The pursuit of a quarterback for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines in the 2022 class continues, as top target and three-star Nate Johnson committed to Utah Friday night.
Committed. Respect my Decision❗️❗️ ⚪️ ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/XA5lrXCj2b— Nate Johnson (@Shaboinate) June 18, 2021
Michigan offered the 6-foot-2, 183-pounder back in February. This recruitment was a tag-team effort between Harbaugh, quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis. They kept steady contact with him over the months and were finally able to see him in person during his official visit to Ann Arbor last weekend.
He also camped with UCLA on Friday and received an offer from the Bruins, but his official visit to Utah back on June 3 was clearly better than anything he had seen. Utah was the first program to offer Johnson a scholarship, so that also helped the Utes in this recruitment.
So where do the Wolverines go from here? They now fully move on to their two remaining quarterback targets in this class — four-star Cal commit Justyn Martin and three-star Alabama native Conner Harrell.
The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Martin was on campus last week for an unofficial visit and was able to throw in front of Harbaugh, according to 247Sports’ Greg Biggins ($). He mentioned to Biggins that, “Michigan is a great all around school and I’m definitely going to give them a hard look.”
He has also visited Michigan State, UCLA and Ole Miss during the month of June. He is on his official visit to Cal this weekend, a program he remains committed to despite all the recruiting trips as of late. It may take a lot for Michigan, or any school, to get a flip out of him, so we will have to see where this one goes.
As for Harrell, the 6-foot-1, 191-pounder is the most recent offer at the quarterback position for Michigan in this class. So far this June, he has visited Auburn unofficially, and Arizona State and Northwestern officially. It is unclear when/if he will get to Ann Arbor on a visit. But unlike Martin, Harrell is uncommitted, so his recruitment is wide open.
Named the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Alabama this past year, Harrell threw for 3,568 yards, 42 touchdowns and three interceptions at Thompson High School in Alabaster. He also ran for 319 yards and five touchdowns. Thanks to those lofty stats, he helped his team win a second straight state championship in the 7A division.
So what happens if Martin stays committed to Cal and Harrell winds up somewhere else? The Wolverines would be in a tough spot and would have to quickly reevaluate some other prospects in the class. Out of the 21 quarterbacks they have offered this cycle, only six remain uncommitted, and that number would obviously drop by one if Harrell goes to a different school. They could always look to the transfer portal next offseason, but that’s never a guarantee either.
Michigan is better off skipping the transfer portal, getting somebody in the 2022 class and then going all out for in-state five-star quarterback Dante Moore in the 2023 class.