Obviously things did not go as Michigan had planned this past weekend with an upset loss to the Spartans. It was a cold and rainy night, which really seemed to damper the crowd in attendance for only Michigan’s 4th night game at Michigan Stadium ever. The lack of offensive production in the second half, turnovers, and the eventual loss put a cap on a pretty disappointing evening. One area where Michigan did perform well this weekend was in recruiting. Michigan had a lot visitors for the game against Michigan State, including commits and some big time targets. We went through them all in our Targets On-Site article, but now let’s take a look at how some of the recruits felt about their weekend in Ann Arbor.
As I said in my previous article, I felt pretty good that all of the commits visiting were pretty locked in. One of the biggest being 2018 LB Cam McGrone.
1000% is a lot, but McGrone wasn’t shy about his excitement to enroll at Michigan.
“I can’t wait to be there next year,” McGrone told 247Sports. “The Michigan defense is the best fit for me. I loved my time at the Big House this weekend and I’ve built a great bond with the coaching staff.” It’s no secret, the defense and genius of Don Brown is a big reason stud defensive recruits are choosing Michigan.
“Coach Brown and Coach (Chris) Partridge are great men and great coaches. Coach Brown’s knowledge of the game is so deep. We’ve sat down and talked film and they have a clear plan for how I’ll be used and how I can succeed in his defense. It all meshes really well for my future with them.” McGrone is a lock, and going to a be a solid recruiter to close out the 2018 class. He’s a name we’ll be hearing a lot on Saturdays for the maize and blue.
The most recent commit to the 2018 class made his official trip to Ann Arbor this weekend, QB Kevin Doyle.
Doyle made it clear after his visit he is excited about the opportunity at Michigan, and he is ready to come in and compete for a job. He may not be the highly rated QB prospect fans crave, but trust me when I say he is the QB prospect Michigan wants. You won’t have to watch his tape for long to become a fan, and his attitude, well let’s just say he doesn’t expect anything handed to him and he’s going to work hard and try to earn the starting job at Michigan. Doyle not only had a great time in Ann Arbor, but he put on his recruiting hat as well.
In one of his pictures is #1 WR recruit in the country Amon-Ra St. Brown. If you are expecting a tweet from St. Brown, you haven’t been following his recruitment. St. Brown has been quiet through the process, and isn’t looking for any crazy attention while he makes this decision. I was told a few months ago that Michigan was going to be a sleeper to land a top recruit that no one was really giving them a chance for, and it was going to be a similar situation to Najee Harris last year. My guess, is that player is Amon-Ra St. Brown. He said all the right generic things to some reporters after his visit, but the truth is, no one really knows where St. Brown is leaning. His recruitment will be an interesting one, and it won’t end until he commits at the US Army All-American game on January 6, 2018. I favor Michigan’s chances more than others, and have heard some positive info for Michigan. But after Harris last year, I’ve learned to be cautious with this info with recruits like St. Brown. We’ll keep an eye on it, and hope Michigan finds a way to land the talented receiver.
One recruit I did not know was visiting was 2019 5 Star Stephon Herron Jr., who made sure there was no doubt where he stood after the game Saturday night.
Herron was a heavy recruiter for Michigan this weekend, and will be moving forward. The 2019 class already has something that 2017 had, and 2018 seems to be lacking, and that’s a very bonded group of power recruits who are working to help recruit others to Michigan. Herron has formed a great relationship with fellow 5 star, Christopher Hinton. Hinton is from Georgia, and is also close with 2019 LB Charles Thomas.
These three are not only the possible future anchor of the Michigan defense, but they seem to be the anchor of this entire class. Each will be a force for Michigan on and off the field, and Hinton seems to be taking a role similar to Corey Malone-Hatcher in 2018 as lead recruiter. Even though he was not in attendance, Hinton made sure to reach out to a fellow Georgia recruit who was.
Ryland Goede is an absolute stud TE in the 2019 class. As I said, he’s from the state of Georgia, so he’s viewed as a Bulldog favorite currently, but we know Jim Harbaugh loves raiding the backyard of Kirby Smart. I think its fair to say Michigan improved it’s chances this weekend.
