Jim Harbaugh Is Different, Part 347
The San Francisco Chronicle has a lengthy feature on the number one prospect in the country, Antioch (CA) RB Najee Harris, an Alabama commit who's also considering Michigan. As he has throughout the process, Harris keeps the state of his recruitment under wraps, but he did put forth one of the better Harbaugh recruiting stories I've seen:
On one of his two visits this year to Antioch High, the former 49ers coach sat in Principal Louie Rocha’s office, his feet propped on Rocha’s desk and his cap pushed back from his forehead as he chewed on licorice.
When Harris walked into the office, Harbaugh animatedly declared, “You’re a beautiful young man!” The room burst into laughter. He subsequently told Harris he should pursue a career in movies.
“It was kind of funny how he said it,” Antioch head coach John Lucido says. “It made Najee comfortable and kind of broke the ice with everybody.
Harris had more to say about Harbaugh. While I wouldn't read too much into it, I'd definitely check out that full article.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]
Is That Good
Michigan Commit O'maury Samuels rushes for 177-yards and 3 touchdowns... In the 1st Quarter #nmpreps Los Lunas leads Aztec 35-7 in the 2nd
— NMPreps (@nmpreps) August 27, 2016
After the soft opening last week, high school football season is in full swing. I have a handful of games to go through on the DVR, and Adam (who's taking over FBO this year because the live podcast now takes up my Friday nights) will have scouting and video this week on Ambry Thomas and Corey Malone-Hatcher.
247's Steve Lorenz drove over to Granville to watch commit Phil Paea, and like a handful of others who've seen Paea play on both sides of the ball, he liked him more on offense:
Paea also said he believed he played a better game offensively than on the defensive side of the ball. I agree with this, and after seeing him live it would not surprise me if he ended up playing on the interior of the offensive line in college. In this single game, he was much better on offense than he was on defense.
He showed enough lateral quickness to be a guy who could pull, and his team ran two long touchdowns behind him as a pulling guard. He was consistently able to grapple his defender and drive them to the ground (I counted seven pancakes in 2+ quarters of work). He did yield a sack on one play where he was supposed to kick out and block their end and wasn't even close to being there in time....it could have been miscommunication, but it didn't look like it in real time.
While Dylan McCaffrey's team suffered a blowout loss on national television, he still impressed Steve Wiltfong and the opposing coach:
“I thought he was as advertised,” Saguaro coach Jason Mohns said.
The 6-foot-5, 196-pound McCaffrey is a poised player, has great command in the pocket, can throw any route asked and puts nice touch and spin on the football. He certainly showed he’s athletic, can pull it down and make plays.
A good decision-maker, McCaffrey finished 18-of-24 for 205 yards passing and the one touchdown. He ran 13 times for 56 yards including a long of 17. His touchdown reception was a 24-yard gadget play where he was all alone.
“He was the real deal and Michigan is getting a great player,” Mohns added.
We'll have more from last weekend when Adam puts together this week's FBO.
Bama Out For Ruiz
TMI's Josh Newkirk caught up with four-star IMG OC Cesar Ruiz, and as many speculated a few weeks back, Alabama ran out of room for the top center on Michigan's board:
“I’ll put it like this, I’m not really considering ‘Bama like I used to, they haven’t even sent me an official offer, so I lost a connection with them really.” said Ruiz, moments after he helped lead Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy to a 26-7 victory against Loganville (Ga.) Grayson High.
So with Alabama out, where does that put Michigan exactly?
“It puts Michigan at a tie with Oklahoma, North Carolina, and those other schools on my list, everybody is tied now” Ruiz said, further adding: “One school left (my recruitment), just waiting on my options now. Now I’m just going to take my official visits and see what I can see.”
Ruiz is looking to set up an official, which is more difficult for him than many high school players because many of IMG's games are on Saturdays.
While I'm very skeptical anything major comes of this, it's never bad news when a five-star considers an official visit, and that's where Michigan is at with WA OT Foster Sarrell, who's set visits to Notre Dame and Stanford:
Sounds like Sarell could take all five officials before deciding.
"I know we're considering Alabama and UCLA and perhaps Michigan," Pam Sarell said. "I'm not sure on the other ones."
Washington is also a major player in his recruitment; they're close enough to home that he won't need to use an official on them.
Irvin's Exit, Explained
Newkirk spoke with recent 2018 decommit Jalil Irvin, who explained he left the class because Michigan fell out of comminication:
“The major reason was a lack of communication,” Irvin said. “I haven’t talked to the coaches in two months. I was thinking, ‘Why would I stay committed here, when I haven’t heard from them in two months?’ So I decommitted and I picked up two offers the same day actually.”
There doesn't seem to be hard feelings, however. Irvin added that he still plans to visit Michigan and they're "one of [his] dream schools." We'll see if that materializes; the two offers Irvin mentioned were from Georgia and Virginia Tech.
Allen Trieu runs down the list of potential Aubrey Solomon replacements for the Detroit News.
Four-star IMG OLB Jordan Anthony has Michigan in his top five and will take an official visit, per Newkirk.
Four-star FL ATH Christopher Henderson, a Miami commit, will take an official to Michigan for the Wisconsin game, per Lorenz.
Rivals dropped Kai-Leon Herbert down 167 spots to #228 overall in their latest re-rank due to his performance at the Rivals-only Five-Star Challenge camp. Earlier this year, they'd moved him up to that lofty perch because of a standout performance at the Rivals-only RCS Miami camp, ranking him far higher than any other site. He's now six spots below where he started. That's... very Rivals.