The Wolverine

June-July 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 86 of 157

  FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY TIM SULLIVAN M ichigan's coaches have put to- gether a solid start to the 2015 class, but there's plenty of work to be done. With a group that is expected to total 16-18 signees, they need to be wise in their talent evaluations and strong in their ability to sway the top choices to join them in Ann Arbor. Here's brief look at some of the prospects most likely to pledge to the Maize and Blue. Quarterback Commits: 1 Needs: 0 Coming into the recruiting cycle, landing a quarterback was of the utmost importance to the coach- ing staff, and they went out and got their man in Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice three-star Alex Malzone.'s No. 16 pro-style passer in the nation is a 6-2, 205-pounder who has led his high school team to back-to-back state championships. Malzone's commitment allows Michigan's coaches to move on to other positions — and to concentrate on the 2016 quarterback scene. Since that's one position where schools like to land a commit as early as possible in the process (to help recruit other players and to have stability there), his pledge is an even bigger boost. Running Back Commits: 0 Needs: 1-2 It looked like the Wolverines' run- ning back woes were solved early in the process when Berea (Ky.) Madi- son Southern five-star Damien Harris committed last August. However, he has decided to re-open his recruit- ment, and while Michigan is still in the mix, Kentucky and others will have their say as well. Damien Harris • Berea (Ky.) Madison Southern • 5-11, 205 Five-star,'s No. 1 running back and No. 4 overall player nationally Kentucky is in a strong position for Harris, but Michigan, Ohio State, Florida and Alabama are other con- tenders. If the Wildcats struggle in 2014, his recruitment should be wide open, and his comfort with Michigan could pay off for the Maize and Blue. He has a strong, stout build, but is more reliant on his agility and speed than pure power to succeed in high school. He's a true do-it-all back, also contributing in the receiving game. Jacques Patrick • Orlando (Fla.) Tim- ber Creek • 6-2, 232 Four-star, No. 4 running back and No. 42 overall player nationally Patrick has offers from just about every program in the country, but family connections to the Detroit area are a boost for U-M. He's plan- ning to take his time with a decision, and Florida State leads U-M, Florida, Ohio State, Alabama and others. His size is second to none at the posi-   FOOTBALL RECRUITING The Class Of 2015 Hotboard

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