The Wolverine

May 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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50 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2022   MICHIGAN RECRUITING NEXT MAN UP Michigan is coming off another key win on the recruiting trail. The Wolverines landed a verbal pledge from three-star Kennesaw (Ga.) North Cobb running back Benjamin Hall in late March. Benjamin is part of a six-man 2023 recruiting class that ranked 18th nationally in the On3 Con- sensus as of April 18. But of course, Michigan fans are al- ready thinking about the next man up. These are four potential 2023 can- didates that could jump on board and continue to build the momentum: TE Deakon Tonielli, Oswego (Ill.) High — A four-star prospect, Toni- elli, the No. 16 tight end nationally, per On3, made a couple of visits to Michi- gan last year and was back on campus in March for yet for another unoffi- cial visit. Tonielli spent time with new tight ends coach Grant Newsome and really enjoyed his stay in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines recently lost a pledge from four-star tight end Andrew Rap- pleyea, so filling that void is a must. If Michigan makes a strong push for a commitment, he could be Newsome's first land as a full-time assistant. At 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, Tonielli is a plus basketball player with an athletic frame. He's spent most of his time split out wide at the high school level but can add plenty of weight to play more of an in-line role. T E K a d e E l d r i d g e , L y n d e n (Wash.) Christian — Last month, Michigan hosted Eldridge, a fast-rising prospect out of the Pacific Northwest, and extended an offer before his flight back home. Eldridge had a terrific time in Ann Arbor and bonded well with Newsome. Eldridge works with trainer Marcus Griffin through Ford Sports Perfor- mance in the Seattle area, which is a plus for U-M. New Michigan direc- tor of recruiting operations Albert Karschnia recruited Griffin to Central Michigan, and the two have a close friendship that should help in this re- cruitment. At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Eldridge has played mostly defensive end at the high school level and is considered a project. However, his ceiling is sky high. DL Devan Houstan, Hagerstown (Md.) St. James — Houstan is the younger brother of Michigan basket- ball player Caleb Houstan and recently made an unofficial visit. While it's un- clear if Caleb will stay at U-M for an- other year, Devan is definitely intrigued by the idea of joining his older brother in Ann Arbor. The On300 prospect loves what Michigan can offer on and off the field, and is quickly building a strong relationship with new defensive line coach Mike Elston. Notre Dame and Penn State are also big factors in his recruitment, but Houstan's family tie should help the Wolverines here. The No. 30 defensive lineman and No. 209 overall prospect nationally in the On3 Consensus, Houstan checks in at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds and would be an ideal add as a three-technique. He also is a super athlete thanks to his background as a professional dancer. DB Jyaire Hill, Kankakee (Ill.) High — An On300 recruit, Hill is one of the hottest prospects in the Mid- west, earning several major offers over the last few months. Michigan hosted him for an unofficial visit in the winter and made a huge impression on him, and recently got him back on campus. Hill has a strong relationship with U-M wide receivers coach Ron Bellamy and is in constant contact with new safeties coach Jay Harbaugh. Notre Dame and Penn State are also factors here, but U-M is in a great spot. At 6-foot-3, 180 pounds, Hill is a versatile prospect in the secondary who can play cornerback or safety at the next level. He is a true speedster who earned USATF All-America hon- ors in the 2021 Junior Olympics for his club's 4x400 (second place) and 4x100-meter (third) relay squads. Hill, who is ranked as the No. 9 athlete and No. 257 overall prospect nationally, per On3, is also a danger- ous offensive weapon and helped lead Kankakee to a state title appearance while playing Wildcat quarterback, running back and wide receiver. ON3 TEAM CONSENSUS SHIFTS Michigan's six-man 2023 recruiting class had been ranked as high as No. 8 in the On3 Consensus as of April 12, but as frequently happens, these early team rankings can shift quickly based on key individual commitments. By April 19, the Wolverines had slipped to No. 17 in the On3 Consensus. The big- gest movements were highlighted by three teams that moved into the top 10 — No. 4 Alabama, No. 8 LSU and No. 10 Clemson. In addition, Tennessee jumped up to No. 11 with two three-star commit- ments between April 11-15. None of the recent commits for these four teams were Michigan targets. — Mark Panus On The Web For regular reports on Michigan football recruiting plus videos of U-M commitments and targets visit Devan Houstan, a 6-5, 270-pound defensive lineman from Hagerstown (Md.) St. James, is the younger brother of U-M basketball player Caleb Houstan and also is being pur- sued by Notre Dame and Penn State. PHOTO BY MIKE SINGER

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