Maliq Carr caught 21 passes as a junior this season for Oak Park and he made them count. Those 21 receptions went for 815 yards and nine touchdowns, good for nearly 40 yards a reception.
On Friday, Carr produced his highlight tape from this season, and as it made the rounds, he quickly added new offers. Michigan, Penn State, Indiana and Notre Dame all offered before the weekend was over. They join existing offers from Ohio State, Iowa, Missouri and more.
“It was a big jump between sophomore and junior season,” said Carr’s stepfather and Oak Park assistant coach William McMichael. “His freshman year, he had a good year on JV. But this year was a big jump in touchdowns and receptions, he was better running routes, and he worked hard in the weight room, and you can see that strength in his highlights from stiff-arms to snatching the ball away from defenders who are right there. He made great strides, but we need to keep working to get to where we want to get to.”
At 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, Carr is also an excellent basketball player who averaged 21 points per game last winter. Missouri has also offered in basketball. He has already started practice for basketball now that Oak Park’s football season is completed. His mother, Peggy Carr-McMichael, is a former Miss Basketball who played at Tennessee and Ohio State. His father Cornell Mann played at Colorado and Akron, and is now the assistant men’s basketball coach at Missouri.
With that much basketball in his DNA, which sport to play in college is a decision Carr still has to make.
“He is still trying to figure it out,” McMichael said. “Some days he says would like to play both sports. It depends on the school and situation. He has some good opportunities in basketball, but nothing compared to what he got over the weekend in football.”
Carr was offered by Penn State shortly before he left for South Bend to visit Notre Dame. The Irish then offered on the visit, Indiana and Michigan followed on Sunday.
“He’s excited about the Michigan offer,” McMichael said. “He talks to the tight ends coach, Coach (Sherrone) Moore. They have developed a solid relationship. He’s excited about getting a Michigan offer even though Mom’s a Buckeye.”
McMichael added that Michigan leans more toward tight end. Some schools think Carr can be a big wideout in college, some like him as a flex tight end, some are not sure what he will grow into, but they just know they want him.
“He is kind of open either way,” McMichael explained. “I think he prefers to play receiver, but he also likes the hybrid tight end, like what Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) does with the Patriots where he can play inside or split him out.”
Carr’s next football visit will be to Ohio State on Nov. 24 when the Buckeyes play Michigan.
Visitors for Indiana
The Wolverines will have their final home game Saturday against Indiana with many recruits expected to be in attendance.
Three big offensive linemen in the 2020 class who will be there are Norwalk (Ohio) tackle Trey Leroux (6-8, 320 pounds), Ypsilanti Lincoln’s Tate MacKenzie (6-8, 315 pounds), and Berea (Ohio) Midpark’s Jared Byczinski (6-4, 295 pounds).
Another local product who will be visiting is Detroit Catholic Central tight end Mike Harding, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound prospect who has offers from Bowling Green, Western Michigan and Toledo.
The Michigan Insider’s Steve Lorenz also confirmed that running back commit Eric Gray is expected on campus. That is important as the Memphis (Tenn.) Lasaunne Collegiate star has visited other programs this fall despite his verbal commitment to the Wolverines.
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.