Every week we do an installment of our Michigan recruiting mailbag. I answer your burning questions on the never-ending cycle that is Jim Harbaugh’s recruiting frenzy.
Didn’t read the question you have? Tweet me @LandOfJustice. Don’t like the answers? Well … I can’t help you there.
Here’s this week’s mailbag.
@LandOfJustice is Aubrey Solomon a pipe dream? What OL commits or potentials could be in the 2-deep?
— Josh DeMille (@jdemille9) December 5, 2016
Answer: Not at all. Lee County (Ga.) 4-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon is well within Michigan’s reach. And I’d go as far as to say that the Wolverines are the leader right now. They don’t have him locked up, but he’s currently in my mock class to land at Michigan on National Signing Day. He’s the top target at the position for the Wolverines, having been once committed until his de-commitment in August.
Answer 2: I think your best bet is Cesar Ruiz, a 4-star center out of Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy. He will make his choice on Dec. 18, and I’m very confident that he will choose Michigan. Ruiz, one of very few true centers out of high school, is ranked No. 1 in this year’s class. If current Michigan center Mason Cole leaves for the NFL draft, then it frees that spot open. But with the health of Grant Newsome in question (career-threatening knee injury), Cole could slide to left tackle, if he returns, to his original position and Ruiz would then go to center.
@LandOfJustice Do we have anything to worry about with our top 2017 WR targets
— Austin (@GoBlue_M11) December 4, 2016
Answer: Yes and no. Michigan was willing to go after the best of the best at the receiver position in this year’s class with 5-star Donovan Peoples-Jones and 4-stars Tarik Black, Nico Collins and Oliver Martin. When you go after those high-profile guys who want to make a decision late, the staff has to trust they lead, and risk it. Don’t forget: Brad Hawkins, a 4-star 2016 signee from Camden (N.J.), will be part of the 2017 class since he didn’t qualify in time for this school year.
Of the four receivers, Michigan will land at least three. Peoples-Jones and Collins have the strongest leans towards Michigan, while Black might head to Alabama, should it take his commitment. And Martin’s situation changes by the day with the battle against in-state Iowa, along with Michigan State and Notre Dame.
@LandOfJustice is Najee still coming this month and if so what can we expect from the visit
— Mr.M (@MrMsider) December 4, 2016
Answer: Antioch (Calif.) 5-star running back Najee Harris, the nation’s No. 1 player, will visit Michigan on Dec. 10. Last time he visited was for the BBQ at the Big House on Aug. 6.
As far as what we should expect … Michigan will go all out for this. Harris is a program-changing player, much like current Wolverine defensive tackle Rashan Gary. Harris is within reach, and the thought of having Gary on defense – last year’s No. 1 player – and Harris on offense should excite fans.
He’s still an Alabama commit, and I still think he sticks with the Tide for now. But after his last visit, Harris apparently was very high on Michigan so a flip could loom.
With a second visit scheduled, and Harris’s great relationship with Jim Harbaugh, things could take a spin on Dec. 10. Buckle up.
@LandOfJustice who's more likely to decommit; Taylor or Herbert?
— Intent to Deceive (@nezzy21) December 4, 2016
Answer: This one is pretty easy. Between Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage 4-star offensive tackle Kai-Leon Herbert and Logansville (Ga.) 3-star running back Kurt Taylor … I would say Taylor.
In Herbert’s case, two state schools are pursuing him: Miami and Florida. In the first two weeks of this season, Herbert was considered a prime candidate to flip to Florida, but that has since cooled down big-time. His parents, who came on an official visit with him for the Illinois game Oct. 22, were blown away. Kids’ minds change, and fast, but, as for now, Herbert is sticking.
In Taylor’s case, I don’t have him in my mock class right now. This is assuming Michigan lands Najee Harris or Wylie East (Texas) 4-star running back Eno Benjamin. In my mock class, I have the Wolverines missing out on Harris, but landing Benjamin. That would put them at four running back commits. That’s not going to last long. I think Taylor will be the one to look elsewhere. I’ll be visiting his training facility on the outskirts of Atlanta this week to get an update on his status.
All ratings are from 247Sports.com’s composite rating system.
Brandon covers recruiting, among other things, for Land of 10.
Follow him on Twitter @LandOfJustice