The Wolverine

November 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 56 of 75

NOVEMBER 2021 THE WOLVERINE 57 BY EJ HOLLAND T here was plenty of change at Michi- gan this offseason. Not only did head coach Jim Har- baugh shuffle around his coaching staff, he also completely overhauled his re- cruiting department. What was once an archaic structure has now turned into a well-oiled machine that rivals other blue-blood programs thanks to several key hires. New director of player personnel Courtney Morgan has racked up plenty of headlines for the job he's doing help- ing the Wolverines land top prospects out West. And rightfully so. However, from a behind-the-scenes perspective, new director of on-campus recruiting Christina DeRuyter is the en- gine powering the entire operation. DeRuyter, who was hired away from Vanderbilt this offseason, is responsi- ble for organizing Michigan's recruiting efforts, providing hospitality to pros- pects and parents during visits, planning travel, tours, meetings and much more. Simply put, DeRuyter wears many hats and is already making a big impact with recruits and their families. Just ask Deon Johnson, an ex-Wolverine and father of five-star Michigan commit Will John- son. "Christina has done a great job from day one," Deon said. "She does a really good job of making all the recruits and their families feel comfortable while they're on campus. I like the way she communicates with you prior to you coming on your visit. William and I have been to Ann Arbor a few times, and each time we leave more impressed with how Christina and her staff made us feel like he made the right decision. "You can tell she takes pride in her job and loves what she does for Michigan football. I think Michigan did a great job with hiring her for such an important role in the recruiting department." DeRuyter truly shined earlier this month when she helped put together the biggest recruiting weekend of the Har- baugh era. Several five-star prospects, top 2022 targets, commits and elite un- derclassmen flocked to Ann Arbor to watch Michigan take on Washington in a marquee matchup at The Big House. The weekend was a resounding suc- cess and helped Michigan position itself to close with some big fish this cycle and beyond. Ryan Clary, director of player per- sonnel for FSP, one of the top training and club 7-on-7 programs in the Pacific Northwest, flew in from Seattle along with a trio of prospects with Michigan offers in hand. DeRuyter made them feel right at home. "She's extremely professional," Clary said. "She's extremely outgoing. She's really bubbly. I think she did a great job of making everyone feel comfortable and at home. If anyone needed anything, you could hear her running around making sure it got done. Bravo to her." The aforementioned Johnson is the leader of Michigan's 2022 recruiting class and also had high praise for De- Ruyter following the monster weekend. "I give a big shoutout to Christina for sure," he said. "She's amazing. She has so much on her plate, but she always has bright smiles and is giving out great en- ergy to everybody. She brings everything together. She and Courtney Morgan do a great job and put on a great weekend for the recruits." Prior to her short stint at Vanderbilt, DeRuyter worked at Texas Tech during the 2019 and 2020 seasons, overseeing the on-campus recruiting efforts for the program. DeRuyter was in a recruiting role at the University of Arizona during the 2018 season, following her time as an events intern with the NFL Players Association.   MICHIGAN RECRUITING On-Campus Recruiting Director Christina DeRuyter Is Proving To Be A Great Hire DeRuyter has made a big impact since being hired at Michigan in May, leading the Wolverines' on-campus recruiting efforts. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETICS 2022 Michigan Commitment List Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Aaron Alexander LB 6-1 204 Belleville, Mich. (Belleville) Jayden Denegal QB 6-4 215 Apple Valley, Calif. (Apple Valley) Damani Dent S 6-1 179 Jacksonville, Fla. (Terry Parker) Mason Graham DT 6-3 292 Anaheim, Calif. (Servite) Kenneth Grant DT 6-5 340 Merrillville, Ind. (Merrillville) Kevonte Henry DE 6-4 208 Lawndale, Calif. (Leuzinger) Will Johnson DB 6-2 182 Grosse Pointe, Mich. (Grosse Pointe South) Connor Jones OL 6-7 285 Monument, Colo. (Palmer Ridge) Kody Jones DB 6-0 180 Germantown, Tenn. (Germantown) Marlin Klein TE 6-6 215 Rabun Gap, Ga. (Nacoochee) Alessandro Lorenzetti OL 6-6 275 Windsor, Conn. (Loomis Chaffee School) Colston Loveland TE 6-5 230 Gooding, Idaho (Gooding) Tyler Morris WR 6-0 175 La Grange, Ill. (Nazareth Academy) Micah Pollard LB 6-3 200 Jacksonville, Fla. (Bartram Trail) Myles Pollard DB 6-2 180 Brentwood, Tenn. (Ravenwood) Deuce Spurlock LB 6-2 220 Huntsville, Ala. (Madison Academy) CJ Stokes RB 5-10 188 Columbia, S.C. (Hammond School)

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - November 2021