Anthony Broome is a writer at the Wolverines blog Maize-n-Brew. His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the Detroit Free Press nor its writers. Read his column every week here and contact him anytime at email@example.com.
Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan football coaching staff have made waves on the recruiting trail for months, but things took another level with the “Summer Swarm Tour.”
The Summer Swarm was Michigan’s 9-day satellite camp tour around the country. That allowed U-M to get a closer look at some of the top prospects in the country.
Naturally, that caused some backlash, namely from SEC coaches. The jabs came from every direction, but perhaps one of the silliest was from Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.
“If Jim Harbaugh’s going to have a camp, he’d probably want to teach young kids in Michigan how to be better football players,” Mullen said during a radio appearance in June.
Michigan has never been a traditional high school football hotbed like Texas, California or Florida, but the talent coming out of the area the next few years has college coaches from all over the country keeping a close eye on the state.
Committed prospects in the Top 10 in the state for the 2016 class are expected to sign with top-tier Power Five schools.
That list, according to 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings, includes: Ann Arbor Skyline linebacker Daelin Hayes (USC), Detroit Martin Luther King cornerback Lavert Hill (Penn State), Detroit Cass Tech offensive guard Michael Onwenu (Michigan), Plymouth offensive tackle Michael Jordan (Ohio State), Farmington Hills Harrison defensive end Khalid Kareem (Alabama), Southfield running back Matt Falcon (Michigan), Cass Tech safety Demetric Vance (Michigan State), Warren Mott wide receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick (Louisville) and Traverse City West offensive tackle Thiyo Lukusa (Michigan State).
Other prospects in the Top 30 who are committed to Power Five schools are Detroit Martin Luther King running back Martell Pettaway (West Virginia), Saline quarterback Joshua Jackson (Virginia Tech), Farmington linebacker/fullback David Reese (Michigan), Walled Lake Central defensive end Adetokunbo Ogundeji (Notre Dame), Rockford kicker Quinn Nordin (Penn State), Battle Creek Central linebacker Brandon Randle (Michigan State), St. Mary’s offensive guard Cameron Kolwich (Northwestern), Detroit East English Village Prep defensive ends Chauncey Golston and Cedrick Lattimore (Iowa) and Lansing Catholic quarterback Tony Poljan (Minnesota).
A pair of uncommitted prospects could end up at Michigan State as well in Martin Luther King wide receiver Donnie Corley and Detroit Renaissance offensive tackle Alaric Jackson, ranked 3rd and 15th in the state, respectively.
The class of 2017 also features the nation’s No. 2 wide receiver in Cass Tech’s Donovan Peoples-Jones and a plethora of other talented prospects. Other players that will attract a ton of national attention are Ambry Thomas, Josh Ross, Corey Malone-Hatcher, JaRaymond Hall, Hunter Rison and K.J. Hamler, just to name a few.
To sum up the last few paragraphs: High school football talent in Michigan is just fine, and coaches from all over will keep an eye on the state for years to come.
If SEC coaches want to come after coaches such as Harbaugh and MSU’s Mark Dantonio, that’s fine. Those guys can handle it. But to bring the kids into the equation and use that as a way to tear down how other schools are recruiting is flat-out wrong.
Fans of Michigan high school football will have no shortage of great players and great teams to check out this fall and in the future. Who knows? There could, and likely will be, future college football stars playing under the Friday night lights.