Michigan hosts Iowa this weekend and the Wolverines will have notable recruits on hand for the game.
The biggest name in the 2020 class will be Windsor (Ontario) Holy Names tight end Theo Johnson. Michigan has been in the thick of the battle for Johnson, a 6-foot-6, 235-pound four-star, since UM offered him in January. This will be an unofficial visit and he will return for an official visit the weekend of Oct. 26, when the Wolverines take on Notre Dame.
He will also visit Penn State and Iowa coming up. Those are considered two of the other main contenders in the battle, along with Georgia.
In the 2021 class, LaGrange (Ill.) Nazareth defensive end Ryan Keeler will visit Michigan this weekend. He is the teammate and friend of quarterback commit J.J. McCarthy, who will also be at the game. Michigan leads on Keeler’s 247Sports Crystal Ball, but he has a growing offer list and has taken many unofficial visits, and is giving other schools like Wisconsin, Iowa, Boston College, Minnesota and more a good look.
Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy 2021 offensive lineman Noah Josey visited Michigan in the summer and is returning. He has an offer list that includes the Wolverines and schools like Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan State, Penn State and more. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Josey is ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the No. 14 guard in the country in his class.
Another interior offensive lineman coming is Harper Woods center Davion Weatherspoon, a junior who has long held an offer from the Wolverines. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound Weatherspoon has been a varsity starter since his freshman season and has also been a dominant presence on the camp circuit, including winning MVP at The Opening Regionals in Ohio.
Tale of the recruiting tape
In terms of head to head battles, this year’s Theo Johnson recruitment is a somewhat rare case of Michigan and Iowa being in the final group for a recruit.
Michigan did go into Iowa to land Oliver Martin in the 2017 class, but Martin has now transferred back to Iowa, so the Wolverines have no players from Iowa on their roster.
On the flip side, the Hawkeyes have eight players from Michigan on their roster. Of the players on scholarship, only offensive tackle Alaric Jackson, from Detroit Renaissance, reported an offer from the Wolverines. Defensive linemen Chauncey Golston and Cedrick Lattimore, and cornerback Michael Ojemudia are starters from Michigan who did not hold UM offers and may have some extra motivation against the Wolverines this weekend.
Michigan did offer the Hawkeyes star defensive end A.J. Epenesa, but as a Hawkeye legacy, that never seemed to be a recruitment in which the Wolverines were a true contender.
One more notable is Wolverines running back Ben VanSumeren, who was an Iowa commit at the time Michigan came in with an offer and he flipped.
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.