The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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48 THE WOLVERINE OCTOBER 2016   FOOTBALL RECRUITING has been to Ann Arbor a couple of times on his own dime and will return in late November for an official visit. Some close to his recruitment think that being from the north will give U‑M a distinct advantage with Wilson over Bama and will ultimately lead him to choosing the Wolverines. Wil‑ son is the No. 2 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 6 overall prospect nationally according to Local product Donovan Peoples‑ Jones from Detroit Cass Tech is an‑ other five‑star product that certainly looks like he could end up in the winged helmet someday. The 6‑1, 188‑pounder has also been to Michi‑ gan many times and, as a future medical student, got to see exactly what U‑M offers in the field. Rivals. com's No. 2 wide receiver and No. 13 overall prospect in the country took an exclusive medical tour, arranged by Harbaugh, earlier in the summer and that really got his attention. Fellow five‑star wide receiver Nico Collins has been to Michigan almost as much as Peoples‑Jones, which is really saying something consider‑ ing he's from Pinson, Ala. The Clay High standout measures 6‑5 and 193 pounds, is long, glides over the turf and is known for catching everything away from his body.'s No. 4 wide receiver and No. 23 overall prospect nationally might be the safest bet of the three to end up in Ann Arbor. In the group of four‑star targets Detroit Martin Luther King corner‑ back Ambry Thomas seems to be the most likely to end up in Ann Arbor. Those close to the situation at King believe Thomas has been committed in his mind for a while because of his bond with defensive coordinator Don Brown and how he expects to be used by the veteran coach. At 5‑11 and 165 pounds, Thomas is long‑limbed and extremely fast. He has the speed to run with any receiver and can play larger, posses‑ sion‑type wideouts because of his length. The No. 17 cornerback and No. 178 overall prospect in the coun‑ try is also a dangerous weapon on offense and in the return game which Harbaugh loves to see. Thomas' cousin, Jaylen Kelly‑Pow‑ ell from neighboring Cass Technical High School in Detroit, isn't a four‑star according to, but his offer list indicates that he probably should be. Alabama, Auburn, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Stanford, Tennes‑ see, UCLA and Wisconsin, along with many others, have all extended offers to Kelly‑Powell, but Michigan should win out over them all. The cousins have expressed inter‑ est in playing together in college and Ann Arbor looks like the place where it'll happen. The 6‑0, 180‑pound Kelly‑Powell is the No. 31 safety prospect in that nation. If Michigan lands Peoples‑Jones and Collins, bringing in a wide re‑ ceiver like Tarik Black as the third best in the group would be beyond an excellent haul. The 6‑3, 201‑pounder is considered No. 14 at his position and No. 99 overall in the country by and is a "prototypical wide receiver" according to his head coach David Dykeman. Black took his first official visit of the season to Michigan for the opener against Hawai'i and followed that up with an official to Auburn in week two. Now Black will focus on his late‑starting season at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut where they play their games on Saturdays result‑ ing in his final three official visits taking place at the conclusion of his final prep season. The recruitment of Paramus (N.J.) Catholic four‑star outside linebacker Drew Singleton could be in for a shake up as the talented, 6‑2, 218‑pounder tore his ACL just one game into his senior season. Ironically, that game was played at Michigan Stadium, meaning the next time he's playing in a game could be on the very same field.'s No. 2 outside line‑ backer and No. 43 overall player in the country has been high on U‑M and Clemson throughout most of his recruitment so it'll be interesting to see who stays loyal as he rehabs and recovers from his knee injury. Finally, three prospects from the state of Florida could also end up at Michigan if things keep trending the way that they have been for a while. Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four‑ star teammates, inside linebacker Jor‑ dan Anthony and center Cesar Ruiz, along with Plantation American Her‑ itage four‑star offensive tackle Tedar‑ rell Slaton, are all looked at as having Michigan atop their respective list of favorites. Slaton's teammate and fellow four‑ star offensive tackle Kai‑Leon Herbert is already committed to Michigan, giv‑ ing the Wolverines an advantage in his recruitment. That being said, Florida has been pressing Herbert a lot this fall and even got him on campus for their season opener. If Herbert does indeed flip to the Gators, Michigan's momentum with Slaton could take a hit. Slaton is a massive lineman pros‑ pect at 6‑6, 339 pounds and is consid‑ ered No. 9 at his position and No. 56 overall nationally by The 6‑3, 313‑pound Ruiz is the nation's top center and the No. 118 overall player in the country accord‑ ing to He's originally from Camden, N.J., and the same high school as current Wolverine Ron Johnson giving the Maize and Blue an inside track with him. Anthony, a Maryland native, is listed at 6‑1, 220 pounds and is listed by as the No. 3 inside linebacker and No. 70 overall pros‑ pect in America. Anthony is very ath‑ letic and played mostly running back until switching over to defense full time this year. If Michigan can land even half of the previously mentioned prospects the class would look great, but land‑ ing most or all would certainly give U‑M a top‑five class again and the early‑fall decommitments would barely be remembered. ❏ U-M is good position to land several highly touted 2017 prospects such as Pinson (Ala.) Clay five-star Nico Collins — the nation's No. 4 wide receiver and No. 23 overall player according to — which could result in another top-five class. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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