Michigan fans are familiar with MI WR Maliq Carr, and Carr’s very familiar with Michigan. So much so, in fact, that he isn’t planning an official because the school is so close to home and, as he told The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown, he “…can just show up.” It seems that Michigan has moved back up his list with the hiring of Josh Gattis, as Gattis is recruiting him at his preferred position of receiver where they had been recruiting him as a tight end before. He told Brown how Michigan sees him at the moment.
They told me that if I gain over 20 pounds from right now then I’d be an H, but that’s not about to happen. I’m not going to let myself do that," Carr said. "I want to be an X; basically where Donovan [Peoples-Jones] is. I’m at about 225 pounds right now after being around 230 last week.
Even though Michigan is recruiting him as a receiver for now, both Brown and Sam Webb write that Purdue appears to be his leader. Brown says Purdue is telling him “everything he wants to hear,” including playing exclusively receiver. Webb writes that Purdue told him he can also give basketball a shot, something he said Michigan was discussing with him before John Beilein’s exit. Whichever school lands Carr is going to be the one that he thinks will get him the ball most often. He spoke with both Brown and Webb about how he likes how much Purdue passes, then broke that down a little further with Webb:
“Honestly, it does (give Purdue an advantage),” Carr admitted. “I mean, the more that I get the ball, the more I can show what I can do… which raises my draft stock (and) the more money I can make.”
I mean, he’s not wrong. Can still make a career out of being a tight end, but he’s not wrong.
Carr said he thinks he will visit Michigan in June because other recruits have told him everyone will be there, and that’s the truth. Steve Lorenz reports that four-star TX CB and current Oklahoma commit Ryan Watts will be on campus this weekend. Watts picked up his Michigan offer in April and committed to the Sooners later that month, but a quick glance at his recruiting profile—particularly the number of other schools’ recruiting sites writing about him as a target—makes it appear as though his recruitment is fairly open. This is one more piece of evidence toward establishing a rule that if Oklahoma is in on a corner Michigan would take them too, as is the case with Oklahoma decommit CA CB Darion Green-Warren (who’s officially taking a Michigan official at some point). Joining him this weekend will be NJ S RJ Moten, who is visiting unofficially. 247’s Steve Wiltfong says Michigan would like to get him to set an official visit soon after, and he wouldn’t be surprised if it’s June 21. Moten’s crystal ball is 100% Michigan, and Wiltfong says Michigan is still the strong favorite. Moten is a composite four-star and ranked #328 overall, though to 247 he’s the 174th-best player in the country.
[After THE JUMP: many, many more visits]
Four-star VA S Malcolm Greene will be on campus June 21, according to Steve Lorenz. Wiltfong says Michigan projects him to a number of positions in the secondary, so garnering commitments from him, Moten, and Morant (see below) wouldn’t be an issue. Also on campus that day will be CA TE Theo Johnson. He told TMI’s Sam Webb that the programs showing the most interest right now are Penn State, Georgia, Miami, Alabama, Iowa, and Michigan. Webb writes that Michigan’s increased contact with Johnson is worth noting, as he was already one of their top targets. The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown spoke with Johnson and got Josh Gattis’ take on how Johnson fits in his offense by way of Johnson.
…Coach Gattis really sees me fitting in and being more of a guy that can do both rather than just being an H-back or an in-line guy. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re doing next season with [Ed. A- 12 personnel]. He said that it’s going to be a big difference, for sure."
MD RB Blake Corum will be taking his official that day, per Steve Lorenz. He’s long thought to be leaning toward Michigan and his crystal ball (100% M on five predictions) reflects that. Another top target on campus on the 21st will be NJ S Jordan Morant, a composite four-star ranked #161 overall (though, as with Moten, 247 has him quite a bit higher at #47 overall and the top safety in the nation). There was a good deal of buzz around Michigan and Morant before he visited earlier this spring, and that same buzz from those around him is loud enough once again that Sam Webb just put in a Michigan crystal ball for Morant yesterday.
