The Wolverine

September 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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SEPTEMBER 2020 THE WOLVERINE 35 BY EJ HOLLAND T here will be no football in Ann Arbor this fall. The Big Ten voted to cancel the sea- son, which could have huge ramifica- tions for everyone involved around the program, including Michigan's 2021 recruiting class. With other conferences like the ACC, Big 12 and SEC set to resume business as usual, there have been legitimate concerns about the class. Perhaps the biggest question asked is, will everyone in the group stick to their verbal pledges? "That was tough to see, especially because I felt like the players and coaches advocating to play had some great arguments in their favor," tight end pledge Louis Hansen said. "It'll be tough for me and the rest of the Michigan recruiting class, too, be- cause a lot of us haven't experienced a Michigan game in person, which was something we were all looking forward to doing together. "And most of my family hasn't been able to make it out for a visit." Hansen has a point. While he had a chance to see Michigan during The Big House BBQ last summer, a lot of Wolverine commits have never been to cam- pus, including guys like California wide receivers Xavier Worthy and Cristian Dixon, New England line- backer Casey Phinney, and Florida linebacker Jaydon Hood and corner- back Ja'Den McBurrows. Others like three-star Connecticut offensive tackle Tristan Bounds and three-star Ohio safety Rod Moore have only been to Michigan for self- guided tours during the dead period. The lack of visits could cause out- of-state commits to stay closer to home. However, Hansen noted that the Michigan pledges remain solid. "Our group chat is awesome," he said. "From what I've seen, everyone is 100 percent locked in and ready to go. We have plans for things we're going to do when we get there. There are a few kids that haven't seen cam- pus yet. I love the class and hope everyone stays. "It will just be interesting to see what those guys do if they don't get to visit at all. But I haven't heard any- thing like that in our group chat. It seems like everyone is locked in." The aforementioned Worthy was adamant that his commitment status has remained unchanged despite the Big Ten's decision. "It sucks, but I'm all Michigan," the three-star prospect said. "Noth- ing is changing." Bounds shared similar sentiments. "It doesn't affect my recruitment at all," he said. "But as for my thoughts, the season should be played in the fall." Perhaps Rivals100 Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy quarterback J.J. Mc- Carthy — arguably the leader of Michigan's 2021 recruiting class, in addition to be the highest-ranked re- cruit, checking at No. 33 nationally — put it best. "It's 2020, so it wasn't something that blew my mind," McCarthy said. "This is out of everyone's control, and we, as well as Michigan, are tak- ing it one day at a time. I feel for the senior college football players, but we all know tough times never last but tough people do. "This will unite college football and in the future years, college foot- ball will be even more appreciated." COMMITS HAVE SENIOR SEASONS CANCELED Michigan will not be playing foot- ball this fall and neither will some of its commits. The status of high school football in America varies from state to state and is still very much up in the air. A number of states have already can- celed for the fall and are exploring spring options, including California. The Golden State is home to a pair of wide receiver commits in Fresno Central three-star Xavier Worthy and Santa Ana Mater Dei four-star Cristian Dixon, the nation's No. 175 overall prospect. Both have decided to forego their senior seasons and will not play in the spring. In fact, Worthy and Dixon are hard at work in virtual classrooms and plan to enroll early at Michigan. If the Wolverines have a spring season, they would be eligible to play right away as the rule stands right now. Worthy, the No. 47-ranked recruit in the state of California, commit- ted to Michigan in July and was one of the nation's hottest prospects this summer, earning several major of- fers. He recorded 54 receptions for 992 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior.   MICHIGAN RECRUITING Commits React To Canceled Season Four-star tight end Louis Hansen, who is ranked as the nation's No. 68 overall prospect, noted that all of the Michigan commits are in a group text, and he feels his fellow pledges are "locked in" for U-M despite the Big Ten choosing to not attempt a football season this fall. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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