2018 Recruiting Update: January 12, 2018

2018 Recruiting Update: January 12, 2018

January 12, 2018

Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep DT Tyler Friday (image via Rivals)


Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas defensive end Nik Bonitto committed to Oklahoma. Bonitto was very high on Michigan early, and then Michigan stopped contacting him. It seemed at one time that he would end up with the Wolverines, so it would be interesting to know why Michigan didn’t want him anymore, especially if he turns into a good college player, too.

Howell (NJ) Blair Academy defensive end Jayson Oweh committed to Penn State. He’s a relatively late bloomer since he has only been playing football for two years, but he was good enough in that time to get offers from Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Penn State, among others.

Moultrie (GA) Colquitt County linebacker J.J. Peterson committed to Tennessee at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Michigan was never really a factor.

Hit the jump for more on the 2018 class.

Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles committed to Oklahoma. He was high on Michigan early, but the interest faded quickly. Radley-Hiles attended three high schools (Bishop Gorman in NV, Calabasas in CA, and IMG in FL) and was committed to a couple different colleges, and sometimes that leads to indecision at the next level, too.

Ft. Lauderdale (FL) American Heritage wide receiver Anthony Schwartz committed to Auburn. Schwartz had named Michigan to his top ten at one point, but the Wolverines haven’t been recruiting him for a while.

Cleveland Heights (OH) Cleveland Heights defensive end Tyreke Smith committed to Ohio State. He visited Michigan, but Ohio players with Ohio State offers generally end up in Columbus.

Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown committed to USC at the Army Bowl in a weird announcement: he thanked everyone, including his favorite protein, and then spoke in German, French, and English before picking up the USC hat (LINK). He also got a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in the game and should have been penalized at least one more time. I’m glad he’s going somewhere other than Michigan.


Here’s a look at the players who participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl (LINK) and the Under Armour All-American Game (LINK).

Ramsey (NJ) Don Bosco Prep defensive tackle Tyler Friday was long considered a Michigan lean, but as of Thursday afternoon, his 247 Sports Crystal Ball is 91% in favor of Ohio State.


  1. Comments: 400
    Joined: 12/24/2016
    Jan 12, 2018 at 10:25 AM

    Ahah! Recruiting! The dead period ended yesterday and hardly a whimper about it from anywhere. So its good to kind of get back on the subject. That early signing date has really destroyed fan interest after all the bowls are played & done.

    Yesterday, I briefly found myself studying the OL recruits of late from the State of Michigan. We all have bitcht ad nausea about Michigan’s Ol & OL recruiting,,, etc.

    Frankly I haven’t been able to get a clear picture regarding Michigan’s OL recruiting filosofy what so ever; under Harbaugh BUT!………. yesterday I looked at instate Michigan OL’s of worthy talent and came away with some questions.
    First, I looked at the ’16, ’17, ’18 & 19 OL available talent that were/are ranked 0.85 or higher on 247 and found 19 listed OL’s.

    Of these 19, only 4 signed with Michigan and Hall has already transferred; 2 of the others – Mayfield & Hayes just signed last month leaving only Onwenu as the only instate OL product with any Team experience.

    Of the other 15, from ’16,
    Jordan went to OSU (I’ll come back to this later)
    Jackson to Iowa
    Kolwich to Northwestern
    ’17 both Reid & Kahleefah signed with Mich St
    McCall signed with Kentucky
    Douglas – Mich St
    Furtney – Wis
    Vettorello – Syr
    Reed – WMU
    Sampson remains unsigned
    Dobbs & Bradforod remain uncommitted
    Brown1 – committed to Wisky
    Brown2 – ” Mich St.

    By the above, it tells me there is ample & DESIRABLE OL talent right here instate……..
    When you have Universities like OSU, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin, Mich St. signing guys that for whatever reason Michigan did not want or couldn’t get while at the same time Michigan’s OL has been dismal it simply makes me smh!
    Now in the case of Jordan, he was born in Ohio tho grew up in Michigan AND the undergrad where his interest was, Michigan did not offer – OSU did so he chose OSU – based on field of study so some players actually do go to OSU to ‘Play Skool’……….
    Also, Reed – from Muskegon who was once committed to PSU evidently couldn’t make the needed academic criteria and has signed with Western.

    But academics are not an issue at places like Wisconsin & Northwestern and MSU is signing their share of instate talent.

    Why has Michigan – Harbs & Co seemingly not landed more of this talent? Right in their back yard; especially when it is so DESPERATELY NEEDED!!??
    While they search high & low & Nationwide and still have serious OL issues?

    ………and Thunder – a while back, I recall you imploring the Staff to recruit more guys from Ohio to play against OSU but the same can be said here instate. These instate guys are playing against Michigan – for OSU, for MSU, for Wisconsin, etc and beating the Wolverines!

    I’m trying to get some kind of a sensible pattern, a philosophy, some insight into what ever the recruiting strategy is regarding Harbaugh’s OL recruitment – IF one even exists!

    There seems to be plenty of quality & desirable OL talent right here in the State of Michigan and Harbaugh chooses evidently to ignore it………


    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Jan 12, 2018 at 12:00 PM

      I don’t really know the answers to your questions. Michigan has supposedly revamped its recruiting department over the past year, which I think is a bit strange. They’ve been recruiting very well in the 2016 and 2017 classes, and the one they’re somewhat struggling with is 2018. Is that because of the recruiting department, or is it because of the play on the field? Eh, there’s probably not one right answer. I’m sure it’s a combination of things.

      But I agree with you. There are serviceable or good players in the midwest (Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, etc.) that we just don’t seem to be pursuing. That being said, Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield weren’t really national names before they committed to Michigan, so perhaps they’ll hit on a couple of those in-state talents. There’s just not enough right now, and they don’t seem to be casting their net any wider despite only about three weeks left until traditional National Signing Day.

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