Trieu: Michigan makes push for California quarterback C.J. Stroud
Michigan is in an unusual recruiting position, that of needing to secure a quarterback commit late in the fall.
That is because the quarterback who was in the class, J.D. Johnson, medically retired, and will instead join the coaching staff in Ann Arbor when he enrolls.
In the 2016 class, Brandon Peters committed to Michigan in April of his junior year. The following cycle, Dylan McCaffrey made his verbal in February of his junior year. Joe Milton and Cade McNamara followed by committing in May and March of their junior years, respectively.
While the month and a half the Wolverines have to search the country for a quarterback may be a crunch, they are also in a position to be able to evaluate the senior films of potential candidates.
That recently led them to C.J. Stroud of Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.), a polished, athletic 6-foot-2, 194-pound All-American, and the first signal-caller to be offered by Michigan following the news about Johnson.
At one time, Stroud was considered under-recruited. That quickly changed after he earned a spot in the Elite 11 Finals and was one of the top performers there. His recruitment, which was very West Coast-centered to that point, began to expand. Ohio State offered him earlier in the fall as did Georgia. Oregon and UCLA, two Pac-12 programs who had not offered as of The Opening Finals, have offered since then.
The lone Big Ten school to offer in the summer was Michigan State, and Stroud did consider the Spartans, saying his father is from Detroit. That connection to the Midwest is something the Wolverines can hope will help get him on campus with limited weekends left to take official visits.
“Michigan recently offered Stroud and is pushing hard to get a visit,” 247Sports’ Greg Biggins said. “He’s very close with key defensive backs target Darion Green-Warren, and would love to try and get the two to trip together. The only issue is Stroud is visiting Oregon the weekend Green-Warren is visiting Michigan, so it could be tough to get him on campus.”
Ohio State is likely to get an official in December, and Stroud also is looking at visiting Georgia soon.
The Wolverines will continue to take their swing at Stroud, but are also continuing to evaluate other quarterback prospects.
One who could fit the bill is Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis’ Jayden de Laura, the teammate of Michigan wide receiver commit Roman Wilson. A Washington State commit, de Laura recently was offered by Ohio State, an opportunity which came about after he passed for 2,700 yards and 26 touchdowns on the season.
Another possibility is Jeff Sims, a four-star recruit from Jacksonville (Fla.) Sandalwood who is committed to Florida State, but is sure to hear from other programs with the Seminoles firing head coach Willie Taggart earlier in the week.
More names could emerge too as Michigan’s staff continues to use their bye week both to prepare for Michigan State and to recruit.
UM offers Iowa tight end
Michigan extended an offer to Council Bluffs (Ia.) Lewis Central junior tight end Thomas Fidone on Monday night.
A 6-foot-5, 215-pound pass-catcher who also can play on the outside, Fidone holds eight offers including Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota and LSU.
Fidone has not yet visited the Wolverines prior to this offer.
He is being recruited by tight ends coach Sherrone Moore, who extended the offer.
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.