SAN ANTONIO – A lot happened during Day 2, news-wise. But not so much new from the prospects.
It was much of the same. A lot of walk-throughs, guys getting used to the offense and players they haven’t played with before.
So in this installment on the uncommitted prospects, let’s focus more on what I’m hearing, rather than what I’m seeing.
Monday, we reported on Michigan’s top DT target Aubrey Solomon, along with some analysis on Willie Gay and Chuck Filiaga. Find that story here.
Here’s what I can gather, and what I have heard throughout the U.S. Army All-American Bowl circle, about Michigan’s uncommitted prospects following Day 2.
Najee Harris is doing something different, and it might just be Michigan for the 5-star
Take a deep breath. Grab onto your seat. And relax.
For the first time in Michigan’s two-year recruitment of Najee Harris, I’m in a good enough spot to say this: I think Harris will be in Ann Arbor on Monday.
A 5-star running back, and the nation’s top prospect by the 247Sports composite, Harris is Michigan’s top target. Period.
He told Land of 10 that he does not plan to announce to the public. He said he will duck out of the Army Bowl, and immediately head to an airport to fly to his school of choice.
It’s down to Alabama, Cal and Michigan. But, it’s a known fact that this is a battle between the Tide and the Wolverines.
He’s been committed to the Tide for two years. He’s a prototypical Alabama back. He would be almost guaranteed at least one title in Tuscaloosa.
All of that brings to me to this point: Why would he do this? Why would he drag it this far?
I thought that once all of the media surrounded him at this event, he would say something along the lines of, “Look, I’m committed to Alabama. I always have been. There’s nothing to worry about.”
Instead, he said this: “What do you want me to say in these videos? Go Blue? Roll Tide? I’m not doing interviews.”
Which led me to ask him: “OK, we get it, you’re not saying anything. Tell us one thing: How will this happen?”
“I’m going to show up at the school after the Army Bowl … I’m not announcing or anything.”
He clarified that he plans to duck out of the game, head to an airport and be at the school he chooses on, or before, Monday.
So, in the era of recruiting divas, announcing with a drive-in movie and decommitting from 15 schools – Harris is a breath of fresh air. He didn’t want this bright light. Sure, it’s not great from a media standpoint for a kid you have covered for years to not give you two minutes on video to talk. But you have to appreciate the old-school beauty of it.
Moving on to why I think it’s Michigan.
Everyone is beginning to shift their views. The best saying I have is “always get two sources before you believe it.” And, the belief that Harris is headed to Michigan over Alabama is near 10 to 12 sources. Whether it be Michigan’s circle, other writers, Michigan commits and recruits committed on the other side of the country, several of each have told me they have more confidence in the Wolverines landing him than the Tide.
I’ve had that information for weeks. But the circle around the Army Bowl has given me an extra push to pull the trigger on this. I’m not guaranteeing anything. And if it isn’t Michigan, I understand if you all show up with pitchforks at my front door. I just hope you show up at everyone else’s house, too.
So, yes, for now, I think Harris is a member of the Wolverines by Monday.
Here he is with Michigan QB commit Dylan McCaffrey for your enjoyment:
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) January 3, 2017
Will we see this again after Saturday? *thinking emoji*
Some substantial info regarding Chuck Filiaga
Aledo (Texas) 4-star OT Chuck Filiaga is in his home state participating in the Army Bowl. He’s also, unlike Harris, announcing publicly on NBC during the game Saturday. He’s down to Michigan, Nebraska and Oklahoma.
There has been some information that the Sooners have made themselves a big factor. But based on what I have known for weeks, what I found out earlier this week and found out on Tuesday afternoon – it’s all Michigan.
According to a source around him this week, Filiaga has been open about his love for Michigan. Filiaga even might have been telling some unnamed prospects some good things about Michigan, and why they should go there.
Might that mean he is on his way, too?
Since Oct. 1, Michigan has led. Since his visit from offensive coordinator Tim Drevno, it has seemed nearly wrapped up for the Wolverines.
And after Tuesday, I’m as confident as I’ve ever been that he chooses Michigan on Saturday.
He’s also looked fantastic. He’s as technically sound as any player we’ve seen this week. And at 6-foot-6 and 335 pounds, he’s as enticing of an offensive tackle prospect as you’re going to find.
Should be another fun week of Michigan recruiting.