Despite Michigan’s meteoric rise with the 2024 recruiting class, the Wolverines only have one defensive back commit thus far: in-state four-star Jacob Oden. Oden, a stellar, hard-hitting safety, is one of the more underappreciated commitments the Michigan Wolverines have in the class.
However, they are still looking to add another safety to round out the position. Several of these targets will be making official visits in the coming weeks, so now’s as good of a time as any to survey Michigan’s chances with its remaining 2024 safety targets.
Listed as a two-way athlete, Boo Carter’s skills project well to safety, nickel, and even as an offensive utility man. Fleet yet physical, his versatility would fit well with Michigan’s multifaceted pass defense. Oden is a friend of his, and the two have been competing with each other for years.
Tennessee has a monopoly on Crystal Balls for him, but the Volunteer State blue-chipper will be heading to Michigan for an official visit — his only one on the docket — this weekend. He will also be committing not much later on June 17. The Wolverines and Volunteers are neck and neck for Carter, and it will likely come down to how well the Maize and Blue can demonstrate how they can use his versatility and how impactful Oden’s presence is.
Rated as the ninth-best safety in the class, Jordan Johnson-Rubell has drawn comparisons to his favorite college player: Jabrill Peppers. He will take an official visit this weekend to Ann Arbor, but the odds don’t look too good for the Maize and Blue.
Texas has a Crystal Ball in its favor, and TCU is the next closest competition. The Wolverines need to play up the comparisons to Peppers — and hope for the unexpected — if they hope to stay in this one.
Surprisingly enough for the fifth-best safety in the class, Chaminade-Madonna (FL) Zaquan Patterson isn’t getting a ton of attention in Michigan recruiting discussions. Patterson has enough size and downhill pursuit skills to be a linebacker at the next level, and coupling that with elite pass coverage abilities, he will be a lethal weapon for any secondary lucky enough to have him.
Michigan made his top-five in late April, and while the Wolverines aren’t set to host him on an official visit yet, there’s still time to get him on campus. Miami is the leader so far, but securing an official could go a long way in disrupting that.
Of these three, the Wolverines likely have the best shot with Carter. The timing of his official visit in conjunction with his upcoming commitment bodes well, provided they do enough to convince him that a stint in Ann Arbor would be more valuable than in Knoxville. News trickling out of Schembechler Hall early next week could give us indications of whether Michigan was successful in moving the needle.
If Carter doesn’t commit, it will be an uphill battle to land another safety in the class. Odds are Patterson will be a Hurricane and Johnson-Rubell will be a Longhorn. However, anything can happen in the wild college football recruiting landscape. With Oden already in the class, Michigan is, in some respects, already playing with house money. The Wolverines stand to benefit from a little unpredictability with this group of safety prospects.