With the early signing day approaching tomorrow, December 15, it certainly seems like things have gone wacky. Gone are the days when teams lost and hired new coaches around the New Year, giving those staffs five or six weeks to come together and sign players in early February. Welcome to the days of coaches being fired or jumping ship so the school can have someone in place to try to salvage recruiting classes for mid-December. I won’t say it’s an unforeseen problem – plenty of us talked about it – but it has put fans, players, coaches, and schools in positions we’ve never seen.
Olu Oluwatimi – C – Virginia: Virginia center Olu Oluwatimi is visiting Michigan this weekend as a grad transfer. He’s a 6’3″, 310 lb. player who is a three-year starter for the Cavaliers. After redshirting at Air Force in 2017 and sitting out 2018 to transfer, Oluwatimi turned into one of the top three centers in the country, according to Rimington Award voters and Pro Football Focus. Michigan loses sixth year senior Andrew Vastardis at the position, so there’s an opening with only unproven players (Greg Crippen, Raheem Anderson, Reece Atteberry) in the pipeline at the position.
DeaMonte Trayanum – RB – Arizona State: Trayanum is a 5’11”, 235 lb. back who played his high school ball at Akron (OH) Hoban, where he was offered by Michigan and was a teammate of former Michigan offensive lineman Nolan Rumler (who is in the transfer portal). Trayanum had 78 carries for 401 yards (5.1 yards/carry) and 6 touchdowns this season. He’s a power back without much top-end speed.
Darrius Clemons – WR – Portland (OR) Westview: Clemons is a 6’3″, 205 lb. prospect who took an official visit to Michigan in June. He has been all over the place and seemed to be headed to Michigan, Penn State, Auburn, and Oregon at various times. He’s a 4-star, the #30 wide receiver, and #171 overall. This is going to be an unofficial visit, so that seems to be noteworthy if the visit actually happens.
Derrick Moore – DE – Baltimore (MD) St. Frances: Moore is a 6’4″, 250-pounder with offers from Alabama, Florida, Michigan, and Oklahoma, among others. He was committed to Oklahoma until Lincoln Riley took the head coaching job at USC. He’s a 4-star, the #16 defensive lineman, and #106 overall. I was under the impression that Michigan would not be able to recruit Moore because his former head coach at St. Frances, Biff Poggi, now has an off-the-field position at Michigan; I guess I must be mistaken, but I will try to get more information on that situation.
Alex Orji – QB – Sachse (TX) Sachse: Orji is a 6’2″, 226 lb. prospect who is committed to Virginia Tech; he also has offers from Baylor, Houston, and Michigan, among others. He’s a 3-star, the #28 quarterback, and #417 overall. Orji accounted for 3,200 yards (2,000 passing and 1,200 rushing) and 52 touchdowns (28 passing, 24 rushing) as a senior. Orji is more strong and tough to bring down than quick, but he has a nice, strong arm and throws a pretty good deep ball. Virginia Tech just fired Justin Fuente and hired Brent Pry
Deone Walker – DT – Detroit (MI) Cass Tech: Walker is a 6’6″, 350-pounder with offers from Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, and Michigan, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #30 defensive lineman, and #243 overall. A guy who seemed like an early Michigan lean, Walker lately seems to have more buzz surrounding Kentucky. Almost 92% of his crystal ball picks are in favor of the Wolverines, but I don’t think those pickers are very confident. This is a mid-week official visit, as he will be officially visiting Kentucky this coming weekend.
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Here is an early list of players who are planning to head to Ann Arbor for The Game.
Zeke Berry – S – Concord (CA) De La Salle: Berry is a 6’0″, 185-pounder with offers from Michigan, Oregon, and UCLA; he decommitted from Arizona. He’s a 4-star, the #19 safety, and #227 overall. This is an official visit.
Ethan Burke – DE – Austin (TX) Westlake: Burke is a 6’7″, 225 lb. prospect with offers from Baylor, Kansas State, Michigan, and Texas Tech, among others. He’s a 247 Sports 3-star and the #40 edge player. This is an official visit.
Joshua Conerly – OT – Seattle (WA) Rainier Beach: Conerly is a 6’5″, 275-pounder with offers from Michigan, Oregon, and USC, among others. He’s a 5-star, the #3 offensive tackle, and #19 overall. He already took an official visit to Michigan – and an unofficial – so this will be his third trip to Ann Arbor. UPDATE: Conerly is no longer planning to visit.
Kenneth Grant – DT – Merrillville (IN) Merrillville: Grant is committed to Michigan.
Kevonte Henry – LB – Lawndale (CA) Leuzinger: Henry is committed to Michigan (LINK).
Domani Jackson – CB – Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei: Jackson is a 6’1″, 185 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama and Michigan, along with a bunch of others. He also just decommitted from USC last week. He’s a 5-star, the #2 cornerback, and #6 overall. He has developed a good relationship with Michigan commit Will Johnson (see below), who has been a big positive in Jackson’s recruitment. Jackson took an official visit back in September, so this is an unofficial.
Lander Barton – LB – Salt Lake City (UT) Brighton: Barton is a 6’4″, 215 lb. prospect with offers from Michigan, Texas, and Utah, among others. He’s a 4-star, the #21 linebacker, and #187 overall. Numerous family members went to Utah, so he will be a tough pull from the Utes. This is an official visit.
Joshua Conerly – OT – Seattle (WA) Rainier: Conerly is a 6’5″, 275-pounder with offers from Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas, among others. He’s a 5-star, the #3 offensive tackle, and #20 overall. This is an official visit.
Aaron Alexander – LB – Belleville (MI) Belleville: Alexander is committed to Michigan (LINK).
Falentha Carswell – OT – Sandersville (GA) Washington: Carswell is a 6’7″, 275 lb. prospect who committed to Miami recently. He also has an offer from Michigan. He’s a 3-star, the #64 offensive tackle, and #741 overall. He’s a recent convert from basketball to football, so he’s a project.
Josh Conerly – OT – Seattle (CA) Rainier Beach: Conerly is a 6’5″, 275 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Texas, among others. He’s a 5-star, the #4 offensive tackle, and #20 overall. He worked out in front of Michigan’s coaches at a satellite camp in Washington, and he also plans to return for an official visit in the fall.
Mario Eugenio – OLB – Clearwater (FL) Gaither: Eugenio is committed to Michigan (LINK).