It’s Michigan State week. Before you get all amped up on redemption from last season’s heartbreaker, here’s the latest on Michigan recruiting.
The uncommitted visitors from last week
Michigan had one visitor from its game against Illinois commit the next day, when 4-star Beaver Falls (Pa.) DL Donovan Jeter committed to the Wolverines Sunday night.
But there were a couple more uncommitted (to Michigan) targets: Starkville (Miss.) 4-star LB Willie Gay, who had committed to Ole Miss, and South Jordan (Utah) 4-star DT Jay Tufele, who is uncommitted. Here’s what I can gather on the situations with both of those recruits:
- Gay decommitted from in-state Ole Miss the day after his visit to Michigan. I think that has everything to do with his visit to Ann Arbor, and, in my opinion, he wants to be a part of this class. What I can gather, though, is that some non-football circumstances are keeping this from happening. The word I hear so often tied to Gay is “a freak,” and it’s accurate. He’s a fantastic player, and one that could be a superstar in this defense at linebacker. If these non-football circumstances can get figured out, there’s a good chance he could become a Wolverines player. The good news: There’s time to do that.
- Tufele, from all accounts, loved his visit. A source near him during the visit said he was seriously into it the entire time, and it sounds like Michigan made up some serious ground during the trip. There’s competition with Michigan’s extensive depth at defensive tackle, plus there is a chance that eight defensive linemen get brought in with this class. The question is whether he wants to get involved in that big of a competition. As a top-50 player in the country, you would think he would be confident, and he probably is. But the Buckeyes still will get a visit from him, and that one will be big.
Darnay Holmes update
Evan Petzold of Maize N Brew reported that Michigan will be getting an official visit from Calabasas (Calif.) 5-star CB Darnay Holmes in December. We knew he would be making up his visit that was originally planned for the Colorado game in Week 3, but didn’t know when. Now that we do, we have some critical updates.
One of my better sources on the West Coast had some recent conversations with the 5-star prospect, and walked away thinking Holmes is a Wolverines lean. The source added that Holmes “has always been a UCLA lock,” but things have changed big time.
Freshman CB David Long, a Pasadena (Calif.) native, is really close with Holmes. Long has a lot to do with his recruitment, and has been a huge factor in getting Holmes to start leaning toward coming to Ann Arbor.
Holmes can often be hard to read. After his visit Aug. 6 for the “BBQ at the Big House,” rumors swirled that Michigan led then as well. But the confidence was low a couple of weeks ago, and now is beginning to rise again.
Jim Harbaugh is nuts, and it’s working
Other fan bases, even Michigan’s, have called Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh a complete nut for his recruiting tactics. He climbed up a tree when he visited David Long, wrestled Phillip Paea and had a sleepover at Quinn Nordin’s house. As crazy as all that sounds, those three players committed to Michigan following those visits.
So, yes, it’s pretty weird, but it’s working. Harbaugh has brought the “anything to win” mentality to Michigan, and the Wolverines are 7-0. So that’s working, too. But more specifically in recruiting, Harbaugh has had some crazy stories. The ones that hit the public are the wildest ones, and the wildest ones have turned into commitments.
Current Michigan commit Joel Honigford had this to say about his first time meeting Harbaugh:
“That’s when I fell in love with (Harbaugh), because he had no idea who I was as a person and I didn’t know who he was as a person. But as I was walking into his office, he was dancing and yelling at me to dance, and I was like, “This is my kind of guy!”
Honigford committed just a month or so after the dance-off.
All rankings are from 247Sports.com’s composite ranking system, unless otherwise noted.