Trieu: Visits have Michigan feeling 'like home' to four-star New Jersey DB Jaeden Gould
Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic defensive back Jaeden Gould, a top-100 national prospect in the 2022 class on the 247Sports Composite, visited Michigan at the end of last fall for a home game against Ohio State.
Although that was nine months ago, Michigan has stayed in consistent contact with Gould since then. The memory of that visit along with subsequent trips to Ann Arbor have created a growling feeling that the Wolverines are the leader in his recruitment.
“I’ve been there three times since they offered me,” the four-star prospect told 247Sports' Brian Dohn. “There’s just something special about that place. I wish I could go back every single weekend if I could. From the first time I went there it really felt like a home, like a family environment. From the stadium to the downtown to just walking around, everybody is rockin’ Michigan. Everybody is wearing their ‘Go Blue.’ All the stores are nice. The facilities are obviously top-notch. It doesn’t really get any better than that.”
The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich has made a 247Sports Crystal Ball prediction for the Wolverines to land Gould.
The confidence grew after head coach Jim Harbaugh and defensive backs coach Michael Zordich had a FaceTime session with Gould back in April where they reiterated Gould’s high standing on Michigan’s board.
In addition to the relationship Gould has with the staff, his former teammate Jordan Morant is a freshman at Michigan, giving him one more connection, and the two have also stayed in contact since Morant enrolled mid-year at Michigan last winter.
Similar to Morant, Gould is a high-end prospect with size (6-2, 205 pounds), and what separates him from other defensive backs with his size are his cornerback skills.
“He could easily play at 215 pounds,” Dohn said. “He is explosive, fast and has high football I.Q. He’s aggressive, physical, a multi-year starter at an elite program.”
Texas recently offered, and in addition to Michigan, Gould listed Tennessee, USC, Rutgers and Ole Miss as the other schools standing out to him at this juncture.
“I’m looking for a school that has a great education that will develop me to be the best player I can be and make it to the next level,” he said.
247Sports ranks Gould the No. 2 class of 2022 prospect in the state of New Jersey.
Wolverines continue offering Jersey’s best
The recruitment of Gould continues to move in a positive direction for Michigan even though former Jersey recruiters Chris Partridge and Anthony Campanile are no longer on the staff.
The rest of the coaching staff has stepped up in that regard and it is clear the Garden State is a high priority recruiting area for the Wolverines still.
They showed that again in offering two of the state’s best in the 2022 class recently, Timber Creek defensive end Jihaad Campbell (6-4, 220 pounds) and St. Peter’s Prep defensive back Avery Powell (5-11, 170).
Clemson, Florida, Maryland, Texas and Ole Miss all offered Campbell this summer.
Powell has Nebraska, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Tennessee and more on his list.
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.