Michigan recruiting mailbag: Is a top-5 class in the cards for Wolverines?
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 check out the probability that Michigan jumps back into the upper echelon of college recruiting rankings in 2019, plus how stable are the current 2019 commits Michigan has?
Q: Do you think that Michigan will have a top-5 recruiting class? — Carlos Ready Fo Ya via Facebook
A: It is way too early to say that but the Wolverines are off to good start with the commitments they have, plus numerous offers to high-end players they are pursuing. The commits include one 5-star prospect (DE Christopher Hinton), four 4-stars (DE Stephen Herron Jr., OL Nolan Rumler, QB Cade McNamara, T Trente Jones) and one 3-star (LB Charles Thomas) player, according to the 247Sports composite.
The next few weeks will tell more as spring practice heats up and players come in for visits. Michigan may get more players than usual visiting, depending on how the new rules governing official visits pans out.
Class of 2019 prospects may take official visits starting April 1 through the last Wednesday in June, which falls on June 27 this year. Previously, recruits had to wait until September of their senior year, but this new calendar period coincides with the December signing period. Players still may only take five official visits, which are visits for which the school pays for transportation, lodging and meals for the prospect and their parents or guardians. Players may take as many unofficial visits as they’d like, but the family funds those.
The spring game is scheduled for April 14 at 7 p.m. Let’s see how many players visit then, officially or unofficially.
RELATED: 2019 Michigan recruiting big board
Q: You believe any of these 2019 commits will leave to another school? — Noah Ayoub via Facebook
A: The odds say that at least one of the six players currently committed to Michigan will not sign with the Wolverines in the Class of 2019. That’s just the way of the recruiting world. Not all offers a school gives are considered “committable” offers, and there are examples every year of how player commitments are not binding.
SB Nation’s Bud Elliott has a good article explaining what those inside the recruiting game have always known but the general public doesn’t often understand. Offers from schools usually come verbally with the idea that players must come to a campus for camp and be evaluated by the coaching staff. Lots of players get offers, but how many of them are committable?
Offers and commitments are non-binding. Both team and player are always looking for the right fit.
Q: What has been the problem with recruiting California? You would think Harbaugh would have some ins there? — Jason Lawrence via Facebook
A: Michigan will recruit anywhere and everywhere for players. That’s been proved, but you are correct that the pursuit of players from California has been dry the last two recruiting cycles. Jim Harbaugh has ties to the state from his days playing and coaching prior to joining Michigan, but he’s signed just three California players, all in 2016: CB David Long, WR Kekoa Crawford and TE Devin Asiasi. Long started all 13 games last season. Crawford started 4 times, catching 17 passes for 243 yards and 1 touchdown. Asaisi transferred to UCLA after his freshman season.
Distance between California and Michigan is one strike against the Wolverines before they get up to bat with several prospects. The program’s rich history and tradition help in other cases. Some of the Wolverines’ top targets for the 2019 class are from California. Defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux is the No. 1-ranked player in the country, so he’s on everyone’s radar. Wide receiver Kyle Ford is high of the list of players Michigan is interested in, as is tight end Isaiah Foskey.
Harbaugh and his staff have put a lot of emphasis on the state of Georgia, and that’s not going to change. The growing talent base in Michigan is also an area the Wolverines want to focus upon, but they’ve had good success in New Jersey and in New England the last few years. They are also trying to make inroads in Ohio.
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.