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Recruiting Roundup: Michigan makes top group for pair of top-50 targets

Michigan is making progress with some elite players in the 2024 class.

Vrbo Fiesta Bowl - Michigan v TCU Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

I’d like to start off by wishing everyone reading a Happy New Year! While Michigan’s year didn’t start off great, the Wolverines still have positive momentum in recruiting, and that is being reinforced by top prospects who are including them on their top lists.

Top-50 WR puts Michigan in his top 10

On New Year’s Eve, 2024 Millikan (CA) four-star wide receiver Ryan Pellum included Michigan in his group of top 10 schools.

Michigan was joined by Alabama, Oregon, LSU, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, UCLA, Penn State and Georgia.

Thanks to Jay Harbaugh, Michigan got off to a good start in this recruitment, hosting Pellum for an unofficial visit last March. After that though, it seems like communication dropped off between the two parties.

For a while, it actually seemed like Michigan had a better shot with his teammate, fellow four-star wide receiver Jordan Anderson. But Anderson recently committed to Oregon and Michigan has clearly been keeping in touch with Pellum all the while.

Pellum gave his thoughts to 247Sports’ Greg Biggins about why Michigan made the cut (FREE).

“I like the coaching staff and have a good relationship with them. I like coach Harbaugh, he has an NFL background and I’m close with coach Bellamy, the wide receiver coach,” Pellum explained. “I took a visit last offseason and really liked the campus and the overall environment there. I met some of the players, Andrel Anthony was real cool and they’re showing me a lot of love right now.”

Michigan makes top group for five-star S

Another elite prospect in 2024 Michigan made the cut for is Buford (GA) five-star safety KJ Bolden. He released his top 15 over the weekend — which is a lot of schools — but it’s still a good step to be included.

The schools included along with Michigan are Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Colorado, Florida State, LSU, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Tennessee, USC, Oregon and South Carolina.

Bolden spoke with On3’s Chad Simmons about his list (FREE).

“These schools are the ones that recruited me and took their time to talk to me about more than football, just life in general and how much you can achieve once you get here and things after football and life after football if football doesn’t work out,” Bolden said. “These schools mention that heavy. And then, I actually love the coaching staffs of these programs. These schools, right now with their depth charts, I could fit in.”

Bolden has visited Michigan twice so far, for the BBQ at the Big House last summer and the Ohio State game to end the 2021 season. Georgia is the presumed leader here for Bolden, unsurprisingly.

Bolden also told Simmons he plans on trimming his list to five or seven in the spring.

Michigan in good spot to flip three-star DL

One of the few remaining targets in the 2023 class is Sierra Canyon (CA) three-star defensive lineman Cameron Brandt. While he’s currently committed to Stanford, he did not sign with the Cardinal in the early period and is planning to visit Michigan soon.

On3’s EJ Holland has more information on Michigan’s pursuit of Brandt ($).

Holland reported that Brandt’s official visit to Ann Arbor is going to happen sooner than later. With the loss to TCU, the staff can focus on recruiting a little bit earlier and get that date set up soon.

Importantly, Brandt does not have any plans to make it back to Stanford at any point before the second signing period. That will go a long way in keeping Michigan at the top of his mind and not allowing the new staff at Stanford to build their relationship further.

While he’s listed as a defensive lineman to the recruiting services, Brandt told Holland Michigan is recruiting him as a bigger edge ($).

“(Mike Elston) sees me more of an EDGE,” Brandt said. “He wants to develop me into that. I feel like I can play anywhere, but I would love the opportunity to develop myself as an edge rusher. Their success with edge rushers appeals a lot to me. It shows they know what they are doing and know how to get their players to succeed.”

Brandt says that he is building a relationship with Elston off the field as well.

“We’ve been getting to know each other better,” Brandt said. “It’s been more small, personal aspects since we weren’t able to do that in the summer. I like Coach Elston as a guy and coach. He’s really genuine. I like how he develops his players on and off the field.”