Trieu: Stritzinger, Nelson build ties to Michigan

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Allen Stritzinger

To say Michigan’s football staff has turned the page to the 2017 class following the signing of the 2016 class last Wednesday would be inaccurate, as 2017 recruiting started long ago. However, full attention can now be shown to that group, and the Wolverines hosted a small but talented group of junior visitors on Saturday.

They included in-state targets Scotty Nelson, a safety from University of Detroit Jesuit and Allen Stritzinger, a running back from Warren De La Salle, as well as highly-regarded Brooklyn Poly Prep offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson. Two of Michigan’s committed 2017 recruits, offensive tackle Jaraymond Hall and tight end Carter Dunaway, also attended.

Stritzinger told The Michigan Insider’s Josh Newkirk the Wolverines were his leader following the visit, but that he was not rushing into a decision.

“(Michigan is) the school that I keep the most contact with,” Stritzinger said. “Other schools I do keep in contact with, but not as much as I do with Michigan.”

His visit allowed him to speak with the staff again and among the topics covered was his potential position in college. Primarily a running back at De La Salle, Stritzinger’s size and athleticism have many schools keeping the option of cornerback open as well.

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“(Coach Wheatley) is still on me about playing running back,” Stritzinger said of UM running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley. “But there are a lot of kids who are in the position to play both ways, and after seeing how Jabrill (Peppers) was used this year as an athlete, that’s what I’m looking at. That’s the same thing that I want to be, to be out on both sides of the ball, any way I can to get on the field.”

Nelson was offered in January and this was the first opportunity for him to visit the Wolverines as a scholarship recipient. While he grew up following Michigan State, he says he is completely open in his recruitment and he found this trip to be a good starting point with the Michigan staff.

“It went really well,” Nelson told The Michigan Insider. “I was able to talk to Coach Wheatley a lot and he took me on a tour of Michigan and all of the places I would mostly spend my time if I were to go there. It was great to get familiar with everything and start to build a better relationship with them.”

With several more home basketball games left and then spring practice around the corner, Michigan will have even more chances to get top underclassmen on campus.

Wolverines getting active in Ohio

One question that came up a lot in the 2016 cycle was why Michigan did not recruit Ohio more. It is a state that has been traditionally kind of them in recruiting. The Wolverines seemed to have answered any questions about their emphasis on Ohio moving forward recently when they offered several members of the 2017 and 2018 classes.

Five sophomores – Westerville South athlete Jaelen Gill, Huber Heights Wayne wide receiver L’Christian Smith, Springfield tight end Leonard Taylor and linebacker Antwuan Johnson, and Pickerington Central tight end Trenton Gillison were all offered scholarships by the Wolverines.

Gill, an early four-star and top-rated prospect in the state, says he will unofficially visit the Wolverines in the near future. Smith, a former teammate of Michigan safety Tyree Kinnel’s, says he will make his way to Ann Arbor in March.

More information

Allen Stritzinger profile

Scotty Nelson profile

Jaelen Gill 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.