The Wolverine

December 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 56 of 75

DECEMBER 2017 THE WOLVERINE 57   FOOTBALL RECRUITING Despite being committed to the Volunteers, Jacques-Louis is still con- sidering the Wolverines. Michigan was one of his favorites as soon as they offered back in May, and the versatile playmaker immediately put U-M in his top group. Eventually he made the decision to commit to Ten- nessee, but Michigan still has a lot that he likes. "Michigan is a very big name in college football," he said. "I like the people that are running the program right now. They're all real cool. The University of Michigan is a great school. It was a great opportunity to even have them in my top five before I committed. "I'm still committed to Tennessee, but Michigan is a great school and program. Anytime you take a visit you have to envision yourself play- ing there. The coaches, current play- ers and commits all wanted me to become a part of their family." Tennessee head coach Butch Jones was fired Nov. 12 and replaced by former U-M head coach Brady Hoke on an interim basis. That change is expected to impact Jacques-Louis' recruitment quite a bit. SHAYNE SIMON, OUTSIDE LINEBACKER Committed to Notre Dame Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep At 6-3, 210 pounds, the Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter 's Prep four-star out- side linebacker would be a perfect viper in Don Brown's system, and that's exactly why M i c h i g a n w i l l continue to recruit the Notre Dame commit. Simon, the No. 10 outside l i n e b a c k e r a n d No. 141 overall prospect nation- ally, hasn't really wavered since committing to the Irish back in July, but he's remained one of U-M's most-coveted targets. Simon himself is very quiet, but his head coach Rich Hansen has spo- ken on his behalf throughout the re- cruiting process. Hansen knows Don Brown well and always thought that Simon would be a good fit at U-M because of Brown's aggressive coach- ing style. "I know Donnie Brown did a great job with Shayne on his visit," Hansen said earlier this year. "They seemed to connect. Shayne liked Ann Arbor a lot, and Michigan seemed to be a good fit in his opinion." Heading into the 2017 season, stealing Simon away from the Irish seemed more realistic for Michigan, but with Notre Dame having a good season that task might be very, very tough. CHRISTOPHER SMITH, CORNERBACK Committed to Georgia Atlanta Hapeville Charter The Atlanta Hapeville Charter four- star cornerback's situation is similar to Simon's. The 6-0, 165-pounder was high on Mich- igan before com- mitting to Georgia. However, with the Bulldogs earning the top spot in the first two College Football Playoff rankings prior to getting thumped by Auburn, a lot of big-time prospects are feeling good about Georgia, Smith included. Still, the No. 15 cornerback and No. 171 overall prospect nationally officially visited Michigan for the Michigan State game and brought his parents along for the ride. Smith's mother, Shandra, enjoyed her experi- ence in Ann Arbor and believes U-M will at least be involved until her son signs his letter of intent. "Michigan reaches out to him fre- quently," she said. "He has a great relationship with the staff, and they've never stopped recruiting him. My husband and I love Michi- gan — the family atmosphere and the academics." Smith's opinion of the U-M staff is consistent with what his mother said. "They have a collection of coaches that stay in touch with me," Smith said in early October. "They put me in a group chat, so I talk to a lot of them. "We talk anywhere from one to three times a week. The way Michi- gan has stayed on me since they started recruiting me and the type of season they are having has kept them in the picture for me." It will be tough to flip Smith since he's a Georgia kid committed to the successful Bulldogs, but Michigan has obviously left a mark. However it plays out, it's clear that U-M has done a good job with Smith through- out his recruitment despite his com- mitment status. Slightly Possible DAVID REESE, INSIDE LINEBACKER Committed to Florida Vero Beach (Fla.) High A specimen at 6-2, 210 pounds, the Vero Beach (Fla.) High four-star in- side linebacker picked up his offer from Michigan in June and immedi- ately reciprocated a lot of interest in the Maize and Blue. He unofficially visited Ann Arbor not long after and remained high on U-M until he com- mitted to Florida. With McElwain out as head coach in Gainesville, Reese is another Gator commit that Michigan will pursue. It may work based on how Reese spoke about the Wolverines and, specifi- cally, Don Brown. "Coach Brown loves the way I play, and he told me that I'm a great player," Reese explained. "He thinks I have a lot of athleticism. He said he noticed how much knowledge I bring to the game and thinks I could be a good attri- bute for Michigan football. " H e t o l d m e that I could play anywhere because I'm so versatile. He didn't really focus in one posi- tion, but he said I could be used like Jabrill Peppers." Reese is long and rangy and has a ridiculous build for a high school senior. He is considered the No. 4 inside linebacker and No. 109 overall prospect nationally, but could real- istically play any linebacker posi- tion and possibly even rush end at the next level because of his build and length. He's a special talent and Michigan was in the mix to land him before he picked Florida. They could be back in it once again. TAYLOR UPSHAW, DEFENSIVE END Committed to Florida Bradenton (Fla.) Braden River Yet another Gator commit being recruited by Michigan, the Braden- ton (Fla.) Braden River three-star defensive end just picked up his U-M offer in early November. The 6-5, 240-pounder is considered the

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - December 2017