There’s under a month left until National Signing Day on Feb. 1. Michigan is searching for another top five class. Check Land of 10 daily for an update on what’s to come in Ann Arbor.
One recruiting battle with Alabama ends, another begins
Put Najee Harris behind you, Michigan fans. The Wolverines must focus on their top target left on the board, a 5-star defensive tackle whose name should be familiar.
The recruitment of Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County DT Aubrey Solomon — rated as the No. 2 defensive tackle in the nation by 247Sports composite — didn’t just begin. In fact, in the summer of 2016, he was committed to Michigan. But, in August, he reopened his recruitment. And, now, it’s down to four: Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and USC.
Final 4 ?? no questions please and thank you ? pic.twitter.com/LJpqhCubFL
— Aubrey Solomon (@AubreySolomon91) January 8, 2017
But it sounds like the coveted prospect is actually down to two: Alabama and Michigan.
Haven’t we heard this before?
With the seemingly never-ending recruitment of Harris ending with him choosing Alabama on Sunday, Michigan must now do that again, just a day later. And with the Feb. 1 National Signing Day just three weeks away.
And it’s eerily similar to the Harris recruitment — except reversed.
Solomon decommitted from Michigan. Technically, Harris never decommitted from Alabama … but it was pretty clear that he was “open,” as he stated several times.
Michigan fought for Harris to pry him away from the school he originally committed to. And it got really close. But in the end, Harris stuck with his original pledge.
The Tide are now in the Wolverines’ shoes, having to pursue Solomon in hopes of preventing him from attending the school he originally committed to.
Now, this situation got way out of hand last week when Solomon was on a live broadcast with some Georgia commits and said an expletive regarding his disdain for the Wolverines. He would subsequently tweet his apology.
He then went on the record on a video with The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb following the U.S. Army All-American Bowl saying that Michigan was his top school. Solomon then said Alabama was right there, too.
So Michigan isn’t staying far away from crazy, dramatic recruitments. This one might be as just interesting as Harris’ in the final stages.
But might it end the same way, with the prospect getting so close to choosing the new school, but, ultimately enrolling at the school he originally pledged to? Michigan’s staff and fans sure would like that.
All signs point towards Michigan right now. In Solomon’s interview with Land of 10 after an Army Bowl practice, he spoke of his strong bond with Jim Harbaugh. He said he has a huge liking for Harbaugh’s chocolate milk machine — yes, he has one of those because he’s Jim Harbaugh — and spoke both of his strong relationship with the coach and the love his mom developed for Michigan’s staff during Solomon’s official visit.
After the video with Webb following the Army Bowl hit the internet, things took off. But, fans missed a very important tweet from Solomon’s high school coach when 4-star Chuck Filiaga committed to the Wolverines during the live broadcast on NBC.
— Coach Pych (@pychke) January 7, 2017
It’s pretty well known that, based on his timeline, the coach is a Michigan fan. But, for him to tag two Michigan targets in Solomon and fellow Lee County player Tory Carter along with Lee County’s sole Michigan commit, Otis Reese (2018), shows the coach’s push for Solomon to choose Michigan.
That factor, along with Solomon’s owns words about Michigan, could lead most people to say it’s the Wolverines’ race to lose (or win). I’m a bit more cautious in Solomon’s recruitment because he said earlier last week that it was all Alabama and Georgia, and Michigan was a distant third.
But a phone call with Michigan’s staff after his expletive about the Wolverines in that live Periscope video changed things. And, for now, I, along with others, believe the leader to be Michigan.
One of the others tabbing the Wolverines is 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow, who went as far as putting Michigan in a crystal ball for Solomon. Bartow did the same for 5-star prospect Isaiah Wilson and Georgia, a commitment we never thought would happen until Wilson made that prediction a reality.
We’ll likely have to keep you updated daily as things change, or stay constant, with Solomon. But, for now, it’s air-tight, the Wolverines holding a sliver of a lead against the Tide.
The final two early enrollees make it official
There was some uncertainty with the status of Michigan commit Ambry Thomas, a 4-star CB out of Detroit King, as Michigan State continued to hit the gas hard in the final stages.
Things got very tight in the end but, as of Sunday night, Thomas’ name officially hit the student directory. And Thomas officially became a student at Michigan.
On top of that, 5-star WR Donovan Peoples-Jones officially enrolled at Michigan, too.
Michigan’s top two targets in its backyard in Detroit are officially Wolverines. Despite all the drama with Harris, that’s something for the fan base to smile about.