The excitement about the game that many regard as the best rivalry in all of sports is building by the day in Ann Arbor. A capacity crowd, two nationally ranked teams, and the eyes if the college football world make Saturday’s clash between Michigan and Ohio state the ideal backdrop for Jim Harbaugh’s biggest recruiting weekend to date.
Thus far the Michigan Insider has compiled a list of 50 expected visitors (and counting). Headlining the star-studded list cast will be eight uncommitted official visitors.
- 2016 DT Jordan Elliott 6-4/300 - Houston (Tex.) Westside
- 2016 ATH Mecole Hardman Jr 5-11/176 - Elberton (Ga.) Elbert County
- 2016 OG Terrance Davis 6-2/311 - Hyattsville (MD.) Dematha Catholic
- 2016 WR Keyshawn Young 5-10/163 - Miami (Fla.)
- 2016 WR Velus Jones 5-11/180 - Saraland (Ala.) - USC commit
- 2016 ILB Dontavious Jackson 6-1/237 - Houston (Tex.) Alief Elsik
- 2016 OLB Jeffrey McCulloch 6-2/225 - Houston (Tex.) Davis
- 2016 S Chris Brown 5-11/183 - Houston (Tex.) Alief Elsik
Michigan is the undisputed leader for two of those prospects heading into the weekend. Elliott and Davis have both stated publicly that the Wolverines are at the top of their respective lists, and Michigan will be looking to make those leads insurmountable this weekend.
Elliott was added to the visit list Monday night after requesting to move his visit up from December 12th. The former Baylor and later Houston commitment recently pointed to his relationship with the staff in Ann Arbor as the reason for Michigan’s sudden rise.
“It’s Coach (Greg) Mattison. The relationship he built with me and my mom and my coaches and everybody around me. He just takes the extra step.”
When asked if the bond with Mattison was the strongest that he and his mom had with a coach, Elliott didn’t mince words.
“Yeah… that is,” he replied.
Now he’ll have the opportunity to further that relationship in person for the first time since the Wolverines worked a satellite camp in Houston last summer.
Like Elliott, Davis too has built a strong bond with Michigan’s coaching staff. He first claimed the Maize & Blue as his leader after a memorable spring visit to Ann Arbor. The Wolverines have stayed atop that perch thanks in large part to their persistence.
"With Michigan, I talk to (offensive line) coach (Tim) Drevno at least one a week," Davis said earlier this month. "They are still my No. 1 school.”
It helps that his mom is a big fan of the Wolverines also.
“I would definitely say her feeling (about Michigan) is a little stronger than mine,” Davis laughingly told The Michigan Insider last summer.
“Just the education part mainly because we got to sit down with the academic counselor and lay out a plan, which is pretty big for her,” added Davis. “She loved that. She loved the conversation with Coach Harbaugh. She fell in love with Michigan right then.”
Additional conversations with the headman will surely be on the agenda this weekend. The same is likely true for a number of unofficial visitors, many of whom are making return visits. The Wolverines brass continue to press hard for Penn State commits LaVert Hill (CB, Detroit, Mich. King) and Quinn Nordin (K, Rockford, Mich.). Lakeland (Fla.) Lake Gibson defensive tackle Keyshon Camp, a USC commit, is another prospect slated to make it back to campus. The four-star prospect previously took an unofficial visit to Michigan September 19th. This time he will make the trip with his coach. Jones’ former teammate and good friend Reuben Jones is a true freshman at Michigan this season.
As impressive as that list of names is, the list of highly regarded underclassmen slated to be on hand. In-state stars Ambry Thomas, Corey Malone-Hatcher, Jaraymond Hall, and Allen Stritzinger will be in attendance. So too will nationally rated stars like Drew Singleton, Fred Hansard, Joshua Kaindoh, Micah Parsons, and more.
Premium members can view the full list of visitors here.