Trieu: Target Mike Sainristil could be Michigan's next Northeast gem

By Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

The Northeast has been a productive recruiting area for Michigan, and not always from the expected states.

Take Rhode Island native Kwity Paye, for instance, or fullback Ben Mason from Connecticut, — two players who have been productive for the Wolverines this season.

Everett (Mass.) athlete Mike Sainristil recently decommitted from Virginia Tech, and could help Michigan in multiple areas.

Michigan would like cornerback/athlete Mike Sainristil to be the next in this line. The Wolverines have been recruiting the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Everett (Mass.) product for several months, and had him on campus for July’s BBQ at the Big House.

At that time, Sainristil was committed to Virginia Tech, and he remained committed until recently. With his recruitment now open, he has set a visit to Michigan for Nov. 3, the day the Wolverines host Penn State. Michigan and Boston College now sit as two of the top contenders.

Leading the charge for Michigan is defensive coordinator and Massachusetts native Don Brown.

“Michigan wants me to keep close contact, and I am with Coach Brown,” Sainristil told 247Sports analyst Brian Dohn.

He also spoke highly of his last visit to Ann Arbor.

“Honestly, I’d say everything (stood out),” Sainristil said. “I’d say the welcoming. You feel it. You come in and all the coaches are like, ‘Hey how are you doing?’ It’s not always just football, football, football. It’s like, how is your life going? People actually care for you. I take that in a lot.”

Michigan has one true cornerback committed in this class in D.J. Turner, so the need for another cover corner is there, but Sainristil’s offensive output as a senior suggests he may be able to help in other areas as well.

“He's interesting in that, at first, it was all DB,” Dohn said, “but the more you look at him, he’s really quick, has slot receiver ability, and has some ability in the return game too, so he’s an intriguing kid. He is not the biggest, not the strongest, but he has some things you can’t teach and he’s a good competitor also. Virginia Tech has talked offense, Michigan brought up some offense or return-game stuff. He is being recruited more in the athlete category.”

While there have been questions about level of competition in that part of the country, the success of Paye and others has helped quell any doubts, and Sainristil hails from a program that has consistently produced talent.

“Everett is one of the top, if not the top public school in the area, and they always have intriguing skill players,” Dohn said.

Everett also is still playing, which affects Sainristil’s ability to take visits and move through recruiting, but the Wolverines remain a popular pick, as every one of his seven predictions on his 247Sports Crystal Ball is for Michigan.

“Boston College has a heavy influence there also,” Dohn said. “I think he wants to get back to BC, so at least one more visit to each school, but I could also see him wanting to do officials.”

Michigan’s 2019 class currently sits at 23 commits and is ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten by 247Sports.

Bye week big man stops

Michigan has three major targets at the offensive tackle position in the 2019 class: Lakeville (Minn.) North’s Bryce Benhart, Crystal Lake (Ill.) South’s Trevor Keegan, and Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst’s Danielson Ike.

With the bye week happening this week, Michigan’s coaches will be on the road, and offensive line coach Ed Warinner is due to be at the schools of Benhart and Ike.

Keegan already took an official visit to Michigan on Oct. 13, and Ike might take one later in the year, while the Wolverines are hoping to get Benhart back to campus if possible.

More information

Mike Sainristil profile

Trevor Keegan profile

Bryce Benhart profile

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