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Top remaining offensive linemen
Michigan has made it clear that it wants to carry as many offensive linemen as possible in its 2017 class. The number I’m hearing is eight, and it likely won’t get higher than that, but Michigan could strike out on its top remaining targets.
Currently, it’s at four with the commitments of Kai-Leon Herbert, Andrew Stueber, Ja’Raymond Hall and Joel Honigford.
Here’s who is left, and a prediction on where each target will land.
Pensacola (Fla.) 5-star OT Alex Leatherwood – Leatherwood is as good as it gets. He’s the best OT in the country, in my opinion. He’s ranked No. 2, and he’s highly considering Michigan. The Alabama commit visited Ann Arbor for the game against Wisconsin Oct. 1, and things were hot. It’s slowed down since, and he’s an early enrollee. I doubt he budges on his commitment. Prediction: Alabama
Brooklyn (N.Y.) Poly Prep 5-star OT Isaiah Wilson – He’s back to a 5-star prospect after spending some time as a 4-star. Wilson has some mechanics to work on, but his 6-foot-7 frame gives Michigan’s staff much to work with, should he sign on. I think he does, and that could happen during his visit next week against Indiana. Prediction: Michigan
Lexington (Ky.) 4-star OT Jedrick Wills – Wills is better than Wilson, but Wilson has a higher ceiling. Wills is one of the more mobile, agile tackles you’ll see in high school. Michigan was completely out of the picture until his Oct. 1 visit for the Wisconsin game, along with Leatherwood, Chuck Filiaga and Cesar Ruiz – I’ll get to them later – and that visit changed it all. Now, Wills is stuck between Alabama and the Wolverines. This one is tight. But Leatherwood is one of his best friends, so I’ll say he joins him in Tuscaloosa. Prediction: Alabama
Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage 4-star OL Tedarrell Slaton – Slaton is teammates with Michigan commit Kai-Leon Herbert. Herbert was once a candidate to flip to Florida, but that seems to be a distant memory. Slaton has always had Michigan as his leader, and there’s no reason to believe that will change just yet. Prediction: Michigan
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 4-star C Cesar Ruiz – Consider this one wrapped up. It’s been that way for a long time. Prediction: Michigan
El Cerrito (Calif.) 4-star OL Aaron Banks – With one of the best Twitter names in the country (@BanksOfAmerica), Aaron Banks is also one of the nation’s better offensive linemen, ranked No. 19 at the position. I think he really loves Michigan, based on the visit he took on his own dime and the official visit for the game against Maryland last week. Nonetheless, I think Michigan’s other options might not allow room for Banks, while Notre Dame is making him its No. 1 target. Plus, getting him away from the West Coast is a tough task. Prediction: Notre Dame or USC
Aledo (Texas) 4-star OT Chuck Filiaga – The situation with Filiaga is similar to that of Leatherwood and Wills. Before he visited with those two and Ruiz on Oct. 1, he was thought to not have Michigan on his radar. Now it seems that USC is out of it while Oklahoma is knocking, along with Texas. This one is getting to be a big lead for Michigan. Prediction: Michigan
Guys I think Michigan has in its back pocket, should it strike out on any of the above: Gadsden City (Ala.) 3-star OL Toryque Bateman, Richmond (Va.) 3-star OL Mekhi Becton.
There really aren’t many mutual targets between Iowa and Michigan, but Marcus (Texas) 3-star CB Matt Hankins will be visiting Iowa for the game Saturday.
Hankins has been committed to Iowa since June. He was scheduled to visit Michigan for the game against Illinois, but he canceled it for an unknown reason.
The recent positivity between 5-star CB Darnay Holmes and Michigan might have led the Wolverines’ staff to back off, but Hankins and Michigan have definitely cooled from where they were weeks ago.
Nonetheless, Hankins will be there, and I’m sure the Wolverines wouldn’t mind beating down his Hawkeyes at home to give him a nice first impression, should they want his commitment.
All ratings are from 247Sports.com’s composite rating system, unless otherwise noted.