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.
Projecting the next three commitments in Michigan’s 2018 class
Let’s have some fun today.
Recruiting is a little slower than usual and most recent big news — Michigan missing out on its top target in Dorian Thompson-Robinson — isn’t good. Now you’re left with being forced to look at pictures of Rome but can’t actually go there.
So, we figured we would spoil you a bit with some commitment talk (oooh). It’s everyone’s favorite topic — who’s committing next? Who will Michigan add to the class? What’s the confidence with (prospect name)?
Ah, the beauty of speculation.
Let’s have some fun with that topic today and pick out three names we see choosing Michigan before we hit the midway point of summer.
Traverse City (Mich.) West 4-star OT Ryan Hayes
A recent bump in the 247Sports Composite rankings gave Ryan Hayes a significant jump from the 400s to the nation’s No. 149 overall prospect in 2018.
Hayes’ trip to Michigan in the late winter gave the Wolverines a significant edge in the race for the big-time 6-foot-7 tackle out of Northwest Michigan.
He’s the state’s top prospect, and we’d be floored if he isn’t a Wolverine.
Orlando (Fla.) Olympia 4-star QB Joe Milton
Hello, 6-4.5 quarterback who has an arm like Shane Morris and mobility like Deshaun Watson … otherwise known as Joe Milton.
That’s high praise, but also well-deserved after his stellar camp season thus far.
Sure, Michigan missed on Thompson-Robinson, but how good of a consolation prize would Milton be? He is SEC power Florida’s top quarterback target.
Following his spring game earlier this month, Milton hinted at making a decision soon. It’s an industry-wide thought that if Milton decides before the summer, it has to be Michigan for the Florida prospect.
And, hey, Jim Harbaugh is already back recruiting Florida, if he can land Milton.
Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central 3-star OT Jalen Mayfield
247Sports might rate Mayfield outside the top 400 in the composite rankings, but the evaluations on him differ.
The solo rankings for 247Sports rank him as the No. 105 prospect overall in the nation, which stemmed from a strong performance at The Opening regional in Chicago on April 2.
Mayfield’s stock continues to see a meteoric rise, a rise that could see him end up inside the top 100 before it’s all said and done.
Regardless, with Notre Dame not offering Mayfield following his weekend trip to South Bend, Michigan is now the overwhelming favorite for Mayfield.
And if our opinion isn’t enough, the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions are 15 for 15 in favor of Michigan.
Can Michigan realistically put itself in the race for 5-star DE Micah Parsons?
If you haven’t heard — lift up the rock, if you haven’t — Penn State lost a commitment from Harrisburg (Penn.) 5-star DE Micah Parsons on Sunday.
? hardest decision I had to make but pic.twitter.com/s0J47fi1iC
— #blessed⭐️MVP™ (@Micah_parsons23) April 24, 2017
Some might forget that on New Year’s Eve 2016, Parsons released a video on Twitter that revealed his final six schools. Among those six was none other than Michigan.
— #blessed⭐️MVP™ (@Micah_parsons23) December 31, 2016
So, let’s get real for a second … does Michigan actually have a shot here?
Yeah, there’s always a shot for a kid when it’s April in a class that doesn’t wrap up until February of the next year. And, even if Parsons plans to enroll early (he may), then Michigan has until December to insert itself as a serious contender in the race for the nation’s No. 3 overall prospect.
The interest might not be there just yet for Parsons to Michigan, but it’s fairly certain that the Wolverines — who are lacking a target and commitment of a high-profile guy — will at least kick the tires here to see what kind of interest Parsons has.
And if, at minimum, they can get out to visit Parsons in Pennsylvania, then that could certainly lead to a visit on-campus for Parsons. From there, truly anything can happen.
Because it’s recruiting.
The reality of the situation is that Ohio State is a strong favorite to flip him, possessing multiple Crystal Ball predictions.
On top of that, a school flipping him isn’t even a guarantee; he still calls Penn State his top school. Though I don’t buy that, it doesn’t change the fact that the Nittany Lions are easily the only school that’s seriously contending for Parsons right now outside of the Buckeyes.
But, hey, it’s recruiting and a visit can change just about everything.
What’s next after Dorian Thompson-Robinson saga ends?
Following the failed year-long recruitment of Thompson-Robinson, Michigan must shift its focus elsewhere.
Good news: It already has.
The Wolverines have had a really good Plan B already set, after its confidence in landing the Las Vegas product wavered earlier this year — and Milton isn’t the only option.
We wrote about that earlier Monday, which you can read here.