Trieu: Michigan 'trending up' in pursuit of linebackers Tyler McLaurin, Jaydon Hood

By Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

Linebacker recruiting is coming into focus for Michigan.

The Wolverines received 247Sports Crystal Ball picks for Bolingbrook (Ill.) standout Tyler McLaurin, and Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas’ Jaydon Hood this week.

Bolingbrook (Ill.) linebacker Tyler McLaurin has Michigan among his five finalists.

McLaurin (6-2, 210 pounds) named the Wolverines to a top five that also includes Nebraska, Michigan State, Iowa State and Texas Tech. Not only is he an athletic, hard-hitting linebacker, McLaurin also holds a 4.2 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and plans to major in computer science. Academics will factor heavily into his college choice.

“What’s important about (Michigan), me and my family find them a well-rounded society,” McLaurin said. “A lot of good people there trying to make you a better person in the long run with the alumni connections there. They’re also a very good educational school, which gives you the best of both worlds with good academics and good football.”

Along with what he does on the field and in the classroom, McLaurin also played varsity basketball in the winter and ran track last spring.

Michigan does not have any Bolingbrook players on the roster, but McLaurin did play against 2020 signee A.J. Henning last fall.

On the flip side, they do have connections with Hood.

His teammate Ja’Den McBurrows is verbally committed, Aquinas grad Anthony Solomon is already on the roster, and to add to that, the Wolverine staff has compared him to Devin Bush, one of his favorite players.

“They’ve been making progress with him and trending up,” said The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb, who made the prediction of Hood to Michigan. “The tag-team effort by (Don) Brown and (Brian) Jean-Mary has not only given Michigan enough momentum for me to believe it will be on it, it has also led to me lodging a Crystal Ball pick in the Wolverines’ favor.”

Jean-Mary, the new linebackers coach, has Florida connections that helped with McBurrows, but Hood would be his first positional get down that way.

“He's great,” Hood said of Jean-Mary. “He’s relatable, and he isn't trying to pressure me. He makes himself available all the time.”

While McLaurin and Hood received positive predictions for Michigan, it is less certain with in-state recruit Jamari Buddin out of Belleville. Michigan still holds a Crystal Ball lead for him, but several predictions have now gone foggy, with Michigan State and Penn State reportedly with momentum.

Buddin said all of his top seven are still on the table, including Michigan.

Michigan remains high on the list of Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood’s Junior Colson, who plans on making a commitment this month. They are also in the top five for Port St. Lucie (Fla.) West Centennial's Deshauwn Alleyne.

2022 offer in Georgia

Michigan has offered Loganville (Ga.) Grayson cornerback Marquis Groves-Killebrew, a highly-regarded sophomore.

The 6-foot, 180-pound Groves-Killebrew is ranked the No. 10 cornerback in the country in his class by 247Sports.

Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Florida, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M and USC are just some of the 25 schools that have offered him scholarships.

Big sophomore OT offered

Lynchburg (Va.) Liberty Christian offensive tackle Zach Rice was offered by Michigan. Rice is a 6-foot-6, 282-pound prospect already ranked as the No. 13 prospect in Virginia for that class.

Michigan is one of 20 offers for him. Ohio State, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, and Arkansas are part of that group.

He was a second-team all-district selection in the fall.

More information

Tyler McLaurin profile

Jaydon Hood profile

Zach Rice 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