We’re one day away from the first top 10 matchup in Ann Arbor of the season, and the biggest visitor weekend of the season.
Deron Irving-Bey returning to Ann Arbor
Flint (Mich.) 4-star defensive end Deron Irving-Bey visited Michigan for the first game of the season against Hawaii. Irving-Bey will return Saturday for the game against Wisconsin to add to an already stacked visitor list.
Irving-Bey announced at his U.S. Army All-American Bowl nomination ceremony at his high school Thursday night that his top schools are Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Howard and Syracuse. He will take official visits to Ann Arbor and East Lansing after the season, so his visit Saturday afternoon will be another unofficial one.
The interest between Michigan and Irving-Bey heated up after his visit against Hawaii. Irving-Bey could move to the interior and fill the gap left after the loss of Lee County (Ga.) defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon from the class.
It’s hard to call right now. Irving-Bey’s interest is split between the Wolverines and Spartans. A visit this week could propel Michigan to the top; there’s no reason to think it impossible that he’ll leave Ann Arbor a Michigan commit. After all, it’s recruiting; one great visit can change everything.
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy has three players visiting Ann Arbor on Saturday. In the 2017 class, it’s 4-star center Cesar Ruiz and 4-star linebacker Jordan Anthony. But the highest ranked of the three is 2018 5-star defensive tackle Taron Vincent. Vincent is leaning heavily toward Ohio State, but the Wolverines haven’t gotten him on campus yet; a good visit could do wonders for their chances.
Vincent, a junior, is likely far away from his decision. That’s good for Michigan, because if he had to decide now he would likely join the Buckeyes. For the staff in Ann Arbor, the focus shifts to building the relationship with Vincent, and getting him to return for another visit soon. Once you get him on campus twice, willingly as a junior, then you’re onto something.
It’s a big deal for Vincent to be in Ann Arbor with his IMG Academy teammates. Both are highly interested in Michigan. Put all three in the environment of the Big House and Michigan can really get some momentum.
Final thoughts on Saturday
Michigan has a huge matchup on the field against Wisconsin. It’s likely going to be the highest-ranked team it plays until the last game of the season in Columbus against Ohio State. On the sidelines, it’s also going to be important. There could be several silent commits to come out of the weekend. But if you’re really wondering who will commit this weekend? here are some names who could pull the trigger.
Irving-Bey — A scheduled visit to Tennessee might hold him off. If he commits to Michigan this weekend, other schools might back off. He might not be able to take the visit to Tennessee, or to other schools, if he commits. But if Michigan pushes for him, it could make it happen Saturday afternoon.
Fort Myers (Fla.) 2017 3-star linebacker Shanon Reid — Reid is the top option to choose Michigan. The question is whether Michigan asks him to wait until it knows who else it will secure at the position. The Wolverines are favored to land 4-star prospects Anthony and Drew Singleton; that would give them four linebacker commits. If they want five, Reid could be the next in line.
Warwick (R.I.) 2017 3-star linebacker/defensive end Kwity Paye — Paye is committed to Boston College, but similar to Reid’s situation, it’s likely that if the Wolverines want to take his commitment, they could get it. Whether that’s as soon as Saturday isn’t clear. It’s Paye’s first visit, and Boston College is his only other reported offer.
Saturday should produce one commit, but with the stars rolling through, don’t fret if it’s zero. A lot of these recruits will wait until late in the process to announce a decision. The goal is to make them remember this visit for when they choose a school, not pressure them into making a decision during the visit.
All rankings are from 247Sports.com’s composite rankings, unless otherwise noted.