Trieu: UM full steam ahead on East Coast recruiting rush

By Allen Trieu, Special to The Detroit News
Ron Johnson

Michigan's 2016 recruiting class now sits at 20 members and the two latest additions, Camden (N.J.) defensive end Ron Johnson and Baltimore Gilman School offensive tackle Devery Hamilton, were not only important gets, but also potentially signs of things to come.

As the class continues to fill out, many of the Wolverines' remaining targets come from the East Coast, and Johnson and Hamilton may just be the beginning.

Just a few days after missing on in-state defensive end Khalid Kareem, who chose Alabama, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Johnson's pass rush ability (21 sacks in two seasons) was a key addition. He committed while on a visit with Philadelphia Imhotep tight end Naseir Upshur, Egg Harbor City (N.J.) Cedar Creek wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell, and 2017 teammate Cesar Ruiz, a center who picked up a Wolverine offer while on the visit.

Upshur now says he will announce his decision on Aug. 8, with the Wolverines high on his list. Johnson's teammate, wide receiver Brad Hawkins, a player high on the Michigan board, will announce his choice Friday. Both could be part of this East Coast rush for the Maize and Blue.

"Michigan, I like the school," Hawkins said. "There's a family tradition out there. The players good and the coaches are good."

Mitchell does not currently have a commitment date, but plans to visit Auburn in July and wants to get back to Michigan and Ohio State with his mother before making any decisions. He did say he would potentially make one earlier than the December date he had previously talked about.

Three other top 2016 targets still on the board are Paramus (N.J.) Catholic teammates Rashan Gary and Donald Stewart, and Hyattsville (Md.) Dematha Catholic offensive lineman Terrance Davis.

Gary, the nation's No. 1 overall player on Scout, visited last weekend with his mother, Jennifer Coney.

"Michigan hit every detail," Coney said to The Michigan Insider's Sam Webb. "Every detail. I looked at the itinerary and I got exhausted just by looking at it, but everybody was great. I met everybody."

Coney added that Gary will visit Georgia, which may be their last visit for the summer. He does not plan to make a decision before taking all five official visits this fall.

Michigan is eight spots away from 28, which is rumored to be the likely final number of the class. If all goes well, those final eight could include Mitchell, Hawkins, Upshur, Gary, Stewart and Davis, adding six more to a class that already has an East Coast feel to it.

More on Hamilton

While Michigan was always a school high on Devery Hamilton's list, the timing of his announcement was something of a surprise.

Michigan will gladly take it though, as the 6-foot-6, 265-pound prospect gives the class another highly regarded offensive lineman and possibly the one in this class most equipped to man the all-important left tackle spot.

"He has the size and length to be a left tackle," Scout analyst Brian Dohn said. He is aggressive and is able to disengage as a defensive lineman, and shoots his hands out is able to lock onto blocks and finish them."

Hamilton chose the Wolverines over Stanford, but had additional offers from LSU, Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and others.

More information

Ron Johnson profile

Devery Hamilton profile

Brad Hawkins profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for 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