Michigan’s 2015 recruiting class contained only three in-state prospects — four-stars Brian Cole of Saginaw Heritage and Alex Malzone of Birmingham Brother Rice and three-star Grant Perry, also of Rice — but the Wolverines are hoping to make a bigger splash on home turf in 2016 and beyond.
Home basketball games long have been an opportunity for college football coaches to host prospects on campus, and tonight’s matchup against Michigan State is no exception. U-M will bring a number of the best 2016 players — and perhaps the best in the 2017 class — to town to see what Jim Harbaugh and his new coaching staff are all about.
A contingent from Detroit Cass Tech headlines the group. Junior defensive tackle Michael Onwenu already holds a scholarship offer from U-M, and the 6-foot-2, 320-pounder also has received offers from national powers such as Alabama. Joining him on the visit will be classmate Demetric Vance, an athlete capable of playing wide receiver or defensive back/outside linebacker at the next level, and sophomore wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Although Vance and Peoples-Jones haven’t been offered by Michigan (Vance has been by MSU), it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one or both earn the honor.
A fast-rising prospect is Farmington Hills Harrison defensive end Khalid Kareem. The 6-4, 240-pounder already verbally committed to — and shortly thereafter decommitted from — Michigan State, and has been picking up several offers. U-M is in the mix, but beating out the Spartans could be a tall task. The first step could come with an excellent visit tonight.
Farmington duo Desmond Fitzpatrick and David Reese will be on campus as well. Neither holds an offer from Michigan, but Fitzpatrick has a number of scholarships, including from Louisville, to whom he has verbally committed. Reese holds offers from nearly the entire Mid-American Conference and has built buzz in the Big Ten as well. Both three-star prospects project as solid Big Ten-level players.
The Wolverines missed on the top in-state player in 2015 (Cass Tech running back Mike Weber), and unfortunately, it appears as though they’re doomed to repeat that fate in 2016. Ann Arbor Skyline linebacker Daelin Hayes, a five-star prospect and the No. 19 overall player nationally, has made an early commitment to USC.
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.