It’s the offseason, but recruiting never stops in Ann Arbor, Mich., where Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines are building their classes of the future. Check Land of 10 daily for the latest inside the Michigan recruiting room.
4-star OT Jalen Mayfield‘s commitment to Michigan is more important than you think
Let’s be honest: The commitment of 4-star OT Jalen Mayfield to Michigan on Tuesday will go under the radar for multiple reasons.
— Brandon Brown (@BSB_Wolverine) May 23, 2017
Despite having one of the hottest spring campaigns in the country, the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central standout doesn’t boast an overly impressive offer list. Among the other Power 5 schools to offer him are Arizona, Michigan State, Minnesota and Nebraska.
But don’t let the talent evaluation of other schools leave you questioning Michigan’s.
Mayfield’s commitment is, but shouldn’t be, underappreciated
Mayfield could be a top-100 prospect by the end of this cycle. He has gone from No. 800-plus in the country to No. 310. That momentum is hard to match.
The 247Sports composite puts him at No. 310 because of a low ranking from a couple of other services, including Rivals and Scout, that have him well below that number as a 3-star recruit.
The highest he’s ranked is from the 247Sports solo rankings, in which he is the No. 86 overall prospect in the country.
If you think of Mayfield as 247Sports does – a top-100 prospect – then this commitment is monumental. Michigan has a tough time landing top-notch tackles. Mayfield is one who has come out of nowhere, but he’s a top guy nonetheless.
He’s a piece to the puzzle that Michigan fans have clamored for in a top tackle. This gives Michigan back-t0-back U.S. Army All-American Bowl tackles along with Chuck Filiaga.
Blessed to receive an invite to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl! pic.twitter.com/V0JcDCSpM2
— Jalen Mayfield (@jay_may_11) May 12, 2017
But Mayfield’s commitment still seems to be underappreciated – and it shouldn’t be.
This commitment should be valued as much as 4-star OG Emil Ekiyor’s. It’s not the most important commitment of the class thus far, but it’s up there.
Where does Jalen Mayfield fit in the 2018 class?
Mayfield’s commitment is huge for Michigan in the 247Sports composite team rankings.
Before his commitment, the Wolverines were ranked as the country’s No. 17 overall class with a composite score just under 150.
With the commitment of Mayfield, the Wolverines claim the No. 9 class in the country – one behind Tennessee and surpassing Nebraska, Washington and a few others – with a composite score of 163.38.
Mayfield is a nice fit for the Wolverines, who didn’t have a tackle committed in the class before Tuesday. Their sole offensive line commitment was from Ekiyor.
Now, Michigan claims two big-time offensive line commitments who are both ranked inside the top 100 by at least one recruiting service.
It’s a great start to an offensive line class that should add anywhere from one to two more recruits.
How does Mayfield project at Michigan?
It’s no mystery that Mayfield can add to his 255-pound weight, but his 6-foot-5 frame is just fine. He shines with his athleticism and footwork. He has a good combination of mechanics and strength.
He’s not a plug-and-play guy, like freshman center Cesar Ruiz, but he’s a guy who can make some noise in his second season after a redshirt year.
— Matt Freeman (@mattfreemanISD) April 18, 2017
He will compete with 2017 signees such as Joel Honigford, Ja’Raymond Hall and Andrew Stueber. The other tackle from 2017, Chuck Filiaga, could see time during his true freshman year.
The injury to Greg Newsome factors into how quickly any of these guys can play, too. If Newsomer returns healthy, he’ll be the guy at one of the tackle spots.
Keep an eye on Mayfield to see how strong he gets between now and signing day on Feb. 7. He’s got the skill set and mechanics to play as a sophomore. He just has to get bigger, and he will in Michigan’s successful strength-and-conditioning program.