The Wolverine

March 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 53 of 213

M ichigan's coaching staff is not shy when it comes to recruiting players committed to other schools — and they're wary of other schools doing the same to their own pledges. Recruiting never ends, and in today's atmosphere, that includes players have made a pledge to another school. The Wolverines lost one commit- ment during the course of the recruit- ing process, when they parted ways with Chicago Hales Franciscan offen- sive lineman Denzel Ward in Janu- ary 2013. Ward ultimately transferred to Chicago Simeon High School and ended up signing with Syracuse on National Signing Day. While they did lose that pledge through a mutual parting, Michigan more than made up for it by luring prospects who were committed to other programs. In fact, three members of the class of 2014 flipped to Michigan after previously being committed to Michigan's top Big Ten East rivals. Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian wide receiver Drake Harris made a commitment to Michigan State prior to his junior season of high school foot- ball. He had initially planned to play both basketball and football in East Lansing, but when he chose to focus his athletic career on the gridiron, the choice was clear: Michigan. He pulled the trigger April 14 after attending the U-M spring game. "It just seemed like the perfect place," Harris said. "I love the guys that are there already, and also the coaching staff is just tremendous. I couldn't ask for anything better." Southfield (Mich.) High defensive end Lawrence Marshall didn't have quite the lengthy commitment to his first choice that Harris did, but he also made the switch from one of Michi- gan's biggest rivals — in this case Ohio State — to become a Wolverine. He   MICHIGAN RECRUITING Recruiting To The Bell Wide receiver Drake Harris of Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian initially committed to Michigan State prior to his junior campaign, but ended up switching his pledge to U-M last April. PHOTO BY TIM SULLIVAN

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