As Michigan pursues more running backs in the 2016 recruiting class, current commitments will be affected.
One of the most notable is Southfield tailback Matt Falcon, who was told by U-M that his playing scholarship will not be honored. Falcon, a four-star recruit and ranked the No. 12 tailback nationally by rivals.com, was told by U-M coach Jim Harbaugh that he only will have a scholarship to enroll in school, not to play football.
Falcon needed surgery after a knee injury early this season.
“His parents called (Harbaugh) up, and he told them Matt was going to be able to go to school at Michigan and wouldn’t have to play a dime,” Southfield coach Tim Conley said today. “But he wouldn’t be able to play football.”
Falcon confirmed the news today on Twitter, citing a scout.com story.
Falcon’s senior season ended before it began with a knee injury in fall workouts, the second straight season he was hurt.
As he spent weeks out of school, Conley visited him regularly, bringing his homework and trying to keep his spirits up. Falcon is now back in school but still attending rehab. His plan was to enroll at Michigan in January to continue under the U-M medical staff’s supervision. But now that plan is uncertain, Conley said.
While he hasn’t officially decommitted from Michigan, there are other schools pursuing him.
Conley said Oregon is very interested, and Wisconsin and Northwestern have shown a passing interest. Conley said theirs has been muted because he’s currently committed to a Big Ten school.
“He hasn’t decommitted from Michigan yet,” Conley said of Falcon. “Even though he was committed to Michigan, he still gets contacted and gets mail, and coaches contract him all the time about seeing if they can flip him.”
The 2016 running back carousel has left the Badgers out of luck. As Michigan got a visit from the nation’s No. 1 back, Ohio State commit Kareem Walker, the Buckeyes reacted by chasing Wisconsin commit Antonio Williams, No. 11 in the class on Rivals’ rankings. Williams decommitted from the Badgers.
Falcon, 6-feet-1 and 220 pounds, committed to Michigan on April 8 and is part of a loaded running backs class with Prattville, Ala.’s Kingston Davis, plus two other players who are backs in high school but classified in recruiting as “athletes”: Indianapolis’ Chris Evans and Winchester, Ind.’s Kiante Enis.
Falcon appeared to be an elite prospect after totaling 1,100 yards of offense in just six games last season, after coming back from a previous knee injury.