Michigan hosted the biggest recruiting weekend it will have all season on Saturday against Wisconsin. Where do the Wolverines stand now?
What they said about the game
Michigan hosted 2017 5-star linebacker Baron Browning and offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood. They hosted a plethora of 4-stars, including offensive linemen Chuck Filiaga, Cesar Ruiz and Jedrick Wills, linebacker Jordan Anthony and wide receiver Oliver Martin. Here’s what the prospects said on Twitter about their visits.
2018 4-star linebacker Bumper Pool
— Bumper (@bumperpool10) Oct. 2, 2016
2017 4-star Aledo (Texas) offensive lineman Chuck Filiaga
— Chuck Filiaga (@CFiliaga) October 2, 2016
2017 5-star Pensacola (Fla.) offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood
— Alex Leatherwood (@Alskee_) October 2, 2016
2017 Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 4-star offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz
Great Weekend in Ann Arbor ?〽️ #GoBlue
— S A U C Y ™ (@_OverCees) October 2, 2016
2017 Michigan 4-star commit St. Joseph (Mich.) defensive end Corey Malone-Hatcher
— Corey Malone-Hatcher (@CMH2017) October 1, 2016
2017 Lexington (Ky.) 4-star offensive lineman Jedrick Wills
— Jedrick Wills II® (@JWills73) October 3, 2016
What they’re saying now
We were able to gather some information on how some of the recruits enjoyed their visits, and the confidence level of each landing at Michigan following the visit.
Iowa City (Iowa) wide receiver Oliver Martin
Martin is the quietest kid in the country. He doesn’t do media. Some reporters have shown up to cover his games in person, and even then he declines interviews. Some people just don’t like the spotlight, and that’s the case for Martin, who is a great kid from all accounts.
For him, it’s been rumored that Michigan has the lead following his visit. Anyone who claims they got him on the phone, or talked to a parent, either showed up at their front door or called until someone finally answered because he doesn’t talk. What makes sense for Martin is that he is a kid who doesn’t want to be the guy, he just wants to play football. He has superstar potential, and he could be that at Michigan in a class where he won’t have to be the guy. A source close to his situation and close to him in Iowa passed that along, and noted while nothing is concrete with Michigan, it’s a place where he can blend in and be just another recruit. For the Hawkeyes and their desperate need for receivers, he would be their biggest name in recruiting, and he would be in the spotlight his entire career. Michigan State is still there, and so is Notre Dame, but Michigan really made an impact last weekend. The Wolverines are also expected to land 5-star Donovan Peoples-Jones and 4-stars Tarik Black and Nico Collins at Martin’s position.
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy linebacker Jordan Anthony, center Cesar Ruiz
Michigan is still in front in the race for both of these 4-star teammates, and the visit Saturday only helped its cause. Anthony said this about the visit:
“It was a great visit. I love coach (Jim) Harbaugh and he is definitely someone I respect and I can see myself playing for,” Anthony said. “But I’m still looking at all my options.”
Anthony will likely decide around an All-American game in late December or early January and will take all of his official visits. It’s still looking like a nice lead for the Wolverines for now.
Ruiz announces Dec. 19, and he looks to be all maize and blue right now. That’s been the narrative since Alabama backed off of him.
Aledo (Texas) 4-star offensive lineman Chuck Filiaga
Before his visit, Filiaga is a player who seemed like he used Michigan as one of his five official visits but didn’t have too much legitimate interest. They’re probably in the bottom of his top five, but there’s no doubting that Michigan impressed him last weekend.
“Being around the coaches and the players really made me feel comfortable,” Filiaga said. “I really enjoyed myself. The visit was great.”
Filiaga is still a trendy pick to USC, but Michigan has a good shot and should take an in-home visit with him later in the process.
Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) 3-star linebacker Kwity Paye
Michigan likely won’t take Paye’s commitment until they know how many linebackers they want in the class, and if they will get Jordan Anthony and Drew Singleton, two 4-star, top-100 prospects.
Should Michigan want him, they would probably get him. Here’s what he said about his visit.
“Amazing, a great experience,” Paye said. “It was the environment. It felt like a huge family and that’s what I’m looking for. The players were really down to earth and didn’t act like superstars. Just a great visit overall.
“This will have a huge impact on my decision, but it’s too soon to tell right now.”
Paye said Michigan’s staff let him know they’re really interested and want him to be a part of the program, so we’ll see how things move forward.
There’s not much known about the visits of Browning and Leatherwood. Sometimes if two kids go silent after a visit, it could mean it was significant and they don’t want anyone to know. While Browning looks like he will stay in Texas, Michigan has a real shot with the 5-star prospect Leatherwood. He will likely stay with Alabama, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Wolverines make him think twice about his commitment.
The commitment, and the impact elsewhere
Michigan got a commitment from Indianapolis Cathedral 4-star offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor on Saturday, a member of the 2018 class. Our recruiting page has a breakdown of his commitment and the impact of it.
Ekiyor told Landof10.com that Michigan felt like home. His best relationship is with offensive coordinator Tim Drevno, a coach who can really take Ekiyor’s potential to the next level.
Ekiyor goes to a powerhouse high school for football, and he has a teammate who is feeling the impact of the recruitment.
Also a junior, 4-star running back Markese Stepp is a Notre Dame commit, but the Michigan visit seemed to blow him away. And when Ekiyor committed, Stepp took notice. The Wolverines have a good shot with Stepp going forward. He’s in the middle of his junior season, so the impact might not be felt immediately, but there’s no doubt Michigan made a huge jump in his recruitment after Saturday.
Ekiyor will return for a visit against Illinois, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Stepp join him for another visit.
All rankings are from 247Sports.com’s composite ranking system, unless otherwise noted.