Trieu: Michigan football enjoys big recruiting run; more could be on the way soon
Michigan’s 2020 recruiting class grew by six this week, at least publicly.
The Wolverines also positioned themselves highly with several other top targets who were on campus for a visit, and the hints on social media suggest there are more verbal commits who simply have yet to publicly announce their intentions.
Of the new additions, Jordan Morant of New Jersey is the highest ranked. He comes in as the No. 1 safety in the country on 247Sports.
“I really love the coaching staff," Morant said. “I have to be coached by them. They are from Jersey and there are a lot of New Jersey people there. I feel really comfortable there, plus the tradition is crazy.”
Morant said the coaching staff has talked to him about playing viper and cornerback as well if need be, but that viper spot appears to currently belong to William Mohan of Brooklyn (N.Y.) Erasmus Hall, who also made his verbal commitment over the weekend.
Mohan’s 6-foot-1, 196-pound frame and hard-hitting style make him a good fit at that spot.
Since Jim Harbaugh took over at Michigan, and especially since defensive coordinator Don Brown join the staff, the Wolverines have done particularly well at recruiting the northeast. That includes Brown’s home state of Massachusetts. They kept that momentum going this weekend when they added Eamonn Dennis to the class.
Dennis is a multi-talented athlete who has played slot receiver and defensive back, and for those reasons along with his build, he has drawn comparisons to current Wolverine freshman Mike Sainristil.
On the defensive front, Michigan flipped Williamston (N.J.) defensive end Aaron Lewis, a one-time West Virginia commitment. He gives the Wolverines a 6-foot-5, 235-pound frame and a player who knows how to find his way into the backfield, as evidenced by his 25 tackles for loss as a junior.
“I feel like I just fit there,” Lewis said. “I had great communication with the players, great communication with the coaches. I was with the players almost the whole time I was on the visit.”
San Juan Capistrano (Calif.) J Serra Catholic offensive tackle Jeffrey Persi was a major pickup, a West Coast kid who the Wolverines beat West Coast programs on. 6-foot-7, 265 pounds with good feet, Persi could be the left tackle of the future.
He was joined by center Reece Atteberry of Aurora (Colo.) Eaglecrest, who is a three-star on the 247Sports Composite, but a four-star in 247Sports’ in-house rankings.
“I've had a close relationship with coach Ed Warinner,” Atteberry told 247’s Blair Angulo. “He has a great résumé and reputation, and at Michigan everyone is family so it's going to be great to be a part of that.”
In addition to those commits, Michigan appears to have strengthened their standing with Illinois speedster A.J. Henning, who has long had Michigan high on the list, but strong visits to Georgia and Penn State cast some doubt before this return trip.
Defensive lineman Kris Jenkins and wide receiver Brenden Rice, neither of which appeared to be layups for Michigan now are trending Michigan’s way on the 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Coming this week, running back D.J. Jones and offensive lineman Andrew Raym will announce their decisions after visiting Michigan officially, but the in-state competition (North Carolina for Jones and Oklahoma for Raym) is stiff.
All in all, the weekend of visits, long pointed to as a major stretch for Michigan in recruiting, did not disappoint.
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.