The Wolverine

June-July 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JUNE/JULY 2021 THE WOLVERINE 51 BY EJ HOLLAND W ith June official visits right around the corner, things are really starting to heat up for Michi- gan on the recruiting trail. The Wolverines are coming off a huge recruiting win, landing Rivals100 wide receiver Tyler Morris, and have an opportunity to close the door with several top targets that are slated to be in Ann Arbor in the coming weeks. As recruiting takes center stage, it's the perfect time to take a closer look at prospects Michigan is trending up with as well as some the Wolverines are trending down with. (All rank- ings are from TRENDING UP QB NATE JOHNSON Clovis (Calif.) High Michigan has made Johnson its top overall priority at the quarterback position and currently has the lead in his recruitment. In fact, he is the only active quarterback target in the 2022 class. New Michigan quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss speaks to Johnson on a weekly basis and has compared him to Baltimore Ravens signal-caller Lamar Jackson, who Weiss worked with last year. A three-star prospect, Johnson needs development as a passer, but he is a dynamite playmaker with his legs. The 6-2, 182-pounder runs a verified 4.48 40 and a 10.5 in the 100 meters. RB CJ STOKES Columbia (S.C.) Hammond South Carolina was considered the early favorite to keep Stokes, the No. 16 running back nation- ally, at home, but it looks like the Gamecocks have a few other backs higher on their board at this time. That means the door is wide open for Michigan with the 5-10, 190-pounder. The three-star prospect has had some great conversations with new Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart, and as of today the Wolverines are set to host him for his last June official visit. Missouri and Vanderbilt are the other two programs that have locked in officials, while West Vir- ginia is working to get him on cam- pus as well. U-M's chances greatly improve if South Carolina continues to keep him on the back burner. WR CJ SMITH Orlando (Fla.) Bishop Moore Arkansas and South Carolina will get Smith on campus for his first two June official visits, but Michigan is be- coming a more appealing option for the three-star pass catcher. The Wolver- ines are set to bring him in for an offi- cial visit on June 18 and have a chance to build even more momentum. The 6-3, 180-pounder has blazing track times (10.3 wind-aided time in the 100 meters) and would be an ideal fit in Josh Gattis' "speed in space" offense. Gattis is making Smith one of his top overall priorities at the position, and Smith knows he could thrive in the system. Home-state Flor- ida is also involved and will host him for a June official visit as well. WR MARQUARIUS WHITE Pinson (Ala.) Clay Michigan is looking to make its mark in the state of Alabama and has quickly blossomed into a major player for the 5-11, 165-pound White. The three-star prospect recently named Michigan a top school and has an official visit scheduled for June 25. U-M analyst Aashon Larkins has been putting in some major work here, and the Wolverines have a legit chance to pull him from the south. Tennessee and Virginia Tech are also set to host him for official visits, while Florida State offered recently and could shake up his recruitment. DT JORDAN PHILLIPS Orlando (Fla.) Ocoee Michigan is looking to add several defensive tackles this cycle and has been making a hard push for Phillips. U-M defensive line coach Shaun Nua identified the 6-4, 295-pounder early and has kept in constant communi- cation with him over the last several months. Phillips, the No. 40 defensive tackle nationally, took a self-guided tour of Michigan in early May and is set to be back for an official visit in June. U-M has the lead at this time but will have to fend off hometown UCF, which is also set to get him in for an official visit next month. Mississippi State recently offered and is a dark horse. DE BEAU ATKINSON Raleigh (N.C.) Leesville Road Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has been personally involved in this recruitment, and the 6-6, 238-pound FOOTBALL RECRUITING Michigan Recruiting Stock Report Clovis (Calif.) High three-star Nate Johnson is Michigan's only active quarterback target in the 2022 class and has verified speed that has drawn comparisons to Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson. PHOTO VIA TWITTER

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