King star Donnie Corley has 'great time' at Michigan BBQ

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Donnie Corley makes a reception during the Sound Mind Sound Body Academy in June at Macomb Dakota.

Michigan wasn’t even among Corley’s top five schools before he made a visit to Michigan Wednesday, then attended UM's BBQ at the Big House on Sunday.

Corley, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 180 pounds, was one of the top players in the 2016 class during The Opening, an elite recruiting camp last month in Oregon.

He had 62 receptions for 1,100 yards and 16 TDs last season for King. He also intercepted 11 passes and returned seven for TDs.

Michigan State seemed to be Corley’s top choice until he made a visit to Tennessee June 20. He originally planned to make his decision at The Opening July 7, then pushed it back a week after his visit to Tennessee, then decided to delay that to make more visits, including a trip to Ohio State for its Friday Night Lights event July 24.

Corley said he arrived at Michigan at 10:30 a.m. Sunday and stayed seven hours or just after 5:30 p.,m.

“I had a great time,” said Corley. “I got there in the morning and had a chance to talk to recruits and their parents, then build relationships with the coaches. Coach Harbaugh is very energetic.

“I’m going to see where the (recruiting) process takes me. I know the longer I take the harder it gets, but I want to be 100 percent sure with my decision. I’m just going to make it (decision) one time and stick with it. I don’t have a date set up either. I’m going to take my time and take all my official visits.”

When asked if Michigan was now in his top five, Corley responded: “I have a top seven and Michigan’s definitely in it.”

Corley said he is also interested in Michigan State, Ohio State, LSU, West Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee.

Ambry Thomas of King and Corey Malone-Hatcher of St. Joseph — both four-star recruits from the 2017 class — also attended the event.

Thomas, a cornerback, has been offered by Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, LSU, Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia and Pitt.

“I had a great time,” said Thomas, adding he left full after eating an assortment of ribs, chicken, mashed potatoes and his favorite, banana pudding. “We toured campus, had a scavenger hunt to get more familiar with the campus and talked to the coaches.

“I like Coach Harbaugh. He’s a real exciting coach who reminds me of a coach I have now. I could see myself being coached by Coach Harbaugh.”

Malone-Hatcher, a 6-3, 245-pound defensive end, has been offered by Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Nebraska and the Wolverines.

“We like the direction Michigan’s heading in with Coach Harbaugh,” said Malone-Hatcher. “I went to the barbecue last year and there were about 21 guys, compared to like 32 kids from all over the country this year. Coach Harbaugh is tremendously enthusiastic.

“He communicates well and likes to stay in the mix. He makes everybody feel important. I plan to stay in touch with him.”

Malone-Hatcher said he missed Michigan’s spring game while taking a visit to Alabama, but plans to attend a couple of the Wolverines’ games this season.