Michigan Recruiting Roundup (1/16)

Michigan offers two highly regarded Texas linebackers, was the only team to see one of the hottest prospects in the south yesterday and is vigorously pursuing tight end prospects including Tyrone Wheatley Jr. Plus word on another positive sign for Michigan in its pursuit of Ohio State commit Mike Weber, a possible future for Roy Manning in Ann Arbor, and much much more.

Digging In Texas

Greg Mattison was back on his old recruiting stomping ground of Texas yesterday and he went to work planting the flag of the new Michigan regime bright and early.  His first stop was Aldine Davis, home of 2016 OLB Jeffrey McCulloch.  Mattison immediately extended an offer on Michigan’s behalf.

“I was never expecting this at all,” McCulloch said.  I hadn’t heard one word from them until Coach Harbaugh got there.  Coach Mattison told my coach that Coach Harbaugh said, ‘I want you there at 7:00 am when (McCulloch) walks through the door.  I want him to be the first offer.  We need guys like him.’ He also compared me to Ray Lewis. I was like, ‘wow, that’s incredible!’”

Though new to his already bustling recruitment (he already has double-digit offers), Michigan is a school that McCulloch already has an appreciation for.

“I know for my major, either pre-law or political science and a minor in business, they’re a good school to go to.  And if I get a degree from there I’ll be pretty much (set), and I like that a lot.  Then also they have a rich tradition. They win and they win big. I like that.”

He also knows that it can get pretty cold in the Great Lake State, so it won’t be a revelation when schools mention it to him.  And if they think it will be a deterrent, think again.

“I love the cold,” McCulloch stated.  “I would rather play in snow than 110 degree temperatures.”

That sentiment was echoed by McCulloch’s good friend, Alief (Tex.) Elsik 2016 linebacker Dontavious Jackson.  Mattison also dropped by his school and extended an offer.

“It actually came out of the blue,” said Jackson.  “I had never really talked to Michigan. I found out this morning that my friend Jeffrey got offered. (Coach Mattison) ended up talking to my coach and that’s how it happened. “

Much like McCulloch, Jackson already keenly aware of Michigan’s prestige and isn’t averse to the cold.

“Michigan has a great engineering program and great business program, so it’s a great school for education first off,” said Jackson.  “And then you’ve got a new head coach Jim Harbaugh.  He is going to make things happen.  He has made things happen at the level above the collegiate level.  He has made things happen in college before, so I know he is a great head coach. He is going to make something happen and that intrigues me.”

And regarding the weather…

“I play my best in the cold,” he said.  “Let’s just say that.”

Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more on both talented youngsters in the hours to come.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

According to Scout.com South Regional Manager Chad Simmons, new Michigan secondary coach Mike Zordich was at Gainesville high school VERY early Thursday morning to meet with 6-1, 185 CB/ATH Chris Williamson.  The Wolverines’ interest has risen dramatically in recent days, culminating in an offer.  But Michigan isn’t the only school hot on Williamson’s trail.

“It has gotten so crazy that his dad held him out of school (Thursday),” said Simmons.  “They had nine schools there begging for officials visits practically.”

So none of them actually saw the rising prospect.  But Michigan, thanks to Zordich’s EARLY meeting time, did.

“I really see it being wide open right now,” said Simmons regarding Williamson’s recruitment.  “Cal may have a slight lead since he has visited there and they are telling him he could play on either side of the ball.  It looks like the main schools now are Auburn, Cal Florida, Georgia, Michigan, and UNC.  He’s likely to be a signing day kid.  Right now he is planning to take officials to UNC this weekend, Michigan January 23rd, and Florida January 30th, with mid-week visits to Auburn and Georgia.”

Hunting for Tight Ends

Michigan is moving aggressively to fill its tight end needs.  For much of the week the Maize & Blue brass showed interest in five star Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman tight end Alize Jones despite his commitment to UCLA.  Yesterday it quickly became clear that those efforts were ineffective.  That was evidenced by the five-star prospect’s sudden commitment to Notre Dame after his abrupt decommitment from the Bruins.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that interest from the Wolverines will automatically cease, but it does mean the likelihood of that interest being returned in any tangible way is fairly low this close to signing day.

But Michigan was/is undeterred.  Former commitment Chris Clark will be on his official visit this weekend, and the Wolverines extended an offer late last night to San Ramon (Calif.) Cal high tight end Matt Snyder.  The three star prospect is a Nebraska commit.

And then there is Tyrone Wheatley Jr. Michigan’s new tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh made his way to Buffalo (N.Y.) Canisius yesterday to visit the four-star standout and express interest in getting the talented to youngster to follow in his father’s footsteps.  At the moment Wheatley’s visit list is unchanged. He will Alabama this weekend, will follow that up with a trip to UCLA, and then finish up with Oregon.

Does that mean the Wolverines have no shot?

No.  I think that Michigan's chances have improved greatly thanks to his dad’s recent hire, but in speaking with his father about Junior's recruitment before he officially accepted his new job it became abundantly clear that senior is not going to push TJ on this.  I do think Michigan gets a visit and I do think their chances of landing him improve even more if they decommitments like Chris Clark and Mike Weber back in the fold.

That being said, Tyrone Wheatley Jr. is not a slam dunk for Michigan.  But the game isn’t over yet either.

That not all on the news front. Premium members (sign up here) can get word on another interesting and extremely positive note for Michigan in its pursuit of Ohio State commit Mike Weber, word on why former Michigan assistant Roy Manning’s time in Ann arbor might not be over, and the latest on a few elsewhere-committed prospects that are keeping hope alive for Michigan.

Harbaugh's First Visit Weekend

Below are the expected visitors for Jim Harbaugh's first official visit weekend.

Jan 16 weekend (Home basketball game vs. Northwestern)

-- 2015 TE Chris Clark  6-6/250 Avon CT (Old Farms). Scout300 #23. *offer. The once-committed TE now says he'll visit U-M on the Jan. 16 weekend.
-- 2015 CB Damon Arnette 6-1/185 Ft. Lauderdale FL (St.Thomas Aquinas). *offer. South Carolina commit. Scout300 #105.
-- 2015 LB Roquan Smith 6-1/210 Montezuma GA. Scout300 #67. *offer. He's visited USC (they're out) and Georgia, and also visits ASU and UCLA on the last 2 weekends in January.
-- 2015 DE Shelton Johnson 6-5/220 Delray Beach FL (Atlantic). *offer, visiting this weekend. He'll also visit Miami and FSU, and VAT is in it for him as well.
-- Also commits Tyree KinnelAndrew David.

Jan 19 visit (mid-week)

-- 2015 DB Iman Marshall 6-1/195 Long Beach CA (Poly). *offer. Scout300 #11. He'll visit Florida State (Jan. 16) and then head straight from there to Ann Arbor. He'll also visit LSU (Jan. 23) and Oregon (Jan. 30). USC remains the team to beat.

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