Michigan’s crazy recruiting weekend: Updates on Najee Harris, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Drew Singleton
Check here every night for a daily dose of Michigan recruiting news. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Najee Harris came, and left, with a purpose
Antioch (Calif.) 5-star RB Najee Harris, an Alabama commit, is the country’s top prospect. And, if you don’t know by now, he took his second visit to Michigan over the weekend. And things went well.
It's was awesome! Thank you Jim and Sarah harbough you have a beautiful family and to all the wonderful Michigan staff you rock!! Stay warm pic.twitter.com/TEjeGle2eP
— Tianna Hicks (@Thicks2072) December 12, 2016
That’s Harris’ mother tweeting out the picture of their family with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and assistants Jay Harbaugh (right) and Tyrone Wheatley (left).
We’re not going to hear a whole lot, none of it on the record, about the Harris trip. But here’s what I can gather 24 hours removed from it.
The snow came, and it came down hard, during his visit. He posted on his Snapchat singing, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” while putting his feet in the snow.
He was given the grand tour. He posted videos of himself inside the practice facility, while posting videos of the Jordan material – he’s a huge fan of the brand – that Michigan allowed him to look at, including some shoes we haven’t seen yet on display.
The biggest rumor I’ve heard, and all sources have confirmed it to be true, is that Najee Harris was accompanied by 5-star WR Donovan Peoples-Jones the entire time.
The belief here is that Peoples-Jones was with Harris in the interest of telling him good things about Michigan. You could go right out and say Peoples-Jones was helping recruit him, but I wouldn’t go that far without having some concrete evidence that that’s what happened.
Peoples-Jones has held out on his decision, and there’s a reason for that. But to say he’s going to commit anywhere but Michigan is a smoke screen to throw people off, in my opinion.
Regardless, Peoples-Jones did accompany Harris the entire time with a purpose. The entire 2017 class also spent time with this group of uncommitted/committed elsewhere group that includes Harris and Peoples-Jones along with Deron Irving-Bey and Drew Singleton.
Jim Harbaugh was, and always has been, Harris’ primary recruiter. His great relationship with Harbaugh is the only reason Michigan still has a pulse in this race. And Harris left campus with the staff confident, by all accounts.
It’s the dead period now until Jan. 11, when Harris will already be signed. It’s a toss up on whether Harris will choose Michigan.
To say Michigan leads would be a hunch. But there’s no questioning that it’s closer now than it has ever been, and Michigan has set itself up to pull off a huge recruiting upset.
How did everyone forget about Drew Singleton?
Hey, you know that Rashan Gary guy? Yeah, he’s pretty good. His best friend is Drew Singleton. And he’s pretty good, too.
A 4-star LB from the same high school as Gary in Paramus (N.J.), Singleton has been a longtime favorite to land at Michigan. Clemson was rumored to have made up significant ground, and at one point was even reported to have the lead in the summer, but the tea leaves once again read “blue” for Singleton.
Here is what Singleton told Land of 10 about his visit.
“It was awesome. I really enjoyed being here with the 2017 guys,” Singleton said. “We met with coach Don Brown, went over defensive schemes, and we went to the academic center. And, honestly, we all just hung out with each other and got to know each other.”
Michigan letting all of its (hopeful) future players buddy up during this mega-visit weekend was genius. Whether it lands all of them or not, showing Harris, Singleton and others that side of this class can have a large impact on their view of the program.
This week is going to be busy
And here’s why.
#Michigan targets committing this week:
4-star Tarik Black (Wed)
5-star D. Peoples-Jones(Thu)
5-star I. Wilson (Fri)
4-star C. Ruiz (Sun)
— Brandon Justice (@LandOfJustice) December 12, 2016
Yes, Michigan will have four targets decide in one week.
Cesar Ruiz announced later Monday that he will push his commitment date back … one day (?).
Regardless, it’s a very busy week if you’re a fan of Michigan recruiting. Not to worry, I’ll have all kinds of analysis after Michigan lands some commitments this week.
This week could see Michigan’s class jump into the top five nationally. I’d be surprised if it doesn’t
You know what time of the year it is, folks, so stay tuned to Land of 10 as we keep you posted.
We finally know when one of two mystery men will announce
Michigan is after two “mystery men” in this class. Meaning, they don’t do interviews unless forced to, and you won’t get them to talk about anything beyond, maybe, where they plan to visit.
One is Najee Harris, the other is Donovan Peoples-Jones.
We still don’t know about Harris, but we finally learned about Peoples-Jones’ decision Monday.
He will announce on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.
Despite all of the Ohio State chatter, I’m still leaning heavily toward Peoples-Jones choosing Michigan.
A few coverage notes:
- We’ll be doing a projection of Michigan’s 2017 class twice a month in December.
- We’ll be doing a projection once a week in January.
- I’ll touch more on Donovan Peoples-Jones throughout the week
All ratings are from 247Sports.com’s composite rating system, unless otherwise noted.
Brandon covers recruiting, among other things, for Land of 10
Follow him on Twitter @LandOfJustice