The Wolverine

September 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 55 of 75

56 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2019 BY BRANDON BROWN O n July 27, more than 50 pros- pects and commitments from the 2020, 2021 and 2022 classes con- verged on Ann Arbor for a day of seven-on-seven football, food and blossoming friendships at the annual BBQ at The Big House. The prospects picked teams, com- peted against each other and then wrapped up the day hanging out and bonding with one another. Families and friends of the prospects were also in attendance creating a very positive, low key and fun experience before the coaches hunkered down for the month of August and fall camp. The visitors spent between six and eight hours in Ann Arbor and, from talking to prospects across all classes, everyone thoroughly en- joyed themselves. TWO VISITORS PULL THE TRIGGER At the time of the BBQ, Michigan had 21 commitments in the 2020 class, but quickly added two more pledges that were in attendance for the event. Delran (N.J.) High three-star ath- lete RJ Moten committed almost as soon as he got on campus that morning, and then West Bloomfield (Mich.) High four-star safety Makari Paige jumped in just a few days later. Moten, the No. 27 player in the state of New Jersey per Rivals, is going to play safety at U-M, and at 6-0 and 201 pounds he definitely seems well equipped to do so. The New Jersey native thinks he and his future team- mates are destined for greatness. "I can already tell that we have a strong bond," he said. "I could really tell when we were at the BBQ that it was a true brotherhood. I believe we're going to do some special things." Despite being listed as an athlete and being recruited as a safety, Mo- ten may get a look on offense as well. Paige also knew heading into the weekend that he was going to commit to Michigan, but he decided to wait a couple of days. The 6-3, 185-pounder doesn't say much, but he did admit to having a good time at the BBQ. "I met RJ at the BBQ and I had my mind made up at that point," Paige said. "We did a lot of activities up there. We played some games, and I bonded a lot with the other commits and coaches. We went over some plays even, so it was really good." Paige has grown close with defen- sive coordinator Don Brown and is excited to play in his defense. It's very similar to what West Bloomfield runs, and Paige should transition smoothly. COMMITS BOND AT THE EVENT A big part of the BBQ is bringing current and potential targets to cam- pus, but equally important is getting commits around each other in order to build camaraderie. A whopping 13 pledges from the 2020 class and 2021 commit JJ McCar- thy were in Ann Arbor for the BBQ. Eaglecrest (Colo.) Centennial three- star offensive tackle Reece Atteberry, Baltimore St. Frances four-star run- ning back Blake Corum, Frankfort (Ill.) Lincoln Way East four-star all- purpose back/slot receiver AJ Hen- ning, Burke (Va.) Lake Braddock three-star tight end Matthew Hibner, Baltimore St. Frances three-star out- side linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green, Baltimore St. Frances three-star of- fensive tackle Micah Mazzccua, Port Huron (Mich.) Northern four-star strongside defensive end Braiden McGregor, Milton (Mass.) Academy four-star outside linebacker Kalel Mullings, San Antonio Christian three-star tight end Nick Patterson, Baltimore St. Frances four-star out- side linebacker Osman Savage, Bel- leville (Mich.) High four-star corner- back Andre Seldon, West Bloomfield (Mich.) High four-star inside line- backer Cornell Wheeler and Cam- bridge (Mass.) Buckingham Browne & Nichols four-star offensive tackle Zak Zinter all made their way to Ann Arbor to take part in the BBQ event. Hill-Green, Rivals' No. 38 outside linebacker in the country, is one of the lesser known commits in U-M's class but summed up the BBQ very well. "It was an amazing experience," Hill- Green said. "It was one of the best deci- sions I ever made to go up for it. It just showed the bonds the commitments have with each other and the coaches. "It made all of the visitors see why Ann Arbor is the place to be." The 6-2, 225-pounder was on cam- pus with three of his teammates from St. Frances. OFFERED 2021 PROSPECTS GET FAMILIAR WITH ANN ARBOR The BBQ is also very important when it comes to younger prospects getting a feel for the football facili- ties, the campus and the coaching staff. Several offered rising juniors made their way to Ann Arbor. Cincinnati Roger Bacon three-star running back Corey Kiner had been to Michigan before and was excited to return for such a big-time event. The No. 19 running back in the country got the full experience while in town. "They showed us the weight room and all the benefits it has to offer, and I got a chance to speak with their strength and conditioning coach [Ben Herbert] during that time," Kiner ex- plained. "He showed us a video of everything the current players do. It's the best weight room in the country   FOOTBALL RECRUITING Michigan Puts On Another Successful BBQ Baltimore St. Frances four- star Blake Corum, the nation's No. 11 running back according to, was among 13 2020 commitments that attended the BBQ at The Big House in late July. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - September 2019