Michigan’s final big recruiting event of the offseason is here, with the annual BBQ at the Big House set to take place this Sunday. There will be a select group of targets in the 2023 class, as well as multiple five-stars in 2024, including quarterback Jadyn Davis.
The staff would love to close on some of these guys to give them momentum heading into the season and start a good foundation for the 2024 class. But they’ve struggled to cross the finish line on a bunch of their targets so far this offseason, so we’ll see if they can turn the tide this weekend.
Dexter (MI) four-star RB Cole Cabana - No. 194 overall, No. 6 RB
Santa Margarita (CA) four-star ATH Collins Acheampong - No. 241 overall, No. 15 ATH
Imhotep Institute (PA) four-star LB Semaj Bridgeman - No. 272 overall, No. 19 LB
West Bloomfield (MI) four-star IOL Amir Herring - No. 275 overall, No. 13 IOL
Oswego (IL) three-star TE Deakon Tonielli - No. 436 overall, No. 22 TE
West Bloomfield (MI) three-star WR Semaj Morgan - No. 470 overall, No. 57 WR
Cardinal Ritter (MO) three-star WR Fredrick Moore - No. 500 overall, No. 62 WR
Loyola Academy (IL) three-star DL Brooks Bahr - No. 575 overall, No. 69 DL
North Cobb (GA) three-star RB Benjamin Hall - No. 674 overall, No. 43 RB
Ensworth (TN) four-star LB Mason Curtis - No. 188 overall, No. 14 LB
Basically every commit in Michigan’s 2023 and 2024 classes besides the international guys will be on campus this weekend to try and convince others to join them in their decision to choose Michigan.
Providence Day (NC) four-star CB Chris Peal - No. 193 overall, No. 22 CB
Michigan still doesn’t have a defensive back commit in the class, but will be hosting several for the BBQ. Peal is on the same loaded Providence Day squad that will be talked about more in the 2024 section. He has several Crystal Ball predictions to Georgia, but the Bulldogs already have three cornerbacks committed who are ranked higher than him.
Peal has already taken an official visit to Georgia and has one to South Carolina scheduled for the fall. Getting him on campus for an unofficial visit this weekend is big since Michigan can also pay for an official visit this season as well. If Georgia fills up, Michigan is in a good shot to beat South Carolina for his signature.
Highland (AZ) four-star OT Caleb Lomu - No. 224 overall, No. 22 OT
After missing out on several top targets at tackle, Michigan has rapidly expanded the board, which includes Lomu. The staff has done well so far to get Lomu on campus less than a month after offering and will likely host him again for an official visit in the fall.
Despite being a top-250 player in the country, Michigan’s primary competition here will be a trio of Pac-12 schools in Arizona, Cal and Utah, all of whom he’s already officially visited. Michigan should be able to beat out those three with up to two official visits still on tap as long as distance isn’t a factor for Lomu.
Kankakee (IL) four-star CB Jyaire Hill - No. 270 overall, No. 29 CB
It’s good news Hill is returning to Michigan for a visit after not making a decision following his June official visits. This still looks like a Michigan-Illinois. Importantly, this gives the staff another chance to patch things up with Hill’s mom, who was reportedly not happy with Harbaugh’s dalliance with the NFL during an unofficial visit back in January.
North Gwinnett (GA) four-star DL Kayden McDonald - No. 290 overall, No. 41 DL
This will be McDonald’s second visit to campus and he’s still yet to take his official visit, which is scheduled for Sept. 10. That’s a great foundation to lay for a prospect from the south. Similar to Peal, McDonald has a Georgia Crystal Ball but may be lower in its pecking order with two defensive linemen already committed and several elite targets still on the board. Michigan would be set to take advantage if he’s not a take for the Bulldogs.
Trinity Christian (GA) four-star ATH Aaron Gates - No. 321 overall, No. 23 ATH
Gates is another prospect who has visited Michigan multiple times that the staff needs to close on. While committed to Florida he’s visited Ann Arbor for the spring game, an official visit in June and now the BBQ at the Big House. Florida is trying to keep him in the fold but three visits to another school almost always results in a flip.
Carlsbad (CA) three-star ATH Zack Marshall - No. 74 ATH
Michigan is still looking to add a second tight end to the class if he is the right guy, and Marshall has been emerging as a possible candidate. He has yet to receive an offer from Michigan yet, but he could after the staff gets a better look at the 6-foot-4, 220-pounder in person. Marshall holds Power 5 offers from Arizona, Cal, Utah and Washington State.
Buford (GA) five-star ATH KJ Bolden - No. 4 overall, No. 2 ATH
Before former 2023 offensive line target Paul Mubenga committed to LSU, he was scheduled to make a visit to the BBQ. Even though he won’t be making the trip, his uber-talented underclassmen teammates will still be visiting. This will actually be Bolden’s second time seeing Ann Arbor, after visiting for the Ohio State game last season. He’s still an unlikely land since he’s a top 10 player from Georgia, but you never know.
