The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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OCTOBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 45   MICHIGAN RECRUITING Gay, an Ole Miss commit, is billed as one of the more athletic linebackers in the country and is ranked No. 17 at his position. The 6‑1, 203‑pounder seemed like a long shot for northern schools like Michigan even before his commit‑ ment to the Rebels. However, he then announced he'd be checking out U‑M in an official capacity indicating that he's a bit more than intrigued. In Michigan's last home game of the season, four weeks later against Indiana, five‑star offensive tackle Isa‑ iah Wilson will be in town for his of‑ ficial visit. The 6‑6, 330‑pounder has been to U‑M a couple of times and goes back and forth between favor‑ ing the Wolverines and Alabama. A late‑season visit could give Michigan the momentum necessary to land the No. 2 offensive tackle and No. 6 over‑ all prospect in the country. Wilson is arguably Michigan's top overall target and would likely be an instant‑impact type of player because of his size and raw abilities. FLIP SEASON With visits come new experiences and second thoughts. Committed prospects begin thinking that the grass could be greener at a differ‑ ent school, and they start wondering if they've made a mistake. Eyes are opened and so are recruitments. The previously mentioned Hen‑ derson is a Miami Hurricane commit but he'll check out Michigan for the Wisconsin game to see if there's some‑ thing he likes more in Ann Arbor. Five‑star Najee Harris and four‑star Stephen Carr are the nation's top run‑ ning back and top all‑purpose run‑ ning back, respectively, and U‑M is ac‑ tively trying to flip both of them. Both have said that they'll likely check out Michigan in an official capacity, but neither have set up visits just yet. Har‑ ris, the nation's No. 1 overall prospect, is an Alabama pledge, while Carr, the country's No. 31 overall player, is cur‑ rently committed to USC. Jim Harbaugh and his coaches want Juliano Falaniko to become a Wolverine. The 6‑4, 200‑pound Tro‑ jans commit is a four‑star athlete that Harbaugh and director of player personnel Tony Tuioti are trying to convince to come to Ann Arbor as a linebacker/defensive end hybrid. He's the No. 29 athlete in the country and says that even though USC was his dream school growing up, he'd like to see what Michigan is all about. Flipping commits is a two‑way street though. The Florida Gators are trying very hard to pluck one of Michigan's commits. Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage four‑star offensive tackle Kai‑ Leon Herbert is being hounded by the Gators, who are running out of offen‑ sive line targets. Jim McElwain and his staff are selling Herbert on being a top priority and staying closer to home. While Michigan was pounding Hawai'i by 60 points, Herbert was in Gainesville taking in Florida's sea‑ son opener against UMass. As the No. 28 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 228 overall prospect in the country, Herbert is Michigan's highest‑rated offensive line commit at this point in time. RECENT OFFERS A couple of new offers also fall un‑ der the "flip" category. After not of‑ fering a prospect since early August, Harbaugh and his staff offered two committed prospects just a few days before the Colorado game. Cheshire (Conn.) Academy two‑star athlete Brandon Sebastian, a Boston College commit, was offered as a cornerback, and Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus three‑star cornerback Matt Hankins, an Iowa pledge, also picked up a ten‑ der from U‑M. Sebastian being committed to Bos‑ ton College gives him some familiar‑ ity with Michigan defensive coordi‑ nator Don Brown. The veteran coach recruited Sebastian while he was still at BC. The 6‑1, 172‑pounder is also good friends with Tarik Black, one of Michigan's top targets, and the two of them have talked about playing together in Ann Arbor. At 6‑1, 160 pounds, Hankins is the No. 53 cornerback in the country and seems more than intrigued by Michi‑ gan's offer after not much interest from the Maize and Blue up to the point of the offer extension. Both prospects will weigh options and determine if an of‑ ficial visit to Ann Arbor fits into their plans. Sebastian seems very likely that he'll make one work. ❏ Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus corner Matt Hankins, an Iowa pledge, picked up a U‑M offer. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM On The Web For regular reports on Michigan football recruiting plus videos of U-M commitments and targets visit 2017 Michigan Commitment List Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) AJ Dillon RB 6-0 228 Groton, Mass. (Lawrence Academy) Ja'Raymond Hall OL 6-5 255 Oak Park, Mich. (Oak Park) Kai-Leon Herbert OT 6-4 279 Plantation, Fla. (American Heritage) Joel Honigford OT 6-5 277 Sugarcreek, Ohio (Garaway Local School) James Hudson DE 6-5 271 Toledo, Ohio (Central Catholic) Chase Lasater RB 6-2 238 Jacksonville, Fla. (Trinity Christian) Corey Malone-Hatcher DE 6-3 246 Saint Joseph, Mich. (Saint Joseph) Ben Mason LB 6-3 230 Sandy Hook, Conn. (Newton) Dylan McCaffrey QB 6-4 185 Highlands Ranch, Colo. (Valor Christian) Phillip Paea OL 6-4 277 Berrien Springs, Mich. (Berrien Springs) Joshua Ross LB 6-0 219 Orchard Lake, Mich. (St. Mary's) O'Maury Samuels RB 5-10 190 Los Lunas, N.M. (Los Lunas) Andrew Stueber OT 6-6 305 Darien, Conn. (Darien) Benjamin St-Juste CB 6-3 185 Montreal, Quebec (Vieux-Montreal) Kurt Taylor RB 5-9 201 Covington, Ga. (Newton) Luiji Vilain DE 6-4 240 Alexandria, Va. (Episcopal) J'Marick Woods DB 6-3 198 Florence, Ala. (Florence) 2018 Michigan Commitment List Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Otis Reese S 6-2 195 Leesburg, Ga. (Lee County)

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