2017 Recruiting Update: January 11, 2017

Tag: Najee Harris

11Jan 2017
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2017 Recruiting Update: January 11, 2017

Chuck Filiaga with Jim Harbaugh


Aledo (TX) Aledo offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga committed to Michigan (LINK).


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.

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8Jan 2017
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Thoughts on 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Donovan Peoples-Jones (image via USA Today)

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl took place yesterday, and there were several Michigan-related players involved – including offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga, who committed to the Wolverines during the broadcast (LINK). Here are my thoughts on the game, which was won 27-17 by the East.


Cheshire (CT) Cheshire Academy wide receiver Tarik Black was a backup wideout for the East team, but he was the first receiver in off the bench. He earned positive reviews throughout the week of practice for his route-running abilities, something that I noted in his commitment post. The East quarterbacks targeted him a few times, but he ended the game with just 1 catch for 9 yards. One of the incompletions was a back-shoulder fade on which Black failed to adjust (a tough play that almost never works with such little time to build chemistry), and the other was a post route that was thrown too high and broken up by the defensive back. He played about as expected.

Aledo (TX) Aledo offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga was the backup right tackle for the West. To be honest, I did not keep an eye out for Filiaga. He was the backup right tackle, and there were too many other players to watch.

Flint (MI) Southwestern defensive end Deron Irving-Bey was a backup defensive end for the East squad. He’s another player that I did not notice, except for 1 QB pressure. I did record the game, and I’ll go back and take a look before finalizing the TTB Ratings, but for now I have nothing significant to report. I can say that he did not stand out, because if he had, I would have noticed.

Hit the jump for more.

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11Dec 2016
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Visitors: December 9-11, 2016


Najee Harris (image via Sports Illustrated)

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Tarik Black – WR – Cheshire (CT) Cheshire Academy: Black is a 6’3″, 208 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Michigan, and Stanford, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #17 wide receiver, and #122 overall. He’ll be announcing his college decision on Wednesday, December 14, and he’s expected to pick the Wolverines.

Nico Collins – WR – Pinson (AL) Clay-Chalkville: Collins is a 6’5″, 195 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, and Michigan, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #13 wide receiver, and #90 overall. He took an official to Michigan on November 5, so this will be an unofficial visit. His Crystal Ball is 64% in favor of the Wolverines. UPDATE: Collins was unable to make the trip.

*A.J. Dillon – RB – Lawrence (CT) Groton Academy: Dillon is a Michigan commit (LINK).

*Paris Ford – S – Pittsburgh (PA) Steel Valley: Ford is a 6’1″, 180 lb. prospect who committed to Pitt in October; he also has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #12 safety, and #89 overall. UPDATE: Ford did not make the trip.

Ja’Raymond Hall – OT – Oak Park (MI) Oak Park: Hall is a Michigan commit (LINK).

*Najee Harris – RB – Antioch (CA) Antioch: Harris is a 6’3″, 226 lb. prospect who’s been committed to Alabama since April. However, he also has an offer from Michigan – along with lots of others – and 33% of the Crystal Ball picks are in favor of Michigan, who is generally thought to have the best chance to flip him. He’s an early enrollee, so he will have to make a decision this month about whether to stick with the Crimson Tide or become a Wolverine. He’s the #1 overall recruit in the country, and getting him would mean a second year in a row where Michigan would get the #1 player (after Rashan Gary in 2016).

Hit the jump for several more visitors.

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10Dec 2016
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Recruiting Down the Stretch: Running Back


Antioch (CA) Antioch RB Najee Harris (#2)


Michigan currently has commitments from three players, and all three are likely to be running backs, not “athletes” who bounce back and forth between positions. The speedster is Los Lunas (NM) Los Lunas runner O’Maury Samuels (4-star, #21 RB, #276 overall), who at one time had the national lead in SPARQ rating. While he was eventually passed up for that honor, he showed that he has the athleticism to be a national recruit. He has continued taking visits while committed to Michigan, perhaps just doing his due diligence while Michigan also explores other options. The bruiser is Groton (MA) Lawrence Academy’s A.J. Dillon (4-star, #19 ATH, #298 overall), who is 6’1″, 230 lbs. and runs a sub-4.6. Dillon broke his leg mid-season and missed a chunk of his senior year. The pinball is Loganville (GA) Grayson’s Kurt Taylor (3-star, #55 RB, #873 overall), a 5’9″, 200-pounder who is neither extremely fast or extremely bruising. He is a notoriously hard worker and has welcomed competition throughout his recruitment, so while he may be a little short on talent, he might just be one of those “Harbaugh guys.”

Hit the jump for more on Michigan’s running back situation.

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5Dec 2016
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Who’s enrolling early in 2017?


Brooklyn (NY) Poly OT Isaiah Wilson

Some class of 2017 prospects will be enrolling in January, which means there’s only a few weeks left for players to make college decisions. Here’s a look at the players Michigan is targeting who plan to enroll early, along with their scheduled commitment dates (if they have been announced).

Cam Akers – RB – Clinton (MS) Clinton: N/A

Aaron Banks – OT – El Cerrito (CA) El Cerrito: Committed to Notre Dame

Ja’Raymond Hall – OT – Oak Park (MI) Oak Park: Committed to Michigan

Najee Harris – RB – Antioch (CA) Antioch: Committed to Alabama

Tarik Black – WR – Cheshire (CT) Academy: Committed to Michigan

Jaylen Kelly-Powell – S – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Committed to Michigan

Alex Leatherwood – OT – Pensacola (FL) Washington: Committed to Alabama

Corey Malone-Hatcher – DE – St. Joseph (MI) St. Joseph: Committed to Michigan

Tre’ McKitty – TE – Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy: Committed to Florida State

Donovan Peoples-Jones – WR – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Committed to Michigan

Shanon Reid – LB – Ft. Myers (FL) Dunbar: Committed to Tennessee

Cesar Ruiz – C – Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy: Committed to Michigan

Benjamin St-Juste – CB – Montreal (Canada) Vieux: Committed to Michigan

Ambry Thomas – CB – Detroit (MI) King: Committed to Michigan

Isaiah Wilson – OT – Brooklyn (NY) Poly: Committed to Georgia

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