Providence Day (NC) five-star QB Jadyn Davis - No. 19 overall, No. 5 QB
Out of everyone on this list, Davis is unquestionably the headliner. After missing on Dante Moore in the 2023 class, Michigan has switched their focus onto Davis whether he reclassifies or not. The coaches plan to give Davis extra personalized attention on this trip and are going to push for him to wrap up his recruitment this weekend.
Davis has stated he wants to wait until after his senior season and take his official visits, but the Wolverines could really use a vocal leader for the 2023 and 2024 classes and that’s what they’ll pitch him on. Heading into the visit, On3’s EJ Holland submitted a prediction for Michigan to land Davis.
Buford (GA) four-star ATH KingJoseph Edwards - No. 34 overall, No. 7 ATH
Edwards is another prospect from the loaded Buford squad making the trip. He is listed as an athlete and could play either tight end or edge at the next level. Grant Newsome is listed as Michigan’s primary recruiter, so it looks like Michigan prefers him on the offensive side of the ball. Georgia already has multiple Crystal Ball predictions in for Edwards, though.
Northside (GA) four-star S Ricardo Jones - No. 58 overall, No. 6 S
Jones is one of the top safety prospects in the country for his class and one of several Georgians heading North for the BBQ. Jay Harbaugh will have to pull some magic to land him like the other elite Georgia guys, but attending this event does show that Jones has high interest in the program.
Catholic Memorial (WI) four-star IOL Donovan Harbour - No. 90 overall, No. 2 IOL
Wisconsin continues to pump out talented offensive linemen and it looks like Harbour is next in line. This will be Harbour’s first ever trip to Ann Arbor. He’s listed as 6-foot-5 but is already listed as an interior lineman, which is interesting since most linemen are listed as tackles early on before sliding inside. This will probably be a Big Ten battle with in-state Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Purdue all already handing out offers to Harbour.
Harper Woods (MI) four-star ATH Jacob Oden - No. 121 overall, No. 15 ATH
There are a few top in-state players next cycle who would be good for Michigan to pick up early to help build the foundation of the class. Oden is one of those guys, having been to campus too many times to count so far. The Michigan State Spartans Crystal Balls massively overstate their position in this recruitment. If anything, Michigan is the leader here and could make a big move with this event.
Fitch (OH) four-star edge Brian Robinson - No. 172 overall, No. 13 edge
There are a couple of factors that could help Michigan pull Robinson out of Ohio. First is he doesn’t hold an offer from Ohio State yet, which obviously will make it easy if it never jumps in the race.
The second is Robinson is from Youngstown, the same hometown as Steve Clinkscale, who is his primary recruiter. That will be a powerful recruiting force that will make Michigan a tough school to beat for any school not named Ohio State.
Avon (OH) four-star OT Luke Hamilton - No. 175 overall, No. 10 OT
Hamilton is another blue-chipper from Ohio who doesn’t hold a Buckeye offer yet. He has visited Ohio State multiple times though and is definitely trying to earn an offer. In the meantime, Michigan will try to lay a good foundation and build up a lead.
Millikan (CA) four-star WR Jordan Anderson - No. 176 overall, No. 27 WR
Coming across the country will be Anderson, who is making his first ever visit to Ann Arbor. Michigan has been involved with his high school for a while, with Jay Harbaugh visiting during the evaluation period in April. Michigan also hosted Anderson’s teammate, fellow four-star receiver Ryan Pellum, earlier this offseason. There’s no word yet if Pellum will be making the trip with Anderson but that would be a nice addition.
Catholic Memorial (WI) four-star RB Corey Smith - No. 182 overall, No. 9 RB
Smith is a teammate of Harbour at Catholic Memorial. He’s visiting despite not yet holding an offer from Michigan, though landing one during the visit seems likely since he already holds offers from Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Grayson (GA) four-star ATH Kylan Fox - No. 191 overall, No. 26 ATH
Fox is another athlete who can play tight end or edge at the next level. In his tweet announcing his offer from Michigan, Fox tagged defensive analyst Dylan Roney who works with edge rushers, so that indicates where Michigan sees him playing.
Marian Central Catholic (IL) four-star TE Christian Bentancur - No. 208 overall, No. 10 TE
Tight end is loaded in the 2024 cycle and Michigan is sitting well with several of them, including Bentancur. He holds offers from basically every school in the country, picking most of them up during a busy spring. Newsome is the lead recruiter and Sherrone Moore is assisting, which should help for a player from Illinois.
West Orange (NJ) four-star CB Jaylen McClain - No. 218 overall, No. 24 CB
Michigan used to control recruiting in the state of New Jersey and would like to start it again with McClain. This will be his second visit in as many months after seeing Ann Arbor for the first time back in early June. Newsome, a New Jersey native, is also the primary recruiter here, with Clinkscale as the secondary.