Some already-committed prospects will be on campus in June as well. MA OT Zak Zinter will take his official visit to Michigan on June 21, per TMI’s Brice Marich; Zinter was recently one of three commits featured in a Charles Power piece for 247 in which he was praised for his hand placement in the run game and lateral agility and peripheral vision in the pass game. 2021 IL QB JJ McCarthy will be on campus this weekend and again the weekend of the 21st; that’s not entirely surprising given what Steve Lorenz writes about the lead recruiter role he has taken on.
One top target who won’t be on campus June 21 is MI S Makari Paige. He’ll be at Ohio State that day, and though he recently released a top seven Steve Lorenz notes that all signs point toward Paige’s recruitment being a Michigan-Ohio State race. FWIW Steve Wiltfong thinks Paige is headed elsewhere.
Michigan has obviously set up their camp weekends as visit-intensive showcases, and though it seems that everyone and their brother will be on campus on the 21st there are other important visitors sprinkled throughout the month. HI WR Roman Wilson finished a three-day visit Wednesday and told Sam Webb that Michigan is in his top five, the rest of which he declined to share. Wilson is on the smaller side at 6’0” and 175 pounds but he ran a 4.37 40 at the Opening in Oakland and a 10.68 in the 100-meter dash (which won him a Hawaii state title). The mutual interest between Wilson and Michigan gets zero FAKES out of five, even though Michigan didn’t offer him until the middle of last month; technically they’d seen him much earlier, and for the story behind his performance at Michigan’s satellite camp in Hawaii when Wilson was in middle school I recommend reading Webb’s piece.. For Wilson the coaching staff (Harbaugh in particular), education, and opportunity in Gattis’ offense stood out during his visit. For Michigan [/gestures toward cartoony speed lines]. WIlson’s parents are also from Michigan and he has family in state, and he’ll be able to see them again in a few months; Wilson is planning on taking his official visit Ohio State weekend.
Though not currently rated as highly as teammate IL QB JJ McCarthy, IL SDE Ryan Keeler seems an excellent candidate to fly up the rankings. Keeler attended the Best of the Midwest Camp at GVSU and left recruiting sites singing his praises, with The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb writing that Keeler is quick, yes, but what really stands out about his game is his technique. Michigan’s staff sees him as a future Anchor (SDE) and offered Keeler last month, as did most of the Midwest. Webb reports that Keeler’s performance wowed Michigan’s staff in attendance at the camp, and they’ll get an opportunity to let him know that when he visits Ann Arbor next week. McCarthy is apparently Keeler’s best friend and is recruiting him hard, but he says that won’t sway him. We’ll see what kind of visit reaction articles come out, but between the glowing comments he made about Michigan and its staff and his best friend already being in the fold, it seems Michigan is in good shape early with a rapid riser. [Update: Michigan’s is definitely in good shape with Keeler, as Brice Marich submitted a crystal ball for Michigan in the time between me starting this article and getting ready to publish.]
On the other side of the spectrum is MI RB Donovan Edwards, who has been written about as frequently as you’d expect for an in-state top-100 player. Of note is that he told TMI’s Josh Newkirk he attended last weekend’s Sound Mind Sound Body camp in part to spend time with Michigan running backs coach Jay Harbaugh. He told Newkirk he might visit Michigan in the middle of the month before scheduled trips to Ohio State and Georgia in late June and early July, respectively. All that traveling is just to build relationships and gain information; Edwards says he expects to commit in about a year.
It took MI OT Giovanni El-Hadi two days to commit after he received his offer in mid-March, and in that time he’s gone from a guy with a few articles about him performing well at local camps to one of the three prospects featured in the aforementioned Charles Power article on three Michigan commits with big-time potential. Best to let him tell you why:
All of our research shows shuttle times for offensive linemen to one of the more predictive athletic tests in projecting players for both college and the NFL. El-Hadi is exceptional from a quickness and change of direction standpoint, ripping off a 4.44 second shuttle time at The Opening Regional–that's good for third best of any offensive lineman so far in 2019. Even more impressively, he did that at 273 pounds, making him the biggest offensive lineman to crack the 4.50 mark.
Rivals has a list of standouts to keep an eye on from last weekend’s Best of the Midwest camp. Rivals updated their 2020 top 250 without significant movement for Michigan commits. Austin Fox tracked Michigan’s coaches at the aforementioned camp.