Jim Harbaugh’s 2016 recruiting class, his first full one at Michigan, included six players from the state of Florida. Three of those players -- wide receiver Eddie McDoom, linebacker Devin Bush and safety Josh Metellus -- played as true freshmen last fall.
The Wolverines are again recruiting the Sunshine State heavily in the 2018 class.
A prospect who is rising quickly down that way is Orlando Olympia quarterback Joe Milton. A 6-foot-5, 212-pound prospect, he impressed at the recent Nike Opening Regional and the Under Armour All-America camp. These camp performances have coincided with a host of new offers. Michigan was part of that surge along with Tennessee, Georgia and Louisville.
He has a unique tie to Michigan and Jim Harbaugh, which he explained to Scout’s John Garcia.
"Jim Harbaugh taught my cousin in the NFL for the 49ers, Anquan Boldin," he said. "My cousin talked to me and said Harbaugh is a great person, he does the right thing at all times. It's great I know someone who has all that under their belt, for them to tell me that is great. He stays focused and always leads his team the right way.”
To date, Michigan has only offered two quarterbacks in the 2018 class -- Milton and Las Vegas Bishop Gorman’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson.
After two straight weeks of seeing him at these events, Garcia noted Milton’s improvement. He was excellent at the Under Armour camp. Scout named him as a top-five overall performer afterward.
“From drills to one-on-ones, even through seven-on-seven work, he was the cream of the Orlando crop on Sunday,” Garcia said. “He is physically impressive on the hoof, tall and well put-together, but his arm was fluid with a quick release through the afternoon.”
Milton has said Florida would be a dream offer but claims no favorites at this time. He also is not certain if he will visit Ann Arbor.
He may not make a decision until late in his senior season.
While there is still much to be determined, he has been impressed with his early contact from Michigan.
"Great coaching staff, (Jim) Harbaugh is a great coach,” he said. “They’ve talked to me a lot. Pep Hamilton has been honest with me so far, so I like the coaching staff."
Milton passed for 1,543 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior.
Wolverines offer in-state four-star
Traverse City West four-star offensive tackle prospect Ryan Hayes was offered by Michigan last week. The Wolverines now join Michigan State, Northwestern, Kentucky, Notre Dame and others on his list.
A 6-foot-7, 250-pound junior, Hayes has played tight end for the Titans, but projects to tackle in college.
Michigan’s new run game coordinator and tackles coach Greg Frey recruited Hayes’ older brother Connor when Frey was at Indiana. Frey also recruited at Traverse City West during his first stint at Michigan. He had a commitment from offensive tackle Jake Fisher during that time, but Fisher switched to Oregon after Michigan made a coaching change late in that cycle. Fisher is now with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Hayes says he will visit Michigan at the end of this month.
Detroit sophomore visiting on Tuesday
Marvin Grant, a sophomore defensive back at Detroit King, will visit Michigan on Tuesday.
Grant (6-2, 190 pounds) holds offers from Toledo and Iowa. He was a key part of King’s state title repeat last season as their starting free safety, and he also saw time at running back.
He is projected to be one of the state’s top recruits in his class. The Wolverines have signed defensive backs from Detroit King in each of the last two classes in Lavert Hill and Ambry Thomas.
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.