With Jim Harbaugh officially named Head Coach at Michigan, where does the 2015 recruiting class stand at now? Which recruits could possibly fill out the rest of Michigan's class? How did recruits react to the hiring of Jim Harbaugh? Find out in this Fridays of "The Future Huddle."
During the Michigan coaching search, many Harbaugh to Michigan naysayers claimed that Harbaugh "no longer liked to recruit." Well, not even 24 hours into his head coaching job, Harbaugh was on the phone calling recruits and the six commits that stayed on board. The recruiting world has somewhat been turned upside down over the past week with the hiring of Harbaugh. Recruits that were no longer interested in Michigan, now do. Recruits that are committed to other schools are thinking of taking visits to Ann Arbor. This is certainly a breath of fresh air to Wolverine fans, as the past few months have been painful to watch as recruits decommitted.
Recruits React to Harbaugh Being Hired
2016 Quarterback K.J Costello
Wow!! Harbaugh to Michigan
— kj costello (@kj_costello) December 29, 2014
2015 Quarterback commit Alex Malzone
“@statechampsnet: Can Harbaugh get Mike Weber to recommit back to Michigan?”yes
— Alex Malzone (@AlexMalzone) December 29, 2014
2015 Defensive End Jalen Bates
Happy Michigan got their coach. They deserve it. 👌 #goblue
— Jalen Bates (@KINNG_MEE) December 30, 2014
2016 ATH Tyrece Speaight
2 Words "Jim Harbaugh"
— Prime Time (@KingReese_9) December 30, 2014
2016 Wide Reciever Dylan Crawford
Michigan starting to climb back up on the list
— Dylan Crawford (@yung_sweetness) December 29, 2014
As you can see, there is a certain “buzz” that Michigan has created with the hiring of Harbaugh, that has lacked in recent years. When you hire a coach with as high of a profile that Jim Harbaugh has, recruits will take notice and they definitely have already. Since Harbaugh was hired on Tuesday, he has been in contact with many high profile recruits including; Mike Weber, Alex Malzone, Brian Cole, Chris Clark, Darian Roseboro, Auden Tate, Keisean Lucier-South, and John Kelly.
I was able to get in contact with three recruits earlier this week to ask them what they thought of Jim Harbaugh being hired at Michigan;
3* Offensive Lineman Stephen Spanellis (Gilman, MD) - "I think it is great for Michigan, the Big 10, and college football."
4* Offensive Lineman Devery Hamilton (Gilman, MD) - "I think it's great. And i think he's a great coach."
4* Offensive Lineman JP Urquidez (DeMantha, MD) - "That's huge for Michigan and I want to take a visit there and i hope he makes Michigan the powerhouse Michigan is. " Shortly after JP also sent me a message saying "Tell everybody Michigan is on my top list."
The Future of the 2015 Recruiting Class.
Michigan's 2015 recruiting class took a major hit during the season with 8 decommitments. With Chris Clark, Mike Weber, Darian Roseboro, Darrin Kirkland, Garrett Taylor,Damien Harris, George Campbell, Shaun Crawford all leaving Michigan for greener pasture over the past year, who could Coach Harbaugh target to fill the rest of the remaining spots in 2015?
At this point, Michigan looks to have around 8-10 scholarship spots left and there are plenty of holes needed to be filled.
4* Wide Receiver Auden Tate- Tate grew up a lifelong Wolverines fan and took an official visit to Ann Arbor for the Maryland game. Michigan lacks depth at the Wide Receiver position and Tate could potentially see time during his freshman season at Michigan. Although he is currently committed to Florida State, Tate told Christopher Nee from Noles247 that he is “trying to see about that now” when asked about possibly visiting Ann Arbor again before National Signing Day.
3* ATH John Kelly- Kelly was offered by the Michigan coaching staff in October and at one point looked to be in the lead for his services. With Michigan being without a head coach Kelly decided to look elsewhere. Now with the hiring of Jim Harbaugh, Kelly has expressed big-time interest in the program. John plays both running back and cornerback for his Oak Park squad and will likely end up playing on the defensive side of the ball.
5* DE Keisean Lucier-South- "KLS" officially visited Michigan for the Penn State game in October and loved his time in Ann Arbor. Defensive End is another position Michigan lacks depth and needs to add at least one more to the 2015 recruiting class. Jim Harbaugh has recently reached out to the 5* talent to gauge his interest in the program, with Keisean saying “he’s still 100% UCLA.”
