Michigan added three new coaches to the staff recently: Dan Enos (wide receivers/assistant coach), Sherrone Moore (tight ends) and Al Washington (linebackers/special teams), and all have recruited aggressively out of the gate.
Washington, a Columbus native whose last stop was Cincinnati, extended offers to Lexington junior defensive end Cade Stover and Cincinnati St. Xavier sophomore offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr., both among Ohio’s top prospects in their respective classes. That is music to the ears of Michigan fans who hoped the Wolverines would offer more Ohio recruits. He also joined newly re-signed Chris Partridge in stopping in Georgia to see commit Otis Reese, who did not sign with Michigan in the Early Signing Period, prompting concerns that Georgia and other programs may be a factor.
Moore has been in contact with several young prospects, notably four-star defensive end Marcus Hicks of Wichita (Kan.) Northwest and several national tight end recruits.
Enos has been in on the tight ends act, as well, offering Hudson Henry, who is committed to Arkansas, where Enos was before joining the staff in Ann Arbor.
Michigan also offered Belleville junior defensive back/wide receiver Julian Barnett recently. Barnett is committed to Michigan State and Wolverine faithful have wondered if and when a Michigan offer would come. Even if Barnett does not show interest in Michigan (there are no indications this will affect his commitment to the Spartans), the message is clear that these new hires are looking to impact recruiting.
“I think the one with Moore just being able to get on the road, Al Washington is the first name that comes to mind,” The Michigan Insider’s Steve Lorenz said. “Ohio is a place we thought they maybe should be more aggressive in, and they come in and offer Stover, who is probably an Ohio State lean, but it’s one of those things where you get a guy in there and make them work a little more for it.”
The offer to Barnett and the Ohio offers might signify more aggressiveness in the Midwest, but all three coaches have ties to all corners of the country.
“I look at where they put some of these guys -- Washington in Ohio and Georgia, two of the tougher areas to recruit for Michigan, and anybody for that matter -- and I think that’s an indicator the staff thinks they hired a potentially elite recruiter,” Lorenz said. “Enos and Moore have experience all over the country. They both have elite recruiter potential. Enos was with Harbaugh and saw (Wisconsin quarterback commit) Graham Mertz. I had a good reaction from some of the Detroit-area coaches on Enos. Al Washington also got a great review from Ron Bellamy at West Bloomfield.”
Once spring practice starts, it will be easier to quantify the impact these coaches will make with the current players on the staff, but for now, their recruiting effect has been immediate.
“They needed this,” Lorenz said. “My biggest thing was, I think they needed more grinders on the recruiting trail. There are more guys that are going to put in the seven-days-a-week type effort on the recruiting trail.”
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.