So, uh, this is going to be shorter
Ain't much happening now other than Harbaugh fighting with the SEC commissioner about going to IMG. Michigan's sent out some offers, a few kids were on campus, and right now there's a slow trickle of news. It's nothing like the entertaining chaos leading up to Signing Day.
Talking with the man
MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, a freshly named five-star at 247, had a conversation with one Jim Harbaugh on Signing Day.
Just got off the phone with Coach Harbaugh !! A great guy ...
— DPJ™ (@dpeoplesjones) February 3, 2016
He is a priority. Surprise!
Wilson visits, isn't committing yet
With the possible exception of CO QB Dylan McCaffrey, NY OL Isaiah Wilson is probably the top name on a hypothetical list of recruits Michigan fans are hoping to get an early commitment from. A combination of need, Wilson's rankings, and Michigan's oft-repeated status as his leader make him a prominent name early in the cycle.
We'll have to hold our horses a bit longer Wilson tweeted out a few days a go that he wasn't going to commit until "summer or maybe December." Still, things are pointing the right direction. Dude is retweeting Michigan softballists at the academic center.
Putting the STUDENT in student-athlete. Nice softball crowd at the Ross Academic Center tonight. #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/I6e5lMzfvv
— Michigan Softball (@umichsoftball) February 10, 2016
Early yet big name everyone's after etc. Knock on wood and everything; feeling pretty good here.
Stritzinger reiterates Michigan lead, Wilson drops by
Wilson wasn't alone; Michigan had a select group up over the weekend. MI ATH Allen Stritzinger took another visit to Ann Arbor and reiterated to Josh Newkirk that Michigan is his leader. He has seen the Peppers, and likes it.
“(Coach Wheatley) is still on me about playing running back,” Stritzinger said of UM running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley. “But there are a lot of kids who are in the position to play both ways, and after seeing how Jabrill (Peppers) was used this year as an athlete, that’s what I’m looking at. That’s the same thing that I want to be, to be out on both sides of the ball, any way I can to get on the field.”
I expect this kind of thing to ramp up over the season to the point where McCaffrey is talking about playing some WDE. Stritzinger plans on extending his recruitment in to the fall; it would be an upset if he didn't land in Ann Arbor. Apparently as a defensive back.
The other uncommitted DB recruit on campus last weekend was Don Brown special and MI S Scott Nelson. He said some nice things and remains open. Still waiting for the Michigan State shoe to drop there.
Mending fences with Simmons
MI ATH Antjuan Simmons released a top 11 without Michigan in it, and then visited Michigan this weekend. This isn't a huge commitment since it involves walking across the street from his high school, but it does seem like whatever ill feelings existed after Michigan was slightly tardy in joining the offer parade he experienced last fall are getting patched over:
“I’m very interested in Michigan,” said Simmons. “It is a program on the rise. They are now in my top list and they're gaining ground.”
Simmons is going to look around extensively; he recently visited Texas A&M. Michigan at least figures to stick in his top list going forward.
MI CB Ambry Thomas is tough to read based on his interviews, which oscillate wildly. The latest comes from South Carolina's Rivals site after he got a Gamecock offer:
“Honestly, I’m feeling down south, somewhere down there,” he explained.
He plans a visit tour through the SEC and ACC in the spring. The last time we checked in with Thomas he was giving an ND site a midwest-oriented top five without Michigan, so… yeah. Get the feeling there are going to be a lot of changes in his recruitment. Out of state seems more likely than not at the moment.
New names and quick updates
Gentlemen will pop up on the radar with frequency now. This week's batch:
- 6'5" AL WR Nico Collins has set an unofficial for the end of March. That'll be his second time on campus, which is a indication Michigan is a real contender; Lorenz says dad is a M fan. Collins #54 on the composite. He is also 6'5". Yes, please.
- CA OL Brett Neilon and Wyatt Davis tell Brice Marich they have set a visit for late March as well; could be a junior-day-type-thing coming together.
- CA CB Jaylon Redd says a visit is a "strong possibility" and that he likes… wait for it… Jabrill Peppers.
- CA CB Greg Johnson names Michigan one of four schools pursuing him the hardest. He's planning a spring unofficial to Tennessee; no Michigan trip on the docket yet.
- CA TE Josh Falo has some interest in Michigan but won't take an unofficial. He'll have to wait for fall to come to campus. Michigan successfully executed the Asiasi recruitment in a similar situation, at least.
- Michigan (and Alabama) offered AL DE LaBryan Ray. Ray says he doesn't know if he'll visit Michigan, so… yeah. Probably nevermind on this one.
- Michigan offered OH TE Trey Pugh, a 6'6" 220 flex type. Duke, Northwestern, and Penn State are his other top schools so a high academic guy.
- FL OL Tedarrell Slaton has publicly backed off his previous assertions that Michigan led while talking to Miami's Rivals site. That's the kind of thing that happens sometimes when a kid is open about a favorite or two early in the process and gets some pushback. Michigan will no doubt stay involved.