The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2020 THE WOLVERINE 5   FROM OUR READERS The Buckeyes continue to domi- nate Ohio as Harbaugh and staff have only recruited one player (offensive lineman Nolan Rumler) that Ohio State really wanted. Losing five-star Zach Harrison in the 2019 class hurt because he could have opened the door in state. Instead, Michigan got shut out of Ohio in 2020 and almost all the elite class of 2021 kids have already committed to the Buckeyes. Harbaugh and staff have done a good job in state but are still allow- ing too many of the elite Michigan athletes to go elsewhere. Michigan should strive to be an elite program, and it can be an Ohio State, Alabama or a Clemson if it picks up its recruiting efforts. This means get- ting elite OL and DL. How about a couple of maulers (2-3 deep) in the in- terior of the defensive line? Chris Hin- ton and Mazi Smith are a good start, but you have to get two in each class. In 2021, Damon Payne of Belleville is that type of player and it appears he is leaning to Ohio State, gulp! Michigan also needs to get elite corners with speed to combat the WR talent of the elite teams. The class of 2021 is crucial and it needs to be Michigan's best in memory if the Wolverines want to win the Big Ten and a national title. The team has good talent, but be- ginning in the class of 2021, the staff needs to bring in elite players. It can be done. Michigan is a much bet- ter university with a more valuable degree than virtually all of the other football blue bloods. Ann Arbor is annually voted the best city to live in, in America. The product is not the problem, so it has to be the sales staff. The state is loaded in 2021 and Harbaugh and staff had better OWN the state and have a top 3-5 class! Kevin G. Smith Orange, Calif. The 2021 in-state prospects list is certainly loaded, as you indicated Mr. Smith. In the latest Rivals250 rankings, the state has nine of the country's top 250 recruits, which would rank as the state's second-highest total ever since the rankings began in 2006 (obviously, with the caveat that the 2021 rankings will be updated several times before going final). The good news is that Harbaugh and his staff have already secured the commit of the state's second-highest prospect, of- fensive tackle Giovanni El-Hadi of Ster- ling Heights (Mich.) Stevenson, who checks in at No. 49 overall. Belleville High defensive tackle Damon Payne leads the way at No. 29 nationally, while Clarkston High guard Rocco Spin- dler checks in at No. 55, West Bloomfield High running back Donovan Edwards ranks No. 59 and Oak Park High offen- sive tackle Rayshaun Benny is listed at No. 83 to round out the top-100 prospects. Five natives in the Rivals100 hasn't been done since the rankings began in 2002 — the state has produced just four among the top grouping twice (2008 and 2011). The Wolverines have landed four Michi- gan natives ranked among in the Rivals250 only once in its history (2012) and signed three such recruits three times (2008, 2013, 2017). There is no doubting the importance of the in-state recruiting class of 2021. FROM OUR WEBSITE On the 2020 recruiting class … • Repeating what I have said here many times, in my opinion you need at least two true DTs and at least two true CBs in every single class. Those are two positions at which you cannot cover significant weaknesses. Cincinnati_Wolverine • There really is zero excuse to not have at least one DT, and I agree two should be the standard. I understand the mindset of having more speed on the DL and that improved in pass rush with Uche, Hutch, Paye and Kemp on third down or even without Kemp. But I watched Wisconsin and parts of OSU and we just got overmatched up front. How is this not completely ob- vious to the coaches? We got a break with Kemp coming back, but still. dpre9 • They went after true DTs and struck out. There are very few of those play- ers available. What do you want them to do in that situation? bluetown • I'm not saying it's ideal, but Michi- gan wasn't able to get any true DTs. The next-best option is to find big- bodied, athletic DEs that can slide in- side. Michigan got some good ones in that regard. EJ Holland On 2021 signees most likely to see the field early … • Running back Blake Corum and wide receiver A.J. Henning are no- brainers. I have no idea beyond that, although I think cornerback Darion Green-Warren has a shot. mark78 • I like linebacker Kalel Mullings and see him a key guy at minimum on special teams his first year. Guy likes contact. BoWoodson • Not counting special teams, I think cornerback Andre Seldon plays slot coverage before Mullings hits the field at LB. Don Brown doesn't play freshman LBs. GrapeApe • Am I crazy to think Matt Hibner could get some spot duty at TE? Also Seldon. VinceBean • I think Roman Wilson has more of an impact than Henning. bkblue1 • I was going with Green-Warren first for kick/punt coverage teams. Jordan Morant is a pretty strong possibility there, too. For snaps from scrimmage, it 's tough. An outside WR is a very good bet since only the two presumptive starters (Nico Collins, Ronnie Bell) are really experienced with only Cornelius Johnson and [former walk-on] Nate Schoenle having seen snaps behind them. I guess Henning is the logical choice, but Wilson might be the bet- ter fit — straight speed to replace Donovan Peoples-Jones on the go routes he frequently ran. Outside of WR, you assume Corum has a decent shot as a change of pace at RB. After that, I'm not sure there's anyone I'd bet on. Mullings might get in the rotation, but both Braiden McGregor and Hibner could sneak in by late October or early November. Green-Warren could also see some snaps, especially if there's even just one injury/other availability issue at CB. I'm not betting on any of them, but one or another will likely make it. martyk Join Us! 30-Day Free Trial, Use Code BLUE30

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