Trieu: Michigan makes big strides with Herron, top 2019 recruits
Michigan has two commitments in the 2018 class, so that group still has plenty of room to grow over the next year. However, looking ahead to 2019, that class is already looking like it could be a very highly-ranked national class if everything goes to plan.
Michigan is already in good shape for several of the top offensive linemen in the Midwest in that class, including in-state offensive tackles Devontae Dobbs and Logan Brown and Akron (Ohio) Hoban’s Nolan Rumler. Rumler’s father played at Michigan while Dobbs’ father is a noted Michigan fan.
"(My dad) was happy,” Dobbs said at the time of his offer. “He was already in love with Michigan so he just fell deeper in love with it. He was ecstatic, happy, and was telling Jim Harbaugh that he had one of his books."
Michigan has had good success at IMG Academy and is looking to do that in the 2019 class with 6-foot-7, 340-pound offensive lineman Evan Neal. Michigan also has an opportunity with Christopher Hinton Jr., a four-star Georgia native who has visited Ann Arbor.
Another offensive lineman to watch out for is Edina (Minn.) offensive tackle Quinn Carroll. The Wolverines recently offered and he took an unofficial visit to campus.
In terms of family ties, Michigan has also offered Luke McCaffrey, the younger brother of 2017 quarterback signee Dylan McCaffrey. Luke will take over for him at quarterback this year for Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian.
The Wolverines hired former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Michael Johnson this week and his son, Michael Johnson Jr., is a top prospect in that class. Johnson Jr. is an athletic 6-foot-3, 175-pound dual-threat quarterback. He holds eight offers including Arizona, California, Florida State, Louisville, Mississippi State and West Virginia.
Michigan just offered one of the top defensive ends in the sophomore class, Louisville Trinity’s Stephen Herron. He visited Ann Arbor on Monday, giving the Wolverines the opportunity to offer as well as look to get into a race that includes Louisville, Ohio State and others.
"The entire place stood out," Herron said. "The coaches welcomed me and all the players did, as well. The academics and the fact that the team goes to study abroad every year. The coaches all explained to me how'd I'd fit into their system. Taco (Charlton), one of their defensive ends, is who I'd resemble within their defense."
The Wolverines have also offered Loganville (Ga.) Grayson’s Owen Pappoe and Los Angeles Dorsey’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, two of the top defensive players in the country in that class. While they may be tougher to pull than others in the class, both have been open to Michigan during the early part of their recruitment.
Zach Harrison, a defensive end from Olentangy (Ohio) Orange and Jowon Briggs, a defensive tackle from Walnut Hills (Ohio), also hold Michigan offers, but Ohio State has also offered both Ohioans. Both have remained open to Michigan despite the Buckeye offers, however.
An athlete Michigan will have a good chance with his Ronnie Hickman, a wide receiver / defensive back who plays at De Paul Catholic in New Jersey, the same school where Michigan running back Kareem Walker prepped.
The Wolverines have no class of 2019 commitments at this time, but if they can close the door on some of the above, it will be yet another highly-ranked national class.
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.