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Nico Collins coming back to town
Pinson (Ala.) 4-star WR Nico Collins announced earlier this week that he will be taking an official visit to Michigan for its game against Maryland on Saturday.
Official visit to 〽️ichigan this weekend #GoBlue?
— Nico‼️?#G2S# (@lbg_nico7) October 31, 2016
Collins is the No. 13 receiver and No. 89 overall prospect in 2017, and he’s been on Michigan’s radar for a long time.
After his initial visit to Michigan in June, Collins walked away with the Wolverines as his leader. He then visited again for Michigan’s Bright Lights, Big House camp in July. Then again for the BBQ at the Big House on Aug. 6. Tally that up as three unofficial visits — meaning on his own dime — in three months. Now he’s returning for an official visit that Michigan hopes will wrap up his recruitment.
Alabama, Auburn and Georgia are the competition, but there’s no doubting that Michigan leads the way. He said at Nike’s The Opening in Oregon back in July that the Wolverines led his recruitment.
As for Collins’ commitment, he’s always said he will sign on National Signing Day, but we’ll see if his first time witnessing a game inside the Big House propels him to forgo the wait and join the Wolverines.
Regardless, I’m confident he’s in maize and blue next season.
Eno Benjamin update
Wylie (Texas) 4-star RB Eno Benjamin decommitted from Iowa just two weeks ago. Now he must rush things, take visits quickly and make up his mind if he is to enroll in a university by January.
Benjamin looks to be down to Arizona State, Texas and Michigan, with the Sun Devils as the favorite right now. He could make an immediate impact in Tempe, or attend a more historic program in Texas or Michigan.
In my conversations with Benjamin, I think he absolutely loves Michigan, and would join the Wolverines if its class has the room. The timing is all wrong, though, for Benjamin, as the Wolverines have three running back commits and are chasing the nation’s No. 1 recruit in Najee Harris.
According to Benjamin, he is ready to visit for Michigan’s game against Indiana on Nov. 19, but the Michigan staff has that weekend set up for offensive and defensive line headliners, and asked him to visit in January before he commits.
That visit sets up perfectly for Michigan’s side of things. At that point, Benjamin will be nearing a decision, and recent visits are always good for rushed decisions. Plus Michigan will already know if it is was able to get Harris to flip from Alabama and, if not, will be able to take Benjamin’s commitment if he still wants to come.
So expect Benjamin on campus for a second time in December or January before he announces. And expect him to decide on Arizona State, Michigan or Texas.
Who’s left at linebacker?
Michigan has linebacker commitments from 4-star LB Josh Ross and 3-star LB Ben Mason, while defensive end commits Corey Malone-Hatcher (4 stars) and Kwity Paye (3-stars) could end up transitioning to the position.
Michigan has room for two or three more LBs in the class. Here’s a look at who’s on the Wolverines’ radar — and Michigan’s chances of landing them.
Kennedale (Texas) 5-star Baron Browning — Browning visited for the Wisconsin game. His brother played for Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, but that hasn’t played as much of a role as Michigan would like. He is likely choosing between Ohio State and Texas, and I’ll predict the former. Prediction: Ohio State
Paramus (N.J.) Catholic 4-star Drew Singleton — Singleton has been a Michigan lean for nearly two seasons now. His best friend is Michigan freshman DL Rashan Gary, and his former head coach Chris Partridge is now the linebackers coach at Michigan. His roots are in Ann Arbor even if Clemson comes knocking. Prediction: Michigan
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 4-star Jordan Anthony — At this point, it’s a matter of time before Anthony chooses Michigan, and it’s been like that since Apr. 1 when he visited for Michigan’s spring game. Auburn, Penn State and Oklahoma continue to be the competition, but unless his visit to Norman on Dec. 3 blows him away, I think this one is wrapped up. Prediction: Michigan
Richmond (Va.) Benedictine 4-star Ellis Brooks — A former Duke commit, Brooks left the Blue Devils’ class back in the summer. He visited Michigan in July, but unless the Wolverines strike out on Singleton or Anthony, or lose Mason or Ross, they likely wouldn’t take his commitment. Either way, Maryland is near home, and a rising program with DJ. Durkin. Prediction: Maryland
Fort Meyers (Fla.) Dunbar 3-star Shanon Reid — Michigan can get Reid. But the question is, do they want him? I’m not sure. This situation depends on whether Michigan has room for and / or wants to take on another linebacker. Assuming they do, he’s a Wolverine. But if not, Mississippi State is the other one waiting. Prediction: Foggy
Starkville (Miss.) 4-star Willie Gay – Gay has some qualification things to figure out behind the scenes. But the staff loves his game, and he has the same feeling for Michigan. He decommited from Ole Miss following his Michigan visit, which is just more fuel to the fire.
All ratings are from 247Sports.com’s composite rating system, unless otherwise noted.