Micah Ka’apana, Wolverine

Micah Ka’apana, Wolverine

June 18, 2023
Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman running back Micah Ka’apana (image via Twitter)

Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman running back Micah Ka’apana committed to Michigan on Saturday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from BYU, Hawaii, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, and Utah, among others.

Ka’apana is listed at 5’11” and 195 lbs. As a junior in 2022, he rushed 70 times for 1,001 yards and 15 touchdowns. He has been selected for the 2024 Polynesian Bowl.

ESPN: 3-star, 77 grade, #64 RB
On3: 3-star, 88 grade, #42 RB
Rivals: 3-star, 5.7 grade, #29 RB
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #72 RB

Hit the jump for more.

Ka’apana was seeming likely to stay out west earlier in his recruitment, and until Michigan offered, it seemed like Oklahoma State might have been the leader. But when Mike Hart offered him in April, the tenor of his recruitment started to change. He scheduled an official visit to Ann Arbor for the second week of June – following a trip to Hawaii, because why not? – and committed on Saturday afternoon.

Ka’apana is a speedy, gliding back with a second gear to pull away from defenders, even though he doesn’t seem to be running that hard. He gets upfield quickly and does not waste time hitting the hole. His vision is apparent on some cutbacks, and he’s able to plant one foot and go when he sees a hole open. He also excels as a pass catcher, running arrow routes and even verticals out of the backfield. His speed will be a mismatch for linebackers trying to cover him in the flat or potentially on angle routes, wheel routes, etc.

The real question about Ka’apana is his ability to break tackles and earn tough yards. He’s able to shake off some chasing tacklers, but when he meets defenders head on, he tends to curl up or bounce out of bounds rather than trying to power through or cut back to the middle of the field. Perhaps he’s being coached to take care of his body, but regardless, that will be something to watch as he enters college. Running backs coach Mike Hart does not generally play running backs who don’t play tough. I will also be interested to see if he can slow down his pace at times to get in sync with the offensive line. Bishop Gorman is a powerhouse program with a lot of talent, so running lanes are pretty consistently available.

Overall, Ka’apana is an intriguing prospect; his speed and receiving abilities make him a dangerous play in certain situations, and if he can continue to get stronger and work on his timing a little bit, he could develop into a solid between-the-tackles runner, too. I would liken him a little bit to former Michigan running back Drake Johnson, who averaged 5.5 yards per carry and 15.3 yards per catch as a backup from 2013-2015.

Michigan has never signed a player from Bishop Gorman. Perhaps the closest they got in a while was quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who ultimately chose UCLA in the class of 2018. The last player Michigan signed from the state of Nevada was quarterback Cade McNamara in 2019.

The Wolverines now have two running back commits, with Ka’apana joining Jordan Marshall (LINK). Texan Taylor Tatum was thought to be leaning to Michigan at one point, but he now seems destined for USC or Oklahoma. Chicago-area running back Darrion Dupree canceled his Michigan visit for this weekend.

TTB Rating: 76

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