Fridays Future Huddle Is Looking for a Commitment

Once again, the Michigan coaching staff has hit the recruiting trail in full force this week, visiting with several recruits and handing out scholarships. Which 2015 and 2016 recruits landed an offer? Which recruits will be in Ann Arbor this weekend for official visits? Could Michigan be taking a second Quarterback in 2015? Find out in this Fridays version of “The Future Huddle.”
Last week the recruiting dead period ended, and the Michigan coaching staff spread out across the country to visit prospects and even offered a select few a scholarship. This week was no different. The coaching staff extended multiple offers to 2015/2016 and even a 2017 recruit. So, what exactly does each recruit bring to the table?

2015 TE Matt Snyder  
Shortly after I had posted last week’s version of “The Future Huddle”, the coaching staff extended an offer to 2015 tight end Matt Snyder (San Ramon,CA). 
Snyder, who is ranked as a 3* recruit according to Rivals, committed to Nebraska in December.  Matt is a big bodied, fast TE, who almost plays as a Wide Receiver.  He has excellent speed for his size (6’5 245 lbs.), and gets down field in a hurry.  Does an excellent job of getting low on the line up scrimmage and breaking off once the ball has been snapped.  Possesses really good hands, and routinely comes down with the ball. Never shy’s away from contact, and keeps his legs moving when trying to be wrapped up. Almost always catches the ball with two hands and does an excellent job of holding onto the ball. Rarely is brought down by one tackler. Decent route runner, but will have to work on breaking off his man faster at the next level.  Matt is best utilized as a receiving tight end, and will have to work on his blocking ability once he arrives at college. After watching his highlight film, a lot of his game reminds me of current Wolverine Jake Butt. 

Matt is currently ranked as the #16 tight end in 2015 according to 24/7. 

2016 DE Connor Murphy
The offers continued to be handed out Friday evening with 2016 defensive end Connor Murphy (Phoenix, AZ) receiving his from the coaching staff.
With Michigan lacking depth at the defensive end position, Michigan surely will be pursing 1-3 in 2016. One recruit that the coaching staff has identified early on is Connor Murphy. Murphy, who is ranked as a 3* recruit according to 24/7, has an offer sheet mostly boasting of Pac-12 schools at the moment including; Arizona State, Stanford, and Arizona.

While I wasn't able to find a highlight film of him on the Youtube, I was able to find game highlights of his games last year on Hudl. Connor has an okay burst off the line of scrimmage, and mostly relies on strength to break through blocks. If unblocked, Connor has decent speed and can catch up to quarterback/ball carrier.  Good instincts and has a high motor. Doesn't give up on the play and constantly causes pressure on the pocket. Has a huge frame standing at 6'7 and weighing 250 pounds. Height sometimes poses as a problem since he can't get low to gain leverage on lineman.  Wins a lot of one of one battles. Very raw at this point, but with good coaching will turn out to be a good collegiate player.

Connor is ranked as the #20 overall weak side defensive end according to 24/7 and holds a crystal ball favoring Michigan at 67%

2015 LB/FB/DE Reagan Williams
On Saturday, the coaching staff offered 2015 LB/FB/DE Reagan Williams (Jackson, OH).
Connor, who is committed to Stanford at the end of July, is the first recruit from the state of Ohio, that the new coaching regime has offered.

Reagan is a super utility man for his high school squad. During his senior year, he saw playing time at multiple positions including; linebacker, fullback and defensive end. While it’s unclear were exactly Michigan is recruiting him to play right now, Reagan could see time at multiple positions in college. He’s an excellent “downhill” runner, who would fit in perfectly as a fullback, and is an above average blocker. Or, he could see playing time as a linebacker. He’s excellent on the blitz, and constantly puts pressure on the line of scrimmage. Plays very smart, and breaks to the ball with good speed. Never shy’s away from contact. Reagan is a very useful prospect who could see playing time at multiple positions during his collegiate career.

In 2014, Reagan had 102 tackles (19 for a loss), 12 sacks, 1 interception, and forced one fumble. On the offensive side of the ball, he tallied 53 pancake blocks, and 152 receiving yards with one touchdown.
Hudl highlights can be viewed by clicking here. 

