The Wolverine

April 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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54 THE WOLVERINE APRIL 2020 BY EJ HOLLAND M ichigan was slated to host sev- eral big-name recruits in late March and early April, but the Wol- verines had no choice but to pull the plug on those visits due to concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Less than 48 hours after Michigan announced that it would not have prospective athletes on campus for the foreseeable future, the NCAA an- nounced that it established a tempo- rary recruiting dead period that will remain in effect until April 15. "The council leadership put in place an immediate ban on in-person recruiting for Division I coaches," the NCAA said in a statement. "Ad- ditionally, the group advised schools to suspend any official and unofficial visits to campus from prospective student-athletes. "This recruiting dead period will be in place until at least April 15, at which time the Division I Council Coordination Committee will eval- uate. Telephone calls and written correspondence are allowed during dead periods." April 15 happens to mark the be- ginning of the spring evaluation period, a crucial time for Michigan while its staff hits the road to evalu- ate prospects in person. It also marks the first wave of big official visits. If everything falls into place, Mich- igan will be able to get back on the right track at that time. For now, the sudden dead period is a blow. Rivals100 tight ends Moliki Mat- avao, Louis Hansen and Thomas Fi- done were all set to make unofficial visits before April 15, but will now have to reschedule. Michigan was trending in the right direction for Hansen and Fidone, and was look- ing to make a big impression on Mat- avao. Others like Rivals100 linebacker Junior Colson, Rivals250 offensive lineman David Davidkov, four-star defensive end Landyn Watson and elite 2022 linebacker Tyler Martin were also expected to make it to cam- pus before April 15. The cancellation of the Michigan spring football game also throws a wrench into the Wolverines' recruit- ing plans. The event is one of the biggest in terms of recruiting with several high-level prospects making their way to The Big House year in and year out. Overall, Michigan will have to re- set during the temporary dead pe- riod and find a way to rebuild mo- mentum once recruiting is allowed to pick back up. ELITE JUNIOR DAY BRINGS IN TOP RECRUITS Before the temporary dead period went into effect, Michigan had a number of top recruits on campus. U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh and company opened the doors for an elite junior day March 1. Perhaps the biggest headliner from Michigan's first spring junior day was four-star 2021 Beverly Hills (Mich.) Country day offensive line- man Caleb Tiernan. At 6-8 and 260 pounds, Tiernan is a tall, athletic tackle with a ton of potential. Michigan was in on Tiernan early on, and the Wolverines have hosted him for several visits since the begin- ning of last season. U-M appears to have the early advantage, but schools like Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State are involved. Fellow in-state offensive line pros- pect Raheem Anderson was also on campus for junior day. The 2021 Ri- vals250 center from Detroit Cass Tech has long been considered a Michigan lean. It still feels like the Wolverines are out in front, but they are taking a closer look at other options at the po- sition, including recent Notre Dame decommit Greg Crippen of Braden- ton (Fla.) IMG Academy. Sticking with in-state offensive line recruits, three-star 2021 Belleville (Mich.) High product Ramier Lewis was on hand for the junior day as well. Michigan offered early, and the 6-7, 330-pounder is certainly an in- triguing specimen. However, Lewis is a prospect the Wolverines will likely continue to investigate during the spring evaluation period. Chicago Marist offensive lineman Pat Coogan rounded out the offen- sive line group. The three-star 2021 prospect is listed as a tackle, but proj- ects as an interior offensive lineman at the next level. Coogan is a guy the staff is liking more and more. Michigan also hosted three-star 2021 Brentwood (Tenn.) High cor- nerback John Howse, who is quickly rising up the recruiting board. The Wolverines offered during the con- tact period and are in a strong po- sition early on. Howse visited Ann Arbor last summer and has a lot of family in Michigan. He also has a cousin that is currently a student at U-M. If the Wolverines push hard, they can certainly land him. There was no shortage of talent in   MICHIGAN RECRUITING Coronavirus Halts Recruiting Efforts 2021 tight end Thomas Fidone — who is ranked as the nation's No. 3 tight end and No. 60 overall recruit by — was set to make an unofficial visit to Michigan, but it had to be postponed due to coronavirus. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM 2021 Michigan Commitment List Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Giovanni El-Hadi OT 6-6 285 Sterling Heights, Mich. (Stevenson) J.J. McCarthy QB 6-2 180 La Grange Park, Ill. (Nazareth Academy) 2022 Michigan Commitment List Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Myles Rowser DB 5-11 170 Detroit (IMG Academy [Fla.]) Alex VanSumeren DT 6-2 260 Essexville, Mich. (Garber)

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