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Trieu: Michigan chases nation’s top three running backs in 2022 class

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

While Michigan fans eagerly await any word of a commitment from West Bloomfield’s Donovan Edwards, the Wolverines are simultaneously working on elite running backs in the 2022 class.

The top three running backs in the country in that class, Emmanuel Henderson, Gavin Sawchuk and Raleek Brown, all have the Wolverines in their top group of schools, but they face stiff competition nationally for all three blue-chippers.

Henderson is the No. 1 running back and No. 8 prospect overall.

Emmanuel Henderson

Michigan offered the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Henderson in March and since then, running backs Jay Harbaugh has been in frequent contact. Their relationship has put Michigan in position to challenge in-state schools Alabama and Auburn. The Tigers lead on the 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions.

He recently listed those three and Georgia as the schools that he felt were prioritizing him. He denied any favorites at the moment.

“I really am high on Michigan and what they have to offer,” he said. “I am looking to major in either physical therapy or sports marketing. I think Michigan can put me in a position to succeed academically."

More: 'Dark day' in Michigan football leaves players with tough calls over NFL careers

Sawchuk comes from Valor Christian in Colorado, the same school that produced Michigan quarterback Dylan McCaffrey.

Michigan was the first offer for Sawchuk, and similarly to Henderson, he has been in frequent contact with Harbaugh. Also similar to Henderson though, the Crystal Ball favors a different school, Oklahoma. Unlike Henderson, Sawchuk has been to campus, having visited last summer.

“I really liked the academic side of the school,” he said following that visit. “I was really impressed with everything that Michigan had to offer, especially the networking to set me up for the future because football won’t last forever. There has to be some sort of backup plan and I was impressed with how Michigan handled that, so that was one thing that stood out for me.”

Brown’s recruitment mirrors Sawchuk’s in that Oklahoma is the predicted leader, but Michigan’s level of contact have them as one of the programs in position to challenge the Sooners. He is the teammate of the Wolverines’ 2021 commit Cristian Dixon.

Harbaugh has established himself as an outstanding recruiter in his young career. In the last two cycles, he has landed four-stars in Zach Charbonnet followed by Blake Corum. He is in position to follow that up with Edwards and challenge for one of these elite backs in 2022.

2021 cornerback offer in Alabama

Michigan has offered a scholarship to Tuscaloosa (Ala.) American Christian cornerback Kamari Lassiter.

The Wolverines are his 24th scholarship offer with Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia and Georgia Tech among the schools at the top of his list.

Lassiter had previously talked about making a college decision before his senior year starter, but no date has been set at this time.

More information

Emmanuel Henderson profile 

Gavin Sawchuk profile 

Raleek Brown 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 detroitnews.com.