Here’s what went down today in the Michigan recruiting landscape, and what it means.
Donovan Jeter reopens recruitment
Beaver Falls (Pa.) 4-star defensive tackle Donovan Jeter announced early Tuesday that he has reopened his recruitment.
Previously committed to Notre Dame, Jeter was a big name that was supposed to visit Michigan for its game against Wisconsin. Jeter ended up committing to the Irish about two weeks before his scheduled visit, and inevitably never took the visit.
Michigan’s biggest need in this class is a defensive tackle since the decommitment of 4-star recruit Aubrey Solomon. Jeter had enough interest to schedule a visit, and said he will be taking more visits as the season rolls on. I expect Jeter to head to Ann Arbor, and the Wolverines can give it a shot to bring him in, confident that the chances of Solomon returning are rather low.
Michigan also is keeping tabs on 4-star prospect Jay Tufele, a defensive tackle out of Utah. He is a strong lean to Ohio State but will be taking a visit to Ann Arbor for its game against Illinois on Saturday.
Robert Porcher IV to visit
Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips defensive end Robert Porcher IV announced recently that he will be taking an official visit to Michigan for its game against Illinois this Saturday. Porcher IV is the son of Robert Porcher III, who played his entire 12-year NFL career in Detroit for the Lions. His father played his college ball at South Carolina State, so his alma mater won’t play a role in Porcher IV’s decision. Porcher and his son will be attending the Lions game on Sunday as well.
The Nebraska commit hasn’t scheduled any other visits, so this one has significance to it. Both the Huskers and Wolverines are undefeated, and Michigan has a strong need for defensive linemen in the interior for this class, so this battle could get interesting.
The big question here is whether or not Porcher IV is a take for the staff, meaning does the staff even want him to commit. With his high ceiling and roots in the NFL with his father, I believe it’s worth taking, but probably not until the staff is confident they have enough room for him, as last-minute cuts to the class will make things look bad again.
I don’t think there’s a doubt that Porcher IV is good enough for this class. But even if the staff agrees, they’ll have a battle with the Huskers.
Najee Harris donned Michigan gear to school Tuesday
We brought it up Monday, and the hype train keeps rolling on Michigan’s chances with Antioch (Calif.) 5-star RB Najee Harris.
It’s 2016, so a guy like Harris, who has no Twitter, Facebook, etc., is hard to contact. Luckily, we caught his Snapchat — again, this is 2016 — in which he posted himself rocking a Michigan hat and shirt. I know the whole “free apparel is .. well, free apparel” argument can be made here, but there’s no doubting that this is worth noting, especially because he’s fresh off the visit from Jim Harbaugh.
As far as the magnitude of Harris, I stand by my assessment that he’s the best running back prospect since LSU’s Leonard Fournette, and is a carbon copy of Adrian Peterson. Michigan hasn’t had a back like him commit since Derrick Green, who also was a 5-star recruit.
But a no-doubt program-changing running back like Harris hasn’t come to Michigan since Mike Hart, and that’s exactly what Harris will be wherever he goes – even Alabama. The smoke has been there with him and Michigan before, especially after the visit for the “BBQ at the Big House,” but Michigan appears to have more momentum now than ever before.
I’m still not to a point where I can say he’s choosing the Wolverines, but I do think it’s about 55-45, which is a lot better than where I was before.
All rankings are from 247Sports.com’s composite ranking system unless otherwise noted.