Michigan long has been a top choice for Fort Washington (Md.) National Christian Academy junior offensive tackle William Harrod. A March visit to Ann Arbor only served to further his feelings about the Wolverines.
“They most definitely stand at the top of the recruitment,” Harrod said to The Michigan Insider’s Josh Newkirk at Sunday’s Nike Opening Regional in New Jersey.
Oklahoma, Ohio State and others remain in contention for Harrod, the nation’s No. 20 offensive tackle, per the 247Sports Composite. Michigan had sent their entire coaching staff his way before the last visit, and that is a large piece of why the Wolverines have maintained their status atop his list.
“Consistency is a big part of it,” NCA head coach Andre Kates said. “Every evaluation period, every week, they had coaches there. The first week when he first got offered, Coach (Tim) Drevno came. The week after that Pep (Hamilton) came. The week after that the head coach, Coach (Jim) Harbaugh, came, then it was Coach (Don) Brown the defensive coordinator, and then there were two more coaches after that because I know four coaches total came that week and then after that, it was the defensive line coach. Then Pep was coming also and went to his basketball game. When you start doing that for the kid, he starts to sit back and say they’re really here for me.”
Michigan has a commitment from one offensive tackle, Trente Jones, in the 2019 class, but that is a position they have been looking to add talented bodies at the last few cycles. Harrod had a good performance in New Jersey last weekend, and that just shows he is continuing to move in the right direction after getting started late with football.
“Big Will was a basketball player and nationally ranked when he came to National Christian Academy, so he came as a basketball player and then he kept growing,” Kates said. “Sophomore year, Will was only 6-3 and 220 pounds. We got him on the field that summer and he had a growth spurt to where he was 6-5, 6-6 and 285. Last season was the first year he was actually able to lift, so he got to 305 with lateral movement.”
At that time, National Christian Academy had two All-American offensive linemen in Jauan Williams, who went to Florida State, and Richard Merritt, who went to Maryland. NCA offensive line coach Jason Entzminger, a former top recruit himself who played at Colorado, kept telling Harrod he could be better than his older counterparts, which furthered Harrod’s resolve to improve.
Now today, he is one of the most sought-after recruits in the country.
“You can tell it’s getting hectic for him,” Kates said. “He gets a lot of calls, texts, DMs, all that stuff. I think he will make it before the season. He wants to take visits and then name a top seven after the spring evaluation is done and coaches can come see him work out and move around. Then he will take visits to a few more campuses. His officials in the spring, he will probably do two and then three during the season if he even makes it that far.”
Harrod is looking at visits to Oklahoma and Oregon next.
UM offers N.J. pass rusher
Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy defensive end David Ojabo reported an offer from Michigan on Tuesday. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Ojabo only played football for the first time last fall, but his 6-foot-5, 245-pound frame and athleticism has drawn him offers from around the country.
In addition to Michigan, Ojabo has offers from Penn State, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, West Virginia, and more.
Ojabo played along with Jayson Oweh, an All-American who signed with Penn State, but was heavily recruited by Michigan in the 2018 class.
Conn. WR visits Ann Arbor
Highly recruited Greenwich (Conn.) Brunswick School wide receiver Cornelius Johnson visited Michigan on Tuesday for a practice.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Johnson, ranked as the No. 4 prospect in Connecticut by the 247Sports Composite, holds a Michigan offer, which was extended last month.
Notre Dame, Cal, and Penn State are among the other programs Michigan is battling for Johnson.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. 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.