Coaches love to find out on the recruiting trail that former players at their program have a son who is capable of playing college football.
Those players, referred to as legacy prospects, will oftentimes become targets and subsequently become commitments and signees.
Michigan’s current roster has quite a few. Redshirt junior linebacker Jared Wangler, redshirt sophomore tight end Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Jon Runyan Jr. are a trio on scholarship, while U-M football coach Jim Harbaugh took a pair preferred walk-ons whose fathers played for the Wolverines: Tight end Dan Jokisch (Paul) and defensive back Tyler Cochran (Brad). Other legacies on the roster include Jack Wangler (John) and Jack Dunaway (Craig). True freshman cornerback Lavert Hill is the younger brother of senior safety Delano, and redshirt sophomore walk-on Jordan Glasgow is the younger brother of both Ryan and Graham.
That brings us to Michigan’s current recruiting landscape. 2017 legacy prospect Carter Dunaway is verbally committed, but the Wolverines may have some luck fall into their lap in the 2018 cycle, as four different three or four-star prospects come directly from the Wolverines family:
Four-star tight end Will Mallory, Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence: The son of former star linebacker Mike Mallory, who is now the special teams coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL, Will was offered by Michigan very early in the process, but has seen his recruitment blow up in recent months. Alabama, Tennessee, USC, Miami (Fla.) and a bunch of other programs have entered the fray. However, Michigan is considered the heavy favorite.
Four-star defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Dearborn Divine Child: Hutchinson’s father Chris is considered one of the best defensive linemen in Michigan history, garnering All-American honors in 1992 and was a two-time All-Big Ten choice. Aidan is ranked by 247Sports.com as one of the top 100 prospects in the 2018 cycle, and he holds an offer from Les Miles, the LSU coach who was Michigan’s offensive line coach during the elder Hutchinson’s time in Ann Arbor. Once again, many believe the younger Hutchinson is a lock to play for the Wolverines.
Four-star wide receiver Al’Vonte Woodard, Houston Lamar: Woodard is the son of former reserve wide receiver Allen, who played for Gary Moeller in the early 1990s. He is the only legacy prospect the Michigan staff has yet to offer, and it’s believed that status will not help Michigan in his recruitment. He is another top 100 prospect, playing his football at Houston-area power Lamar High School. Duke, Utah and West Virginia have offered, but he has the look of a national prospect.
Three-star linebacker Kolin Demens, Birmingham Detroit Country Day: Demens is the younger brother of former star linebacker Kenny Demens, who is currently a free agent in the NFL. The Birmingham Detroit Country Day prospect has early offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska and Maryland. Kenny has publicly stumped for Michigan in the past in hopes of getting his brother to become a Wolverine. Most believe he will eventually follow through.