The Wolverine

June July 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JUNE/JULY 2018 THE WOLVERINE 57   FOOTBALL RECRUITING Harrison said. "But when Coach Washington came on, he made it a priority to make sure my family and I had a good time and that we got to see everything and get around everybody." rates Harrison as the No. 2 strongside defensive end and the No. 15 overall prospect nation- ally. It would be a huge coup for Washington and the Wolverines to swipe the top player in Ohio away from the Buckeyes. Loganville (Ga.) Grayson three- star offensive tackle Trente Jones will never play for Washington, but the assistant coach was instrumental in landing the Peach State product. Ke- nyatta Watson handles the recruit- ing side of things at Grayson and couldn't say enough about Washing- ton's role in getting Jones on board at Michigan. "Trente already knew that Michi- gan was a really good program and school, and it went up when he vis- ited and hung out with Al Washing- ton," Watson explained. "Kudos to Al for the job he did recruiting Trente. Al was always infatuated with Trente even when he was at Cincinnati. "When he got the Michigan job he thought it would be a great fit. Al recruited Trente and his mom and just had to get them on campus. Once they went up, it was over." Both coaches are doing a great job in the few months they've been with U-M and show no signs of slowing down. TRIPS ABROAD ARE A FACTOR Michigan targets around the na- tion are lauding Harbaugh for the opportunities he gives his players — namely the trips overseas as a team. Last year, the squad spent time in Rome and even practiced in Italy, while this year was more about ca- maraderie, learning and brotherhood in Paris and Normandy. Prospects see what being a part of the Michigan football family is all about, not only as a player, but also as a student and a world traveler, and it's definitely resonating with many of them. Barnhart actually committed to the Wolverines while the staff was in France, giving him a very unique perspective on the trip. "I think the trip to Paris is awe- some," he said. "It's an unreal life experience that the guys get to have. "I'm actually the first one to com- mit internationally," Barnhart added with a laugh. Recently offered sophomore cor- nerback Enzo Jennings out of Oak Park (Mich.) High loves idea of the trips to foreign countries. "Michigan going to Paris looked like a life-changing experience for the players," Jennings said. "That is a big factor to the recruits to get to take trips all across the world. "It's a big advantage for Michigan." The 6-2, 178-pound in-state prod- uct picked up his offer from U-M in early May. Suffield (Conn.) Academy 2019 de- fensive tackle Jesse Polansky also has an offer from the Wolverines and re- ally likes the idea of taking trips over- seas with his potential future team. "I think it's incredible that the play- ers get the opportunity to travel to places that if they weren't on the team they might not ever get to travel to," Polansky said. "I come from a strug- gling middle-class family, so at 17, I am not worldly traveled. The thought of getting to travel and see the world and experience different people and cultures sounds incredible. "If I'm ever given that opportu- nity I'll appreciate it for sure. A closer bonded team is the best kind of team. You form a brotherhood and you hold each other accountable on and off the field. "I would never choose a team based on whether or not they travel together on foreign vacations, but if the team that turns out to be the best fit for me does that, then that's a nice bonus." The 6-4, 300-pounder is very high on U-M and could very well get that chance as a member of the team. Milton (Mass.) Academy 2020 out- side linebacker Kalel Mullings likes U-M and also has a high opinion on the trips to different countries as a member of the Michigan football family. "I think it's a good thing," he said. "We actually spoke about it with Coach Harbaugh on my last visit. He said something that stuck with me. 'Kids don't know what they don't know.' It showed me that Coach Harbaugh is not just trying to win games. It's also important to him to expose his players to things they may never have a chance to experience. "That's very important to my fam- ily. My parents have made a point to take me to different countries and ex- pose me to different cultures. I have been to a few countries in Africa, Eu- rope and South America. "My mom was excited when she found out that parents traveled with the team to the Vatican and Paris. As far as whether or not the team trips will play a factor in my decision, the trips are a plus but the fit is more important." ❏ Prospects such as Oak Park (Mich.) High four-star 2020 cornerback Enzo Jennings have noted that Michigan's trips overseas have created a "big advantage" for the program on the recruit- ing trail. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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