The Wolverine

November 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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68 THE WOLVERINE NOVEMBER 2016   FOOTBALL RECRUITING gone," Paye explained. "I want to be in an environment where the coach‑ ing staff is stable. It will come down to BC's season I think. "If BC doesn't have a winning sea‑ son and if the coaches get fired then I'll have no choice to go somewhere else. Ann Arbor would definitely be the spot for me at that point." Paye is considered the No. 40 weak‑ side defensive end in the nation. Perhaps the most noteworthy visitor for the Wisconsin game was Leather‑ wood. The 6‑5, 298‑pounder is con‑ sidered the No. 5 offensive tackle and No. 20 overall player in the nation — impressive enough by itself — but the fact that he's committed to Alabama makes him the headliner of the group. Leatherwood is currently pledged to the Tide, but his visit to Michigan re‑ ally opened his eyes. "It was my first official visit and they really laid out the red carpet for me," Leatherwood explained. "I had a great time with Coach Harbaugh, Coach [Tim] Drevno and the staff. It was my first time meeting them, and they made a great first impression." Leatherwood will take one of his other official visits to Alabama for the Iron Bowl versus Auburn Nov. 26, giv‑ ing Bama a late‑season crack at holding on to his commitment. His remaining three officials are still to be determined. IMG Academy's Anthony was on hand and now feels better and better about where things stand with Michi‑ gan. The 6‑1, 220‑pounder is the No. 3 inside linebacker and No. 70 overall player in the country, and might be considered a Wolverine lean. "I had a great visit," he said. "The game was just as good as I thought it would be." Wills is one of the more intriguing prospects out of the bunch because he had been trying to visit Ann Arbor for a while. The trip finally materialized for the Wisconsin game and made a big impact. "Michigan has jumped right into the mix with my other favorites," Wills said. "After having such a great week‑ end with some of my closest friends at U‑M and spending more time with Coach Drevno and Coach Harbaugh, I can really see us going there and hav‑ ing the time of our lives while excel‑ ling on the field and while getting one of the most prestigious degrees in the country. Michigan is hard to beat." Those are strong comments from the 6‑4, 316‑pound five‑star, who is ranked as the No. 4 offensive tackle and No. 16 overall player in the country. As the No. 4 overall prospect in the country, five‑star outside linebacker Browning was the highest‑ranked player in attendance. He's very quiet and hasn't said anything to anyone since taking the visit, but Michigan has a connection to his family. Browning's older brother, Barry, played for Harbaugh at Stanford and can provide plenty of insight for his younger sibling. The 6‑3, 230‑pounder is one of the more impressive overall prospects in the nation and seems to be an Ohio State lean despite a successful visit to Ann Arbor. Another quiet prospect that visited for the game is Faison‑Walden. The 6‑1, 200‑pounder is committed to Penn State, but is feeling the pressure from Michigan. Despite just being on cam‑ pus a couple of weeks ago, Faison‑ Walden also received an in‑school visit from linebackers coach Chris Partridge during Michigan's bye week, indicat‑ ing that interest in the linebacker/ safety hybrid is quite high. considers him the No. 23 outside linebacker in America, but Michigan seems to view him as a Ja‑ brill‑Peppers type. Heading into the weekend a couple of prospects were on commit watch and Reid was one of them. The 6‑1, 200‑pound three‑star wasn't shy about his feelings heading into the weekend. "Right now, I have Michigan at No. 1, Mississippi State at No. 2 and Colorado at No. 3," he said. "I thought about committing during the week‑ end. My coach and I were talking about it. "We just talked about how it would be good to commit and lock in my spot. We'll see." That didn't happen, but it's believe that Michigan still tops the list for the Sam linebacker and could still end up landing him depending on how the rest of the class shakes out. Finally, Filiaga was another highly rated offensive lineman in attendance — ranks him as the No. 16 offensive tackle and No. 122 overall player in the country. The massive, 6‑6, 335‑pounder has a solid relationship with Tuioti and that could continue to help Michigan down the road. "I've been in contact with Coach Tuioti for a while," Filiaga said. "I also talk with Coach Harbaugh and Coach Drevno a lot. "Overall the game was great. It was close, which kept it good the whole time. I really enjoyed the game, and I enjoyed my visit here." ❏ Future Visitors Michigan's biggest visit weekend is in the rearview mirror, but with eight total home games on the 2016 schedule there are plenty of opportunities to host talented targets. Here's the rest of the slate. ILLINOIS — OCT. 22 Starkville (Miss.) High four- star Willie Gay — No. 17 out- side linebacker in nation South Jordan (Utah) Bing- ham four-star Jay Tufele — No. 5 defensive tackle and No. 95 overall player in the country MARYLAND — NOV. 5 There are no confirmed official visitors for the Mary- land game as of Oct. 17 INDIANA — NOV. 19 Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County three -star Tor y Car ter — No. 1 fullback in nation Brooklyn (N.Y.) Poly Prep five -star Isaiah Wilson — No. 2 offensive tackle and No. 6 overall player nationally U-M was slated to host a pair of visitors for the Illinois game Oct. 22, including four-star defensive tackle Jay Tufele of South Jordan (Utah) Bingham. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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