Michigan Recruiting Roundup (1/21)

We tackle numerous hot topics in today's roundup. Jim Harbaugh's quest for another 2015 quarterback continues. A handful of players committed to other schools are slated to visit Michigan this weekend. And Scout.com West Coast Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins dishes on Michigan's chances of landing Long Beach (Calif.) Poly five-star CB Iman Marshall after his memorable official visit to Ann Arbor.

Still QB Hunting

As we reported earlier this week two elsewhere-committed quarterbacks informed Michigan of their intention to stick with the schools they’ve pledged to.  The signal callers in question are Athens (Ohio) star Joey Burrow, who is committed to Ohio State, and Lees Summit (Mo.) standout Drew Lock, who is committed to Missouri.  Despite that the Wolverines haven’t totally given up on one of them according to Scout.com’s Dave Berk.

“Joey Burrow looks solid to Ohio State and I don't see that changing,” said Berk.  “However, I was told that Jim Harbaugh told Joey that he would be looking to attend one of his basketball games anyway.  We'll see what happens with that, but I don't expect anything to change with Joey.”

Assuming it doesn’t, Harbaugh already has another target in his sights in Texas commit Zach Gentry (Albuquerque, N.M. Eldorado). The rangy signal caller was a strong presence on Michigan’s radar last spring and former offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier made it down to New Mexico to observe one of Gentry’s throwing sessions. HornsDigest.com’s Jason Higdon has attempted to connect with both Gentry and his father on multiple occasions over the last few days to no avail. According to Higdon Texas headman Charlie Strong and two of his assistants are slated to be in Gentry’s home tomorrow.    

If Michigan is more than just a dalliance for Gentry, it will be evident after that visit.

On the come up with Corley

I spoke at length with the father of the 2016 Martin Luther King wideout Donnie Corley. The four-star pass-catcher recently informed that the Wolverines sat at #4 on his list.  According to the elder Corley that had everything to do with their feeling last year that Michigan’s interest was a reaction to interest from other schools.  The immediate show of interest by the new staff has things trending positively for the Maize & Blue.  Already new assistant Tyrone Wheatley has made it in the school twice and the talented youngster visited campus last weekend.  While he was in Ann Arbor Jim Harbaugh removed any doubt about his level of interest by making it clear that the offer that had been extended by Brady Hoke remains firmly on the list. The Wolverines haven’t surged to the top of the list, but the elder Corley made it clear that Michigan definitely helped itself.

Unaccompanied Corner

UCLA commit William Lockett received his offer from Michigan yesterday and plans to return the favor with an official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend.  The only downside to that news for Michigan is Manvel (Tex.) star will be traveling alone.  It’s not the most ideal scenario for a flip, but it also isn’t the hindrance that it is with other prospects.  Why? Because in addition to meeting with Lockett while in the Lone Star State Harbaugh also was able to meet with the three-star prospect’s mother.  In the aftermath of those interactions Lockett says Michigan improving its standing will come down to how HE feels he fits in when he gets to Ann Arbor.  And that perception of fit won’t be harmed if the temperature dips below freezing.

“Everybody likes the California weather, but if I make it to the NFL I’m going to have to play in the cold regardless," said Lockett. "So I really don’t focus on the weather that much.”

Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more on Lockett in the hours to come.

Wooing Williams

Jackson (Oho) FB/LB Reagan Williams has been committed to Stanford for quite some time.  Whether he remains a Stanford commit will come down to the same criterion Lockett is using to determine if he’ll stick with his pledge; fit.

“The visit (to Michigan) is Friday through Sunday,” said Williams.  “Fit is just something that you feel inside yourself.  A lot of things are intangible, things you can’t necessarily be defined… but just getting around the guys, getting around some of the other recruits that might be visiting with me, talking with current players, and just being around the coaching staff too.  That’s one thing I really enjoyed about this past weekend (during his official visit to Stanford) was that I got to do all those things in depth fashion and that’s something I’m looking forward to seeing about Michigan as well.”

Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for much more later.

One More Chance with “Biggie”

As visit impressions go, Michigan couldn’t have made a better one on 2015 Long Beach (Calif.) Poly CB Iman Marshall.  The five-star standout came away in awe of the Big House and raved about his personal interactions with players and coaches in Ann Arbor.  Scout.com West Coach Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins has known the talented youngster for years.  After interviewing Marshall about his time in Michigan, Biggins offered his thoughts on where the Wolverines stand in the Golden State star’s recruitment.

First off, kid was so tired he could barely talk so it was a little tough to gauge his emotions. Saying that, I definitely got a good vibe from him about Michigan, more so than FSU. Michigan did a great job and really sold him on every angle possible- from early playing time, to playing for an NFL coach who knows what it takes to get to the NFL, academic support and post-football networking, to playing in front of packed house every game, to playing in a pretty loaded secondary and the chance to play his aggressive style of defense. 

The two biggest obstacles they'll need to overcome are his childhood love for USC and location. It's just Iman and his dad and they're VERY close and his dad Tony wasn't able to make the trip. His dad is also a USC fan, although he'll never admit it publicly, so that is definitely something they'll have to work hard to overcome. 

With location, I think it ties back to his dad, again they're very close and Tony is protective so I think it's going to be very hard to get him to sign off on letting Iman move so far away from home. Saying that, if there is a school that can do it, I think it's Michigan.

Tony has great respect for the Michigan program, its tradition, academics and especially coach Harbaugh. They're all about getting Iman to the NFL and whatever sets them up for that. I don't think they have any doubt that Michigan is a place that can make that possible. Marshall is an aggressive corner and that type of play isn't really allowed in the Pac 12 where the refs throw flags for breathing on a player too hard. Tony made a comment to me during the year after watching an SEC game and a Pac 12 game back to back that playing in the Pac 12 as a corner, ‘you're really handcuffed by the refs and that can actually hurt you as a prospect.’ The Big 10 style of play fits him very well, he's built for that. Academics are big for the family as well.

- Greg Biggins

For word from Biggins on Michigan’s last chance to impress Marshall, check out our premium forum The Victors Club. Not a premium member? Sign up here.

Updated Visit List

Nate Dalton was subtracted from this weekend’s roster of visitors, but a few more could still be added (in addition to those listed as possible visitors below. Stay tuned).  In the meantime here is the up to date list.

-- 2015 TE Jake Pickard 6-5/235 Millburn N.J. '13 camper and OSU game visitor. Current Wisconsin commit.

-- 2015 DE and Nebraska commit Reuben Jones 6-3/225 Lakeland FL (Dibson). Nebraska commit. *offer.

-- CB/Ath. Chris Williamson 6-1/185 Gainesville GA. *offer. He took an official visit to Cal in December, UNC Jan. 16, U-M Jan. 23-25 and it looks like Florida Jan. 30-Feb. 1. Auburn is in it too.

-- 2015 DB William Lockett6-0/185 Manvel TX. The UCLA commit was visited at his school by Harbaugh, and will visit this weekend.

-- 2015 FB/LB Reagan Williams 6-3/235 Jackson OH. *offer. Stanford commit (Jan. 16 visit).

-- Possible visit: 2015 OL and UConn commit Nolan Ulizio 6-5/285 West Chester OH (Lakota West). *offer. He’ll probably take an official to Ann Arbor or Kentucky this weekend.

-- Possible visit: 2015 TE and Nebraska commit Matt Snyder 6-5/235 San Ramon CA. *offer

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