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Tuesday Recruiting Roundup: Michigan hot in pursuit of nation’s No. 1 DT

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Michigan is making the top DT in the country a major priority.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan is hot on the recruiting trail right now, and the staff is going to take some big swings in the 2022 class. They’re also looking to continue recruiting longtime top targets. We’ve got a mix of old and new in today’s Recruiting Roundup.

Nation’s No. 1 DT next target in Tennessee

After landing Taylor Groves and Kody Jones from Tennessee Friday morning, it became clear Michigan would be a presence in the Volunteer state this cycle. With connections from Maurice Linguist and the new commits, The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb reported how they could help with Walter Nolen, the No. 1 defensive tackle in 2022 ($).

Webb spoke with Nolen’s father, who revealed him and his son are 49ers fans, and his wife’s grandmother lives in Detroit.

Even more impactful is the relationship between the Nolen’s and Jones.

“Believe it or not, Kody and Walter played on the same pee wee team together,” said Mr. Nolen. “I actually talked to Kody’s dad the other day and he said, ‘all we need now is to get Walter to come on and go.’”

After spending some time at IMG Academy, Nolen moved back to the Memphis area last summer. As the No. 2 player in the country, per the composite, this is always going to be an uphill battle for Michigan. But expect the Wolverines to be on Nolen’s top 10 list being released on Friday.

Defensive staff connects with Alabama four-star DE

One guy who is going to remain a top target for Michigan in 2022 is four-star defensive end Justice Finkley. TMI’s Brice Marich caught up with Finkley’s father to recap a recent Zoom call his family had with Michigan’s staff ($).

The Finkleys spoke with Jim Harbaugh, Mike MacDonald, Shaun Nua, and special teams and defensive analyst Aashon Larkins. Larkins has actually been running point for Finkley since he has known the family for a while.

“Aashon has been the glue and key cog for us and Michigan at this point,” Mr. Finkley said. “He has shown genuine interest in Justice.”

That consistent interest has really stood out for Finkley and his family.

“Personally, the amount of attention and interest they have shown Justice (stood out the most),” Mr. Finkley said. “As a parent, when our son is made a priority, then of course our interest increases in you.”

Finkley plans on visiting Ann Arbor as soon as the dead period restrictions are listed. While pulling a top talent from Alabama is no easy task, there are no crystal ball predictions yet which could indicate he is open to leaving the state.

Four-star CB wants to team up with top secondary talent

New Jersey 2022 four-star cornerback target Jaeden Gould was unsurprisingly re-offered by Michigan’s new defensive staff. Gould spoke with TMI’s Marich about his talks with Mo Linguist and his relationship with another top cornerback target ($).

“It was great talking to coach Linguist. We had a good conversation. His energy was great,” Gould said. “He just told me that he wants to bring a top defensive back class to Michigan like how he did while he was at Texas A&M, so that’s why as soon as he got the job, he started reaching out to top guys who he believes can change the program.”

Gould also recently played around on Instagram, tagging 2022 in-state five-star cornerback Will Johnson with a picture of former Michigan defensive backs Jabrill Peppers and Channing Stribling high-fiving.

“Oh yeah, me and him are cool,” Gould said about Johnson. “We’re starting to develop more of a friendship, but we were just talking to each other about doing something special at Michigan and making an immediate impact to help bring Michigan back to its success and win championships.”

This isn’t the first time Gould has essentially recruited other players to Michigan, while remaining uncommitted. It does make the 100% crystal balls for Michigan make plenty of sense, though. It seems like a matter of when, not if, when Gould and Linguist has shown he is a great closer on the recruiting trail.

That concludes today’s Recruiting Roundup at Maize n Brew. Check back again soon for more great information on Michigan’s recruiting efforts!