Two commits join the party
Michigan’s game Saturday against Penn State has some big names visiting – wide receivers Donovan Peoples-Jones, Oliver Martin and Nico Collins are just a few. Also attending will be two of Michigan’s well-known commits — Grayson (Ga.) running back Kurt Taylor and St. Joseph (Mich.) defensive end Corey Malone-Hatcher.
Taylor and Malone-Hatcher will likely be doing their fair share of recruiting three of the best receivers in the 2017 class. Malone-Hatcher said he wants to build this class to be the best. Convincing Peoples-Jones and the others to choose Michigan would be a good way to make that happen.
— Donovan P. Jones (@dpeoplesjones) September 21, 2016
Combined, the three receivers and two commits are a whopping 20 stars. Not a bad guest list for the Wolverines.
Kai-Leon, where you at?
Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage 4-star offensive lineman Kai-Leon Herbert chose the Wolverines in July. He was tabbed as a Florida favorite from the early stages of his recruitment, but the Wolverines made a huge push this summer to land him. After a strong visit in late June for the Aerial Assault Camp weekend — Herbert’s decision was made.
Since then, no one has really heard from Herbert. His Twitter says nothing about Michigan, he doesn’t usually say anything about the team winning or anything of that nature. This has some people worried. We were able to connect with Herbert for a brief conversation about his status.
“I’m just staying low,” Herbert said. “I’ve got a lot going on with football and school.”
He visited the in-state Gators in the opening week of the season. The former favorites to land him are now a serious threat to change his mind.
Whether they will is unclear, but there’s no reason to count them out. Herbert is still a Michigan commit, but his recruitment will be one to follow through signing day.
His American Heritage teammate and fellow lineman TJ Slaton is a 4-star prospect that the Wolverines favor. It’s believed that Slaton will choose Michigan eventually.
What Saturday means
Having a celebrity guest that isn’t Michael Jordan, Tom Brady or Rich Eisen shouldn’t disappoint fans. Actually, Saturday’s guest list is the most important one yet. The ability for Michigan to get such high-profile players on campus proves that its ability to recruit at a high level is back for good and 2016’s class wasn’t a one-hit wonder. If you’re a fan of Jim Harbaugh, then you knew that was coming. If you’re not, then you’re ignorant of the fact that Harbaugh loves to recruit and he’s pretty good at it.
The chances of Michigan getting a commit Saturday are there. Could this official visit and a possible blowout against Penn State persuade Peoples-Jones, Collins or Martin to commit? There’s no question. But will that commitment go public? Probably not. The minute a recruit announces he’s committed, a lot of schools back off and the chances at an official (read: free) visit is no longer there. That’s why a lot of these recruits commit quietly; they can’t visit Florida at will, but an official visit allows them to enjoy that experience.
The verdict is this: Saturday may lead to a commitment from one of the three receivers – we just probably won’t know about it.
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.