UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – Michigan’s 10-day window to attend satellite camps began Friday with a doubleheader. Coach Jim Harbaugh and staff started the day at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., and ended it with a late night at John Carroll on the east side of Cleveland.
Harbaugh and his coaches reconnected with 2018 targets such as 247Sports composite rankings 4-star DB Trey Dean and 4-star WR Kearis Jackson in Georgia, and 4-star DE Tyreke Smith at John Carroll. They also got a chance to see potential 2018 players who might not be as high on the recruiting radar, plus players in the Class of 2019 and beyond.
Harbaugh spoke with reporters after the camp Friday night about recruiting and the state of the Wolverines. Here are some things we learned:
Tyreke Smith isn’t showing his cards
Smith, from nearby Cleveland Heights, came to the camp with his parents, Michelle and Randy, but didn’t participate in any drills. The 6-foot-3, 260-pound lineman is ranked as the No. 3 player in Ohio by 247Sports. Speculation has him headed to Ohio State, with Penn State also drawing attention, but don’t wrap things up in a scarlet-and-gray bow just yet.
Smith said he plans to visit Michigan at some point, although he has no date set yet. He also plans to travel to Southern Cal and UCLA in July. Smith is originally from Southern California, but his family moved to the Cleveland area when he was 13.
Michigan DL coach Greg Mattison got his opinion heard on the matter while Smith spoke with reporters.
Eddie McDoom is doing well. At least his ankle is.
Eddie McDoom, a sophomore wide receiver, sprained his left ankle late in Michigan’s spring game, but Harbaugh said McDoom is fine and expected to be ready for preseason camp. McDoom’s only setback, apparently, can be cleared up with a few cough drops.
“He had a little bit of a sore throat the other day,” Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh previously had said that WR Drake Harris would move to CB, and that freshman Ben Mason is now at FB after being recruited as a LB. Friday night he made mention that incoming freshman Brad Hawkins could move from wide receiver to safety. It sounded like more than a possibility.
“[Defensive coordinator] Don Brown got to him,” Harbaugh said. “Don Brown said he talked to Brad, and that Brad wanted to play safety. I accused Don Brown of some recruiting going on around there, so we really haven’t investigated the whole thing.”
Hawkins is one of five wide receivers in this recruiting class, along with Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black, Nico Collins and Oliver Martin.
Grant Perry is back with the Wolverines
WR Grant Perry is back working out with the team, although his court case stemming from an alleged sexual assault in East Lansing last October remains unresolved. Perry was suspended initially before returning to play against Ohio State in the regular-season finale. Harbaugh suspended him indefinitely when two misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree sexual assault, a felony charge of resisting an officer and a misdemeanor charge of underage drinking were brought against Perry in December.
Perry did not participate in the Orange Bowl or in spring practices.
His case had been scheduled for last month but was adjourned and is now scheduled for July 17 in Ingham County.
Harbaugh confirmed Perry’s renewed status with the team Friday night. Players have returned to campus and have begun resuming workouts during the summer semester.
Should Perry return to play, he becomes the most team’s most accomplished wide receiver in terms of receptions. Perry caught 13 passes for 183 yards and 1 touchdown in 10 games last season. He has 27 catches for 311 yards and 2 touchdowns in two seasons.
Make your presence known
This wasn’t a camp full of 4- and 5-star rated players, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t legitimate players here who will play on Saturdays. LB Chase Kline (Chardon, Ohio) and CB Jamel Hamm (Cleveland Glenville) were two players from the 2018 class who had good nights and drew the attention of coaches.
Hamm (6-4, 180) is unrated by 247Sports.
— Jamel Hamm (@jamelhamm3) June 3, 2017
Kline (6-3.5, 225) said he’s had 13 offers so far. Several Ivy League schools as well as Purdue and Boston College have shown the most interest in Kline so far, but he’s hoping he turned a few heads Friday. He said it was the first time he has spoken with Michigan.
“They videotaped me, so I’m hoping I get that offer,” Kline said. “That would be ideal.”
Coaches can’t speak specifically about players before they sign a National Letter of Intent, per NCAA rules, but generalities are fine.
“I’ve got a lot of experience doing [camps], so hopefully we’ve gotten better as we’ve gone along,” Harbaugh said. “It’s never really been about that. It’s a night of football, and sharing the field with guys and watching them compete is always the best part.”
Busy, busy, busy
Harbaugh said he personally will work at least 11 satellite camps in this 10-day period. Because of NCAA rules, Michigan can’t announce what camps it will be attending but it has been linked to as many as 13 camps through various reports. That’s a quick sprint compared to last year, when Harbaugh and his staff blitzed through 40 camps around the country.
That prompted criticism from various points of interest, which led the NCAA to enact its new rule restricting coaches to a 10-day period that they may work satellite camps. Those camps now must be held on college campuses, a departure from previous years where, say a team like Michigan, could host a camp of its own at a high school wherever it wanted.
Harbaugh declined to say if he was still disappointed in the new rules, rather saying he was thankful to be at Friday’s camp. Then he added: “I’d rather do more.”