The Wolverine

February 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2021 THE WOLVERINE 45   FOOTBALL RECRUITING Williams, yet another big, top-100 2019 signee for Linguist and A&M. Needless to say, Linguist made a strong impression on White as well. "He's a very good recruiter," White said. "A lot of people really relate to him. He tells them the right thing and shows them a good time while they're on campus. I heard great things about him as far as coaching. Michigan got a really good recruiter. He's very en- ergetic, and he's going to bring some swag to that secondary." Justin Owens, who runs Coach O Recruit- ing and coaches Texas F l e x s e v e n - o n - s e v e n alongside White, is one of the first people a coach should contact if he wants to truly make a recruiting imprint in Dallas. And yes, Linguist and Owens go back years. "He's a hell of a recruiter," Owens said. "He's really personable as far as recruiting kids. He gets to know the kid. He's not just a fan of kids. He played a big part with [2021 Rivals250 cornerback and eventual A&M signee] Deuce Harmon before he left. If he was at A&M, [2021 Rivals250 cornerback] Ishmael Ibraheem prob- ably would have went to A&M. "He's a guy that continues to coach on and off the field. He's one of the elite guys. He's really relatable. Kids flock to him. He'll be successful at Michigan. With him, they'll for sure get some kids down here." Winning over kids in the Lone Star State should be no issue for Linguist. W h i l e M i c h i g a n ' s location isn't geo- graphically friendly for prospects in the South, Linguist is a native of Mesquite, Texas, in the Dallas area and played his college ball at Baylor. He knows people in the Lone Star State inside and out. Along with Texas A&M, Linguist also has coaching experi- ence at Valdosta State in Georgia and re- cruited in the South, with a strong empha- sis on Texas, during his stops at Minne- sota, Iowa State and Mississippi State. "It's not just Dallas," Moss said. "I think he can get all of Texas in the recruiting pipeline. He does a good job with the Dallas players because it's home. But even when he was at A&M, he didn't just focus on Dallas. He kept the in-state guys at home. "I also believe with how good he is and his reputation, I think he has the ability to go out and land some of the top defenders in the nation. He makes Michigan an attractive situ- ation. That's the best thing Michi- gan could have done in an area that needed the most work." Simon shared similar sentiments. "One-hundred percent he can," Si- mon added. "He's got ties to Dallas all the way out to Houston. He's a guy that can go into a room and not necessarily sell but pitch a case for them to go up to Michigan." While winning has played a big role, Ohio State been a nuisance for Southern schools in the state of Texas. The Buckeyes have plucked major talent from Texas, including NFL players like Baltimore Ravens run- ning back J.K. Dobbins and Detroit Lions cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, who were second- and first-round draft picks, respectively. Over the last few cycles, the Buck- eyes have also stolen elite, top-50 prospects like linebacker Baron Browning, wide receiver Garrett Wil- son and five-star 2022 quarterback commit Quinn Ewers, his class' No. 1 overall recruit who flipped from the University of Texas. Harvey believes Michigan is ca- pable of doing the same. "It wouldn't shock me in the least," Harvey said. "He's got Dallas ties, obviously. When he came back when Jimbo got the job at A&M, he attacked it hard. The way that he recruits, it's top notch. It's just relationships, really. "I'm a [Texas Tech] Red Raider. I sent kids to Texas, Baylor, SMU, Oklahoma State and then Jaylon to stinking A&M. It was always about best fit. When I met Linguist, I was like, 'This cat is the real deal.' "Ohio State has done it with Gar- rett Wilson and Quinn Ewers. Coach Linguist is a great hire for kids that are starting to give the Midwest, spe- cifically, the Big Ten. It's a great hire for Michigan. He's someone that can come down and recruit out this way." Linguist provides that missing tie to the South that Michigan needs to have success down in that region. "That's the thing the kids need from up North schools," White said. "They're hesitant because they don't know the people and aren't hearing the right things. But as you've seen with the Green twins, if you can get the right guys in place, they can defi- nitely pull it off." And kids in the South are already buzzing about the hire. "As soon as I found out he got the job, [four-star 2022 Mem- phis safety] Kody Jones texted me that he really liked Michi- gan now," Williams said. "There you go. I have several top- flight guys. They'll entertain the idea of going up there to Michigan if [Linguist] is there. I trust him with any players that I work with." ❏ Pro Process Academy seven-on-seven coach James Williams on Linguist "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 players. He's as excellent of a coach as he is a recruiter. That's hard to find." Linguist has made a name for himself as a top-level recruiter in the state of Texas dur- ing his time at Texas A&M, Minnesota, Mississippi State and Iowa State, among other stops. PHOTO COURTESY MINNESOTA ATHLETICS

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