Michigan enters the final two weeks before the early signing period with 24 verbal commitments in their 2020 class. That class currently ranks 13th in the country and second in the Big Ten, per the 247Sports composite team recruiting rankings Tuesday afternoon.
With 24 already in tow, there is not a large number of available spots the Wolverines need to fill, so as the coaching staff hits the road, they are seeing young prospects, as well as looking to close out this class.
Here is the short list of items to watch in the 2020 cycle:
Michigan has four offensive linemen committed, but of that group, Jeffrey Persi is the lone true tackle. Adding one more tackle would truly complete this group and the Wolverines have some irons in the fire.
Andrew Gentry, a national Top 100 prospect from Littleton (Colo.) Columbine, is one of those. He visited the Wolverines officially in June, then returned for a game in the fall. Offensive line coach Ed Warinner was at his school this week as the Wolverines continue to battle BYU, who is considered the favorite, Virginia, Stanford and more.
James Pogorelc, a fast-riser this fall, will take his official visit to Michigan this weekend. The 6-foot-7, 270-pound Chantilly (Va.) native will visit Virginia the following weekend. North Carolina, Stanford and Syracuse are among the other schools in the race.
Defensive coordinator Don Brown was at Boston College High School to check in on offensive tackle Ozzy Trapilo, a 6-foot-8, 255-pound prospect. Trapilo is committed to Boston College and despite overtures from the Wolverines and other programs, has remained solidly committed to the Eagles.
As the early signing period approaches, one of the bigger story lines to follow for Michigan is what heavily-recruited tight end Theo Johnson of Windsor (Ontario) Holy Names will do. Michigan has been one of the schools on his short list for some time, with insiders believing different schools were in the best position at various times. Now Johnson is entering the home stretch while still deciding between the Wolverines, Penn State, Georgia and Iowa. He has delayed his commitment on more than one occasion to give himself more time to make an informed decision. He visited Michigan for their final two regular-season home games, so the Wolverines have received the last two visits from him.
Michigan will welcome Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) quarterback C.J. Stroud to campus for an official visit this weekend. Stroud is the only quarterback the Wolverines have offered in the wake of their quarterback commit, J.D. Johnson, having to medically retire. Stroud has become one of the more sought-after quarterback prospects in the country with Ohio State, Oregon, Georgia and others in pursuit. He had limited time to take his remaining officials, so it was a positive for Michigan that they were able to secure this visit, which was not always a certainty. He will be joined this weekend by fellow Californian Darion Green-Warren, a highly regarded cornerback.
Keeping commits in the class
The staff is expected to see all of their commits during this time. At present, the only committed player who has taken recent visits to other schools is safety Jordan Morant. However, he returned to Michigan last weekend and where he once was considering waiting until February’s National Signing Day to sign, 247Sports’ Brian Dohn is now reporting Morant will sign on Dec. 18, and that he is expected to sign with Michigan. Securing a signature from the four-star prospect is certainly a priority for Michigan. Area recruiter Chris Partridge was at Morant’s school, Bergen Catholic, on Monday.
The Tampa (Fla.) Berkley Prep defensive end visited Michigan for the Ohio State game and left with good things to say about his trip. That was an unofficial visit and Harrell says he would like to return to Ann Arbor for an official, so locking down that date will be the next step.
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.