Farmington (MI) Farmington linebacker David Reese decommitted from Michigan on Wednesday night. He had committed to Michigan on the day of the spring game back in April (LINK).
Anyone with a finger on the pulse of Reese’s recruitment saw this moment coming months ago. Reese originally committed with Michigan’s understanding that he would get his first shot to play fullback, but that he would also be looked at as a linebacker. As more offers for linebacker started to come through, Reese started to reconsider and wanted assurances from Michigan that he could be a linebacker through and through. Meanwhile, he was also looking to enroll early. Michigan informed Reese that he could play linebacker, but that they were keeping early enrollee spots open for other prospects. In other words, they said that if he wanted to play for Michigan, he would have to wait until next summer to enroll.
Hit the jump for more on Reese, as well as some analysis of the linebacker recruiting situation.
Perhaps because of the growing friction between Reese and Michigan, other offers started to come through. Reese was a one-time Louisville commit, too, but now teams like Florida, TCU, and Texas came calling. Reese has taken visits to Nebraska, Florida, and TCU, and a visit to Texas is scheduled for this coming weekend.
Reese is at least the second linebacker to be removed from the 2016 class, joining Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian Academy’s Dele’ Harding. In a bit of a similar situation, Jim Harbaugh’s coaching staff realized that they did not want to pursue Harding, who committed to Brady Hoke’s staff. Harding, though, reportedly did not respond to Michigan’s attempts to contact him. Additionally, Norco (CA) Norco athlete Victor Viramontes decommitted from Michigan a few days ago. He is a high school quarterback/linebacker who was offered by Michigan as a quarterback, but his athleticism and mentality may have made him a linebacker down the road.
This is all very interesting for Michigan, a team that has gaping holes at linebacker for the 2016 season. Senior Ben Gedeon is the only experienced player returning on the roster, and the rest of the potential contributors are career special teamers, players coming off of injury, position-switchers, or walk-ons. Prattville (AL) Prattville’s Dytarious Johnson is the only true linebacker committed at this time, while Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan hybrid player Devin Gil could also be a linebacker.
Here’s a rundown of Michigan’s current 2016 options at the linebacker position:
- Pembroke Pines (FL) Flanagan’s Devin Bush, Jr. announces his college decision on December 16th (next Wednesday), and Michigan feels confident about earning his pledge.
- Gordo (AL) Gordo’s Ben Davis has made some noise about potentially visiting Michigan in January, but Michigan has only been on the fringe of his recruitment.
- McKeesport (PA) McKeesport safety/linebacker Khaleke Hudson was offered by Michigan recently, has been visited by Michigan’s coaches in the past few days, and has scheduled an official visit to Ann Arbor for mid-January.
- Houston (TX) Alief Elsik’s Dontavious Jackson has visited Michigan multiple times, and the Wolverines are at or near the top of his list.
- Orlando (FL) Oak Ridge linebacker Jonathan Jones has named Michigan his leader multiple times, has visited multiple times, and will take an official visit to Ann Arbor this coming weekend.
- Torrance (CA) North athlete Mique Juarez is a former USC commit that Michigan wanted to try to get to visit, but that probably won’t happen.
- Fresno (CA) Clovis West’s Caleb Kelly is an outside linebacker prospect who seems to like Oklahoma along with Michigan. It seems like a 50/50 proposition, but Michigan reportedly is not as high on him as some recruiting sites, and that lack of attention may push him over the edge toward the Sooners.
- Ellenwood (GA) Cedar Grove’s Elysee Mbem-Bosse is a wild card prospect nobody has been discussing, but he visited Michigan for the OSU game and could pick the Wolverines. He is pretty quiet on the recruiting trail.
- Houston (TX) Aldine Davis’s Jeffrey McCulloch visited Michigan for the Ohio State game, but the Wolverines seem to have been playing from pretty far behind.
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