“It was one of the best visits I have been on. Michigan wowed me.” I can’t say enough about Goede’s skillset. If Jim Harbaugh could craft his perfect TE, it might end up being Goede. He has the size at 6’7″ 240lbs, but is still very athletic. He runs great routes, and can run from the outside or slot. He’s also not scared to block, in fact he’s incredibly good at it, whether it’s on the line or down the field. Goede is going to get a lot of attention from Michigan, and rightfully so. I’m sure his recruitment has a way to go, but Michigan made a great impression this weekend and should be factor to the end.
Another big recruit from the state of Georgia in the Big House this weekend was 2019 OL Harry Miller.
Miller will be a prized recruit in the 2019 class, as he has Harbaugh player written all over him. He’s a prototypical lineman for Michigan, and a very smart kid from a great family. He’s getting a lot attention from staffs all across the country including Alabama, Clemson, and his home state Georgia, but we know that isn’t going to scare off Jim Harbaugh. It’s very early in his recruitment as well, but Michigan did well on Miller’s return trip to Ann Arbor.
A recruit to watch for a possible commit coming out of the weekend was flip candidate Shocky Jacques-Louis.
I’m going to try to guess where things stand with Jacques-Louis, which may be a futile task. Michigan was his third visit in the past three weeks joining the school he was previously committed to, Kentucky, and the school he is currently committed to in Tennessee. Leading up to his visit Jacques-Louis seemed to stress he was 100% committed to the Vols. Coming out of his visit, it looks more like Michigan will be a back up plan for the WR, especially if things change with the status of Tennessee head coach Butch Jones. Not a good strategy, I expect Michigan to move on.
Two defensive back recruits to keep an eye on after this weekend are DB Chris Smith and S Bryan Addison. Smith is currently committed to Georgia, but as I said in my Flip or Flop article, I’ve expected Smith to end up a Wolverine for some time. Not a lot of news came out of his visit, but that doesn’t mean much yet. Smith has connections to the Wolverines including fellow Georgia DB Myles Sims, and I know the Michigan staff is confident they can land him. The issue with Smith may be timing, as Michigan is likely to flip Miami commit Josh Jobe, is in on other recruits at the position, and already has a deep class at defensive back. It’s a similar situation with Addison, as I believe the staff wants him and he would be a good fit for Michigan, but it’s going to come down to timing. Addison named his top 5 this week and it includes Michigan.
His top 5 surprisingly does not include USC. A lot of factors are at play with Addison, but you have to think Michigan feels good about their chances right now. It will be interesting to watch this one play out.
A couple odd recruitments I mentioned previously were that off top in-state OL Marquan McCall and Devontae Dobbs, 2018 and 2019 class respectively. Not a lot of chatter has come out regarding McCall, so there may some truth to him being a backup plan for Ekiyor, or things just may not have changed with he and Michigan. In the case of Dobbs, there still isn’t a lot of chatter except word is the Michigan staff said “they love Dobbs” and “want him on their team”. We’ll keep an eye on both recruitments moving forward, but no needle moving news on either player.
Looking to the future, the next big recruiting weekend will be The Game, as Ohio State comes to the Big House. Currently the list of expected players includes the previously mentioned Charles Thomas, and targets Talanoa Hufanga, Noah Cain, Michael Ezeike, Eric Gray, Leonard Taylor, Kalel Mullings, Zac Smith, and Michael Thompson. Michigan has two other home games remaining against Rutgers and Maryland.
Be sure to follow The Blue Print, as I will keep you up to date if any news comes out regarding visitors this weekend, future visitors, or recruiting in general for the Wolverines. Don’t forget to like, comment, and share if you liked the article, and as always Go Blue!
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Hey fellow Michigan fans! I’m Trevor McCue, and if you are reading this blog I’m assuming you are like me, a diehard Michigan fan. My father grew up in Michigan, but as an Army Sergeant we lived all over the world. The one connection we had to home was watching Michigan football every Saturday. When he retired, we moved home to West Michigan. I was so excited to be close to the University I loved so much, and actually make trips to the Big House! I am the husband to my amazing wife who I’ve known since 5th grade, and we are expecting our first child in November. I’m obsessed with team branding and design, which makes being a Michigan fan even better. There is no better look than the maize and blue, the block M, and the winged helmet. I love everything about college football, from recruiting to stats analysis. I can’t thank Rasean Reeves enough for the amazing opportunity to write about all things Michigan Football, and share my passion with you. Go Blue!