The Wolverine

January 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JANUARY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 57   PREP PROFILES Even though he picked up his Michigan offer a little later in the cy- cle, Phoenix Mountain Pointe four- star athlete Isaiah Pola-Mao is seri- ously interested in the Wolverines. The 6-3, 190-pounder recently said that he still intends to take an official visit to U-M despite not having one firmly set up. "I'm creating a top five pretty soon, after my season, and I'll be taking all of my visits after the season too," he told "USC, Michi- gan, and Arizona State I know for sure I'll be taking official visits to. "They all play very physical on both sides of the ball and I love the coaches at all of those schools." West analyst Adam Gorney has seen the No. 12 athlete and No. 89 overall prospect in the country in person several times and completely understands why Michi- gan offered Pola-Mao as a safety. "One of the best two-way play- ers in the West this recruiting cycle, Pola-Mao can really do it all because he has tremendous size and length to go along with his athleticism and playmaking ability," Gorney said. "… At safety, he can come down and make a big hit, tip passes away, read plays, pick off passes and do it all." With Pola-Mao taking a slow, deliberate approach to his recruit- ment, he can be a bit tough to figure out. The three schools he said were guaranteed to get a visit seem to be squarely in the mix, but it's still quite unclear if there's a leader in Pola- Mao's head or if he's as torn as he seems to be. "Michigan could very much get in the picture if he gets to campus and is convinced it's best for his future in the game," Gorney said. "He's seen a lot of Pac-12 schools, but the mix of Michigan's history and tradition along with what coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff could do for his game could be big selling points." Once he gets his visit schedule figured out and then actually takes the trips, Pola-Mao plans to sit down with his family and make a decision. He knows that the choice is impor- tant and plans to go with his heart. "How bad a school wants me is a big factor," he said. "I will also look at the recruiting class, too. I just want a school where I can become a man." — Brandon Brown Versatile Arizona Athlete Keeping U-M In Mix After Late Offer Even before Mark Helfrich was fired by Oregon, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy three-star tight end and Ducks commit Tre McKitty was entertaining the idea of playing somewhere else. In October, fresh off of an official visit to Auburn, the 6-4, 225-pounder was already talking about taking more trips to make sure he saw ev- erything he needed to see. "I wouldn't put a 'solid' or 'weak' label on my commitment," McKitty told "I'm just thinking things over right now. I'm taking my visits because I'm still thinking and I want to see everybody again." Fast-forward to early December and things look a lot shakier with his commitment to Oregon. Michigan head coach Jim Har- baugh and passing game coordina- tor Jedd Fisch took a trip down to Bradenton to check in on top targets like five-star inside linebacker Jordan Anthony and four-star center Cesar Ruiz. While there, McKitty picked up an offer directly from Michigan's head coach. McKitty said that he was glad to have the opportunity, but he has been relatively quiet since all of the potential changes with his future took place. Southeast analyst Rob Cassidy is the man in Florida and thinks that doors are certainly open for other teams to try and swoop in to take McKitty away from Oregon. "McKitty will likely explore de- pending on the Oregon hire," Cas- sidy said prior to the Ducks hiring Willie Taggart away from South Flor- ida Dec. 7. "Michigan and Miami, among others, will get looks." After not holding a Michigan of- fer for the entirety of the recruiting process, McKitty — the No. 57 player in Florida and the No. 16 tight end nationally according to — picked one up almost as soon as Harbaugh spotted him. Cassidy com- pletely understands why U-M's head man extended a scholarship after running into the impressive athlete in person. "McKitty has a massive frame and looks college ready as things stand," Cassidy explained. "He's not the fast- est tight end there is, but his strength helps offset that. He could grow into a defensive lineman if he so chooses." As of mid-December, McKitty did not have a visit scheduled to Michi- gan but with Wolverine-leaning teammates in Ruiz and Anthony around him daily, there's a good chance he could be persuaded to at least check out Ann Arbor. — Brandon Brown Wolverines Making A Run At Oregon Commit ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ IMG Academy Bradenton, Fla. Class: 2017 Position: Tight End Ht.: 6-4 • Wt.: 225 Rankings: No. 57 player in Florida and No. 16 tight end nationally Tre McKitty ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Mountain Pointe Phoenix Class: 2017 Position: Athlete Ht.: 6-3 • Wt.: 190 Rankings: No. 12 athlete and No. 89 overall prospect nationally Isaiah Pola-Mao West analyst Adam Gorney on Pola-Mao "Michigan could very much get in the picture if he gets to campus and is convinced it's best for his future in the game." McKitty "I'm just thinking things over right now. I'm taking my visits because I'm still thinking and I want to see everybody again."

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