Trieu: UM stock rising with QB Thompson-Robinson, WR Hall
If the previous 24 days of satellite camping around the country had worn out Jim Harbaugh, he certainly has not shown it on Michigan’s West Coast swing. The Wolverines head coach donned the jerseys of Kobe Bryant, Stephen Curry, Colin Kaepernick and Junior Seau at California camps before stopping at a roadside stand in Inglewood to pick up a Marcus Mariota jersey before heading to Hawaii for another camp on Sunday.
One of the Wolverines’ top targets in the 2018 class, quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, made the trip from his Las Vegas hometown to Los Angeles for Michigan’s camp. His mother is a Michigan alum, but he has many offers, and UCLA and Arizona State are also at the top of his list.
"(My mom) would love it if I went to Michigan but she hasn't pushed me to go there or make a decision," he said. “I was actually in the car with my mom when I got (offered). She was so happy she almost crashed the car. It was a really fun time. I was really happy I got that one."
An athletic, 6-foot-2, 200-pound prospect, Thompson-Robinson says a good dentistry program is important to him, but distance from home and style of offense are not going to be as high on his list of factors.
One prospect Michigan would love to pair Thompson-Robinson with, should they land his commitment, is five-star wide receiver Jalen Hall, a rising junior at Los Angeles Hawkins, who was described by The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb (who saw Hall at the satellite camp) as having “great burst and change of direction.”
Hall (6-4, 183 pounds) has nearly 40 offers and the Wolverines will have their work cut out to get him away from the West Coast, but his willingness to attend the camp and get to know the coaches there gives the Wolverines an opportunity to do that.
That camp appearance also comes on the heels of a spring visit to Ann Arbor he took.
“It was cool,” Hall said. “I went with my team. We got to see the uniforms, I’m a big fan of Jordan’s, that’s real big. Just getting to talk to the coaches and seeing how they do things down there. Get to know them personally and see if they have my back on and off the field. Each time I get to see them I have a great time talking to them.”
It was not just young prospects Michigan got to work with on this Golden State tour. Arguably the biggest name at any of the Wolverines’ satellite stops was five-star running back Najee Harris, who is committed to Alabama, but took time out to work with the Wolverine staff.
“He is a kid that doesn’t give you too much,” said Webb. “He keeps things close to the vest. His recruitment is open, he said he will not comment on his rapport with the Michigan coaches. Spent a lot of time with running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley and Bam Richards. He seemed to take to Wheatley’s coaching; we don’t know how that will weigh into his decision making. But it appeared he had a strong rapport with the Michigan coaching staff.”
Sacramento Burbank defensive end D.J. Johnson is one of the class of 2017 prospects the Wolverines are still looking to add to what is already a strong front seven class.
A four-star prospect, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Johnson holds offers from USC, UCLA, Alabama, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Oregon and many others. While popular opinion is that the Wolverines trail some of those schools, Johnson plans to visit Michigan for one of his five officials in the fall, and Harbaugh’s presence is a large part of that decision.
"I followed the 49ers a little bit when they played and they were good, I know they went to the Super Bowl," Johnson said. “He was a great coach on that level so for him to come down it shouldn't be hard for him to have success on this level either, and he's getting a lot of great players to go to the school."
The Wolverines wrap up their June “Summer Swarm” satellite tour in American Samoa this week.
Wolverines offer in-state linebacker
Farmington Hills Harrison rising junior linebacker Ovie Oghoufo was offered by Michigan last week, during a run that saw him also pick up offers from Michigan State, Boston College, Notre Dame and Cincinnati. Oghoufo (6-3, 210 pounds) had 66 tackles (19 for loss) and eight sacks as a sophomore for the Hawks last season.
He plans to attend Michigan’s BBQ at the Big House on Aug. 6.
The Wolverines have had success at Harrison in the past, signing Devin Funchess and Mario Ojemudia in 2011.
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.