The Wolverine

September 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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SEPTEMBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 61   FOOTBALL RECRUITING tackle Ja'Raymond Hall did not make it in, but everyone else did and they had their recruiting hats on. Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice tight end Carter Dunaway was the first commit in the 2017 class and got spe- cific directions from head coach Jim Harbaugh about what their job was during the event. "Coach Harbaugh had a small meet- ing with all the commits and just talked about the goal of the day and about all of the great prospects out there," Dun- away explained. "He told us how we should all get to know them by the end of the day. "After that, we just scattered and started keying in on the recruits that were there. For the most part, we were spread around and talking to anyone we could find. You could look around the field, and it was be difficult to find a prospect that was not in a conversa- tion or just standing beside a commit." Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary's out- side linebacker Joshua Ross and Saint Joseph (Mich.) High defensive end Co- rey Malone-Hatcher were in the same group and served as terrific ambas- sadors for the program. Ross has been around the program for years as the younger brother of former U-M line- backer James Ross and gave glowing remarks about the 2016 installment. "It was a great atmosphere up there," Ross said. "You could tell all the coaches and players and recruits were really happy because of the Jor- dan change. I would say this was the best the BBQ has been since I have been going." Versatile Berrien Springs (Mich.) High lineman Phillip Paea also en- joyed the day spent with future team- mates and tried to do his best to con- vince the uncommitted guys that Ann Arbor is the place to be. "The BBQ went great," he said. "I couldn't have pictured a better way to spend the day. My favorite part was just being there with my family and talking to my future teammates and other recruits." The vibe was extremely positive coming out of the BBQ and ultimately resulted in landing Hudson. Defen- sive line coach Greg Mattison, Har- baugh, freshman Rashan Gary and the committed prospects played a big role in Hudson choosing the Wolverines. There were no fireworks at the actual event, but just two days later, Hudson was Blue. "That whole day really pushed Michigan to the top," Hudson said of the BBQ. START THEM YOUNG The highly rated four- and five-star prospects got much of the focus, but there was a youth movement involved as well. Getting youngsters on cam- pus early is huge in today's world of recruiting, and Harbaugh and Co. welcomed more than a dozen pros- pects from the 2018, 2019 and even 2020 classes. Beverly Hills (Mich.) Country Day three-star outside linebacker Kolin De- mens already held a Michigan offer before showing up for the BBQ. As the younger brother of former Michi- gan linebacker Kenny Demens, he was one to potentially watch heading into the event. With two full years of high school left, he decided to hold off on a commitment but it seems U-M may be the team to beat moving forward. "My brother was at Michigan, and for my whole life I was always around the program," Demens said. "Most of my family lives in Michigan still. "The Michigan offer is great — be- cause it's Michigan." The 6-2, 200-pound linebacker is taller than his brother Kenny and car- ries the No. 19 national ranking at his position. Fellow 2018 prospect Kalon Gervin is another in-state talent with an offer from the Maize and Blue. The Detroit Cass Tech four-star cornerback has been to Michigan many times and is looking more seriously at the Wolverines since picking up an offer in January. "I was glad to see the coaches again," Gervin said. "I spent most of my time with Coach [Michael] Zordich and Coach [Don] Brown. The food and scavenger hunt/campus tour were the best parts. It went great." As the No. 9 cornerback and No. 83 overall prospect in the nation for the 2018 class, the 5-11, 175-pound Gervin is going to be a priority for Michigan moving forward, and the foundation has already been laid for his recruit- ment with U-M. Gervin's even younger teammate, cornerback Xavier Goldsmith, has also been to Michigan several times, and while he doesn't hold an offer from U-M he still thoroughly enjoyed his time spent on campus. "The BBQ was great," he said. "I got to spend time with Coach Zordich, Coach [Brian] Smith and Coach Don Brown. I had lots of fun just building a relationship with them. The campus is great, too. I loved it." Finally, the youngest prospect in attendance was Walled Lake (Mich.) Western 2020 wide receiver Ab- dur Rahmaan-Yaseen. The 5-11, 140-pounder certainly looks youthful, and he's getting some action in West- ern's air-raid offense as a rising fresh- man. He and his father, Khalid, both enjoyed their time on campus. "It was a great event," Khalid said. "Coach Harbaugh is really doing great things with an event like this. The food was really good, and there were a lot of big-time players here. "All of the kids were all really into The dozen U-M commits that were on hand for the BBQ at The Big House, includ- ing Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice tight end Carter Dunaway, spent their time recruiting the highly rated prospects that were in attendance. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM Walled Lake (Mich.) Western 2020 wide receiver Abdur Rahmaan-Yaseen was the youngest prospect in attendance at the BBQ at The Big House. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN

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