Trieu: No. 1 center in 2021 class has Michigan in top 3, 'could get used to' Wolverines

By Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Michigan made the top three for Ryan Linthicum, a junior from Damascus (Md.) ranked by 247Sports as the No. 1 center in the country in his class.

Michigan made the top three for Ryan Linthicum, a junior from Damascus (Maryland) ranked by 247Sports as the No. 1 center in the country in the 2021 class.

Clemson and Virginia Tech round out the list for the 6-foot-4, 275-pound Linthicum.

He visited the Wolverines in late July for the BBQ at the Big House.

“I got to see Coach (Ed) Warinner and how the offensive line staff coaches and it was good time to get up,” Linthicum said. “I really like how Coach Warinner coaches. I like the way he coaches and the staff. I could get used to it.”

He will visit Clemson on Sept. 21 and said previously he was planning on a Michigan visit this fall, potentially the Ohio State game, but that has not been firmed up yet.

Linthicum told 247Sports director of recruiting Steve Wiltfong that a decision could come soon, however.

“I want to find a great coach, good atmosphere, place where I feel at home and if I weren’t able to play football anymore, then I would still want to go to school and love it and enjoy it,” he said. “I want a really great atmosphere and culture.”

Linthicum played on the Damascus varsity as a freshman, establishing himself as a prospect to know about, but his development as a sophomore is what made evaluators consider him to be among the nation’s best.

“He has a powerful body with sturdy frame,” said Brian Dohn, East coast analyst for 247Sports. “He played lacrosse growing up. He is flexible in his upper body and has quick feet. He should be a starter early in his career at an elite program.”

Clemson, who has a commitment from Linthicum’s teammate Bryan Bresee in the 2020 class, is gaining traction among recruiting analysts as the leader in this recruitment, but to this point, Linthicum has only named a top three, not a favorite.

Michigan has two commitments in the 2021 class: quarterback J.J. McCarthy and offensive lineman Giovanni El-Hadi.

West coast receiver visiting this weekend

Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton senior wide receiver Brenden Rice will be in the Big House on Saturday visiting the Wolverines when they open the season against Middle Tennessee State.

Rice already used his official visit to Michigan on June 21, so this will be an unofficial visit.

Michigan is considered to be the leader here with Colorado, Arizona State and Oregon also in pursuit.

Rice is a 6-foot-2, 204-pound prospect timed at 4.62 in the 40-yard dash.

He is the son of NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice.

4-star lineman has UM in top group

Pittsburgh (Pa.) Central Catholic junior defensive tackle Elliot Donald, the nephew of Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald, has named Michigan to his top eight.

The Wolverines are joined by Penn State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Pitt, LSU, West Virginia and Texas A&M on the list.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Donald took a visit to Michigan last fall. He has not set a return date for this season but has mentioned it as a possibility.

Donald is ranked by the 247Sports composite as the No. 85 prospect in the country and rated a four-star recruit. He had 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss as a sophomore.

More information

Ryan Linthicum profile

Brenden Rice profile

Elliot Donald 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