Trieu: Michigan, Purdue might battle more on recruiting trail

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
George Karlaftis

Purdue and Michigan’s Big Ten opener on Saturday was not a game many Wolverine fans had likely circled as a key contest prior to the season. With the Boilermakers at 2-1, coming off lopsided wins over Missouri and Ohio and playing Louisville much tougher than expected, Purdue has now become a much more intriguing game.

In terms of recruiting, there are several storylines in the game.

Purdue and Michigan have not crossed paths much on the recruiting trail of late. The two schools have been at opposite ends of the recruiting rankings.

The most notable moment in Boilermaker-Wolverine recruiting history came in the class of 2008 when Michigan, needing another wide receiver in their class, offered a late scholarship to Trotwood (Ohio) Madison’s Roy Roundtree, who was then committed to Purdue. When he switched to Michigan on National Signing Day, Purdue head coach Joe Tiller famously branded Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez a “snake oil salesman.”

Purdue has only one player on its roster who had a Michigan offer out of high school – wide receiver Corey Jones, who signed with Notre Dame and then transferred to West Lafayette.

There are five Michigan natives on Purdue’s roster, none of whom were recruited heavily by Michigan, and may have extra motivation for this game as a result. West Bloomfield natives Eddy Wilson and Navon Mosley play big roles at defensive tackle and safety, Dearborn’s Bearooz Yacoobi is also in the two-deep on the offensive line. Clarkston’s Tim Cason started at cornerback last year, but has missed time early this season. Holland native Wade Buckman is a redshirt freshman tight end.

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One of Purdue’s best defenders is defensive end Gelen Robinson, who is the younger brother of former Michigan basketball star Glenn Robinson III. The Wolverines had Robinson at camp, but did not offer a scholarship.

Purdue will have one visitor with a Michigan offer for this game. Junior defensive end George Karlaftis is from right there at West Lafayette High School. He holds an offer from Michigan, visited for the BBQ at the Big House and has several 247Sports Crystal Ball picks in for Michigan.

The current Boilermaker class has 22 commits, many more than they have had at this point in the year during the last several cycles. New head coach Jeff Brohm has breathed life into the school’s recruiting efforts.

It will take time and wins before they are likely to challenge Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and the conference’s other top recruiting programs for kids. But with Michigan’s recent concentration in Indianapolis – Wolverines running back Chris Evans had a Purdue offer and so did 2018 commits Cameron McGrone and Emil Ekiyor Jr. – the two schools may bump heads some in Indiana.

Purdue has momentum both on the field and on the recruiting trail right now, but Michigan has a chance to put a stop to that on Saturday.

Wolverines offer wide receiver after visit

Lorton (Va.) South County wide receiver Dillon Spalding visited Michigan on Saturday and was offered by the Wolverines following the trip.

The 6-foot-1, 216-pound Spalding has offers from East Carolina, Temple, Virginia Tech and many others. His size will allow him to move around the offense and the Wolverine coaches shared those plans with him on his visit.

Spalding called his visit to Ann Arbor “amazing” but added he will visit Pittsburgh, East Carolina and Appalachian State before reaching a decision.

Michigan commit set to be honored

Dearborn Divine Child’s Aidan Hutchinson, a long time Michigan commit, will receive his official U.S. Army All-American Bowl jersey on Monday at a ceremony at his school.

Hutchinson (6-6, 260 pounds) is the son of former Wolverine Chris Hutchinson. He has been playing defensive end and tight end this season for Divine Child but was recruited by Michigan as a defensive player.

He is rated as a four-star prospect on Scout and 247Sports.

More information

George Karlaftis 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.