OAK PARK, MICH. – A popular name among Michigan recruiting followers has been 4-star offensive lineman Marquan McCall.
The high demand Wolverine fans have for his services is well justified. He’s the No. 110 overall prospect in the country, according to the 247Sports composite. He’s the No. 4 overall offensive guard prospect. And one of his best friends, Ja’Raymond Hall, is an early enrollee at Michigan.
In the 2017 cycle, the Wolverines landed seven of the top eight prospects in Michigan, including the top six recruits.
McCall, the state’s top-ranked prospect in 2018, got away from both in-state schools when he made a surprising commitment in the second week of May.
Ready For A New Life🤘🏾 pic.twitter.com/JmMczKmZze
— BullyBall Mccall5⃣0⃣ (@MccallMarquan) May 8, 2017
McCall, a Detroit-area prospect from Oak Park High School, committed to Kentucky following his third visit to Lexington on May 8. Early on, he was tabbed as a Michigan State favorite. Then Michigan was viewed as the leader and Tennessee became a factor.
Then he committed to Kentucky.
Recruiting analysts, fans, and even coaches from other schools wanted to know: Why?
“I took a couple visits [to Kentucky], and on my third visit, it got in my head [to commit]. Then they started treating me like family,” McCall told Land of 10 in an interview at Oak Park High School. “No schools were really hitting me up. Kentucky stayed on me and kept making sure that I was good. So, that’s where I went.”
Michigan was rumored to be looking at adding Kentucky assistant Vince Marrow, known as a master recruiter, as one of its coaches when Jim Harbaugh was building his first staff at Michigan in 2015.
Upon McCall’s commitment, tweets such as this one by Rivals Kentucky reporter Justin Rowland were made, appearing to spark a conversation that the Wildcats might be out-recruiting the Wolverines because of Marrow.
What the world needs is a subtweeting duel between Jim Harbaugh and Vince Marrow.
— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) May 8, 2017
But according to McCall, Marrow didn’t have a thing to do with why he chose Kentucky. A different assistant recruited McCall. Marrow didn’t recruit him.
And neither did Michigan.
“I haven’t heard from Michigan in … a minute,” he said. “They didn’t really talk to me, so, I guess, that was kind of it.
“Michigan, I don’t know,” he said shaking his head. “That was a good school. I always had my head in them. [Michigan] was definitely my No. 1 school [before the communication cut off]. But as I went on trips to Kentucky, they kept showing me more and more love. Then I committed.”
It’s an interesting sequence of events. From his top school, actively recruiting him, to completely cutting off communication for a prolonged period of time, it’s not something you see too often.
McCall, as he said, isn’t clear why the school he had on the top of his list cut off communication. It could be because Michigan has one guard commitment already in 4-star prospect Emil Ekiyor. It could be because the class is moving in a different direction, focusing on tackles, rather than guards on the offensive line. There’s a host of things that could end communication between school and recruit.
The situation with McCall was a mystery. But it’s a pretty simple breakdown once McCall supplied the information: His top school stopped talking to him. Kentucky talked to him regularly. He committed to the school that wants him most.
He still hears from Oregon, he said. And he will visit there in the summer or fall.
As of Thursday, the 4-star lineman said he still hasn’t heard from Michigan or Michigan State.