Despite losing out on a pair of 4-star tight end targets who chose Miami in the past week, there is a silver lining for Michigan’s recruitment of tight ends in the 2018 class.
Missouri City (Texas) TE prospect Mustapha Muhammad‘s recruitment shed some positive light on what was a dismal week for Michigan, as two of its top tight end targets – Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory – committed to Miami.
Muhammad, fresh off his Michigan spring game visit last week, received a 23 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions favoring the Wolverines.
The composite 4-star out of Texas was considered a Clemson lean a week ago while still seriously flirting with Texas and Texas A&M. But his visit to Michigan’s spring game completely flipped the switch for the nation’s No. 4 tight end prospect.
“It was one of the best visits I’ve been on,” Muhammad said. “I got to hang out with the coaches, tight end group and the fans. I even got to sign autographs. It was an overall great experience.”
— 〽️ustapha (@MustaphaM_) April 15, 2017
The mutual interest was definitely at an all-time high in Ann Arbor between Muhammad and Michigan. So, what stood out most about the visit for Muhammad? He gave us his three biggest takeaways:
“I like the fans. The fans really showed me love while I was there, on social media and even autographs. Meeting the players and bonding with those guys, if I happen to join the team. I met Jabrill Peppers, Ian Bunting, Wilton Speight and I’ve already met Jake Butt, but I was talking with him, too,” he said.
“And, another thing — hanging out with Jim Harbaugh … he’s an awesome guy, he’s very unique and he’s one of the best coaches of all-time.”
Just 2 ?'s chillen… ya know? pic.twitter.com/CoYllglqi3
— 〽️ustapha (@MustaphaM_) April 15, 2017
That’s a long lists of positives from what seems like one of Michigan’s most successful visits of this cycle. Muhammad’s interest in the Wolverines runs deep.
Another big factor that could sway Muhammad: early playing time. With future standout tight end Devin Asiasi transferring, Butt graduating and zero tight ends recruited in last year’s class, that opportunity exists in Ann Arbor.
And he’s well aware of it.
“My goal is to get on the field as a true freshman, and I have that opportunity [at Michigan],” Muhammad said. “They usually mix in four tight ends a game, which gives me the chance to play early, and that’s appealing to me.
“Like I said, I want to play early. Whether I’m starting or in the rotation. Michigan is a top-level program and that’s a very good opportunity for me.”
This would be quite the TE duo. Las Vegas Bishop Gorman 4-star TE Brevin Jordan posing w/ Missouri City (Texas) 4-star TE Mustapha Muhammad. pic.twitter.com/qXpRzJG9yG
— Brandon Justice (@LandOfJustice) April 15, 2017
It’s been a week since Muhammad took that visit. A lot of times, recruits commit on the spot. Or name the school as their leader. Muhammad, though, kept his cool.
A week later, we asked him about how often he’s heard from Michigan, and what he likes most about the staff.
“I talk to [offensive tackles and tight ends] coach Greg Frey about every day. I got to meet him on my visit, he’s cool; he can help me a lot as a tight ends coach because he’s an offensive line coach. That can really help me with the blocking aspect of my game,” Muhammad said.
“I talk to Coach Jay Harbaugh and Coach Pep Hamilton frequently … Michigan’s coaching staff is filled with NFL talent, and that’s not common at all. I have a goal of playing in the NFL one day, and I’m sure they could get me there.”
Missouri City to Ann Arbor is a 19-hour drive, a 4-hour flight and, spoiler alert, it isn’t cheap. That’s a factor that has to be taken into consideration for not just Muhammad, but his family.
At the end of the day, though, is it a true factor?
“Distance doesn’t really affect me,” he said. “I can stay down South, stay in Texas or go to the Big Ten — it’s all about the best school for me. My family has the ability to travel to see me play.”
Speaking of family … what does Muhammad’s think of Michigan?
His father accompanied him on his visit last week, and he had his mom by his side during a visit last summer. So with both parents having an idea of what it’s like in Ann Arbor, what are their thoughts on a place that could be their son’s future home?
“My first [Michigan] visit, my mom came with me and loved it. She really likes coach Jim and Jay Harbaugh. She feels comfortable with me going there,” Muhammad said in a Saturday conversation with Land of 10. “My dad really liked it, we felt welcomed on that visit [for the spring game]. He really likes the city of Ann Arbor, he feels that I’d be very safe there.”
— Doug Smith (@CoachDougSmith_) April 16, 2017
The clock isn’t ticking on Muhammad. He has until February to decide whether he’s going to choose the Wolverines, or Clemson, or, well, about any school he wants.
With all of these predictions — including ours — of Muhammad choosing Michigan, you’d think his decision would be near. Nope. As of Saturday, Muhammad is “definitely” sticking with his original plan to commit on National Signing Day in February 2018, a few months before he graduates.
But, hypothetically, would Muhammad choose Michigan if Saturday were National Signing Day?
“They would have a really good chance, along with some other schools,” Muhammad answered. “I’m uncommitted and I’m open-minded in the recruiting process, but Michigan would be up there if [National Signing Day] were today.”
Muhammad will probably visit all of the contenders once more. The main schools after him continue to be the Wolverines, Clemson, Texas, Texas A&M, Florida State, LSU and Ohio State.
Can you tell this guy is good?
He said they’re all after him, and recruiting him hard.
With 23 predictions favoring Michigan, can the Wolverines withstand their strong lead for one of their top targets?
Just like Muhammad’s top schools — his top list is coming out in the next couple weeks — we’ll have to wait and see.