UM lands 4-star WR Crawford, misses out on No. 1 TE

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Dylan Crawford

Michigan had a chance at landing three recruits during the U.S. Army All-American Game and came away with one, a four-star receiver, but lost out on the nation’s No. 1 tight end, and a highly rated Detroit receiver.

Receiver Dylan Crawford, a four-star receiver from California, was the first player to announce his college decision during the annual U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio on Saturday afternoon, and chose Michigan. The 6-foot-1, 186-pounder had multiple offers but there were four hats on the table from which he had to choose — Michigan, Oregon, UCLA and Miami (Fla.)

He is the 24th commitment to the 2016 class and immediately moved Michigan from fourth to second in the national rankings on 247sports’ composite team recruiting rankings. Michigan also is first among Big Ten teams with ESPN 300 commitments — Michigan has 10, and Ohio State is second with nine and Penn State third with eight.

But Michigan lost out on Isaac Nauta, the No. 1-rated tight end. Nauta, with hats representing Alabama, Michigan and Georgia before him, announced during the fourth quarter he will join the Bulldogs.

King's Corley picks MSU, wants to be two-way player

Nauta is a 6-foot-4, 244-pounder from Georgia who spent the last season at IMG Academy in Florida after helping Buford (Ga.) High win three straight state championships. He had pledged to Florida State but changed his mind, re-opening his recruitment.

Detroit King receiver Donnie Corley, The Detroit News’ preseason No. 1 player, chose the Michigan State hat from a table that also included hats from Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio State. Corley said on the broadcast he could play both ways for the Spartans.

Crawford ended the suspense quickly and revealed his decision during the first quarter.

“I’ll be attending the University of Michigan,” Crawford announced during the NBC broadcast. “I just felt it was the all-around best fit for me. I feel like I can get good networking there. They’ve got a good networking base. I can go in there and try to compete right from the beginning, and coach Harbaugh is going to get you right.”

He was asked Harbaugh’s reaction.

“He was just excited,” Crawford said. “He’s fired up.”

Michigan already had a loaded class of receivers heading into the day with early enrollee Ahmir Mitchell, Brad Hawkins and Nate Johnson, but from all accounts, Crawford is highly skilled and brings a level of toughness to the position.

Quarterback Brandon Peters, Michigan’s early enrollee freshman, also played in Saturday’s All-American game. According to the broadcast, he is scheduled to fly to Ann Arbor on Sunday and begin classes on Monday. Cass Tech offensive lineman Michael Onwenu and defensive tackle Jordan Elliott from Houston, both Michigan commits, also were participants.