Rejoice. It’s mailbag day.
Every Thursday, we gather the best questions from Twitter and answer them in our Michigan recruiting mailbag.
Want to see your question make it to Land of 10? It’s a simple and easy process: Tweet @LandOfJustice with your question, and make sure it’s a good one.
Let’s get to it.
@LandOfJustice Who could be the next commit in the class?
— Jake Morrison (@H20closer) May 25, 2017
The Wolverines got a commitment Tuesday from Grand Rapids (Mich.) OT Jalen Mayfield, a 4-star prospect, according to the 247Sports Composite.
So who’s next?
One name stands out, and, sure enough, it’s another in-state tackle. Traverse City West 4-star OT Ryan Hayes has been feeling like an inevitable commit for the Wolverines since his visit to Ann Arbor on March 26.
The competition is Notre Dame, which had some early momentum for Hayes, since he visited South Bend before any other location.
But after the 6-foot-7 player saw Ann Arbor, met with the staff at Michigan and started to develop that relationship with those inside the program, his commitment to Michigan became inevitable.
There are a dozen 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions for Hayes, and 11 of them are for the Wolverines. The other is for Notre Dame, but the prediction was made before his visit to Ann Arbor.
He has no specific timetable to commit, but he’s the most sure one on the board right now.
@LandOfJustice Which prospect do you feel is the most important to land?
— Kyle Wright (@kwwright42) May 25, 2017
I think it was Orlando (Fla.) Olympia 4-star QB Joe Milton, who has committed to Michigan. He’s got the upside to be a star at the next level, with the ability to throw with the best of them in the country.
As for the most important prospect left on the board, it’s one of the tight ends who the Wolverines are chasing.
Here’s what we know about both of them.
Ruckert: He’s been leaning toward Ohio State for some time, with all nine predictions for him favoring the Buckeyes. But there always has been some justified hope for Michigan faithful that he would choose the Wolverines.
He’s visited Ann Arbor three times, and he’s only a junior. All three have been unofficial trips, meaning he and his family have had to pay for the trips. There’s no question that Ruckert will return to Ann Arbor again. The question is if it will be in the summer for another unofficial, or in the fall for an official visit. Or, it could even be both.
That he keeps returning to Michigan, despite the edge being given to the Buckeyes, shows how much of a chance he is giving the Wolverines to pass them up.
He has a tremendous relationship with Michigan assistant Jay Harbaugh, who always does well in the recruitments where he needs to leapfrog another school.
Expect this one to go the distance, but don’t be surprised if the Wolverines come out on top.
Muhammad: Talk about an overwhelming favorite. Michigan has 24 Crystal Ball predictions for the 4-star tight end and is the only team with a Crystal Ball. Following his spring game visit on April 16, Muhammad was tabbed one of the most sure things for Michigan’s 2018 class.
What’s inconvenient for the staff at Michigan is that Muhammad is sold on announcing his commitment on National Signing Day on Feb. 7 – that’s 258 days away. That’s a lot of time for the Texas schools to make up ground, for Clemson to get in the mix and for all of the other Power 5 schools chasing Muhammad’s tail to catch it.
Regardless, until something else happens, Michigan is the heavy favorite.
@LandOfJustice Do we have an edge with Daniel Faalele or will he look at us the same way as everyone else?
— Michael Snyder (@MAS8823) May 25, 2017
The recruitment of Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 3-star OT Daniel Faalele is going to be one of the most interesting ones – probably the most interesting by the the time it’s done – of the cycle.
For now, it’s on complete pause and will be until he starts taking official visits. Faalele, who moved to the United States in 2016 from Australia, is heading back there for the summer, so contact with coaches will be scarce. And what contact there is definitely won’t result in a commitment.
Do the Wolverines have an edge?
That’s interesting. I think so, mostly because the Wolverines are a huge reason why Faalele is even a name in recruiting now.
If you haven’t heard the story, here’s the short and easy version. Faalele went to Michigan’s satellite camp in Melbourne, Australia, last summer. Being that Faalele is 6-foot-8, 400 pounds, the Wolverines staff took notice.
Hawaii then heard about him through these camps and offered him. Once other coaches started hearing about this mammoth Australian, word got around to the country’s best high school football program: IMG Academy.
— Daniel Faalele (@DanielFaalele_) March 14, 2017
Faalale moved to Florida, where he practiced with the Ascenders during their regular season. Now, he’s played one organized football game — a spring game — and now has 19 Division I offers. The suitors include Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida State and Michigan.
In a conversation with Land of 10 earlier this year, Faalele noted that what Michigan did for him by discovering him is always going to resonate well. And it sounds as if the Wolverines always will be in the back of the big man’s mind.
Is that an edge? Maybe. Maybe not.
But it’s something that no other school has with him: a relationship before he became a nationally known name.