Trieu: Hiring Brian Jean-Mary is a 'really big win' for Michigan recruiting
Go back through new Michigan linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary’s history as a recruiter, and it paints the picture of someone who can be successful on the trail at Michigan.
He has experience, has recruited in talent-heavy states, and been in on the recruitment of many highly ranked, nationally recruited prospects.
Even the ones he did not get, like five-star cornerback Jeffrey Okudah and five-star linebackers Dylan Moses and Anthony Hines, were players who Jean-Mary visited, had contact with and recruited.
Hines, who is now at Texas A&M, considered Texas heavily when Jean-Mary was on staff there.
“Definitely the coaching staff. That impressed me the most,” Hines said in an archived interview with 247Sports. “I talked with Coach (Charlie) Strong, (Vance) Bedford and Coach BJ (Jean-Mary) about how I fit perfectly into their vision.”
The same goes for five-star linebacker Baron Browning, who is now at Ohio State.
“I talked to Coach BJ (Jean-Mary) on the phone not too long ago,” Browning said during his recruitment. “We were just talking about my family and my season. I got a really good relationship with Coach BJ and Coach Strong.”
Jean-Mary’s ability to identify and recruit talent goes back to Georgia Tech, which was his first FBS coaching stop. One of his most notable recruits there was Cooper Taylor out of Atlanta Marist, who he was the primary recruiter for.
Taylor played as a true freshman for the Yellowjackets, then finished his career at Richmond where he became a fifth-round draft choice of the New York Giants.
At Texas, he was the primary recruiter for five-star linebacker Malik Jefferson, who signed with the Longhorns. He also helped recruit Top 100 prospect Jeffrey McCulloch and was the primary recruiter for Poona Ford, a defensive tackle from South Carolina who is now with the Seattle Seahawks.
“That’s a fantastic hire for Michigan,” said Hilton Head (S.C.) head coach B.J. Payne. “He is a phenomenal recruiter and a great coach. He does things differently, which pays off. Like in the spring when coaches come twice in the spring, I’ve seen him go back-to-back days, stay fresh in a kid’s mind, instead of here and back in two months.”
Jean-Mary had Ford, a Hilton Head native, committed when he was at Louisville, and got him to follow the staff to Texas.
“He built a rapport with Poona, and Poona wasn’t the easiest guy to build a relationship because of how quiet he is,” Payne explained. “He just does a phenomenal job. He is full of energy. And he always has time. Even before he signed Poona, after Poona was gone, when he was at USF, if I texted, called, he would always text or call me back whether that was to do with a recruit or a general question. He’s a great dude. That’s a really big win for Michigan.”
After Texas, Jean-Mary was at USF. While he was not battling for five-star recruits with the Bulls, he was finding under the radar talents. One of those was Antonio Grier, who, despite being in talent-laden Atlanta, was under-recruited. Jean-Mary was his primary recruiter.
This past season, Grier had 58 tackles (8.5 for loss) four sacks, and a forced fumble for the Bulls.
That combination of being able to recruit top national talents and also find the gems is one that should be exciting to Michigan fans. He has also been in the halls at IMG Academy and top programs in Texas and Florida.
RB offered in California
Michigan offered a scholarship to Sacramento (Calif.) Monterey Trail junior Prophet Brown on Saturday. Arizona State, Oregon State and others have offered.
Brown, who is being recruited by running backs coach Jay Harbaugh, called Michigan his dream school, and he has family in Detroit.
Big 2022 tight end offered
Lake Wales (Fla.) Seffner Christian Academy tight end Tony Livingston, a 6-foot-6, 255-pound sophomore, was offered by Michigan on Tuesday. Livingston has offers from Notre Dame, South Carolina, Iowa State and others.
Livingston is also an excellent basketball player who is averaging over 20 points a game this year.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.