Michigan had its best visitor list of the season against Penn State, but it’s going to get even better against Wisconsin.
Saturday got confusing, but the biggest name showed up
Michigan was scheduled to get visits last weekend from 4-star wide receivers Nico Collins and Oliver Martin, 3-star offensive lineman Toryque Bateman and 3-star Michigan safety commit J’Marick Woods. Of those listed, none showed up. The three Alabama prospects – Bateman, Collins and Woods – planned to ride up to Ann Arbor together but it was a last-minute plan that didn’t work out. A source told LandOf10.com that all three plan to visit together again in the future. The visit will likely be an official one for all three.
As for Martin, Landof10.com reported on Friday that the rumors he might visit Notre Dame instead of Michigan were true. The good news is that he will take his Michigan visit this Saturday against Wisconsin. The even better news for Michigan fans is that the game Martin attended saw the Irish fall to Duke at home.
Martin was a Notre Dame favorite going in, but seeing a team lose to Duke at home cannot help the situation. The Wolverines, along with Michigan State and Iowa, are still heavily in the mix for Martin.
As for the big visitor, Detroit Cass Tech 5-star wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones came to check out Michigan’s beatdown of Penn State. He definitely seemed to enjoy it, and the Wolverines shouldn’t have lost their spot in the driver’s seat for the state’s best prospect. He was actively recruited during the visit by several commits in attendance: running back Kurt Taylor, offensive linemen Joel Honigford and Ja’Raymond Hall, defensive tackle Phillip Paea and defensive end Corey Malone-Hatcher.
Saturday is going to be a wild one
Michigan is going to host 29 players total in the group of visitors coming Saturday. Here’s our weekly dive into Michigan’s chances with key players.
5-star Pensacola (Fla.) offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood — Alabama commit
— Alex Leatherwood (@Alskee_) Sept. 26, 2016
Leatherwood said when Michigan dropped the Jordan uniforms that the Wolverines have “too much sauce.” The Alabama commit will finally get to see all of the sauce up close in his first visit to Ann Arbor this weekend. Landof10.com got some words from the offensive lineman on the upcoming visit.
“I’m beyond excited. It’s been a very long-awaited visit,” Leatherwood said of his visit to Michigan this Saturday. “They have always had a shot.”
Leatherwood added that Michigan needs to show him what makes it different and why he fits in its system. I don’t think it gets much different than Jim Harbaugh, but it will be hard to outsell Alabama and Nick Saban. The Wolverines have a real shot, according to Leatherwood.
2017 4-star Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy offensive center Cesar Ruiz
Michigan’s been in the driver’s seat for almost a year now with Ruiz. Alabama came in momentarily, then dropped out of the race, and this one is Michigan’s to lose. Ruiz is originally from New Jersey, so he bonds well with the number of players from his native state on this Michigan team.
It should be all but wrapped up for the Wolverines when Ruiz makes his decision in mid-December. But this is recruiting and anything can happen.
2017 4-star Aledo (Texas) offensive lineman Chuck Filiaga
Michigan is a long shot coming into the visit. Nonetheless, he had five schools out of 128 to visit and Michigan is one of them. A good visit and a good bond with the staff could push Michigan’s chances, but the reality is that getting him away from a West Coast school or Texas is unlikely.
But we said that about Devin Asiasi this time last season, and he caught a touchdown as a true freshman for Michigan against Penn State.
2017 4-star Lexington (Ky.) offensive lineman Jedrick Wills
— jedrick wills jr. (@JWills73) Sept. 26, 2016
Wills has said he’s going to visit Michigan, it seems like, 10 times now. The BBQ, the spring game, the list goes on. He gets really interested, then he’s out of Michigan’s reach. At one time it was Notre Dame and his in-state Kentucky Wildcats. Those two programs have been atrocious this season, so who swooped in to take the lead? You guessed it: Alabama. The Crimson Tide are running away with it, but Wills is taking his visit to Ann Arbor this weekend and this will be the Wolverines’ shot to show what they’ve got.
He’s pretty good friends with Leatherwood, too. That could help the Wolverines’ situation with both of them.
2017 4-star Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy linebacker Jordan Anthony
Michigan still has the lead for Anthony. It looks like Penn State, Oklahoma and Auburn have all come knocking, too. The Wolverines have been the team to beat since the spring game, and that trend looks to continue as long as Michigan doesn’t give him a bad visit Saturday.
2017 4-star Iowa City (Iowa) wide receiver Oliver Martin
The top 100 wide receiver will return this weekend, his first to Ann Arbor since the BBQ at the Big House on Aug. 6. Notre Dame was the presumed leader, but as we noted earlier it really doesn’t help that his visit there was to witness the Irish lose at home to Duke.
His top group is unclear, but the Wolverines have a shot and could gain some ground this weekend.
Some 2018 names will visit as well in Allen (Texas) 4-star linebacker Bumper Pool and Indianapolis Cathedral offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor. Arkansas is the favorite for Pool. The Wolverines are a good pick right now for Ekiyor, who ranks just outside the top 100, and face their stiffest competition in Tennessee.
Predicting the cornerback class
Last week, we gave our predictions on the offensive line class. This week, we give your Monday a little kick with who we think the Wolverines will scoop up at cornerback, a position that will see multiple seniors exit this season.
First and foremost, the elephant in the room is Calabasas (Calif.) 5-star cornerback Darnay Holmes. Holmes had a ball at his visit to the BBQ at the Big House on Aug. 6, but the Wolverines have a tough task in beating out in-state UCLA, where Holmes has family ties.
Detroit King 4-star cornerback Ambry Thomas wants to play with his cousin from Detroit Cass Tech, 4-star safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell. If Thomas ends up elsewhere, that’s a huge surprise, unless he and Kelly-Powell decide to part ways. That likely isn’t going to happen, and Michigan should land the state’s most talented duo of cousins.
Cheshire (Conn.) 3-star cornerback Brandon Sebastian is a Boston College commit, but his father was in awe when Michigan offered a couple of weeks ago. He was offered by Don Brown when Brown was at BC, and he plays the same style of defense the Michigan defensive backs play in Brown’s system now. Sebastian plays his games on Saturdays, so he won’t visit until after his season, which will likely be in November. Michigan’s staff might wait to take the commitment of Sebastian until they know for certain they can’t get Holmes, but if the staff wants him, they’ll get him.
Montreal cornerback Benjamin St-Juste has been committed for more than a year. Yes, he is taking one official visit to Virginia Tech, but if the Hokies can beat out the Wolverines for a player the Wolverines want to keep, then the world might start spinning in the opposite direction. He likely isn’t going anywhere.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite, unless otherwise noted.