Stay updated as Michigan rises toward the top of the recruiting rankings! Don’t miss the coverage from Kevin Goheen, who brings two decades of experience as a sports writer to coverage of Michigan recruiting. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, and follow us on Twitter for the latest Wolverines recruiting news.
Coaching changes affecting recruiting
The new early signing period in December was a welcomed addition to the recruiting calendar for most players and coaches. The most obvious positive aspect of the change is that player and program no longer have to worry about finalizing their commitments to each other in February.
The players know where they are going and don’t have to deal with other schools continuing to recruit them. Teams have a grasp of their class for that year and don’t have to be concerned with those players flipping their decisions.
The downside of the new period is the inherent coaching changes that occur this time every year. Focus is usually pointed toward the head coaches, but shakeups among assistants are also an issue because they are often times the ones who build the first and strongest relationships with players.
RELATED: 2018 Michigan recruiting big board
Like many programs across the country, Michigan is undergoing staff upheaval. Safeties coach Brian Smith is now the defensive coordinator at Rice. Offensive tackles/tight ends coach Greg Frey left for Florida State, his alma mater, to become offensive line coach. There are multiple reports that assistant head coach/passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton could be leaving to join Jon Gruden’s staff with the Oakland Raiders.
Don’t be shocked if Jon Gruden & the Raiders try & hire #Michigan’s Pep Hamilton for his offensive staff.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 10, 2018
The loss of Frey, even though he was at Michigan for just one year, may be the most important when it comes to recruiting. He’s originally from Tampa and has good ties there, including with offensive tackle and top 2018 target Nicholas Petit-Frere of Berkeley Prep. Petit-Frere is a 5-star prospect and ranked the No. 17 player in the country by the 247Sports composite.
Offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Tim Drevno’s role in the recruiting process will have to increase. That would’ve been a bigger loss, 4-star offensive tackle prospect Jarrett Patterson told 247Sports.
Rachel Lenzi of Land of 10 Michigan spoke this week with Shemy Schembechler, the son of Bo Schembechler, about the need for Jim Harbaugh to better develop continuity on his staff. If you haven’t already read it, you can here.
— Land of 10 Michigan (@Landof10MICH) January 8, 2018
Tyler Friday update
It looks like defensive end Tyler Friday is going to have an in-home visit with Ohio State on Friday before he announces his commitment decision. He is considering Michigan, Alabama and the Buckeyes. Friday has already had in-home visits with Michigan and Alabama.
Adam Friedman of Rivals.com writes that the announcement shouldn’t come any earlier than Friday night and should happen no later than next Wednesday, Jan. 17.
Friday’s father, Sam Friday, told 247Sports this week that his son was making a video to go along with his announcement.
The vibe among recruiting analysts is trending towards Friday going to Ohio State, which is a departure from a long-held belief that Michigan was the favorite. Friday isn’t letting on which way he is leaning, and still had good things to say about Michigan and his relationship with the Wolverines.
“Michigan felt like home,” Friday told Rivals.com. “They have a lot of New Jersey connections there and a lot of guys are there that I either played with or played against. I feel comfortable with the players and the coaches there. The coaches are telling me to take my time. They are being really cool about it and are letting me make my decision.”
Top targets for Michigan
Thursday ends the recruiting dead period, so Friday is going to be a busy day. The Wolverines have plenty of targets still in play with four weeks remaining before National Signing Day on Feb. 7. Here’s a rundown of them from Land of 10 Michigan:
— Land of 10 Michigan (@Landof10MICH) January 11, 2018
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