It’s the offseason, but recruiting never stops in Ann Arbor, Mich., where Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines are building their classes of the future. Check Land of 10 daily for the latest inside the Michigan recruiting room.
Graphics designed to impress
Michigan graphics artist Aaron Bills is known for his craftiness with images. When a recruit gets a graphic from him, you know Michigan will pursue the recruit aggressively.
On Tuesday, Michigan sent out three graphics from Bills that each recruit posted on Twitter.
Who are they? And what are Michigan’s chances with them?
Here’s a look.
Future ??? 👀🤧〽️#GoBlue pic.twitter.com/7jDYsl47ey
— Tyreke Smith™ (@T_23_baller) June 6, 2017
Cleveland Heights (Ohio) 4-star DE Tyreke Smith
A 4-star recruit via the 247Sports composite, Smith made an appearance at Michigan’s satellite camp at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, on Friday.
During the camp, he spoke with Land of 10’s Kevin Goheen and others, and said some encouraging things regarding Michigan.
“I talk with [defensive line] Coach [Greg] Mattison on the phone a lot; it’s just great to be around him and see him and Coach [Jim] Harbaugh,” Smith said. “I’ll definitely get up there to see a game for a visit.”
What’s most intriguing about Smith’s experience at the camp was what Mattison said to the media during Smith’s interview. Mattison walked across the field and told media members that the 4-star recruit would choose Michigan.
With a visit being promised by Smith, and valuable face-to-face time with the coaches at John Carroll, Michigan is in the race now more than ever for Smith.
— Emil Ekiyor Jr. (@bigE__18) June 6, 2017
Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral 4-star OG Emil Ekiyor
Already committed to Michigan since October 2016, Ekiyor has been known as a fringe candidate to de-commit because he has not liked the lack of communication he’s had with the school.
Since that issue became public, it seems that the staff started to ramp up its pursuit of keeping Ekiyor.
Continuing to recruit Ekiyor should make it easy to hold on to him, as it never sounded like he would be one to leave unless he was not wanted.
Take this as a breath of fresh air for those who are fans of Ekiyor.
— ➕W🅱️➕®☄️ (@barneswilliam7) June 6, 2017
Apopka (Fla.) 4-star OT William Barnes
The highest ranked of the three is Barnes, the No. 49 overall recruit in the country. A heavy favorite to choose the in-state Gators, Barnes attended Michigan’s camp at Florida Atlantic on Monday afternoon.
Barnes doesn’t have any visits scheduled to Ann Arbor, but expect his interest in the Wolverines to rise.
Barnes had some valuable face-to-face time with the staff, and tweeting this picture should be evidence that Barnes has at least some interest in the Wolverines.
In summary, the Wolverines improved their standing with each player with their special graphics treatment.
With Smith, the Wolverines should be considered a super-close No. 2 behind Ohio State in the race for the 4-star recruit.
With Ekiyor, they appear to be making it a priority to keep their current top-rated recruit for 2018.
And, finally, with Barnes, the Wolverines have, at the very least, inserted themselves in the race and will have to hope it can get a visit out of the nation’s No. 4-ranked tackle.