5* CB Iman Marshall- Iman is a prospect Michigan would stand no chance of landing without the hiring of Jim Harbaugh. Since Jim’s hiring, Iman has told multiple reporters that his interest in Michigan is starting to rise and that he’d like to take an official visit to Ann Arbor at some point. At this point in his recruitment, USC looks to be the leader to land the 5* talent.
4* CB Marcus Lewis- Marcus is a recruit that has had Michigan interest for a long period of time. During last summer Marcus decommitted from Florida and it only looked to be a matter of time before he committed to Michigan. Lewis attended the Big House BBQ last summer and left without committing. Since then, Lewis has been pretty quiet on the recruiting trail until releasing a Top 3 a couple weeks ago that consisted of Kentucky, Miami, and Washington State.
4* TE Chris Clark- Chris is a name all Michigan fans are familiar with. Chris decommitted from Michigan hours after Brady Hoke was fired and has since been looking at other schools including; UCLA, Texas, Tennessee and South Carolina. Chris has been very vocal on Twitter about the hiring of Jim Harbaugh, and getting him on campus before National Signing Day could be the final step in getting Chris to recommit.
4* RB Mike Weber- Like Chris Clark, Mike is an ex-Wolverine commit. Mike decommitted from Michigan during the Maryland game and two weeks later was committed to the Buckeyes. Harbaugh has already been in contact with Weber and his family, but the chances of flipping him back to Michigan are very slim in my opinion. Mike has made excellent relationships with the Ohio State coaching staff and at this point it may be too much to overcome. Weber recently spoke to USA Today about Michigan recruiting him stating; “I mean, I don't know. I'm going to respect him and I know he'll try to recruit me. I'm going to respect him and listen to what he has to say, but I'm pretty solid."
3* WR Grant Perry - Grant is a recruit that I could see Michigan potentially flipping. Although Grant never received an offer from Michigan, he maintained lots of interest until committing to Northwestern in December. Grant played his high school career with current Michigan commit Alex Malzone and the two seem to have a lot of chemistry together. If the coaching staff does extend an offer to Grant in the coming weeks, my best guess is that he would flip his commitment.
Roquan Smith Planning a Possible Visit?
During the Under Armor All American Game practices on Monday, 4 star linebacker Roquan Smith made it known to multiple reporters that he'd like to take an official visit to Ann Arbor if DJ Durkin is hired. Durkin, who is currently Florida's Defensive Coordinator, has already established a quality relationship with Roquan and Michigan would more than welcome a linebacker of his caliber. With the decommitment of Darrin Kirkland Jr. in November, Michigan's 2015 recruiting class does not yet feature a linebacker.
Roquan is an absolute beast for his Macon County high school squad. Smith already possesses the necessary size to play outside linebacker at the FBS level. One major thing that stands out after watching his highlight film is his ability to break off blocks and get to the ball carrier quickly. He has excellent field vision and always seems to know where the play is heading on the field. Does a good job of lowering his shoulders and wrapping up his man while tackling. During blitz packages, Roquan is able to burst through holes in the offensive line or around the edge to quickly get into the backfield. In zone coverage, Roquan keeps the play in front of him and is able to match up 1on1 with basically any offensive player on the field. Wherever Roquan ends up playing his collegiate career, he will be a force on the defensive side of the ball.
As a junior, Roquan made 79 total tackles with 23.5 for a loss. He also had 5 sacks and two interceptions.
2015 commit Brian Cole will remain solid with his commitment and will enroll early next week for classes at the University of Michigan. Cole spoke with ESPN's Tom VanHaaren on Sunday regarding the hiring of Harbaugh and told him; "It's been a blessing bc my dream to make it to the league. I'm going to play my butt off."
2015 TE/DE Tyrone Wheatley Jr. released his Top 4 on Thursday, and it did not include Michigan. I wouldn't say Michigan is out of the running for his services, but at this point the coaching staff has a lot of ground to make up.
2016 DE Khalid Kareem received a scholarship offer from Penn State on Monday. Kareem's recruitment has blown up as of recently, and Penn State marks his 18 scholarship offer.
2016 Linebacker commit Dele Harding was named Maryland 1st Team All-State earlier this week.
With Michael Ferns transferring to West Virginia, you can almost kiss any chance at landing his little brother LB Brendan Ferns. Brendan looks to be an Ohio State lean at this point in his recruitment.