Michigan had a hot week to start with two commitments. We’ve hit midweek, and things are still hot on the recruiting trail. Here’s your daily update on Michigan recruiting.
Is Kai-Leon Herbert still a threat to flip?
Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage 4-star OT Kai-Leon Herbert has been considered a serious threat, especially earlier this fall, to flip his commitment from Michigan to Florida. Herbert visited Florida during Week 1, and a lot of buzz followed about him considering spending his next four years there instead of in Ann Arbor. He also visited Miami, but that doesn’t seem to be a real option for him.
Luckily for Michigan, Herbert visited Ann Arbor last Saturday, and he let Landof10.com know how it went.
“It blew my parents away. It was all high-class for me, too,” Herbert said. “Everything is right where it needs to be right now.”
Herbert’s parents didn’t visit with him during his original visit in July. It’s obvious by that quote that the parents are sold on his decision to come north.
He’s got a teammate, too, who’s pretty good. Tedarrell Slaton is a 4-star OT who, in my opinion, is a Michigan lean and has been for some time. As far as how much he’s hearing from Herbert on joining him in Ann Arbor, it sounds positive.
“I need my boy (Slaton) with me,” Herbert said. “I think we sit right.”
Herbert’s cousin plays for Kansas, so he said he will probably visit there to watch him. But that’s all that he has planned for now.
Has Jordan changed a lot in recruiting so far?
I don’t have numbers or stats for this one, something I usually have to back up my opinions. But when Michigan switched to Jordan in August, there was a huge conversation about the impact the brand would have on recruiting. Thus far, the logo has found a niche in Michigan’s program. Every Saturday that silhouette of Michael Jordan dunking can be seen on the field, but it’s had an even bigger impact in recruiting.
It’s 2016, and uniforms have a huge impact in recruiting nowadays. Look at Oregon, a program that was in the shadows for years before Nike changed their entire brand. The new electric-green, sometimes black, other times yellow, uniforms are a bit much to the eye, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a kid who doesn’t love them.
You work hard, play harder and hopefully look good doing it. And right now, Michigan looks as good as any other team in the country. And recruits take notice every Saturday.
The most important position to recruit in 2017
Wide receiver is the most important position to recruit in 2017. I’ll give you one word to describe why: impact. It’s been argued that it’s offensive line, or maybe defensive line with the players being lost at the position. But, if you ask me, it’s the receiver group because they have the No. 1 opportunity to make the most impact the quickest.
Right now I have Michigan tabbed to land 5-star prospect Donovan Peoples-Jones, and 4-star prospects Tarik Black, Oliver Martin and Nico Collins. In that group, there are three guys 6-foot-2 or taller in Peoples-Jones (6-2), Black (6-3) and Collins (6-5).
Michigan grabbed some great receivers in last year’s class with Kekoa Crawford, Eddie McDoom and Nate Johnson. The first two have already made an impact, especially McDoom, but all three are under 6-foot-2. The four they have the best shot to bring in with this class are guys who can be top-notch wideouts to complement McDoom in the slot, while Crawford can play inside or out at the position.
There’s no underplaying how important Peoples-Jones is. He will play at Michigan on Day 1, should he commit. He hasn’t been guarded one-on-one by anyone all season. And I don’t see too many cornerbacks in the Big Ten who could do it efficiently. The other three are high-ceiling players, and all four have All-America potential.
We’ll see what Harbaugh can do with these four. But if you ask me, it’s the most important goal for this class.
All ratings are from the 247Sports.com’s composite rating system.