The Wolverine

2022 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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THE WOLVERINE 2022 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 155 FOOTBALL RECRUITING so Michigan's prestigious academics are at- tractive. Harbor is waiting until the fall to make his official visits. U-M will have to fend off schools like Georgia, LSU and USC. DB Javien Toviano Arlington (Texas) Martin Michigan offered Toviano (6-1, 185) early in the process and didn't create much move- ment. However, Michigan co- defensive coordinator Steve Clinkscale has been quietly working hard in this recruit- ment and has the Wolverines firmly in the mix. In fact, the No. 28 overall player and No. 3 safety in the land per the On3 Consensus is set to make his first visit to Michigan in June. While Toviano is listed as a safety, the Wol- verines are recruiting him as more of a big corner. Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M are considered the favorites here, but Michigan definitely has a puncher's chance. ATH Aaron Gates Sharpsburg (Ga.) Trinity Christian Gates (6-0, 180) has been committed to Florida for about a year, but Michigan is in a prime spot to flip him. U-M hosted him for an unof- ficial visit during its spring game and impressed Gates on his official visit over the sum- mer. He loves what Michigan offers on and off the field, and the Wolverines have made him the top priority at the nickel position. U-M co-defensive coordinator Steve Clink- scale has built a terrific bond with Gates and has been recruiting him since his time on staff at Kentucky. On3 rates Gate as a four-star and the No. 13 athlete in the country. ATH Jacobe Johnson Mustang (Okla.) High Michigan pulled Dax Hill out of the Sooner State a few cycles ago and is looking to do the same with Johnson (6- 3, 185). Ranked by On3 as the nation's top athlete and No. 40 prospect overall, Johnson was set to make his official visit to Michigan in June. He has grown more interested in the program during the last several months. Johnson is being recruited as a defensive back but can play wide receiver. He also hap- pens to be a Division I level basketball player, and the U-M hoops staff will be involved on his visit. Oklahoma has momentum, but there is still plenty of optimism around Ann Arbor. ❏ Michigan is still working to fill out a relatively small 2023 recruiting class. However, the Wolverines are already getting a jumpstart on high-level prospects for the next cycle. U-M does not hold any early 2024 commitments, but it is in a strong position for several elite targets. Here is a look at five key prospects to keep an eye on in the class of 2024. QB JADYN DAVIS, CHARLOTTE (N.C.) PROVIDENCE DAY Michigan is doing everything possible to land five-star quarterback Dante Moore in the 2023 cycle, but the Wolverines are already hard at work on Davis (6-1, 190). Ranked as the No. 6 overall prospect in the country per the On3 Consensus, Davis is an elite signal-caller with offers from Michigan, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M and a slew of other major programs. The Wolverines hosted Davis for an unofficial visit in June and they made a huge splash. In fact, Davis is trending in the right direction for Michigan early. He values NFL experience and loves the résumés of head coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss. Davis was also impressed with the campus and environment on his first trip to Ann Arbor. WR RYAN PELLUM, LONG BEACH (CALIF.) MILLIKAN Michigan is in the mix for several high-end wide receivers in the 2024 recruiting class, and the best of the bunch may be Pellum. At 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, Pellum is a versatile prospect that can do damage in the slot or split out wide. The No. 50 overall and No. 7 wide receiver nationally per On3 has elite speed and can get vertical in a hurry. He's also a tactical route runner and was a step ahead of the top defensive backs in the Midwest at the Under Armour camp in Ohio. Pellum visited Michigan for a spring practice back in April with his older brother, Romeo Pellum, who serves as Millikan's head coach. They plan to return for a game in Ann Arbor this fall. Oregon, Ohio State and Texas A&M are a few other early contenders. DL JUSTIN SCOTT, CHICAGO ST. IGNATIUS A five-star prospect, Scott has quickly blossomed into one of the country's premier defensive linemen. The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder is a mountain of a prospect and has only been playing football full-time for two years. Needless to say, Scott has some of the biggest upside in his class. His meteoric rise on the recruiting trail — he's rated No. 3 overall and as the No. 1 defensive lineman in the nation by On3 — has only happened over the last few months, which means he's still green to the process. Scott has seen schools like Iowa and Wisconsin, but his recruiting visits have remained limited. First-year Michigan defensive line coach Mike Elston stopped by St. Ignatius to see Scott during the spring evaluation period, and the Wolverines are working hard to get him to Ann Arbor before the end of summer. LB AARON CHILES, OLNEY (MD.) GOOD COUNSEL Appropriately nicknamed "The Maryland Monster," Chiles is one of the most intimi- dating looking prospects in the 2024 recruiting class. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Chiles has a muscular, athletic frame and makes plays across the field from his traditional linebacker spot. He loves to smack ball carriers when playing the run but is also athletic enough to drop back into coverage. Chiles covers a ton of ground sideline-to-sideline, making him a perfect fit for Michigan's scheme. The rising junior is ranked as the No. 66 over- all player and No. 6 linebacker in the country per the On3 Consensus, and that likely will trend higher once ratings are updated later in the summer. U-M area recruiter Ron Bellamy traveled to the DMV to see Chiles in action during the spring evalua- tion period and is working to get him to campus soon. Chiles is very open with his recruitment early on. DB JACOB ODEN, HARPER WOODS (MICH.) HIGH A legacy recruit, Oden is the son of ex-Wolverine Rod Oden, who was a walk-on fullback for Michigan in the '90s. Rod is now the head coach at Harper Woods and has played a huge role in developing Jacob into one of the top defensive back recruits in the country for the next cycle. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Oden has the size and length of a corner but is a pure safety at the high school level. He isn't very speedy, but he does a fantastic job of dissecting plays and forcing turnovers. Oden is technically sound and well coached, which is no surprise given his background. Michigan is considered the early frontrunner in this recruitment, but Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State are all heavily involved as well. On3 rates Oden as the No. 171 player and No. 15 safety in the class of 2024. — EJ Holland Five Elite 2024 Michigan Targets

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