The Wolverine

February 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 43 of 67

44 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2021 BY EJ HOLLAND M ichigan just upgraded its coach- ing staff in a huge way. The Wolverines are bringing on Dallas Cowboys defensive backs coach Maurice Linguist as their new co-defensive coordinator. While Lin- guist is coming from the NFL, he was previously known as one of the best recruiters in college football. Linguist made waves at Minnesota before really making his mark on the trail at Texas A&M under head coach Jimbo Fisher. The Aggies' 2019 re- cruiting class was more than special, and Linguist led the way on several elite targets. In fact, Linguist pulled in a trio of composite top-100 defen- sive back prospects. "That's my guy," said Joey Moss, director of elite Dallas seven-on- seven program True Buzz and men- tor to two of Linguist's top 2019 sign- ees in four-star wide receiver Dylan Wright and four-star safety Demani Richardson. "I hold him in a really high regard as a man, not just as a coach. He does a really, really good job making his presence not just about football, but being more so a guy that goes beyond just recruiting. "From a position standpoint, he's got a lot of experience and knowl- edge. He did a great job at A&M and Minnesota. I also think his NFL expe- rience put him in an even more posi- tive light. I honestly think he's going to be a head coach one day." Top Houston-based trainer and Fast seven-on-seven coach Ro Simon — who has worked with high-level prospects like Michigan wide receiver signee Cristian Dixon and another of Linguist's big 2019 lands in four- star safety Leon O'Neal Jr. — added: "He knows how to build relation- ships with the people that he needs to, which is essential. He's going to bring a lot of energy and passion with recruiting. He's also going to bring at- tention to detail on the field. "I got on the board with him, and we worked technique. We talked skill sets and things like that. He's on the younger side and has been in the NFL. He's going to use all his experi- ence to help out Michigan." Simon hit the nail on the head. Lin- guist is a relationship builder. In the world of recruiting, knowing every- body from the family, to the high school head coach to the seven-on-seven coach to the personal trainer to the mentor is imperative to land top-tier talent. James Williams, who runs Pro Process Academy seven-on-seven in both Houston and Memphis, played a key role in the recruitment of five- star 2019 defensive back Erick Young. Linguist made building a relation- ship with not only Young but Wil- liams a major priority. "He asked Erick who the three most important people were in his life," Williams said. "He said I was one of them. [Linguist] said he had to build a relationship with me in order to have one with Erick. He didn't exclude anybody from that equa- tion. A lot of people look at people in the seven-on-seven and mentorship business as a certain type of person. He never judged me. He got to know me. Over everything, the relationship he had with me and Erick's mother ultimately made Erick go to A&M. "I actually went to visit him when he was with the Cowboys. He's a great person and a great dude. He's one of the best recruiters. He's genuine. He has a deep concern and care for play- ers. He's as excellent of a coach as he is a recruiter. That's hard to find." After a monster year in 2019, Lin- guist turned right around and reeled in five-star 2020 cornerback Jaylon Jones out of Cibolo (Texas) Steele. "He's one of the best," former Steele recruiting coordinator and cur- rent Hutto (Texas) High defensive coordinator Adam Harvey said. "We saw a lot of coaches come through during my time at Steele. I was fortu- nate to make a lot of contacts during my time there, and Mo Linguist is the cream of the crop. "He's one of those dudes that I can hang out with and talk ball. He's down to earth. He never made any- thing uncomfortable throughout the process. He's just a real guy. He was busy in the NFL, but we still stayed in touch. I have a friend in Mo Linguist." If you are a top defensive back in Texas, chances are you train with Christian White, a.k.a. Coach Flight. White worked with Michigan defen- sive backs Gemon Green and Ger- man Green, as well as the aforemen- tioned Jones, Richardson and Brian FOOTBALL RECRUITING New Co-Defensive Coordinator Maurice Linguist Is One Of The Best On The Recruiting Trail Prior to joining U-M's staff, Linguist was the Dallas Cowboys' defensive backs coach. PHOTO COURTESY MINNESOTA ATHLETICS

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