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2023 Michigan recruiting position previews: Wide Receivers

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Ron Bellamy takes over looking to re-energize recruiting at the position.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 21 Michigan at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This series will break down Michigan’s targets at each position, categorized into different groups. The first group will list any commits Michigan has at the position so far. The next will identify the top overall target at the position, which considers both the coaches’ interest in the player and the likelihood he chooses Michigan.

Following “Top Target” will be “In the Mix”, which will include the group of players Michigan is in good standing with and would be takes if they wanted to commit today. Following that are the “Longshots”, who are elite players Michigan has work to do with but would make room for in the class. Finally we have “Under the Radar”, which are lower-rated prospects who may be Plan Bs if the guys above don’t work out.

Overview

Last year, Michigan only had Tyler Morris, who was coming off an ACL tear, committed at wide receiver for the majority of the cycle. But the staff was able to close on two more studs in Darrius Clemons and Amorion Walker that turned a weakness of the class into a strength. The depth chart is pretty stacked now, which can allow the Wolverines to be picky while adding two or three more guys they really like.

Former offensive coordinator Josh Gattis had a great reputation as a recruiter, but it seems like he was focused more on X’s and O’s than recruiting his last couple seasons in Ann Arbor. That is going to change with Ron Bellamy moving over from safeties to receivers, as the former Michigan receiver himself has already proven to be one of the best recruiters on the staff.

Commits

West Bloomfield (MI) Semaj Morgan - Three-star, No. 350 overall, No. 47 WR

Bellamy was able to land his former player from West Bloomfield while he was still coaching defense, but the bond should only be stronger now that they’ll both be in the wide receiver room. At 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, Morgan is a quick-twitch slot guy who can make plays when given the ball in space.

Top Target

Gulliver Prep (FL) Jalen Brown - Five-star, No. 29 overall, No. 4 WR

Brown was identified early as the top guy in the class under Gattis, and that priority hasn’t changed with Bellamy.

Landing Brown became tougher when Gattis took the Miami job since it’s his hometown school, but Michigan does have some factors in its favor. Michigan legend Desmond Howard is a volunteer coach at Brown’s high school, providing a constant positive voice in his ear regarding the Wolverines. The staff has also already been able to get Brown up to campus twice, once last June and once during the season for the Washington game.

Landing Brown will be tough, but Michigan is putting up a good fight.

In the Mix

Del Valle (TX) Braylon James - Four-star, No. 80 overall, No. 12 WR

The Wolverines have a relationship with James’ high school, landing running back Tavierre Dunlap from there in the 2021 class. That should help in their pursuit of James, who they are pushing for pretty strongly. Notre Dame, TCU and Texas A&M are other contenders, with Clemson also lurking despite not offering him yet.

Simeon (IL) Malik Elzy - Four-star, No. 275 overall, No. 34 WR

Michigan was the first offer for Elzy and he has not forgotten that; it’s something he brings up whenever he mentions Michigan in an interview and it seems to have given it a big leg up in this recruitment. Thanks to Sherrone Moore, Michigan has done really well in Illinois the last few years and could easily get the 6-foot-3 Elzy if it keeps pushing.

Wiregrass Ranch (FL) Bryson Rodgers - Four-star, No. 307 overall, No. 41 WR

Rodgers was a recent offer by the staff, extending the opportunity just about a month ago. He also added offers from Ohio State, Miami and Washington around the same time, which is sure to shake up his recruitment. Rodgers seems like a prospect primed to rise in the rankings soon. Jim Harbaugh visited him while on the road in January and Rodgers is originally from Ohio, which could help Michigan here.

Longshots

IMG Academy (FL) Carnell Tate - Five-star, No. 21 overall, No. 3 WR

Early on, it looked like Michigan would be a bigger factor for Tate, who is from Illinois originally. But communication with him was on and off with Gattis and Notre Dame and Ohio State surged ahead. Bellamy is going to try to do his best to build that relationship back up but it’s not going to be easy.

Rolesville (NC) Noah Rogers - Four-star, No. 59 overall, No. 11 WR

The Wolverines are making a bigger effort in the Carolinas for this cycle and they’d love to land one of the area’s best in Rogers. However, he is also the top priority of Clemson and NC State, who have the proximity advantage in addition to everything else Clemson offers.

Westlake (TX) Jaden Greathouse - Four-star, No. 103 overall, No. 18 WR

Bellamy is apparently very high on Greathouse and has immediately made him a priority since taking over the receivers. However, getting a guy from Austin Westlake out of Texas is always a struggle, especially all the way up to Ann Arbor.

Under the Radar

Buckingham Browne & Nichols (MA) Ronan Hanafin - Three-star, No. 392 overall, No. 28 ATH

Michigan has almost landed a player from every team in the league of elite academic schools Hanafin plays in in Massachusetts. The Wolverines got Zak Zinter out of BB&N back in 2020 and could go back to get the 6-foot-3 Hanafin. He also holds offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame and Penn State. Miami just offered him at the end of February, which means Josh Gattis likes him as well.

Raymore-Peculiar (MO) Jaidyn Doss - Three-star, No. 406 overall, No. 54 WR

Things have been on and off with Doss, who could play either running back or wide receiver. He was scheduled to take a visit in January but didn’t end up coming. It’s unclear if he’s a take for the staff or not at this point.