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2023 Michigan recruiting position previews: Offensive Line

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Michigan is in a lot of top talent, but needs to close this year

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 13 Michigan at Penn State Photo by Gregory Fisher/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

The Michigan Wolverine’s 2022 offensive line class was a weird one. On paper, they only signed two three-stars in Alessandro Lorenzetti and Connor Jones. However, they also landed former top-100 prospect Andrew Gentry, who is on his two-year mission right now, and Rimington Award finalist Victor Oluwatimi from the transfer portal.

Overall, it’s a good haul but one that will need supplementing with a larger 2023 class. Sherrone Moore has taken on the duties of co-offensive coordinator, but he has also put Michigan in a good spot with a bunch of targets. He needs to improve on his closing abilities though to avoid missing out on top targets like the last couple cycles. I could see Michigan taking up to five prospects this cycle, so let’s take a deep dive into the targets.

Top Target

Lee’s Summit North (MO) Cayden Green - Four-star, No. 64 overall, No. 7 OT

A visit to Ann Arbor in January was a game-changer for Green, as Michigan immediately moved into his top group. He already scheduled another visit to Michigan for next weekend, which shows even more interest. Oklahoma is the other major contender Michigan is battling here but if they have another great visit, the Wolverines will be hard to overcome.

In the Mix

Thayer Academy (MA) Samson Okunlola - Four-star, No. 32 overall, No. 3 OT

It’s surprising Michigan isn’t more involved with Okunlola, since he plays in the same Massachusetts league it has pulled several players from over the last few years. But that familiarity still keeps Michigan in the game if it decides to crank up the heat.

Alleman (IL) Charles Jagusah - Four-star, No. 70 overall, No. 8 OT

Jagusah visited Michigan for a game last fall and Moore always does well in the state of Illinois, so the Wolverines should be a player here. Notre Dame is probably the leader here with Arkansas, Wisconsin and Iowa also lurking.

Clearwater Academy (FL) Lucas Simmons - Four-star, No. 189 overall, No. 17 OT

The 6-foot-7, 300-pound Simmons is an interesting prospect because he is originally from Sweden and attending high school in the states to get more attention from scouts. He’s succeeded so far, picking up offers from dozens of schools. Florida State and USC are standing out here early, but Michigan got him on a visit last summer and would like to get him on campus again this spring.

Dr. Phillips (FL) Payton Kirkland - Four-star, No. 203 overall, No. 18 OT

Kirkland put the Wolverines in his top seven last December, but they’re probably sitting in the back half of that group behind at least Miami, Georgia and Ohio State. Michigan has been on Kirkland for a long time now, but will have to get him up for a visit to make a move.

Raytown (MO) Logan Reichert - Four-star, No. 211 overall, No. 20 OT

Another offensive lineman from Missouri, Moore has connected well with Reichert and got him to come up for the Ohio State game last season. In-state Missouri and Georgia have also done well with Reichert so far, but Michigan is in that top group.

West Bloomfield (MI) Amir Herring - Four-star, No. 212 overall, No. 9 IOL

Playing at West Bloomfield, Herring was the type of prospect who got an avalanche of Crystal Balls to Michigan once he got the offer. But he still hasn’t committed and it’s getting to the point where there could be a reason why. If whatever side holding it up decides to change their mind, it should be a quick wrap up for the Wolverines.

Orange Park (FL) Roderick Kearney - Four-star, No. 224 overall, No. 10 IOL

Kearney recently included Michigan in his list of top 12 schools and just got a nice bump in the rankings by 247Sports. He is working on getting up to Michigan during the spring, after which it will be easier to determine where in that top list the Wolverines fall. Florida State, UCF and Arkansas are all going after him hard.

McDonogh School (MD) Antonio Tripp - Four-star, No. 335 overall, No. 20 IOL

Michigan made Tripp’s list of top nine schools when he released it in late January. Penn State has jumped out to an early lead here, but Michigan has good connections to the DMV area and should get a visit from him in the coming months.

Lakota East (OH) Austin Siereveld - Four-star, No. 354 overall, No. 22 IOL

Pulling four-stars out of Ohio is tough, and Sievereld is no exception. Michigan made his top six list, but so did Ohio State, and he appears to be a take for the Buckeyes. If something changes there, Michigan would be in a good spot to be the choice.

Longshots

Southeast Polk (IA) Kadyn Proctor - Five-star, No. 5 overall, No. 1 OT

Proctor put Michigan in his top six schools recently, which was a bit of a surprise since there wasn’t much news about him. But that does indicate he has a high level interest in the program. He visited a couple years ago as an underclassmen, but he’ll have to get on campus again for Michigan to stake its claim.

Don Bosco Prep (NJ) Chase Bisontis - Four-star, No. 56 overall, No. 6 OT

Michigan has a good history at Don Bosco and made Bisontis’ long list of schools he’s still considering. Right now, other schools like Notre Dame and Penn State are probably in a better position.

Oceanside Collegiate (SC) Monroe Freeling - Four-star, No. 82 overall, No. 9 OT

Out of this group of prospects, Freeling is probably the guy most likely to move up into the “In the Mix” category. Michigan is quickly building up its relationship with Freeling, with Moore going down to watch one of his basketball games in January. Clemson, Notre Dame, Penn State and others are also in the race.

Reagan (NC) Sam Pendleton - Four-star, No. 347 overall, No. 21 IOL

Michigan was in the driver’s seat with Pendleton until Clemson came in with an offer that changed Pendleton’s recruitment. Now the Tigers are out in front but the longer Pendleton goes without committing to them, the more time Michigan has to get back in the game.

Under the Radar

Clarkston (MI) Cole Dellinger - Four-star, No. 277 overall, No. 17 IOL

The reason Dellinger is here is more the fact he’s very quiet about his recruitment than being ranked low. Dellinger is in-state but his older brother Garrett Dellinger chose LSU a couple years ago, so there’s a possibility he leaves the state as well. Still, Michigan and Michigan State are in this recruitment.

Franklin Road Academy (TN) Joe Crocker - Three-star, No. 393 overall, No. 31 OT

Crocker is huge at 6-foot-6, 310 pounds. Michigan got him up on campus for the Ohio State game this past season. Crocker hasn’t yet scheduled a return trip though, releasing a visit schedule for March that doesn’t include Michigan.

Mars Hill Bible School (AL) Koby Keenum - Three-star, No. 564 overall, No. 49 OT

Michigan offered Keenum at the beginning of February and he is already scheduled to visit for the spring game April 2. Keenum is probably the level of prospect Michigan can get out of the state of Alabama since he doesn’t hold offers from the two in-state SEC schools.

Ferndale (WA) Landen Hatchett - Three-star, No. 603 overall, No. 43 IOL

Hatchett is also the younger brother of a former target who decided to play elsewhere. Even though he is from the state of Washington, Hatchett made it to Michigan twice for games last season, so he is definitely highly interested.