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Final thoughts on Chuck Filiaga
Michigan has another priority besides 5-star RB Najee Harris to worry about this weekend.
Aledo (Texas) OT Chuck Filiaga – a 4-star prospect, according to the 247Sports composite – will announce his decision live Saturday on NBC during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, which begins at 1 p.m. ET.
At the beginning of this week, I was pretty confident that Filiaga would choose the Wolverines.
As the week went on, I watched him practice in San Antonio alongside the nation’s best prospects. From what I can gather via multiple sources, Filiaga has been spreading the word to some substantial Michigan targets about the good things going on in Ann Arbor. Now, he might just be saying this to hold conversation with others, or he might be making the Wolverines targets think about a school he hopes they choose.
Whether he was doing this or not, and I am pretty certain he was, my sources have confirmed the ceiling-high confidence that Filiaga will choose the Wolverines on Saturday afternoon.
A whopping 39 247Sports Crystal Balls – including mine since Oct. 17 – have Filiaga tabbed to Michigan. The last one to predict him elsewhere was in July, when he was predicted to Oklahoma.
I’ve had good intel on him since the day I made that prediction in October. And it has surprised me.
I remember being at the Rivals100 Challenge in June, and I was talking to Filiaga and USC commit Brett Neilon – a former Michigan target. At that point, I was sure Filiaga would pick the Trojans.
His Michigan recruitment started with a story about offensive coordinator Tim Drevno nearly two years ago, when Filiaga was still in California.
“Coach Drevno told me that when he saw me after school, he would be bumping reggae,” Filiaga said in an interview with Land of 10 earlier this week. “I didn’t expect him to really do it. Then, when I walked in my coach’s office, he was bumping reggae, bopping his head.”
Since that reggae jam session, Filiaga moved to Texas. His mom had to move for work, and he came along with her. A source said that contact between the Oklahoma staff and his family led him to choosing to play his high school football at Aledo (Texas).
Filiaga’s team won the Texas 5A state championship in his one year playing in what some consider to be the nation’s best high school football state.
That one day in California with Drevno didn’t put Michigan at or near the top with Filiaga. But it started a relationship. That relationship would be rekindled in person for the first time since then on Oct. 1, the day Filiaga took an official visit to Ann Arbor.
It was on that day that things changed. And a source told me the next day that Michigan had taken over. But, for a guy who wasn’t seriously considering Michigan until October, and was deciding barely over a month later, it was hard to believe.
To pull him not only from the possibility of returning to his former home in California to play for USC, but to also pull him from his current home in Texas, and away from nearby Oklahoma? It didn’t add up.
But, with less than 24 hours until his decision, it’s still Michigan with an overpowering lead to land Filiaga’s commitment.
If it all plays out as expected, Filiaga will fill the biggest hole in Michigan’s current class: a big-time offensive tackle.
Filiaga is the No. 14 overall tackle and the No. 98 overall prospect.
I’m not going to write much about the 5-star running back from Antioch (Calif.) who is deciding between Alabama, where he is committed, and Michigan. What’s going to happen is going to happen. None of us, as of right now, truly knows.
I wrote about this in more detail Thursday (read that here). Like others, I have no new information to offer. What I wrote Thursday still stands.