The Wolverine

June/July 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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56 THE WOLVERINE JUNE/JULY 2017 BY BRANDON BROWN W ithin hours of returning from Italy, the Michigan coaching staff hit the recruiting trail during the spring evaluation period. From April 15 to May 31 (Sundays and Memorial Day, Monday, May 29 are considered quiet periods), assis- tant coaches are allowed to be out on the road taking in spring football in states that allow it, watching play- ers during team workouts or talking with teachers and coaches of pro- spective student athletes. Despite a hectic schedule in Italy, the U-M staff was sending out new offers on the morning of May 1 after getting back to the U.S. just the day before. Technically, the Michigan coaches had started the recruiting process before leaving Italy April 28 by of- fering St. Louis Trinity Catholic 2019 four-star wide receiver Marcus Washington. The 6-2, 170-pounder visited Michigan April 13, but didn't pick up the offer while in Ann Arbor. Washington didn't mind one bit. "I liked Michigan's plans for new facilities that they're going to up- grade and build," he said. "They are building more facilities, benefitting the players. I also like the staff and the winning football success they've had as a program. I also like the Jor- dan stuff a lot." Michigan joined Michigan State, Ole Miss, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin and many others in the battle for his services. As a sophomore, Washington has plenty of time to make a decision. Washington was already well es- tablished, but Michigan was the first to the party for Decatur (Ala.) Austin sophomore cornerback Reddy Stew- ard. The 5-11, 160-pounder was very grateful to have U-M recognize his abilities. "It means a lot that Michigan was first," he said. "I've been waiting for an offer, so it's big." Michigan was definitely not first to the party for Plano (Texas) Preston- wood Christian Academy four-star 2019 tight end Austin Stogner. The 6-7, 230-pounder was nearing two dozen offers when the Wolverines came through with one May 2. Flor- ida, Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame, Oregon and Tennessee are among the other big-time programs pursuing Stogner. Rising junior strongside defensive ends Joseph Anderson and Derick Hunter reeled in Michigan offers May 3. Anderson, a four-star pros- pect out of Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Siegel, stands 6-4 and weighs 235 pounds. The rising junior took a late- April visit to Notre Dame and loved everything South Bend had to offer. A trip to Ann Arbor could resonate in a similar fashion. Before Michigan offered, the 6-5, 222-pound Hunter from Fort My- ers, Fla., spoke of a fluid top five consisting of Iowa State, Florida, Florida State, Miami and Oregon. In addition to the schools listed in his top five, Hunter also has Power Five offers from the likes of Maryland, North Carolina State, Notre Dame and Syracuse. Michigan became just offer No. 3 for Flower Mound (Texas) Marcus 2019 offensive tackle Justin Osborne May 3. The 6-4, 250-pounder is the long, lean tackle prospect that Michi- gan offensive tackles and tight ends coach Greg Frey likes. U-M CONTINUES TO TARGET PEACH STATE PROSPECTS The Michigan coaches have spent a lot of time on the recruiting trail across the country, but very few states have welcomed as many U-M coaches as Georgia. Three of U-M's first eight commits in 2018 (Otis Reese — the No. 13 outside linebacker in the nation and No. 20 player in Georgia, Myles Sims — the No. 8 cornerback in the country and No. 7 player in the state, and Christian Turner — the No. 26 running back in the land and No. 36 prospect in the state) hail from the Peach State, and more and more of- fers are flying out to 2019 prospects as well. It appears that Harbaugh and Co. may have noticed a trend in the high-level talent from Geor- gia. More players were drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft from Georgia than any other state in the country. Normally, the highest numbers of pro football talent comes from Cali- fornia, Florida or Texas, but not this year. Georgia, with 27 players se- lected, took the title for most draftees edging out Florida (26), California (25) and Texas (24) by the narrowest of margins. The Michigan coaches are hoping the trend continues with offers to Georgians going out in both the 2018 and 2019 class. Through just three days to start the month of May, the coaching staff offered 10 sophomores and five of them were from Geor- gia with three of them hailing from Grayson High School in Loganville. Grayson sophomores and Florida State commits Wanya Morris and   MICHIGAN RECRUITING Coaches Take To The Road For Evaluation Period 2018 Michigan Commitment List Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Emil Ekiyor OL 6-4 315 Indianapolis (Cathedral) Gemon Green CB 6-2 173 DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto) German Green S 6-2 180 DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto) Aidan Hutchinson DE 6-4 227 Dearborn, Mich. (Divine Child) Joe Milton QB 6-5 210 Orlando, Fla. (Olympia) Otis Reese LB 6-2 195 Leesburg, Ga. (Lee County) St. Louis Trinity Catholic 2019 four-star wide receiver Marcus Washington picked up a Michigan offer while the Wolverines were still overseas in Italy. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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