this class, and he would be a stud wherever he plays at. There is one crystal ball in for Ohio State, so hopefully he isn’t a stud there.

New LB target emerging in 2022

As is expected with a new coaching staff, new targets are popping up left and right. And one of those new targets in 2022 linebacker Micah Pollard.

The Wolverines offered the 6-foot-3, 200-pounder from Jacksonville, Florida on Jan. 21. Despite not being ranked yet, Pollard holds other good offers from Penn State, South Carolina, Indiana, Mississippi State, Iowa State, Arizona, Louisville and more.

TMI’s Marich ($) caught up with Pollard after being offered, and he revealed it wasn’t just one coach on the call at the time.

“It was a Zoom call and it was with the main defensive coaches like the defensive coordinator, the safeties coach, the defensive line coach, the assistant defensive line coach and like three other people,” Pollard said. “It meant a lot to me having this Zoom call because I know there are a whole bunch of kids, who wish they have the opportunities I have to talk to these coaches. I’m really blessed and grateful I get to talk to them especially Michigan because it’s such a great school and great program. They also got great football, so I’m just blessed and grateful.”

Michigan also has a couple feathers in its cap for this recruitment, as Pollard is the nephew of former Michigan football great, wide receiver Braylon Edwards. To go along with that, Jim Harbaugh knows Pollard’s father quite well from his playing days in the NFL.

On paper, this seems like a slam dunk of a recruitment for the Wolverines. But this recruitment is just kicking off for them, so don’t be surprised to see his name pop up again in the future.

2022 S target still feeling the love

One of Michigan’s top targets at safety in 2022 is three-star Sherrod Covil. Even with the defensive staff shakeup, he is still being recruited hard by the Wolverines, as he recently told TMI’s Marich ($).

“I talked to Coach Helow,” Covil said. “He wanted to make sure I knew I was still a priority. He seemed cool.

“I’m still very interested in Michigan and if I ever drop my top schools, Michigan would be one of them.”

With the new staff making sure he is wanted by them, and his comment about Michigan being among his top schools, the Wolverines will likely stick around this recruitment for the long haul. The next step here would be to get him on campus this spring, so fingers crossed the recruiting dead period is lifted in April and prospects can take official visits again.

Covil is the No. 21 safety, No. 13 player from Virginia and No. 395 overall player on 247Sports’ composite for the 2022 class. He also holds other offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, Penn State, LSU, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Auburn and more.

That’s all for now! Come back Tuesday for another edition of the Recruiting Roundup.