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New signees at home in Ann Arbor
Two of the three Michigan 2018 signees who are enrolling early have arrived on campus.
Defensive end Taylor Upshaw and quarterback Joe Milton are in Ann Arbor and ready to start their college experiences. Cornerback Myles Sims is the third early enrollee. He will join his teammates after finishing up this week at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, Fla. The game will be played on Thursday.
At my new home for good 🙏🏾〽️ #NextChapter
— TAYLOR UPSHAW (@TaylorUpshaw91) December 29, 2017
RELATED: 2018 Michigan recruiting big board
Upshaw, from Bradenton, Fla., is rated as a 3-star prospect by the 247Sports composite but he has only been playing organized football for a couple of seasons.
Milton is a 4-star prospect from Orlando. He’ll get an early entry into the quarterback competition that is sure to swell after Michigan lost to South Carolina 26-19 on Monday in the Outback Bowl. Redshirt freshman Brandon Peters completed 20 of 44 passes for 186 yards and 2 fourth-quarter interceptions as the Wolverines were attempting to rally. Freshman Dylan McCaffrey redshirted this season and will be battling for the starting job after running the scout team most of 2017.
— Joe milton #7 (@Qbjayy7) January 1, 2018
The question of whether or not the NCAA will grant Mississippi transfer Shea Patterson immediate eligibility remains unanswered. Ole Miss is on a two-year bowl ban as part of NCAA sanctions, the first year of which was 2017. Patterson has two years of eligibility left. Transfers typically must sit out one year but Patterson is seeking a waiver because of the sanctions. If he is granted eligibility, Milton is more than likely going to redshirt. If Patterson has to sit out of year, Milton becomes a more viable candidate to compete for the job.
Sims is a 4-star prospect from Atlanta. He fits the profile of defensive backs that Michigan has targeted under defensive coordinator Don Brown: he’s tall (6-foot-2) with speed and long arms. He plays well in man coverage, something that is a must in Brown’s scheme.
Good vibes for Michigan from Under Armour
Speaking of the Under Armour All-America Game, two top Michigan targets for 2018 are also on the roster; 5-star tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere of Tampa and 4-star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase of Metairie, La.
Petit-Frere took in a Michigan practice last week as the Wolverines were preparing to face South Carolina. Michigan practiced at Berkeley Prep, where Petit-Frere attends school.
“It was a good practice. They’re working hard and trying to make sure they play well against South Carolina,” Petit-Frere told reporters during the weekend prior to the Outback Bowl.
Chase confirmed to reporters that Michigan is in his top 3. He and Petit-Frere took official visits to Ann Arbor on Nov. 25 for the Ohio State game. Chase is also considering LSU and Auburn, he told Sam Webb of The Michigan Insider. That’s surprising since Chase took an official visit to TCU in mid-December but didn’t include the Horned Frogs in his top 3. Chase did tell Webb that his impressions of the Michigan visit are still favorable, but that his decision won’t be made until National Signing Day on Feb. 7.
“It was beautiful out there,” Chase told Webb. “My first time ever being out there … I fell in love with it. I didn’t really know what to expect when I got up there. It amazed me. So now I’m just going to wait until signing day to see what I’m going to do.”
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