The visitor list for the Wolverines’ game Saturday against Illinois is shaping up to be a nice one. We’ve got all the details on those visits, and more, inside The Justice Report.
On the guest list
A couple of weeks ago, the visitor list for the game on Saturday was modest. Then, more and more recruits were added. Here are this week’s top expected visitors with discussion on Michigan’s stance with each.
South Jordan (Utah) 4-star DT Jay Tufele: Tufele is an Ohio State lean. He has been for a while. I think he leaves this visit wanting to come back to Ann Arbor, but ultimately chooses the Buckeyes. Michigan needs a second defensive tackle in this class badly. The Wolverines inevitably will get one, but will it be a player as good as Tufele? The staff will press the gas hard on Tufele. The Polynesian connection at Michigan is beginning to grow. Director of player personnel Tony Tuioti will be a huge factor in Tufele’s visit, much as he was in the visits of 4-star OT Chuck Filiaga and 3-star DT commit Phillip Paea. I think Michigan walks out in good standing with Tufele, and could give Ohio State and Oregon a run for their money in Tufele’s recruitment.
Beaver Falls (Pa.) 4-star DL Donovan Jeter: Listed as a DE, Jeter is a Chris Wormley-esque prospect who can play on the outside or the interior. With three defensive end commits, Michigan will likely pave the way for Jeter to play the interior in college, should he choose the Wolverines. The Pennsylvania native just de-commited from Notre Dame and is still considered a favorable pick for Penn State or Pitt. Jeter committed to the Irish after a good visit; maybe the same could happen for Michigan.
Starkville (Miss.) 4-star LB Willie Gay: Steve Lorenz at Wolverine247 reported that the situation with Gay may end up going beyond football issues. This visit was scheduled months ago. Gay is committed to Ole Miss, but TheWolverine’s Brandon Brown quoted Gay saying that Michigan is his No. 1 school. It sounds like Gay wants to come to Michigan, but he doesn’t have that option right now. His game is prime-time, and fits Michigan’s defensive needs perfectly. But, extenuating circumstances won’t allow Michigan to put the full court press on Gay.
Marcus (Texas) 3-star Matt Hankins: Hankins has become a priority for Michigan at cornerback, and he’s ranked below No. 800 nationally. Not what you hear every day out for Michigan recruiting. Nonetheless, this is a case of Hankins being extremely under the radar, and a stellar senior campaign by him should propel him towards a top 300 ranking by season’s end. His technique reminds me a lot of Jourdan Lewis. Michigan’s confidence in Calabasas (Calif.) 5-star CB Darnay Holmes is fading, and the interest in Hankins is there. If he finds himself wanting to flip from his Iowa commitment to Michigan on Saturday, the staff would accept it.
Commits visiting, one of them very important
The usual gang of Ja’Raymond Hall, Joel Honigford and Paea will visit Michigan this weekend, but there’s no word on if super-recruiter Corey Malone-Hatcher will make it.
The most important commit visiting this weekend, though, is Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage 4-star OL Kai-Leon Herbert. Amidst rumors that he was dangerously close to switching to in-state Florida, this will be Herbert’s first visit since his original one in July that led him to commit. I think this visit cements Herbert’s commitment to the Wolverines, at least for now. He’s a great kid, a kid that you don’t expect to budge on his commitment.
Most likely to commit
Every Friday before a home game, I’d like to make this a staple. I don’t think any of the 2017 visitors commit, but if I had to choose one who is the most likely to do so, I’m going with Jeter. Scout quoted Jeter saying that he doesn’t want to play for a mediocre school doing mediocre things. He wants to go to college football playoffs and play for a team competing for titles. He’ll likely witness a beatdown on Illinois. He’s already shown that a good visit can push him to commit, such as what happened at Notre Dame. Hankins could be an option, too, but Jeter is your best bet for most likely to commit.
All rankings are from 247Sports.com’s composite ranking system, unless otherwise noted.