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Zach Sheffer coming to town
Nease (Fla.) 3-star tight end Zach Sheffer will visit Michigan for the first time in his recruitment for the Wolverines’ final home game against Indiana on Saturday.
Sheffer is one of the better tight ends in the 2018 class, ranked No. 15 at the position in the class. At 6-foot-3, he is the athletic tight end that Jim and Jay Harbaugh consistently look for at the position. Sheffer has a great relationship with tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh, who visited his school over the spring evaluation period.
Sheffer is being recruited pretty hard by South Carolina and Tennessee, so prying him away from his home state of Florida isn’t a concern right now.
Based off my interactions with him over the past eight months, I think Michigan is in a great position to take the lead for Sheffer after this visit. Should he want to commit early, Saturday is a good day to give him that option.
As for the staff’s goals for tight end in next year’s class, it likely will be looking to add two because Jake Butt will exit this season, and Ian Bunting the next, and this year’s class likely will not take any on scholarship.
Names to look out for are 4-star prospects Jeremy Ruckert, who visited for the Maryland game, and Mustapha Muhammad, who has liked Michigan for a long time.
Fun Fact: Sheffer goes to the same high school that baseball “star” Tim Tebow attended. Tebow reportedly has never returned to the school, so Sheffer isn’t a fan.
Najee Harris is still confusing
The nation’s No. 1 player – Antioch (Calif.) 5-star running back Najee Harris – will visit Michigan on Dec. 10. Harris has said from the start that he will take one of his five official visits to Michigan.
He visited Michigan for the annual BBQ at the Big House on August 6, the biggest recruiting event of the summer in Ann Arbor. From all accounts, he loved it, and his relationship with head coach Jim Harbaugh continues to get better and better each day.
We still don’t know many things about him. He doesn’t have Twitter, so we can’t follow him. He doesn’t do many interviews, and when he does, it’s just about if he will visit somewhere. He continues to be a real “man of mystery.”
Harris visited UCLA, but it’s Alabama and Michigan slugging it out for him right now.
I’ve been saying this for about a month: It all boils down to how good Harris’ relationship is with Harbaugh vs. how good Alabama, well, just is.
There’s no way around it: The Crimson Tide have become all but immortal at football, and recruits love that. The best way to recruit is to win. And Alabama won’t stop doing that.
If Michigan can get to a spot where they meet Alabama, and win, then that could be the big moment to get Harris to flip.
Until then, Harbaugh is going to have to plan another sleepover, climb another tree and continue his biggest recruiting pitch since Rashan Gary. Nonetheless, Michigan has a shot to land Harris, which would give them back-to-back years with the No. 1 player in the country.
Brian Kelly attrition opportunity
With reports surfacing that Notre Dame is more like to part ways with coach Brian Kelly rather than retain him, Irish commits could be vulnerable and up for grabs.
Michigan already went and snagged Beaver Falls (Pa.) 4-star defensive tackle Donovan Jeter four days after he decommitted from the Irish program. And now, its sights are set on flipping La Marada (Calif.) 3-star cornerback Elijah Hicks from his Irish commitment.
Hicks was sitting at No. 800 earlier in the season in the rankings but now sits at No. 340 overall. He’s had a great season out on the West Coast, and it looks like the only school that could pry him away from Notre Dame is another Midwest school – Michigan.
Dial it back a notch, though. First, Michigan has to want his commitment, and I’m not sure that it’s at that stage just yet.
With 5-star corner Darnay Holmes and 4-star corner Ambry Thomas waiting to make their decisions, and 4-star corner Benjamin St-Juste committed, Michigan might not want to take Hicks’ commitment just yet.
But if they plan to carry four cornerbacks, then there’s no issues, should he want to flip his commitment. Convincing Hicks to leave the Irish program won’t be easy, and this one will probably take until National Signing Day.
Don’t forget about: Detroit Cass Tech 4-star corner Donovan Johnson. He’s no Donovan Peoples-Jones for Cass, but he’s a freak with speed and good Jourdan Lewis-type cornerback play. Not to mention, Lewis came out of Cass, too. Johnson is favored to go to Penn State, but should Michigan offer him, consider him a member of the Wolverines.
Other quick notes
- Michigan is expecting upward of 60-plus visitors on Saturday, the most of the season.
- The commits expected to visit are Joel Honigford, Ja’Raymond Hall, Emil Ekiyor and Kurt Taylor.
All ratings are from the 247Sports.com composite ranking system, unless otherwise noted.