Brandon Justice/Land of 10
Emil Ekiyor, left, with his father, also named Emil, is the top-rated player currently committed to Michigan for 2018.

Where Michigan’s 2018 commitment list stands, a pair of 2017 LBs featured and more

Kevin Goheen

Wake up, University of Michigan fans, and welcome to Breakfast of Victors, Land of 10’s daily morning briefing of Wolverines athletics. We’ll get your weekdays started with all the latest Michigan news, notes and insights. Our goal is to bring you closer to the Maize and Blue, your favorite team.

Today is Thursday, June 8, 2017, and here’s your Breakfast of Victors…


Ten and counting…

Verbal commitments are just that: verbal. There is nothing binding about a high school player publicly stating he is going to accept one college’s scholarship offer or another. Remember last year’s roller coaster of a recruitment ride with Aubrey Solomon? It all turned out well for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines as Solomon ultimately chose them, but there was a lot of undue stress caused by a single wrongly sent “Thank You” note.

So, keeping that caveat in mind, what does Michigan’s list of commitments for the 2018 class look like at this moment? Not too shabby.

Offensive guard Emil Ekiyor (Indianapolis/Cathedral H.S.) is the top-rated player of the 10 players who have pledged their commitment to Michigan thus far. Ekiyor (6-foot-2, 322 pounds) is a 4-star lineman, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, and is one of seven 4-star players on the commitment list. Cornerback Myles Sims (6-3, 173) (Atlanta/Westlake H.S.) and linebacker Otis Reese (Leesburg, Ga./Lee County H.S.), are also high up the ratings scale. Reese and Solomon were teammates in high school.

The 2018 class still has room to grow, although it won’t be as large as the 2017 class (see next note), so space is filling up for those who want to commit to the Wolverines. Steve Lorenz of 247Sports spoke with highly regarded offensive tackle William Barnes of Apopka, Fla., at the Florida Atlantic camp on Monday. Harbaugh and the Michigan staff were part of the camp run by Florida Atlantic’s first-year coach, Lane Kiffin.

“I wanted to come out to this camp and get a better look at how Michigan does things,” Barnes said to Lorenz. “They’ve had my attention for a while and this is a really easy way to get a feel for how their staff runs a practice and how they coach their players.”

Next Gen LBs

Michigan’s 2017 class has 30 players and includes four linebackers. Two of them are part of Land of 10’s Next Generation series this week, so here’s your chance to get to know them better.

Rachel Lenzi takes an in-depth look at Drew Singleton, who is coming off an ACL injury to his left knee that never scared off the Wolverines.

Jordan Anthony won a Pop Warner national championship and played for one of the best high school programs in the Washington, D.C., area before transferring to IMG Academy for his final two seasons as a prep. I spent two days this week in Maryland with Anthony, his family and coaches. Here’s a small sample of what I discovered about him.

Joe Ellis earns All-American, Steven Bastien on school-record pace

The Michigan men had a good day Wednesday as the NCAA Track & Field championships began at the University of Oregon. Sophomore Joe Ellis placed eighth in the hammer throw to become the first Michigan first-team All-American in the event in 84 years, while senior Steven Bastien is in fourth place after the first five events of the decathlon.

Bastien scored 4,287 points behind three personal-record performances. He is 125 points ahead of his pace from last year when he placed eighth with a school-record score of 7,917. Bastien is 153 points behind the leader, Minnesota senior Luca Wieland.

Zak Irvin preps for NBA draft

Golden State took Cleveland’s best shot Wednesday night. Then the Warriors took a commanding 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals with a 118-113 win in Cleveland. With the Finals winding down, that means the NBA draft is approaching.

Former Michigan guard Zak Irvin has been working out for teams ahead of the June 22 draft. Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press has a good look at Irvin’s preparations.

The dilemma of Jaaron Simmons

MLive.com’s Brendan F. Quinn has a great behind-the-scenes read on the impact Jaaron Simmons’ graduate transfer has had on Michigan and head coach John Beilein, as well as Simmons’ former school, Ohio.

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