In just less than two weeks, Michigan will take on Florida to open the 2017 season. The Wolverines have run into the Gators on the recruiting trail with some frequency in Jim Harbaugh’s tenure, and long after the clock hits zero during the two teams’ Sept. 2 tilt, the battle will wage on for junior defensive end Jaquaze Sorrells.
A 6-foot-3, 256-pound native of Largo (Fla.), Sorrells was offered by Florida in June 2016 and committed on the spot to the Gators, a school he had followed growing up. That was his only offer at the time, but other schools, including Michigan, have offered since. Sorrells has not decommitted, but has not shied away from looking into other programs, either.
He visited Clemson in July and plans to visit Michigan on Oct. 7 when the Wolverines play host to rival Michigan State.
“I'm excited because it's a new campus I'll be on,” Sorrells said, “but honestly I just want to see what the Michigan Wolverines look like in action and get to see what everything is like in Michigan."
Sorrells is ranked nationally by Scout as the No. 113 prospect overall in the 2019 class and No. 7 strong-side defensive end.
His primary recruiters have been defensive line coach Greg Mattison and offensive tackles and tight ends coach Greg Frey, a Florida native.
“A major reason for his interest towards Michigan is Greg Frey,” The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich said. “Coach Frey was recruiting him hard at Indiana and has carried that over to Ann Arbor. He said with Coach Frey heading to Michigan, his interest right away rose in the Wolverines and never imagined even getting an offer.”
"My relationship with Coach Frey is like Shaq and Kobe,” Sorrells added. “Coach Frey wants the best for me and he's from my area, so he knows what us (Pinellas County) kids lack when it comes down to personal stuff. And with me, he plays the role of being a big brother, best friend, etc. He just knows what to do when it comes down to Pinellas County talent."
While he has maintained his commitment to the Gators, that relationship with Frey, along with the newly-scheduled visit to Ann Arbor, gives Michigan a good opportunity with Sorrells.
And that, Michigan fans hope, will be their second victory over the Gators.
Fast starts for Wolverine commits
Some of Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class got started with their senior seasons last week. Buford (Ga.) running back Christian Turner turned in the most notable performance, rushing for 128 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns to help his team defeat Hillgrove.
Indianapolis Lawrence Central linebacker Cameron McGrone played his first game since injuring his knee last October and notched several tackles for loss and quarterback knockdowns in a win over Lafayette McCutcheon.
Offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor Jr. also began his season. Ekiyor played center for Indianapolis Cathedral in their loss to Louisville (Ky.) St. Xavier. Lee County (Ga.) safety/viper Otis Reese began his season in impressive fashion, contributing several big hits and pass breakups in his team’s 21-17 victory over Forsyth (Ga.) Mary Persons.
The rest of the Wolverine commits will begin play this weekend.
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.