The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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44 THE WOLVERINE OCTOBER 2016 BY BRANDON BROWN T hrough three weeks of the 2016 season, Michigan had only hosted one official visitor in Cheshire (Conn.) Academy four-star wide receiver Tarik Black. The 6-3, 201-pounder was at Michigan's season opener against Hawai'i Sept. 3 and brought along his mother, father and head coach, Da- vid Dykeman, who said that the visit couldn't have gone any better for Black. "I think Tarik walked away incred- ibly impressed," Dykeman said. "It was his fourth time at Michigan, and I think every time he goes up there he's more and more impressed with everything happening there. "There's something pretty special happening at Michigan right now, that's for sure." Black couldn't have picked a better game to attend. The Wolverines rolled 63-3 over the Rainbow Warriors, the weather in Ann Arbor over the week- end was perfect, and the No. 14 wide receiver and No. 99 overall player in the country was literally the VIP as the lone official visitor. That all led to a great experience that may have put Michigan in the driver's seat for him. The week-two contest against UCF was a bit of a different story. A lacklus- ter opponent and a gloomy, rainy day in Ann Arbor kept some recruits from making the trek to U-M. The only of- fered prospect in attendance was De- troit Cass Tech four-star cornerback Kalon Gervin. The No. 9 cornerback and No. 83 overall player in the coun- try for the 2018 class still enjoyed his time and called the visit "smooth." Week three's tilt against Colorado was a little more buzz worthy with both teams entering the contest at 2-0 and the Buffaloes looking more formidable than Hawai'i and UCF. For the second week in a row no official visitors were present, but big- time Michigan commit Dylan Mc- Caffrey was in the house. The 6-4, 185-pounder is rated as the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback and No. 50 overall player in the country and is the younger brother of Heisman hope- ful and Stanford running back Chris- tian McCaffrey. Being from Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian makes his visit noteworthy as well. Several commits, including Saint Joseph (Mich.) four-star strongside defensive end Corey Malone-Hatcher and Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary's four-star outside linebacker Joshua Ross, were also in attendance. Both Ross and Malone-Hatcher have been great ambassadors for in-state re- cruiting, and Ross in particular is an excellently commit to have around targets during a game-day setting. As the younger brother of former Wolverine James Ross and as a rock- solid pledge, Ross is invaluable to the staff. He's mature beyond his years, has a great personality and is very knowledgeable when it comes to all things Michigan. He's a terrific re- cruiter while the coaches are busy doing their thing on the field. Heading into the Big Ten slate, visits will become more and more star-studded. The Penn State game should bring one of Michigan's top targets, Detroit Cass Tech three-star senior safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell, to Ann Arbor. The 6-0, 180-pounder has been to Michigan many times, but it's always a positive when targets make it into town. Kelly-Powell is consid- ered a strong Michigan lean as the No. 8 player in the state of Michigan and No. 31 safety in the nation. Fellow safety Markquese Bell out of Bridgeton, N.J. is also scheduled to be in Ann Arbor for the Penn State game. Bell's visit is important because he's been thought of as a Michigan lean at different stages of his recruitment and because he's also considering the Nit- tany Lions. The 6-3, 190-pounder is very versatile — he's played quarter- back, wide receiver and safety in high school —and is considered the No. 22 safety and No. 226 overall prospect in the nation. Out-of-state commits Florence, Ala., defensive back J'Marick Woods, Alex- andria, Va., defensive end Luiji Vilain, and Plantation, Fla., offensive lineman Kai-Leon Herbert are also on the ex- pected to be in Ann Arbor for the game. The matchup with Wisconsin Oct. 1 looks like the marquee visit weekend for Michigan this season. Headlining that particular Saturday is Pensacola (Fla.) Washington five-star offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood. The 6-5, 298-pounder is currently committed to Alabama and, as the No. 5 player at his position and No. 20 overall prospect in the country, is coveted by everyone. Getting him on campus for the biggest home conference game of the year is huge. Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy in- side linebacker Jordan Anthony, Ox- ford (Ala.) High inside linebacker K.J. Britt, Miami Columbus cornerback Christopher Henderson, Beaver Falls (Pa.) High defensive tackle Donovan Jeter, and Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Acad- emy center Cesar Ruiz are all slated to be in Ann Arbor as well. All five seniors are four-star prospects and all but Jeter are within the Rivals250. Henderson is a Miami commit, making his presence noteworthy, and two prospects likely favoring Michigan, Anthony and Ruiz, are from football factory IMG Academy, potentially starting a solid pipeline. Lucas (Texas) Lovejoy four-star Bum- per Pool, the No. 8 inside linebacker in the junior class, is also expected for the matchup against the Badgers. Three weeks later when U-M hosts Illinois, Los Angeles High three-star strongside defensive end Martin An- drus and Starkville (Miss.) High four- star outside linebacker Willie Gay are planning to swing through Ann Arbor. Andrus may end up staying out west, but the 6-3, 255-pounder wants to give Michigan a look before he makes his choice.   MICHIGAN RECRUITING In-Season Visits Have Started Cheshire (Conn.) Academy wideout Tarik Black was impressed by Michigan on his visit Sept. 3. PHOTO BY NICK LUCERO/RIVALS.COM

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