2015 OT Nolan Ulizio
On Sunday, the coaching staff extended a scholarship offer towards 2015 Offensive Tackle Nolan Ulizio (West Chester, OH).
Nolan, who committed to UConn during an official visit in December, becomes one of many committed recruits that Jim Harbaugh and company are trying to flip.  With Michigan’s offer, it instantly becomes the most attractive scholarship he has had to date.  Currently ranked as a 2* recruit via 24/7, Nolan is very likely to flip his commitment in my opinion. 

It’s not very often Michigan does offer a 2* prospect, but when they do, you have to feel as if the coaching staff see’s something in the recruit that other schools don’t.  Nolan has the prototypical size to play tackle at the college level (6’5 295 lbs.) and although his highlight film doesn't jump off the page, he does a lot of good things on the football field.  Comparing his junior tape to senior tape, it’s easy to see that Nolan has made lots of progress in turning into a better football player.  He gets off the line of scrimmage with decent speed and has a very strong upper body.  Nolan is equally as good in pass protection as he is protecting the running back. Very athletic for someone his size, and plays with a high motor.  In my opinion, Nolan has a very high ceiling and could turn out to be an offensive line starter later on in his college career.  A redshirt will almost be necessary, but that will benefit both him and the team.

Nolan has recently seen multiple 24/7 crystal ball predictions turn to Michigan over the past few days, and when he visits this weekend, I think it’s very possible that he becomes the first recruit in the Jim Harbaugh era.
Nolan is rated as the #210 OT according to 24/7’s composite rankings.

2015 CB Will Lockett
On Tuesday, Coach Jim Harbaugh extended a scholarship offer towards current UCLA commit William Lockett (Manvel, TX)
With less than two weeks away from NSD, Michigan is looking to flip multiple recruits, and one of the newest targets emerging is 2015 cornerback Will Locket.
Ranked as a 3* recruit according to Rivals, Lockett is an excellent looking prospect. He's got decent size at 5'11-185 lbs. and above average speed. Has good back pedal speed and can keep up 1on1 with receivers. Closes in on the ball extremely well. Decent tackler, hits low but does a good job of wrapping up and dragging the receiver to ground. Will has excellent ball skills (partially due to playing WR in high school), and has the ability to intercept the ball on a lot of plays.  He reads the play in front of him well, and has a very good football IQ.  Will need to add on additional weight to his frame once he gets to college.  Good prospect, with a high ceiling.

Locket who committed to UCLA in August, will take an official visit this weekend to Ann Arbor. He is currently ranked as the 71st overall Cornerback according to Rivals.

2017 RB Najee Harris
On Tuesday, Tight Ends Coach Jay Harbaugh visited Antioch High School to check in on 2017 RB Najee Harris (Antioch, CA). After visiting for a while, Jay informed Atioch High School Head Coach Brett Dudley, that Najee had a scholarship offer at the University of Michigan.
With the coaching staff trying to build a pipeline in California, there would be no better building block in the future than Najee Harris. Although he just a sophomore, Najee plays like a senior. His highlight film is filled with touchdowns and long yardage runs. Najee waits for his blocks to be set on the o-line almost to perfect. Does an excellent job of hitting the hole and accelerating forward for positive yards. Has very good speed, but almost seems to lack top end speed. Very elusive.  Although he has no problem putting his head down and absorbing contact, he is more likely to avoid to contact and turn a 10 yard run into 50. Solid size at 6’2 and 210 lbs.
Rated as a 4* prospect according to 24/7, Najee has all the tools to become one of the best running backs in 2017. Najee becomes the first 2017 offer that the coaching staff has handed out. He has also had scholarship offers from; Cal, UCLA, Utah, and Washington State.  

2016 TE Devin Asiasi                                                              
Tuesday also saw 2016 Tight End Devin Asiasi (Concord,CA) receive his scholarship offer.
It's no secret that Jim Harbaugh loves tight ends. During his time at Stanford he recruited several high quality TE's such as Zack Ertz and Coby Fleener.I fully expect Jim will land one tight end each recruiting class during his stay in Ann Arbor, and with such a good track record of turning out pro's I'd also expect recruits at the position to be lining up.

