Trieu: Michigan enters fray for 5-star Austin Jackson
Michigan made waves last week when it hosted a large group of notable recruits, but made significant progress with five-star offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, moving from what seemed like a long shot into a real position to pull an upset over Alabama. The Florida native is currently a soft verbal commit to the Crimson Tide.
Now the Wolverines will look to land an at-bat for another five-star offensive tackle, Phoenix North Canyon’s Austin Jackson, an athletic 6-foot-5, 255-pound prospect viewed as one of the nation’s best. Michigan always seemed like a fringe contender for him, and that may still be the case, but like Leatherwood, getting Jackson on campus could change that and he is looking to give them the opportunity.
"In my mix right now are Arizona State and USC, definitely. They recruit me the most,” he told Scout’s Blair Angulo. “I'm also into Michigan and hoping to get to the Big House here pretty soon. Texas A&M is right there, as well."
Jackson also has an official visit set with Oregon.
He has a local connection to Arizona State and a family one to USC as his grandfather played for the Trojans. That is part of what the Wolverines will have to overcome if they are to truly get in the game with him.
"With Michigan, the program overall is intriguing and the type of legacy they've got there,” Jackson said. “I definitely want to see what they've got going on."
An Army All-American, Jackson will play in that bowl game in January and hopes to make a decision during that month, as well.
Michigan bye-week stops
The Michigan staff will use their bye week to get out on the road and see recruits. Sam Webb reports head coach Jim Harbaugh will get to California and see five-star running back Najee Harris and offensive tackle Aaron Banks, who the Wolverines hosted for their August BBQ at the Big House.
The Wolverines are also expected to get to Texas to see five-star linebacker Baron Browning, who was in Ann Arbor for an official visit during Wisconsin week.
Wolverines offer 2019 DT in Ohio
Cincinnati Walnut Hills has a high-level young defensive tackle in Jowon Briggs, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound disruptor having a big sophomore season. Coming into the fall, Briggs already held offers from Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Iowa State and Miami (Ohio), and his play this season has brought about offers from Michigan and Ohio State.
"Being a sophomore, an offer from Ohio State is something that makes me feel like people expect me to be greater than I already am and I love that feeling,” Briggs said. “Michigan, it's the same except half of my family is up there, so it's close to home."
Briggs says he did not grow up a fan of any school as he did not follow football heavily as a youngster.
He has not visited Michigan yet, but did camp with the Wolverines when they had a satellite camp in Springfield, Ohio.
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.