The Wolverine

March 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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  PREP PROFILES MARCH 2022 THE WOLVERINE 79 Roswell (Ga.) High four-star corner- back Ethan Nation is one of the most highly pursued juniors in the country, holding 50 offers and counting to date. Michigan is among the top schools standing out from his extensive offer list, and though he's yet to visit, he's intrigued by the program Jim Harbaugh is building in Ann Arbor. "Just the culture," he said of what stands out about the Wolverines. "Coach Harbaugh and what he's doing right there at Michigan, I just love it. I can't wait to get up there." Nation has built a great relationship with Michigan defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale, even going as far to say that his relationship with Clinkscale is the best he has with any coach in the country. "He's like a father figure to be honest with you," he said. "I talk to him almost every day. And I can talk to him about anything besides football." Nation hasn't had much communica- tion with anyone else on the U-M staff, but added that he hopes to build a rela- tionship with Harbaugh and the rest of the coaches when he visits. He admitted he was worried about Harbaugh potentially leaving for the NFL, especially during his interview process with Minnesota. Now that Har- baugh's officially staying, Nation said he hopes the coach sticks at Michigan for the foreseeable future. "I'm actually glad he is staying," he said. "Hopefully he'll stay for my col- lege seasons too if I end up going there. But I was kind of worried." Nation is eying his first visit to Ann Arbor in the spring, which will be an unofficial visit, and is already in the process of scheduling an official trip to Michigan in the summer. Outside of Michigan, Ole Miss, Or- egon, USC, Texas A&M, Michigan State, Georgia and Clemson are among the schools standing out to him that he hopes to visit in the coming months. He's looking to make all five of his of- ficial visits in the summer, with Michi- gan expected to receive one, and plans to announce his commitment ahead of his senior season. He hopes to major in business in college and is looking for the school that best sets him up for life out- side of football, an area in which Michi- gan especially stands out. Nation ranks as the No. 216 prospect in the On3 Consensus, a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that utilizes all four major re- cruiting media companies. He ranks as the No. 25 cornerback nationally and No. 20 prospect from Georgia. Nation currently has an NIL valua- tion of $21,000 as of early February. The NIL valuation does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals an athlete has completed to date. It rather signifies an athlete's value at a certain moment in time. — Tim Verghese In the 2022 cycle, Michigan defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale and then- safeties coach Ron Bellamy flexed their muscles on the recruiting trail, putting together a loaded six-man defensive back class that included five-star legacy Will Johnson and high four-star safety Keon Sabb out of IMG Academy. In this cycle, Clinkscale is aiming even higher, leading the charge for Cormani McClain, the No. 1 cornerback in the na- tion out of Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson. For McClain, who ranks as the No. 3 player in the country in the On3 Consen- sus and is a five-star+ recruit — meaning he boasts a consensus five-star rating from all four major services — Michigan only emerged in his recruitment recently as a top school, but he's always had love for the Wolverines. "I've liked Michigan since I was little," he said. "So Michigan really stands out. I really hope to build a relationship with the coaches and take a trip out there." Clinkscale checks in on McClain every morning, and the two have forged a good relationship. McClain added that Clink- scale has been in contact for some time now, but the conversations between the two started heating up in recent months. McClain is planning his first-ever visit to Michigan this spring amid a national tour that includes stops at Alabama, Mi- ami, Florida and Ohio State. The visit will be all about relationship building with the rest of the Michigan staff and meeting Clinkscale in person. "From the first visit, build some re- lationships" he said of his goals for the trip. "Second, I'm just trying to see some different environments." McClain plans to announce his com- mitment midway through his senior sea- son, but could opt to push his decision until National Signing Day or even until the Under Armour All-American Game. This offseason, McClain is playing for South Florida Express on the 7-on-7 cir- cuit. He dominated in his debut at the Jan. 22-23 Battle Miami tournament, not allowing a single catch all weekend. Mc- Clain sees 7-on-7 as an opportunity to sharpen his technique. "7-on-7 is just straight technique, so that's what I'm really working on," he said. "Better technique and learning the game more." In addition to 7-on-7, McClain will also be competing in track, but sticks to primarily field events. He's focused on adding more to his game and preparing for a statement senior season. In addition to his consensus rank- ing, McClain is listed as the No. 3 over- all prospect and No. 1 cornerback in the On300. He holds an NIL valuation of $36,000. — Tim Verghese Michigan In The Mix For 2023 Four-Star Georgia Cornerback Michigan Emerging As Contender For Five-Star+ Cornerback ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Roswell High School Roswell, Ga. Class: 2023 Position: Cornerback Ht.: 5-11 • Wt.: 162 On3 Consensus Rankings: No. 216 prospect and the No. 25 cornerback nationally. Ethan Nation ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ + Lake Gibson High School Lakeland, Fla. Class: 2023 Position: Corrnerback Ht.: 6-1 • Wt.: 165 On3 Consensus Rankings: No. 3 pros- pect and No. 1 cornerback nationally. Cormani McClain

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