Reactions from the recruits who visited last weekend for the Michigan Wolverines’ game against Washington in the Maize Out atmosphere continue to come in, and the overall reception has been very positive. On today’s Michigan Recruiting Roundup, we will recap a few of the more notable ones, and we will start off with the top player in the 2022 class.
Walter Nolen’s family has a ‘good time’ at Maize Out
The recruitment of 2022 five-star defensive lineman Walter Nolen — the No. 1 overall player in his class — continues, as he and his family were in town last weekend for the game. And as Walter’s mom recalled with The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb ($), it sounds like it was one of the better gameday experiences they have had.
“Man, I had a good time,” Mrs. Nolen said. “I had a good time. I was overwhelmed. That’s a huge place. That’s a lot of people in one place. But the vibe was awesome. I love how everybody was in their maize. It was a one-of-a-kind experience so far since we’ve been going to these college games. It was a different experience.”
The Nolen’s also got to see some of their family members who live in the metro Detroit area, and they happen to be big Michigan fans — that will never hurt in any recruitment. They also got to interact with all the coaches, including Mike Macdonald and Shaun Nua.
“We saw exactly what (Macdonald has) been telling us,” Mrs. Nolen said. “Defense did a really really good job (Saturday). Walter is a defensive player, (and little brother) Waylan is a defensive player. It’s kind of important to us (to make) sure our son has got help on the line, he’s not getting beat up, and their defense is winning games. I feel like coach Nua and Mike — they brought it together. So, that was a big thing.”
Nolen’s current top three is Tennessee, Texas A&M and Georgia. However, he continues to make visits to other schools. This upcoming weekend, he will be at the Florida/Alabama game in Gainesville, so he is interested in schools outside of his current top list. This one has a long way to go, so stay tuned for more on this everchanging recruitment.
2023 five-star WR has ‘great experience’ at game
One of Josh Gattis’ top overall targets at the wide receiver position in the 2023 class is five-star Jalen Brown. The 6-foot-1, 170-pounder from Miami is the No. 3 receiver in his class on the composite, and he is very familiar with Michigan thanks to his training with former Wolverine Desmond Howard.
Now he is even more familiar with the university now that he got to see it up close in a gameday atmosphere, as he recalled with 247Sports’ Andrew Ivins ($).
“It was fun,” he said. “It was a great experience. The stadium was full of maize. There wasn’t like a speck of purple anywhere. It was a lot of people and a lot of people that knew me.
“The first time I went up there (in June), I couldn’t really get a feel for anything because nobody was there besides the football team. So I couldn’t get a feel for the environment. Now that I have seen it and experienced it, I think it’s great.”
Brown’s dad was also in Ann Arbor with his son for the game, and he told Ivins he “thought it was a great experience,” and “They treated us almost like it was an official visit for him ... It’s nice. The people. The crowd. It was awesome.”
This one has a long ways to go since Brown is just a junior in high school, but Michigan is certainly one of the top options at this point for the five-star, along with Miami, Florida State, Georgia and other elite football programs.
2023 four-star DL enjoys return trip to AA
Another top target for the Wolverines in the 2023 class early on, regardless of position, is four-star defensive lineman Andrew Depaepe. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder plays at Pleasant Valley High School in Bettendorf, Iowa. He saw his recruitment really take off this summer, and that includes receiving his Michigan offer back in June after camping in Ann Arbor.
This past weekend, he took in the Maize Out and recapped his experience with 247Sports’ Allen Trieu ($).
“It was a really cool atmosphere,” Depaepe said. ‘The fans and those pom poms were sick.”
He also told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong (FREE) shortly after the game the Big House was “pretty cool,” and, “You don’t see 108,000 people in a stadium everywhere.” He went on to be impressed by Aidan Hutchinson’s play from the game, saying, “The way they use guys like Hutchinson, I feel like I could fit in well with them,”
Moving forward with his recruitment, Depaepe is hoping to visit a few more marquee matchups this fall, including the Michigan/Ohio State game. It’s very early on here, as well, but I have a feeling Michigan has a real shot in this one.