Michigan returns home this weekend to face Maryland, and there will be four official visitors in town – offensive tackles Mekhi Becton and Aaron Banks, defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon and wide receiver Nico Collins.
The Wolverines have done well with their official visits this year. The two most recent commits, Kwity Paye and Donovan Jeter, committed shortly after their officials. Last weekend’s official visit solidified Michigan’s standing with offensive lineman Kai-Leon Herbert, who verbally committed to the Wolverines but had taken visits to other programs since. In addition, several players who seemed like long shots prior to their visits – offensive linemen Chuck Filiaga, Alex Leatherwood and Jedrick Wills, linebacker Willie Gay, to name a few – left Ann Arbor with Michigan at or near the top of their respective lists.
Now the Wolverines hope to do that again this weekend.
Of the four, the one who needs the most work, is ironically, Solomon, the one who was once committed. On this visit, the Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County five-star will have his mother with him, and it will be her first chance to see Michigan. Wolverines assistant Chris Partridge was at his game during the bye week.
Banks, a 6-foot-7, 344-pound California native and the No. 7 offensive tackle in the country, visited Michigan for the BBQ at the Big House and the Wolverines’ chances with him improved after the visit. After head coach Jim Harbaugh visited his game during the Michigan bye week, the odds improved again.
"The trip to Michigan was cool," said Banks after that visit. "It was nice. It was better than I expected. The school was bigger than I expected it to be. I was with Coach (Tim) Drevno and one of his assistants. We met up with Coach (Jim) Harbaugh but didn't get to spend as much time with him. I met up with Jay Harbaugh some too. Then we went to one of the stores and got some of the new Jumpman gear."
Michigan has long been seen as the leader for Collins. A 6-foot-5 wideout from Clay-Chalkville in Alabama, he attended Michigan’s Bright Lights camp in June, and had Michigan as his No. 1 school at one point, but later backed off that claim.
“A lot of schools were coming at me harder and I didn’t want people to think, ‘Oh, he’s going to Michigan,’” Collins said, “so I’m really keeping my options open, so I backed off of that but I still love Michigan and all the rest of the schools.”
Becton, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound Virginian, was offered by Michigan in May but has not made his way to campus since then. His home-state school Virginia is widely considered the team everyone else is looking to beat out.
Wolverines first to offer Brooklyn speedster
According to Scout’s Brian Dohn, Michigan has offered Brooklyn Erasmus Hall wide receiver Aron Cruickshank, a speedy 5-foot-10, 165-pound slot receiver and return man.
This is Cruickshank’s first offer but Ohio State, Rutgers, Stanford and Syracuse are also interested.
He has had a big junior season, which has brought about new interest. He has played quarterback for Erasmus Hall but projects to other spots in college.
Michigan remains on top for 2019 OL
Akron (Ohio) Hoban offensive lineman Nolan Rumler, whose father played at Michigan, visited Ann Arbor for the Penn State game this year. A 6-foot-4, 290-pound sophomore, he still has plenty of time left to make a decision, but the Wolverines are at the top of the list.
"Michigan is my number one choice, so it's always great being there," Rumler said to Scout’s Bill Greene. "They never pressure me to commit, and they tell me to take my visits and take my time. I really appreciate them for that."
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.