The Wolverine

Sept 2023

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 46 of 67

SEPTEMBER 2023 ❱ THE WOLVERINE 47 ❱ MICHIGAN RECRUITING NOTEBOOK [Woodson] had when he was at Michigan. I kept listening." Like Brady Prieskorn, Oden appreci- ated the opportunity to reconnect with the other U-M pledges. "It was great seeing those guys again," Oden said. "We were able to hang out and see what's going on with each other. I've gotten really close with Blake [Fra- zier]. I got to meet him on the official visit, and we've been really cool from the jump. We're both legacies, so we got tight through that. "All of the Ohio guys, too. And I'm re- ally close with I'Marion [Stewart]. We have clicked really well because we used to play against each other in little league in regional championships. We've gone up against each other in seven-on-seven, too. We've known each other for a while." Oden's cousin and teammate, 2027 Harper Woods High athlete Dakota Guer- rant, who was offered in May, also made the short drive that weekend. "It was great to have him there," Oden said. "That was his first time actually be- ing there as a recruit on a visit. I wanted to show him around and tell him how it is while actually being a recruit. I've been making it clear about the stuff that he should do as a young guy. … The little stuff to get him prepared." A number of in-state underclassman targets, including Guerrant and 2025 three-star defensive back Elijah Dotson from Detroit Jesuit, hung around Oden at the barbecue to get his perspective on the process. "They're always coming up to me and asking questions about the process and what's different about Michigan," Oden said. "Or asking why I committed and how I went about doing it. I make sure that I'm there for them to answer any questions." Co-defensive coordinator Steve Clink- scale, safeties coach Jay Harbaugh, as well as strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert were with Oden the entire week- end. "They're my guys," Oden said. "I had a really good time with them. My favorite part was getting to work out with Coach Herb. That was legit. It was only 10 min- utes but we could actually feel how it's going to be. He was teaching us how to be safe and be productive in the weight room." Oden plans to attend each of U-M's home games this season and enroll early in January 2024. At 6-0.5, 185 pounds, Oden is listed as the No. 206 overall prospect and No. 17 safety in the country, according to the On3 Industry Ranking. — Zach Libby DOMINIC NICHOLS' COACH COMPARES HIM FAVORABLY TO DAVID OJABO One week after Devon Baxter's com- mitment, Michigan added another tal- ented player to the edge room. The Wolverines dipped into Maryland and came away with a June 25 commit- ment from four-star Ijamsville (Md.) Oakdale prospect Dominic Nichols, who is ranked as the No. 45 defensive lineman, per the On3 Industry Ranking. He picked the Wolverines over of- fers from Clemson, Georgia, Penn State, South Carolina, Wisconsin and others. Nichols is coming off a big junior sea- son and helped Oakdale reach the Class 3A semifinals last fall. "He's one of the highest recruited play- ers we've had," Oakdale head coach Kurt Stein said. "We've had a lot of Division I players, but not somebody with the cali- ber of offers he has. "He's the heart of our defense, and we're going to be counting on him a lot if we want to make a trip to the state cham- pionship. He's in a spot where he plays both ways a lot, so there is some wear and tear. We want to try to find a way for him to take some more breaks, so he can play to his full potential. "We don't want him to take plays off here and there because he's tired. We want him to be an every-down, 100 miles per hour guy. If that's the case, offenses are going to have a tough time." As Stein mentioned, Nichols was a two-way star for Oakdale last season. His athleticism was on full display when he lined up at wide receiver and tight end. But it's no secret that Nichols has the tools to be a premier pass rusher at the next level. Nichols has added around 10-15 pounds to his frame this offseason and is expected to slide into the bigger edge role for Michigan. "His length, his size and his athleticism are some of his biggest strengths," Stein Harper Woods (Mich.) High's Jacob Oden is listed as the No. 206 overall prospect and No. 17 safety in the country, according to the On3 Industry Ranking. PHOTO BY ZACH LIBBY

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