The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2020 THE WOLVERINE 71 in constant contact with top targets around the country. On the field, he has a strong arm and is known mak- ing wow plays while on the run. He has a gunslinger mentality and a tre- mendous demeanor. RUNNING BACK Scholarship Players In 2021: 5 Need: 2 Commits: 0 Michigan brought in just one run- ning back in the 2020 cycle. While four-star Blake Corum was a terrific land, the Wolverines are looking for more depth at the position and would love to bring in two backs this class. Michigan is shooting its shot with Garland (Texas) Lakeview Centen- nial five-star Camar Wheaton, the No. 1-ranked running back and No. 7 overall recruit in the nation. Landing Wheaton will be a daunting task, but he visited last summer and remains high on the Wolverines. The true prize of the class is four- star West Bloomfield (Mich.) High running back Donovan Edwards, the No. 2 running back and No. 59 overall recruit nationally. Michigan is considered the early favorite for Edwards and has hosted him for multiple visits. On top of that, Edwards is a former teammate of 2020 Michigan signees Makari Paige and Cornell Wheeler, and stars under former U-M wide receiver Ron Bellamy, who is now the head coach at West Bloomfield. Michigan is also looking at speed- ier backs like Hopewell (Va.) High's TreVeyon Henderson, the nation's No. 3 running back, and Cincinnati Roger Bacon's Corey Kiner, the No. 7 running back in the country. Three-star Country Club Hills (Ill.) Hillcrest prospect Mar 'keise Irving is a do-it-all back that can serve mul- tiple roles and eventually move to slot receiver. He is high on the board as well. WIDE RECEIVER Scholarship Players In 2021: 7 Need: 2-3 Commits: 0 Simply put, this won't be a very big wide receiver class. It would be surprising to see the Wolverines go past three at the position after bring- ing in a talented three-man haul at the position in 2020. Michigan recently extended offers to a pair of four-star recruits Cristian Dixon of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, the No. 167 overall recruit in the nation, and Troy Stellato of Fort Lau- derdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons, the No. 176 overall prospect in the coun- try. Dixon is looking to visit soon, while Stellato is intrigued. Michigan hosted four-star Bra- denton (Fla.) IMG Academy wide receiver Dekel Crowdus for a visit last summer. At 5-10, 169 pounds, he is a smaller wideout but fits the speed-in-space mantra that offensive coordinator Josh Gattis has brought to Ann Arbor. Of course, Michigan struck gold in Hawai'i last year with speedster Roman Wilson. This cycle, the Wol- verines are looking to land an even more highly touted prospect from the island in four-star Ewa Beach (Hawai'i) Campbell athlete Titus Mokiao-Atimalala, who is being re- cruited at wide receiver. While not highly ranked, three-star East Lansing (Mich.) High wide re- ceiver Andrel Anthony is high on the priority board at the position. In fact, Michigan head coach Jim Har- baugh personally attended one of Anthony's basketball games during the contact period. TIGHT END Scholarship Players In 2021: 3 Need: 2 Commits: 0 The Wolverines only took one tight end during the 2020 cycle in three- star Matt Hibner, who is more of an upside prospect. After parting way with longtime commit Nick Patterson late in the cycle, landing two highly rated pros- pects at tight end is something Michi- gan really wants to do in this class. The most realistic top-of-the-board recruit is four-star Council Bluffs (Iowa) Lewis Central's Thomas Fi- done, the No. 3 tight end and No. 60 overall recruit in the country. Michi- gan tight ends coach Sherrone Moore saw him on multiple occasions during the contact period and is working to get him to campus in March. Fidone was one of the biggest risers in the newest rankings release, jumping up more than 100 spots. Four-star Needham (Mass.) St. Se- bastian's prospect Louis Hansen, the No. 4 tight end and No. 66 recruit na- tionally, will be at Michigan's spring game in April. Michigan is considered the heavy favorite at this point in the process, and it wouldn't be surprising to see it close the deal down the line. Four-star Napa (Calif.) High's product Brock Bowers, the No. 6 tight end and No. 106 recruit nation- ally, has not visited Michigan just yet, but the Wolverines are working to get him on campus in March. Fellow four-star tight end Michael Trigg of Tampa (Fla.) Seffner Chris- tian is an athletic pass catcher that U-M would love to get on campus in the near future. OFFENSIVE LINE Scholarship Players In 2021: 14 Need: 5-6 Commits: 1 After only taking two offensive linemen in 2020, Michigan is making it a priority to land a large class of big men up front this cycle. The Wolverines already have one verbal pledge at the position in four- star Sterling Heights (Mich.) Ste- venson offensive tackle Giovanni El-Hadi. The Rivals100 recruit is completely solid and was a huge riser in the latest Rivals rankings, moving up more than 100 spots. The state of Michigan is absolutely loaded with top-tier offensive line Four- star tight end Louis Hansen from Needham (Mass.) St. Sebastian's could continue the Wolverines' pipeline into the Northeast while giving them a top-100 pros- pect (No. 66) at a position of need. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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