Aledo (TX) Aledo offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga committed to Michigan (LINK).
OFF THE BOARD
Clinton (MS) Clinton running back Cam Akers committed to Florida State at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He was considering Ohio State, so this is somewhat of a recruiting win for Michigan. He enrolled early, so there’s no chance of him flipping now, either. Akers looks to me like the best back in the 2017 class.
Bridgeton (NJ) Bridgeton safety Markquese Bell committed to Maryland. This is a pretty good pull for D.J. Durkin. Bell is the 247 Composite #188 player and #7 athlete in the country. He was a Michigan lean at one point, but Michigan supposedly put him on the back burner. He also considered Clemson, Ohio State, and Rutgers. Two of those things are not like the other.
Wylie (TX) East running back Eno Benjamin committed to Arizona State. Benjamin named Michigan to his top six, and I had hoped that the Wolverines would somehow be able to reel him in despite their pursuit of Najee Harris. He seems like a good kid and trained with former Michigan running back David Underwood. However, the Wolverines stopped pursuing him weeks before his final decision.
Hit the jump for several other news bits.
Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman safety Bubba Bolden committed to USC. Bolden committed at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and Ohio State or Arizona State could have also been the picks. Michigan offered him rather late in the process (October 2016), so it’s tough to win that battle with an elite recruit when you join the fray late.
Suwanee (GA) Grayson linebacker Breon Dixon committed to Ole Miss. He occasionally mentioned Michigan early, but the former Georgia commit never gave the impression he was interested in coming north.
Loganville (GA) Grayson cornerback Deangelo Gibbs committed to Georgia. Gibbs could end up playing receiver, corner, or safety at the next level. He’s a potential difference maker and one of the best athletes in the country. He’s the #3 safety and #40 overall in the 247 Composite.
La Mirada (CA) La Mirada cornerback Elijah Hicks flipped from Notre Dame to Cal. Hicks had been committed to Notre Dame for a while, and Michigan was going after him pretty hard at one point to flip. However, that mutual interested seemed to have faded. More interesting than the flip to Cal is that Hicks’s coach was obnoxiously adamant that he would sign with Notre Dame, but with Hicks enrolling early at Cal . . . oops.
Calabasas (CA) Calabasas cornerback Darnay Holmes committed to UCLA at the Army Bowl. At one time he looked likely to end up at Ohio State. He’s rumored to have committed to a few different coaching staffs, but he ended up picking the Bruins.
Vidalia (GA) Vidalia linebacker Nate McBride committed to Georgia. I really liked this McBride kid when Michigan offered him early, but the interest was never mutual.
Detroit (MI) U of D Jesuit safety Scott Nelson committed to Wisconsin. Michigan offered him last summer and a bunch of Crystal Balls came in for the Wolverines, but that momentum faded quickly. He was also thought to be a Michigan State lean at one point.
Grand Prairie (TX) South cornerback/safety Jeffrey Okudah committed to Ohio State. He’s a 5-star, the #1 safety, and #7 overall. Ohio State missed out on a few high-profile guys – Akers, Bolden, Holmes – but they reeled in maybe the best out of the bunch.
Graham (WA) Graham-Kapowsin offensive tackle Foster Sarell committed to Stanford. Along with Walker Little, the Cardinal pulled in two 5-star offensive tackles.
The thing that dominated the last couple weeks for Michigan was the ongoing saga of Antioch (CA) Antioch running back Najee Harris. Harris refused to make his decision public on whether to go to Alabama or Michigan, and the conclusion of that story only arrived when someone took a picture of Harris arriving at the Birmingham airport. I had put in a Crystal Ball for Harris to the Wolverines, and he did supposedly tell Michigan’s coaching staff at one point that he would end up in Ann Arbor. Obviously, something changed between December and last weekend.
I wrote up a summary on the Army All-American Bowl from last Saturday (LINK).
I also posted my thoughts on the Under Armour All-American Game from the week prior (LINK).