The Michigan Wolverines suffered a major blow to their 2023 class on Tuesday night when four-star linebacker Raylen Wilson decommitted from the program. He had been committed to Michigan since December, but reopened his recruitment after taking visits to Georgia and Florida this offseason.
Now that Wilson is decommitted and will probably commit to one of the aforementioned SEC schools — very likely Georgia — where do the Wolverines turn to at the linebacker position in this class?
They have a few Crystal Ball predictions in for four-star Semaj Bridgeman. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder from Philadelphia officially visited Ann Arbor the weekend of June 10. He also visited Rutgers a couple weeks later, so it looks like the Scarlet Knights may be the biggest competition for Michigan here. Alabama, Georgia, Oregon and South Carolina represent the rest of his top six list. There is no timeline for his commitment.
Likely a longshot, four-star Jaiden Ausberry is also a big time target for Michigan at linebacker in this cycle. He, like Wilson, is a top-100 prospect from the south. He officially visited Ann Arbor last weekend and has no other visits planned at this time. He also took trips to Auburn, Notre Dame and Texas A&M during the month of June.
There is one Crystal Ball in for the Irish, but this recruitment could end up going the distance to the Early Signing Period. Because of that, there is a shot for U-M, but I wouldn’t say it’s a great one. Ausberry is ranked No. 68 overall and the No. 4 linebacker.
I think two players Michigan should circle back with are a pair of four-stars down in the state of Florida — Andrew and Michael Harris. They are twins and plan to attend the same college together, which would bode well for Michigan considering the dire need for linebackers.
Andrew is the higher ranked of the two at No. 190 overall, with Michael at No. 296 overall. The twins took official visits to Maryland and Michigan State in June, so Michigan will have to get these guys on campus to even have a shot. Trying to get them up for the BBQ at the Big House in July might be the best play here.
Lastly, four-star linebacker Arvell Reese is also firmly in play. He took an unofficial visit to Michigan back in March and then again in June. A Cleveland, Ohio native, Reese is more of a bigger linebacker at 6-foot-3.5 and 212 pounds, so he could project as an outside linebacker/edge rusher at the next level. He holds other offers from Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, USC and more.
There are two other guys to keep an eye on:
- Four-star Jaden Robinson — He just included Michigan in his top four list, but he did not take an official visit to Ann Arbor in June and has three Crystal Balls for South Carolina. He will officially visit Michigan this fall, so hopefully he doesn’t commit before then.
- Three-star Phil Picciotti — He officially visited Michigan in June, but the Oklahoma Sooners lead the Crystal Ball at the moment and had glowing things to say about their program after his official visit.
All in all, recruiting has been a huge struggle for Michigan coming off a Big Ten Championship and a College Football Playoff appearance. You’d think things would be better, but this is just where we are at right now. The Wolverines are in need of a few linebackers in this cycle, and losing your top-rated recruit and a highly talented linebacker is never good news. We’ll have to wait and see if Michigan can close on a couple of these guys before the summer is over.