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Trieu: Harbaugh, Durkin impress 5-star Caleb Kelly

By Allen Trieu, Special to The Detroit News
Caleb Kelly is a five-star linebacker from Fresno, Calif.

If Michigan is to land five-star linebacker Caleb Kelly, the Wolverines will have to battle hard for the Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West star. Not only is he going to wait until National Signing Day to decide, but he also has the whole country coming after him.

But if last weekend's visit to Ann Arbor was the first real chance for the Maize and Blue to make an impression, then so far, so good.

"I think (what stuck out the most was) how laid back Coach Harbaugh was," he told Go Blue Wolverine's Sam Webb, "and how all the coaches cared for me like I'm a player over there. I know they're supposed to because they really want me to go there, but you could tell that they genuinely cared about me. They were all just coaches that you could hang out with and be yourself with."

Kelly noted the intensity of defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin in practice, then had a chance to sit down with him and discuss what the plan would be for him should he choose the Wolverines.

"He showed me (the position I would play)," Kelly said. "He said in a regular, I think it was the 4-3, I would be WILL, weak side backer. In the nickel I would come down in a 3-4 and I would be the SAM backer. I would just be the strong side outside linebacker coming off the edge or cover if I need to."

Kelly denies having a leader. He will visit Notre Dame and Alabama next. He has left the door open for a possible return trip to Michigan on an official visit.

Wolverines offer one-time Iowa commit

West Union (Iowa) North Fayette sophomore defensive tackle Juan Harris, a massive 6-foot-3, 360-pound prospect, visited Michigan last Saturday and was offered by the Wolverines. Harris, who has been at several high schools, including New Lenox (Ill.) Providence Catholic and Janesville (Wis.) Parker, committed to Iowa in December before backing off the pledge and then re-committing to the Hawkeyes in January.

Harris told Scout's Derek Young that he decommitted from Iowa on Sunday night, the day after he had been in Ann Arbor.

"I really did love everything about my time there," he said of Michigan. "I was very impressed with what they had to show me. They have a new staff there now and they gave off a strong first impression. They know what it takes to win, and they know what it takes to develop talent."

Freshman OT nets UM offer

Memphis (Tenn.) Harding Academy offensive tackle Will Lawrence is a rare breed, a freshman who has already played two seasons of varsity. That's right, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound youngster started at left tackle as an 8th grader and did not only hold his own, he excelled.

That level of excellence at an early age has already landed him offers from Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Florida State and more. Michigan recently extended an offer his way after he spoke with head coach Jim Harbaugh.

"It means a lot to get an offer from Michigan," he said. "It is an amazing program. I am really impressed by Coach Harbaugh and Coach Drevno."

Lawrence has not visited Michigan but said he will try to get to the Wolverines' camp this summer.

More information

Caleb Kelly profile

Juan Harris profile

Will Lawrence profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. 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.