With Michigan coaches hitting the road and the 2017 recruiting cycle starting to hit its hottest point, one of the efforts of the coaching staff will be to hang onto the current members of their recruiting class. As Michigan staff members travel the country to also try to flip other schools’ commitments, they must also continue their efforts with those already pledged to them to keep the class together.
What’s made it potentially interesting for Michigan are some past recruiting stumbles under Harbaugh. Michigan has made a habit of accepting verbal commitments from prospects and then not giving them the option to actually sign with them in February. Other schools take note of this and attempt to use it against the Wolverines in an effort to create second thoughts from the prospect and their families.
As of now, multiple U-M commitments are hearing from other schools, and each situation is varying. Here are the names to watch:
Florence (Ala.) three-star safety J’Marick Woods: Woods, who committed to Michigan over the summer, is still considering Arkansas and Mississippi State. Michigan coaches will be in his home on Wednesday, and Woods says he will make a final decision on Dec. 2 between those three schools. Both Arkansas and Mississippi State analysts believe their school has a real chance, but nothing has suggested Michigan is concerned. Concern level: low to moderate.
Groton (Mass.) Lawrence Academy four-star running back A.J. Dillon: Dillon is a Top100 prospect who committed to Michigan in the spring after a great unofficial visit. He will take his official visit to Michigan the weekend of Dec. 10. The other school he appears to be considering is hometown Boston College, although Wisconsin has been reportedly still recruiting him as well. He will officially visit BC. Tyrone Wheatley will be in-home with Dillon and his family on Dec. 6. Concern level: low.
Los Lunas (N.M.) four-star running back O’Maury Samuels: Samuels has gone quiet over the past few months, and has allowed himself to be .recruited by a bunch of other schools, including Oklahoma, USC and Arizona. He took an official visit to Arizona in October, and has reportedly been listening to them relatively intently. Michigan has three verbal commitments at running back (including Samuels) and are still after the nation’s top prospect in five-star running back Najee Harris. Samuels could be the best bet to end up elsewhere. Concern level: moderate.
Montreal Cegep du Vieux four-star cornerback Benjamin St-Juste: Here’s another committed prospect who will announce a final decision sometime this week between Michigan and Virginia Tech. St-Juste took an official visit to Blacksburg to see the Hokies last week and Justin Fuente’s staff is literally the only other program who has stayed on the Michigan commitment. However, there appears to be only a minimal chance that his interest in Virginia Tech is serious, as Michigan has long made him a priority and offered him a scholarship when other schools didn’t even know he would be a Division-1 prospect. Concern level: low.