Trieu: BBQ draws key UM recruits for '16, beyond
Michigan is preparing to host its annual BBQ at the Big House for recruits, their families and high school coaches this weekend. It has developed into one of the most important events on the Michigan football calendar.
The initial event was held in 2009. Started by Rich Rodriguez, that first BBQ resulted in two commitments, from Christian Pace and Kenny Wilkins. In 2010, Chris Rock committed. The 2011 BBQ produced a commitment from Chris Wormley. Ondre Pipkins attended that year as well, went back home, and committed a week later.
Brady Hoke carried on the tradition of the BBQ when he took over. The 2012 BBQ visit proved to be the final push needed for the Wolverines to land linebacker Michael Ferns the following week. While his commitment ultimately did not stick, the big fireworks of the 2013 BBQ was wide receiver George Campbell making the trip up from Florida and committing. Last year's BBQ produced a then-surprising pickup in the form of in-state wide receiver Brian Cole, who is expected to contribute as a true freshman this fall.
With the success of those past events, it is no surprise that Jim Harbaugh has decided to continue the BBQ himself. As with past years, many of the committed players will attend, as well as many uncommitted prospects. Here are some notable attendees this year:
* Ahmir Mitchell will be back after visiting the Wolverines last weekend. The Egg Harbor (N.J.) Cedar Creek wide receiver is a strong candidate to end up in the Michigan class.
* Detroit King wide receiver Donnie Corley, one of the Midwest's best, visited on Wednesday and will be back again this weekend. His recruitment with Michigan could best be described as cool for the last few months, but the visit on Wednesday has put the Wolverines back in legitimate contention. Teammate Lavert Hill, a Penn State commit, is also expected to attend, although the cornerback did not firmly say he would be there when asked by The Michigan Insider's Josh Newkirk.
* The Michigan Insider's Sam Webb says a prospect committed to another Big Ten school may attend, but the name will not be released until he confirms attendance.
* Boulder (Colo.) Fairview defensive end Carlo Kemp has a Michigan offer and will make it to town. Kemp is being recruited by the Wolverines as a "BUCK," a hybrid linebacker-defensive end position.
* Upper Marlboro (Md.) Riverdale Baptist cornerback Sir Patrick Scott will make his first visit to campus. He has a Michigan offer and is high on Michigan, but needs to see the school and speak with the coaches further. He also hopes to visit other schools before making a decision.
* The in-state 2017 class is very strong and the eight with Michigan offers -- defensive end Corey Malone-Hatcher, running back / cornerback Allen Stritzinger, linebacker Joshua Ross, safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell, cornerback Ambry Thomas, offensive tackle Ja'Raymond Hall, wide receiver K.J. Hamler and committed tight end Carter Dunaway -- are all expected to attend. Two other 2017 prospects who are on the radar from nearby Pioneer High School will be there -- running back Antjuan Simmons and linebacker Derrick Hubbard.
* Covington (Ga.) Newton running back Kurt Taylor, a 2017 prospect with 10 offers, will attend. He does not have a Michigan offer yet.
* A number of 2018 and 2019 prospects will attend. New Jersey twins Justin and Jayson Ademilola, both linebacker / defensive end prospects, will attend. Both are rising sophomores and both have offers. Emil Ekiyor, a 2018 prospect from Indianapolis Cathedral who has a Michigan offer, confirmed he would be there. Two freshmen quarterbacks who are expected to be high school standouts, Belleville's Dwan Mathis and Southfield's Sam Johnson, will be at the BBQ. Both already have a handful of college offers.
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.