Michigan’s Oct. 1 home game against Wisconsin potentially will be the Wolverines’ biggest recruiting weekend of the year, but this week’s matchup with Penn State is quickly turning into an important one as well.
The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb is reporting four major visitors for the game – offensive tackle Toryque Bateman and wide receivers Nico Collins, Oliver Martin and Donovan Peoples-Jones, all four-star recruits. They will all be unofficial visits.
Michigan currently has no wide receiver commits, but are in good position with Collins, Martin, Peoples-Jones and Tarik Black.
Peoples-Jones, from Detroit Cass Tech, is the state’s top prospect. He took an official visit to Nebraska and will visit Florida and Florida State later in the fall. But Michigan’s medical school, and a good visit for the BBQ at the Big House in August, have many believing the Wolverines are the team to beat.
Also a 4.0 GPA student, Peoples-Jones will enroll at the college of his choice in the winter, and because of that he is looking to balance his senior season of football, school, and working toward a December decision right now.
“I’ve only got a couple more months to decide,” he said. “Really it has gone fast, it really has. I’m proud of it, I wouldn’t ask for anything more. But it’s time to focus in on what matters most and that’s going to be my decision.”
Following a visit to Michigan in the summer and then again for the BBQ, Collins, an Alabama native, declared Michigan his top school. Recent reports have Georgia issuing a challenge to that lead, so this visit comes at a good time for the Wolverines.
It comes at a similarly good time for Martin. From Iowa City West High School, he was offered by Michigan during a standout performance at The Opening Finals in July, where he played with Wolverines quarterback commit Dylan McCaffrey. He has taken two unofficial visits to nearby Iowa already this season. While Martin has not named a leader, the Hawkeyes are considered the school Michigan – and other contenders Michigan State, Oregon and Notre Dame – are looking up at.
This will be Martin’s first time at a Michigan game.
Bateman also attended Michigan’s BBQ at the Big House. The 6-foot-8, 300-pound offensive tackle made no secret of his affinity for the Wolverines, saying Michigan was his top school.
Webb describes Bateman’s situation as one where Michigan is “monitoring his academics,” but provided that monitoring produces satisfactory results, it is likely the Gadsden City (Ala.) senior ends up in the class.
In addition to those four uncommitted prospects, Michigan running back commit Kurt Taylor will be on his official visit this weekend. Fellow commits Phil Paea, an in-state defensive tackle, and Joel Honigford, an offensive tackle from Ohio, will visit the Wolverines as unofficial visitors.
Five-star still planning Michigan official
Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage offensive lineman Tedarrell Slaton, a five-star guard, reported to Scout’s Corey Bender that he will take an official visit to Michigan when teammate and Wolverine commit Kai-Leon Herbert takes his to Ann Arbor. That date has not been set up yet.
Slaton (6-3, 341 pounds) says he will take additional official visits but does not know when or to which schools yet.
Herbert, a Michigan commit since the summer, recently took a visit to Florida, but maintains his commitment to the Wolverines.
Slaton said he would like to play with Herbert again in college but that will not be a primary factor in his final decision.
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.