Trieu: Recruits check in on Michigan at early camp stops

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
Netori Johnson

Michigan has already participated in four satellite camps and we are only just scratching the surface of what will be a busy month for the Wolverine staff.

While the subject of satellite camps has been much debated, the first four camps have been fairly standard. Campers came, the staff addressed them, ran them through drills, had some fun, played some football and left.

After having two graduate assistants at North Central’s camp on Tuesday night, the Wolverines had nearly all of their staff at Bishop Chatard in Indianapolis on Wednesday morning and then at Springfield in Ohio that evening. On Thursday morning, they were in Atlanta.

No new offers were extended, but there were notable recruits who made their way to the camps.

At Bishop Chatard, the Wolverines had a chance to work with two Cathedral High prospects who they have already offered, offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor and running back Markese Stepp, both in the class of 2018.

“The camp went really well,” Ekiyor said. “I think I moved well, did OK in the one-on-ones. It was good just learning stuff from (the Michigan coaching staff) and taking some stuff away to apply to my game.”

He plans to get back to Ann Arbor for a visit this summer.

Decatur Central class of 2018 running back Tyrone Tracy was one of the stars of the show, winning fastest man and then catching the ball well in drills. He has an offer from Cincinnati and is now on firmly on the Michigan radar.

Quarterback Cameron Misner backed up Michigan signee Brandon Peters last season, and this fall will be a big opportunity for him to show he belongs at the Division 1 level. The talk surrounding him is that he has all the tools to do that and he showed off his arm at Chatard. He will only be a junior this season and will be a kid schools keep a close eye on.

At Springfield, two of the Wolverines’ early 2018 commitments, linebacker Antwuan Johnson and tight end Leonard Taylor, did not participate in the camp, but came to support friends and teammates who did work out. Both have taken visits to other schools since their commitment to the Wolverines, but both told The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich at the camp that they are “100-percent committed.”

“My commitment is strong,” Johnson said, “and the only reason I am taking visits is because Coach Harbaugh is one of those coaches that offered me and told me to explore and see what everyone has to offer. I’m taking him up on his word and go see what everyone else has to offer. My commitment is strong and the coaching staff and I have a great relationship, so it’s all good.”

Wojo: Saban frets while Harbaugh gets his way

Among the top performers there was Springfield’s own Danny Davis, a four-star wide receiver who has received offers from Wisconsin, Kentucky and Penn State, among others. He says he is hoping for a Michigan offer. The Wolverine board at that position still has quite a few names on it, but Davis’ performance put him on the radar.

Among the notable news in Atlanta was three Georgia commits, offensive lineman Netori Johnson and linebackers Jaden Hunter and Breon Dixon. They all say they are planning to take official visits to Ann Arbor.

Stone Mountain (Ga.) 2018 offensive lineman Jalil Irvin attended the camp and has the Wolverines as his leader. He is expected to announce a commitment in the very near future.

Alabama fan Malone-Hatcher chooses Michigan

St. Joseph (Mich.) defensive end Corey Malone-Hatcher admitted that, at one time in his life, he liked Alabama so much more than Michigan that he would find ways to make it look like he was accidentally pouring punch on his sister’s Michigan sweaters.

That will not happen any longer as Malone-Hatcher, a four-star prospect, announced his commitment to Michigan on Thursday after telling head coach Jim Harbaugh on Saturday.

His father, Orlando Malone, still has family in Alabama and says he himself still has plenty of Crimson Tide decor and apparel at home. He envisions the two schools meeting one day and seeing his son on college football’s biggest stage playing against Nick Saban and company.

“This 2017 class for Michigan is going to win a national championship,” Orlando Malone said. “In one of the college football championships those two (Michigan and Alabama) are going to meet. I’ll have to call  family back in Alabama and say, ‘Sorry we had to put it on you like that.’”

Malone-Hatcher is Michigan’s 13th commitment in the 2017 class. He and his St. Joseph Bears will open their season in the recently-announced Battle at the Big House Classic on Aug. 26.

More information

Netori Johnson profile

Breon Dixon profile 

Corey Malone-Hatcher profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. 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.