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Tuesday Recruiting Roundup: Top targets react to changes on Michigan’s staff

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Prospects share their thoughts on Michigan’s new defensive backs coach and recruiting coordinator.

Penn State v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan is still in the process of shaking up its recruiting staff, promoting Aashon Larkins to Director of Recruiting, while Steve Clinkscale replaced Mo Linguist as defensive backs coach. Today’s Recruiting Roundup covers how these moves have made an impact with a handful of Michigan targets, both positively and negatively.

Family of four-star DL loves promotion of Larkins

The prospect Larkins has had the most impact with during his time at Michigan has been Alabama 2022 four-star defensive lineman Justice Finkley. He’s the main reason Michigan is in such a good position with the elite talent from the south, and his family has predictably reacted positively to the news of his promotion, according to The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich ($).

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

The Finkleys were one of the first to schedule an official visit to Michigan. They’ll be on campus June 18 for Victors Weekend. This is a recruitment where Michigan won’t be seen as a major threat unless he commits to them, given his interest from in-state Alabama, but the chances seem better than most think.

In-state four-star pushes back commitment date

2022 four-star West Bloomfield star Dillon Tatum has been considered a heavy Michigan lean for a while, but the departure of Linguist has caused him to take a step back before he makes a final decision, per TMI’s Sam Webb ($).

“This past Wednesday I wanted to actually drop my (commitment) video, but the hire (of Steve Clinkscale) kind of slowed it down,” Tatum said. “I want to actually talk to him and have that relationship built with him before I make a final decision.”

These comments are pretty revealing because that commitment would have almost certainly been for Michigan. Tatum was recruited by Clinkscale while he was at Kentucky, but Webb said the relationship never went very far due to “lack of mutual interest.”

Even if those two aren’t very familiar with each other, Tatum knows safeties coach Ron Bellamy very well, given he was Tatum’s head coach at West Bloomfield. Bellamy has stepped in to remind Tatum he’ll be a major presence for him in Ann Arbor.

“Coach Bellamy said ‘remember man, I’m going to be your main guy 75% of the time you’ll be in my room, Dillon. Believe and trust in me,’” Tatum said.

Eventually, I expect Tatum to get over the coaching change and commit to Michigan. The presence of Bellamy is going to be hard to overcome for any other school.

Top 100 OL has existing relationship with Clinkscale

A prospect at West Bloomfield who has had a more positive experience with Clinkscale is 2023 offensive lineman Amir Herring. He shared his thoughts on the move with TMI’s Marich ($).

“This is great news and addition to the Michigan coaching staff,” said Herring. “I was happy for him. Coach Clinkscale recruited me for Kentucky, so we’ve had conversations. I am looking forward to visiting Michigan soon and getting a chance to speak with him.”

Herring has had 100% Crystal Balls to Michigan basically since he was offered. This was even before Bellamy was hired by the Wolverines, so their chances look even better now. While Bellamy and Clinkscale won’t be his coach, there is obviously a high level of familiarity and comfort with the staff.

That’s it for this week’s Tuesday Recruiting Roundup at Maize n Brew. Check back again soon as we have tons of recruiting coverage coming as Michigan prepares for June visits to open up.