Each month, Michigan writer Kevin Goheen will look at the Wolverines’ recruiting to-do list here on Land of 10. This outlook focuses on three concerns for the program’s recruiting efforts in the weeks ahead. In this edition, we look back on what happened in those three areas in March.
Michigan missed out on a potentially big addition to the roster in March but that has just forced the Wolverines to quickly move forward for 2018. The push for players in the Class off 2019 as well as 2020 and even 2021 is picking up, even if it is flying under the radar because of the Michigan basketball team’s run to the Final Four.
Here is a look back at three things Land of 10 said Michigan needed to accomplish in March and how well those goals were accomplished:
Campus visits, campus visits, campus visits
Michigan opened its doors to several players during the month, including holding its junior day on March 17. Safety Daxton Hill, a 5-star prospect, according to the 247Sports composite, came from Tulsa for the day while 5-star 2019 commit Christopher Hinton was also there helping recruit players who he hopes will become future teammates.
The Wolverines are high on the list of 4-star tackle William Harrod of Fort Washington, Md., who made a trip to Ann Arbor, and 4-star defensive end Marcus Hicks of Wichita was excited about his visit a couple of days after junior day. They are also venturing more into Ohio than the last few years and getting visits from players there. Ryan Donnelly of Land of 10 Ohio State has a look at several recruiting battles building in the state down south
It was a good month for Michigan in terms of getting players on campus.
Keep building in-state relationships
Michigan offered 14 players from within the state in the first two months of 2018 and added another in March in defensive end Ruke Orhorhoro of River Rouge. Relationship-building doesn’t just come in the form of offers. Constant contact and open feedback with coaches and prospects will be key to forming trust not just in the 2019 class but in future classes. Michigan this week hosted a large contingent of players from West Bloomfield, which is coached by former Wolverines wide receiver Ron Bellamy. (Twitter post below.)
The state has a deep class of talent in 2019 and should only get stronger as training academies like Sound Mind Sound Body and Legacy grow throughout Michigan.
— Bert Mosley (@Bert_Mosley) March 30, 2018
Close on Calvin Anderson
Here’s the miss for Michigan. Calvin Anderson, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound tackle from Rice, chose Texas over the Wolverines, Oklahoma and Auburn as a grad transfer. It wasn’t an unexpected decision given that Anderson is from Austin, Texas, but he would have been an immediate candidate to take over at left tackle. The biggest question on the offensive line this spring concerns the two tackle spots.
Losing out on Anderson summed up Michigan’s 2018 recruiting cycle. There were a lot of near misses on top players the Wolverines targeted for this year. The 2018 class is a solid class, especially if the NCAA grants quarterback Shea Patterson’s waiver request for immediate eligibility as a transfer. It could have been better if the Wolverines had landed two or three of those prospects that signed elsewhere.
Michigan has no choice but to move forward with the tackles it has on the roster. The opportunity is there for players like Chuck Filiaga and James Hudson, who were part of the 2017 cycle to step up.