Michigan has lost its top-rated 2018 commit to Alabama. Offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor Jr. of Indianapolis Cathedral High School announced Sunday via Twitter that he has changed his mind about signing with the Wolverines and instead is committing to the Crimson Tide.
— Emil Ekiyor Jr. (@bigE__18) October 29, 2017
Ekiyor, a 4-star prospect according to the 247Sports composite rankings, was the highest-rated player among the 15 players who had committed to Michigan. He is rated as the No. 105 player overall in the country, No. 1 in the state of Indiana, and the No. 2 center.
Ekiyor received his offer from the Wolverines in March 2015 when he was freshman at Cathedral and Jim Harbaugh was only three months into his tenure as Michigan’s head coach. Ekiyor committed on Oct. 2, 2016.
Tight end Mustapha Muhammad of Fort Dulles (Texas) Ridge Point is now the highest-rated of the 14 commits. Muhammad is also the latest commit, announcing his choice on Oct. 20. He is No. 109 on the 247Sports composite and the No. 5 tight end in the country.
Ekiyor was instrumental in helping Michigan get the commitment of 4-star linebacker Cameron McGrone of Lawrence Central in Indianapolis. McGrone, the No. 2-rated player in Indiana, and Ekiyor are close friends. Ekiyor suggested to Michigan coaches they recruit McGrone even though he suffered an ACL tear during his junior season.
Despite his commitment to Michigan, Ekiyor still listened to other programs and visited Florida State, Georgia and Alabama in February. He participated in Michigan’s Big Man Big House camp in June and made an unofficial visit in late August after Cathedral played Detroit Martin Luther King at Wayne University.
He took an official visit to Alabama on Sept. 30 and returned for another visit last weekend.
Ekiyor said publicly on multiple occasions he was maintaining his commitment to Michigan but wanted to make sure he had done his due diligence researching his options. He had scheduled a visit to Michigan for this weekend but cancelled it.
“I feel more comfortable there, and it’s a better fit for me,” Ekiyor told Land of 10 about his decision to change from Michigan to Alabama.