Saline (MI) four-star TE Dylan Mesman - No. 236 overall, No. 12 TE
Tight end is so loaded in 2024 that Mesman does not even hold an offer from Michigan yet, despite playing at nearby Saline. We’ll see how the Wolverines approache his recruitment. They could offer and push for an early commitment, or wait and see how they do with other top targets before adding him to the board. Despite his teammate CJ Carr committing to Notre Dame, the Irish also have not offered. If neither of those schools jump in, Michigan State would be in good position to land him.
Bolingbrook (IL) four-star ATH I’Marion Stewart - No. 250 overall, No. 34 ATH
Michigan landed Tyler McLaurin out of Bolingbrook a couple cycles ago and would like a repeat in Stewart. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder is being recruited as a wide receiver by Michigan. With not only McLaurin but Tyler Morris and J.J.McCarthy on the roster, Michigan has a strong presence in Chicago and will be a player here as long as it wants to be.
Kenwood Academy (IL) four-star edge Marquise Lightfoot - No. 257 overall, No. 20 edge
Speaking of Chicago, Michigan will be hosting another four-star from the area in Lightfoot. He was offered back during the evaluation period once Moore was able to see him in person. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder has impressive length but will need to add some size.
Bellevue (WA) four-star TE Hogan Hansen - No. 262 overall, No. 13 TE
Newsome is going to be busy with the amount of tight ends on the guest list to the BBQ. This will be Hansen’s first ever trip to Ann Arbor after getting offered back in April. He also holds offers from Arkansas, Florida, Miami, Michigan State, Oregon, Penn State, Stanford, Tennessee, Washington, and Washington State.
Central Catholic (PA) four-star LB Anthony Speca - No. 263 overall, No. 17 LB
This will be Speca’s fourth visit to Ann Arbor in his recruitment, so it’s safe to say he has high interest in the program. Notre Dame has the lone Crystal Ball so far but it’s hard to beat that many visits.
St. Edward (OH) four-star OT Ben Roebuck - No. 266 overall, No. 16 OT
Roebuck is yet another Ohio four-star who has yet to be offered by Ohio State. Even without an offer, they’re still listed as “warm” on his 247Sports profile, along with Penn State. It looks like Michigan will have some ground to make up going into this visit.
Lyons Township (IL) four-star DL Eddie Tuerk - No. 304 overall, No. 27 DL
Listed as a defensive lineman, Tuerk is actually being recruited by both Mike Elston and Sherrone Moore. This will be Tuerk’s fourth visit to campus as well, including for last year’s BBQ. We’ll see which side of the ball will win out or if Tuerk has a preference down the line.
Providence Day (NC) four-star WR Jordan Shipp - No. 314 overall, No. 45 WR
Not only does Providence Day have a five-star in Jadyn Davis, they also have two stud receivers who will be visiting for their second time this offseason as well. Shipp is the bigger of the two at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds. He’s a Florida legacy, but the Gators haven’t offered him yet.
Ponte Vedra (FL) three-star IOL Jake Guarnera - No. 328 overall, No. 15 IOL
Guarnera will be making the trip up from Florida despite not holding an offer from Michigan yet. He’ll also be stopping at Ohio State on the Midwest swing. Guarnera holds offers from Florida, Florida State, NC State, Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia and Wake Forest.
Providence Day (NC) three-star WR Channing Goodwin - No. 333 overall, No. 46 WR
Goodwin is the other wide receiver from Providence Day making a visit with his teammates. His father is former Wolverine Jonathan Goodwin, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him commit while at the BBQ. That could only help in the pursuit of Davis.
Archbishop Wood (OH) Kevin Heywood - unranked OT
Heywood is unranked so far but does hold offers from UConn, Penn State and Rutgers, so he looks like he’ll be ranked as a solid prospect. He’s also massive at 6-foot-7, 280 pounds, so sticking at left tackle is in the cards.
Chattanooga Christian School (TN) Boo Carter - unranked ATH
Carter is even more perplexingly unranked, even though he has almost 20 FBS offers. This will be Carter’s second visit to Ann Arbor this offseason, after stopping by back in April. He is being recruited as a defensive back by the Michigan staff, with Clinkscale as his primary recruiter.
Lexington Christian Academy (KY) Cutter Boley - unranked QB
Boley looks like he’ll be one of the top quarterbacks in his class with early offers from Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Ole Miss, Pitt, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia. Boley has said Michigan and Tennessee are the schools standing out to him so far.
Plainfield East (IL) Quinn Morris - unranked WR
Morris is the younger brother of current Wolverine wide receiver Tyler Morris. He already holds two Big Ten offers from Michigan, which was the first to offer, and Minnesota. It looks like he is on the path to being a standout recruit like his older brother.