Michigan’s coaching staff has already done an outstanding job capitalizing on its connections to the East Coast, particularly Southern New Jersey. Camden (N.J.) High School four-star teammates Ron Johnson and Brad Hawkins – a defensive end and wide receiver, respectively – are already in the fold, and the Wolverines are in strong position with a handful of others.
They may have a chance to solidify their standing with one of those other players soon. Egg Harbor City (N.J.) Cedar Creek wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell is the No. 8 wideout and No. 51 overall prospect nationally, and the third-best player in New Jersey, according to Rivals.com. The four-star will also be in Ann Arbor soon.
“Saturday I will be back at Michigan for a visit with Mom,” he posted on his Twitter account Monday.
Mitchell holds U-M above his other favorites, with Ohio State and Notre Dame rounding out the top three, and hopes to make a college commitment before the end of the summer. He has been on campus several times – most recently in late June, along with a handful of other prospects from the area, including Johnson who committed while on-campus – but this will be his mother’s first time in town.
The Wolverines may not secure a commitment this weekend, but given that Mitchell tentatively plans to return to Ann Arbor for the Barbecue at the Big House recruiting event Aug. 2, they may be putting distance between themselves and the field.
“I think Ahmir is a Michigan lean at this point,” Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Analyst Adam Friedman said. “He’s giving Ohio State their last shot for Friday Night Lights. He will be at Michigan for the Barbecue. He could even commit for the Barbecue. I think he’s trying to figure out where he does stand with a couple schools, and that’s the last thing he feels like he needs to do.”
Michigan’s other top targets from the area include Philadelphia tight end Naseir Upshur and five-star defensive tackle Rashan Gary of Paramus Catholic in New Jersey. Both plan to return to U-M for the Barbecue, and if there’s a third player from the group pledged at that time, they may come away with an even strong opinion of U-M. With two players committed – and the strong push for Mitchell – it could be an outstanding haul from the region in the 2016 class.
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.