Michigan recruiting mailbag: Wolverines focused on building offensive line
Have Michigan football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the Land of 10 Michigan recruiting mailbag to discuss Wolverines recruiting. This week, we learn how happy one fan is with the direction the offensive line is heading, what possible commitments are on the horizon and how the cancellation of the spring game affected recruiting.
Q: Good to see focus on the O line! — Dave Fisher via Facebook
A: It has previously been mentioned in this mailbag, but the offensive and defensive lines must continue to be focus areas for Michigan recruiting every year. The Wolverines added a third offensive line commit this week when tackle Jack Stewart of New Canaan, Conn., announced his intention to sign with the 2019 class. Stewart, rated a 3-star prospect by the 247Sports composite, joins 4-star tackle Trente Jones and 4-star guard Nolan Rumler as Michigan 2019 offensive line commits.
Tackle Jalen Mayfield of Grand Rapids Catholic Central was the lone offensive lineman signed in 2018. Ryan Hayes of Traverse City West eventually could project as a tackle, but he’ll enter the program as a tight end.
The Wolverines hosted several linemen last weekend, including 2019 tackle Karsen Barnhart of Paw Paw, Mich., 2019 guard Zach Carpenter of Cincinnati and 2020 guard Justin Rogers of Oak Park, Mich. They signed a combined eight offensive linemen in the 2016 and 2017 classes. The position group will continue to be emphasized.
RELATED: 2019 Michigan recruiting big board
Q: Any potential commits in the coming weeks? — Jason Lawrence via Facebook
A: There are a couple recruits of note involving Michigan who could make announcements in the near future. Marcel Lewis, a 3-star linebacker from Chippewa Valley High School in Clinton Township, Mich., is set to make his choice between Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin and others.
John Olmstead, a 4-star tackle from Metuchen, N.J., has the Wolverines in his top five along with Mississippi, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Minnesota. He’s planning to make his commitment choice on Friday, April 20, at 3 p.m.
Top 5 ‼️I will be committing to one of these schools on April 20.@bordenfb4ever @GregTufaro @FalconsSJHS @StJosephFB @StJoesMetuchen @AlyssaM_Davis @hilliard_ron @SJCoachHills @coachransone16 pic.twitter.com/hTWB2sOHau
— John Olmstead (@JOHNNYO_72) April 14, 2018
More could make their picks soon, but with players now able to take official visits during the spring of their junior years, those decisions could be put on hold. Michigan isn’t complaining after 4-star cornerback Te’Cory Couch announced his commitment to Michigan last Sunday shortly after finishing an official visit to Ann Arbor.
Q: How serious is recruiting between Zach Harrison & Michigan right now? — Tony Harden via Facebook
A: Michigan is very much a contender in the recruitment of Zach Harrison, a 5-star defensive end from Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy Orange. He is the No. 3-ranked player overall in the country and the No. 2 weakside defensive end. Given that he lives about 20 minutes from the Ohio State campus, and how determined the Buckeyes are to keep the top players from Ohio from leaving the state, it has been the belief of most recruiting analysts that Ohio State has the lead.
That might be true, but Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin also are pursuing Harrison hard. Harrison is scheduled to be at Penn State’s spring game this weekend after being in Ann Arbor last weekend. That was his second unofficial visit to Michigan in four weeks.
There is a long way to go in the process, but with commitments from 5-star defensive end Christopher Hinton and 4-star defensive end Stephen Herron Jr. for the Wolverines, landing Harrison would give them as formidable a class as any team in the country.
Q: How will canceling the spring game affect recruiting? — Ryan Schwartz via Facebook
A: Not much at all. Michigan still held its planned scrimmage inside its facilities at the Al Glick Fieldhouse in front of family, friends and recruits. Plenty of them. There was a picnic-style get together following the practice and recruits were given the full experience as if the spring game had been held in front of thousands of fans and media at the Big House.
The only aspect of the weekend that changed was the size of the audience. It would have been great to get a chance to see how the offensive line is shaping up, how the four quarterbacks — Shea Patterson, Brandon Peters, Dylan McCaffrey and freshman Joe Milton — look like in semi-game conditions, and watch defensive coordinator Don Brown’s guys get after the ball. But in terms of recruiting, nothing was affected. On the field and off it, Michigan got done what it wanted to get done last weekend.
— Larry Prout Jr BEAR (@coobles321) April 15, 2018
Have a question about Michigan recruiting? Tweet us @Landof10MICH or follow on the Land of 10/Michigan Facebook page and ask us there. We’ll try to answer in a future mailbag. Check to see if your issue already was addressed by reading previous Michigan recruiting mailbags here.