Trieu: Michigan gathers steam on mighty ’17 OL group

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News
From left, Tedarrell Slaton, Nico Collins, Dylan McCaffrey and Kai-Leon Herbert pose for a photo last weekend at Michigan Stadium.

Michigan quarterback commit Dylan McCaffrey spent the weekend in Ann Arbor, coming in for the Aerial Assault camp with his family.

On Friday night, he was in Michigan Stadium, observing the Wolverines’ Bright Lights at the Big House camp. At one point, Michigan passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch walked McCaffrey over to massive, highly-ranked offensive linemen Tedarrell Slaton and Kai-Leon Herbert and said, “These are the men who will be protecting you.”

That would be music to McCaffrey’s ears if both of those Florida linemen ended up in the 2017 class. It’s a class that has a chance to be special on the offensive line. In addition to Herbert and Slaton, five-star Wyatt Davis and four-star Toryque Bateman also visited the Wolverines this weekend, and the reviews were all positive.

“The visit went very, very well,” said Bateman, a 6-foot-8, 300-pound prospect from Gadsden City (Ala.). “I had lots of fun and we toured the campus, the facilities and talked to all of the coaches. I just really hung out during the camp to watch other players. Overall, the visit was an A+ and my expectations were very high and they did exceed them with flying colors.”

Herbert and Slaton, both teammates at Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage, have options near and far, as offers have come from around the country.

Herbert (6-5, 255 pounds) is an athletic, mobile prospect who could play inside or out at the next level.

“The Big House is great, the facilities are top-notch and everything – the campus life is amazing – and everything was good,” he said.

Slaton, by contrast, is a 340-pound mountain of aggression who is rated as a five-star guard.

“I like it,” he said of Michigan. “It has a good vibe to it. It feels like home.”

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Davis made his way to Ohio State on Saturday and is still considering his options.

While none of these nationally-ranked and highly-recruited linemen have an imminent decision date set, the Wolverines are in the mix for all of them.

In addition, the Wolverines’ Big Man Camp on Saturday produced a new offer to nearly 6-foot-7 Connecticut native Andrew Stueber, who had an excellent performance and now has Michigan in the lead.

With three running backs and a highly-regarded quarterback in McCaffrey committed, a big emphasis for this class is clearly putting some big guys in front of that skill talent, and last weekend, the Wolverines took a big step forward in doing that.

Wolverines high on 4-star safety’s list

Michigan was one of the recent offers for Grant Delpit, a highly-regarded safety who transferred from Houston Lamar to IMG Academy for his final season.

Delpit already had offers and familiarity with USC, LSU, Texas, Texas A&M and more, but he said the Wolverines offering after those schools did not affect their standing.

"Michigan is a great school,” said Delpit.  “They are toward the top of my list. I talk to Coach (Brian) Smith almost every day. Text, Twitter, just trying to keep in touch. I haven't gotten up there for a visit yet, but I want to get up there as soon as I can."

Delpit plans to visit either this summer or during the fall for a game.

He says distance from home will not be a factor in his decision.

Michigan offers workout warrior

Throughout this offseason, Peculiar (Mo.) Raymore-Peculiar class of 2017 defensive end Anthony Payne has been one of the best testers and performers at every camp or combine he attends.

At The Opening Regional in March, he ran a 4.73 in the 40-yard dash and posted a 34.4-inch vertical jump at 6-foot-2, 255 pounds. Performances like that one propelled Payne from under-the-radar recruit with a handful of mid-major offers to attention from larger programs.

Michigan became his first Power Five offer on Monday.

Payne told The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich that his interest in Michigan is “very high” and that the Wolverines lead for him.

He plans an August decision.

More information

Tedarrell Slaton profile

Kai-Leon Herbert profile

Anthony Payne 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.