Michigan had just a single committed player at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge at the beginning of June, but it doubled up in the final national camp of the year, Nike’s The Opening, last week in Beaverton, Ore.
Detroit Cass Tech offensive lineman Michael Onwenu participated in both events, and impressed at each. He was named the No. 2 overall offensive lineman at the Five-Star Challenge and was named to the “Final Five” at The Opening. While he’s ranked the No. 191 recruit nationally by rivals.com, Onwenu’s productive summer will see him climb. There’s a strong chance that the 6-foot-3, 367-pounder earns the mantle of being the country’s top guard.
Avon (Ind.) quarterback Brandon Peters made it to The Opening and the Elite 11 quarterback competition last week (he passed on the Five-Star Challenge to attend a preliminary event for the Elite 11). The move paid off for Peters, who was named one of the “Elite 11” among the two dozen quarterbacks in attendance.
A number of Michigan targets also impressed, perhaps none more so than Paramus (N.J.) Catholic defensive tackle Rashan Gary. The 6-4, 290-pounder was dominant against all comers — including the nation’s top offensive lineman, Allen (Texas) five-star Gregory Little. Student Sports lineman expert Todd Huber said that he might have been the best defensive lineman ever to participate in The Opening.
Gary and his mother visited Ann Arbor in late June, and he plans to return at the beginning of August for the “Barbecue at the Big House” recruiting event, which is a holdover from the Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke coaching regimes.
When Gary makes his way to Ann Arbor next month, he’ll see a couple newly familiar faces in Onwenu and Peters. Several other commitments with whom he’s already familiar — including fellow New Jerseyans Brad Hawkins Jr. and Ron Johnson of Camden — can help make him comfortable, as well.
Tim Sullivan is the football recruiting editor of The Wolverine magazine and thewolverine.com. He is also a contributor to national football recruiting coverage on the rivals.com network. You can follow him on Twitter @tims_wolverine.