The Wolverine

February 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 53   FOOTBALL RECRUITING Twitter recruiter, he's all over every target talking about Michi- gan. The in-state four-star has been a solid ambassador for U-M since committing back in June. Kwity Paye, 6-3, 225, Warwick, R.I. (Bishop Hendricken) Was in Ann Arbor for an official visit during the Wisconsin game weekend and loved everything Michigan had to offer. He said that once U-M became an actual option, he knew he'd probably end up a Wolverine. The three-star cited his relationship with defensive coordinator Don Brown as the biggest reason he's now a member of the class. Luiji Vilain, 6-4, 240, Alexandria, Va. (Episcopal) The No. 5 weakside defensive end and No. 74 overall prospect in the county was a standout at the Under Armour All-America Game in early January. He is very solid to Michigan and brings a lot of athleticism to the D-line. Defensive Tackle Donovan Jeter, 6-5, 255, Beaver Falls, Pa. (Beaver Falls) The four-star was once committed to Notre Dame, but opened his recruitment up and soon made an official visit to Michigan. While in town he was blown away and joined the class. He's al- ready enrolled at U-M. Phillip Paea, 6-4, 277, Berrien Springs, Mich. (Berrien Springs) Listed by as a three-star offensive guard, he commit- ted to Michigan as a defensive lineman, he has immense upside because of his size and athleticism. He's beyond solid to the Maize and Blue. Aubrey Solomon, 6-4, 287, Leesburg, Ga. (Lee County) One of's newly minted five-stars and the No. 31 overall prospect nationally was in Ann Arbor for the Maryland game for an official visit with his mother, and the trip couldn't have gone better. He's had one of the more unique recruitments as a former Michigan commit, and included the Wolverines in his final top four, along with Alabama, Georgia and USC. Jay Tufele, 6-2, 306, South Jordan, Utah (Bingham) Has a top seven consisting of USC, Ohio State, Utah, Washington, UCLA, Michigan and BYU. He was in Ann Arbor on an official visit for the Illinois game and then checked out Ohio State for the finale against Michigan as well. The Buckeyes, along with Utah and Michigan, are all pushing hard for his pledge. Linebacker Jordan Anthony, 6-1, 220, Bradenton, Fla. (IMG Academy) Michigan landed the five-star linebacker just four days before Christmas, giving them two pledges from IMG Academy (Ruiz is the other). As the No. 1 inside linebacker and No. 26 overall pros- pect in the country, he was a big get for Jim Harbaugh and Co. Willie Gay, 6-1, 203, Starkville, Miss. (Starkville) Was in Ann Arbor for the Illinois game and loved his visit. He actu- ally called Michigan his No. 1 school a few days before he arrived while still committed to Mississippi. He decommitted after check- ing out U-M, and that could bode very well for the Wolverines. LSU and Mississippi State are Michigan's main opponents in the battle for his signature. Ben Mason, 6-3, 230, Sandy Hook, Conn. (Newtown) Took a visit, received his offer during the trip and committed shortly after. He's got good size and can play multiple positions, including tight end and fullback, something Harbaugh loves. He's in Ann Arbor as an early enrollee. Joshua Ross, 6-0, 219, Orchard Lake, Mich. (St. Mary's Prep) The No. 15 outside linebacker and No. 222 overall prospect in the country is a phenomenal ambassador for Michigan among the class and with other targets. Drew Singleton, 6-2, 218, Paramus, N.J. (Paramus Catholic) For months, it was Michigan versus Clemson for him, but the Wolverines took over the top spot and landed the speedy line- backer Dec. 22.'s No. 4 outside linebacker and No. 52 prospect nationally tore his ACL at the beginning of his senior season — but remained a top target for many programs, includ- ing Michigan. Cornerback Benjamin St-Juste, 6-3, 180, Montreal, Quebec (Vieux- Montreal) Held an offer from Virginia Tech and checked out Blacksburg Nov. 26, when the Hokies hosted Virginia. He returned and reaf- firmed his commitment to Michigan. He's on campus in Ann Arbor already. Ambry Thomas, 5-11, 165, Detroit (Martin Luther King) It looked like it might be Michigan State for the No. 15 corner- back and No. 146 overall prospect nationally, but he went Blue instead. He's also already enrolled in Ann Arbor. Safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell, 6-0, 180, Detroit (Cass Tech) The No. 8 player in Michigan was an early graduate and is on campus as a freshman. J'Marick Woods, 6-3, 198, Florence, Ala. (Florence) Remained solid to U-M despite taking a couple of visits as a Michigan commit. The long three-star safety is also on campus already as an early enrollee. Athlete Juliano Falaniko, 6-4, 200, Pago Pago, American Samoa (Leone) The four-star athlete and USC commit plans to officially visit both USC and Michigan before signing a letter of intent, and while other visits could take place, those two will likely be the most important. USC was his dream school growing up but blaz- ing a unique trail at Michigan has him intrigued. Isaiah Pola-Mao, 6-3, 190, Phoenix (Mountain Pointe) He is starting to focus on the schools recruiting him the hardest, and many of them reside in the Pac-12. The four-star athlete and No. 99 overall prospect nationally — who could play safety, linebacker or receiver in college — has already taken an official visit to Washington. Arizona State, Michigan, Notre Dame, USC and Cal are the other stops he wants to make before reaching a decision. Brandon Sebastian, 6-1, 172, Cheshire, Conn. (Cheshire Academy) Michigan and Don Brown offered the three-star Boston College commit, and it immediately got his attention. Official visits to Boston College and Michigan are the only ones he has in mind. The Wolverine staff already flipped defensive end Kwity Paye from Boston College and Paye has been in Sebastian's ear. Commitments in bold italics Rk. School Commits 1. Alabama 25 2. Ohio State 19 3. Georgia 23 4. Oklahoma 24 5. Michigan 27 Rk. School Commits 6. Florida State 20 7. Texas A&M 26 8. LSU 19 9. Penn State 19 10. Tennessee 27 RIVALS' 2017 TEAM RECRUITING RANKINGS As of Jan. 16

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