Devin Asiasi is one recruit who would be extremely dangerous in a Jim Harbaugh offence. He has your prototypical size at 6'5 and 265 lbs. He moves very well for someone his size, and is a constant threat to catch the ball. Every time I watch his highlight film, all I can do is dream of what a nightmare he'd be to matchup against in the red zone. He's a decent route runner and always seems to get in 1on1 coverage, leading to him catching the ball most times. Does a good job of catching the ball and absorbing contact. One of the hardest recruits I've watched to get taken down by defenders. Keeps his legs moving while being tackled, and since he's so powerful, he's able to break a lot of tackles. Very agile for a tight end, and can contort his body like a wide receiver to catch the ball.  Asiasi is definitely a name to be remembered going forward.

Devin is rated as the #129 overall recruit and #6 TE in 2016 according to Rivals.

2016 LB Camilo Eifler
On Wednesday, the coaching staff offered 2016 linebacker Camilo Eifler (Oakland, CA).
Michigan has made the linebacker position a priority for 2016, and Camilo Eifler fits the bill as to what the coaching staff is looking for.

Eifler, who is ranked as a 3* recruit according to 24/7 has scholarship offers from mostly Pac-12 schools including; California, Washington and Colorado. He’s got good size at 6’2, 210 lbs., and moves very well for a linebacker. Is more effective as an outside linebacker, due to his speed and field vision. Camilo is a very effective at blitzing, and has no problem lining up in the box, or outside the defensive line. Hard tackler, with a high motor.  Eifler is a “do it all” linebacker, who can line drop back into pass coverage, or guard the rush. Very effective tackler, and does an excellent job of wrapping up the ball carrier.

Camilo is rated as the #26 overall outside linebacker according to Rivals. Hudl highlight reel can be viewed by clicking here

2016 S Deontay Anderson   
The offers continued to flow in for 2016 recruits on Thursday, as safety Deontay Anderson (Manvel, TX) was notified that he had received a scholarship offer from Michigan.
If I could describe Deontay’s game in one word, it would be "playmaker." Ranked as a 4* recruits on both Rivals and 24/7, Deontay is a recruit most schools have already taken notice of considering he has over 20 scholarship offers already, including schools such as; Auburn, Georgia, Texas, Texas A&M, and Notre Dame.
Deontay has all the ability in the world to become a major factor at the next level. He's extremely dangerous as a safety, as well as kick/punt returner. He's very elusive and has the ability to out run anyone on the football field. He sees the field extremely well and always seems to know where the ball is going. Does a decent job at tackling, but will need to work on wrapping up more. Deontay does a good job of getting low while making tackles. He will need to work a bit on his position in the defensive back field, as he is sometimes caught out of position and relies on his speed to get back into position.

Deontay is currently ranked as the #51 overall recruit, and #4 safety in 2016 according to Rivals.

2016 OT Alex Akingbulu 
On Thursday, Michigan offered 2016 OT Alex Akingbulu (Harbor City, CA).
If Alex’s name doesn’t sound familiar to you, there’s good reason. Alex has only been playing football for one(!) year, and Michigan became the first school to offer the 2016 product.  

Not ranked by any of the major recruiting databases, Alex is a big bodied (6’6, 275 lbs.) offensive tackle for his Narbonne High School team. Obviously, since he’s only played football for one season, he’s very raw. Will definitely have to work on his technique, but for only playing for one season, I came away very impressed by his highlight film. Alex does a good job of using his massive frame to gain leverage on defenders. Has decent speed, and moves extremely well for someone his size. Once he arrives at college, a redshirt is necessary. With good coaching and learning of technique, Alex could be a starter later on in his college career.
Wolverine 24/7’s Steve Lorenz caught up with Alex to talk about receiving his first offer from Michigan, with Alex stating;

"There were a couple schools like Boston College that had shown some interest, but nothing major. My coach told me that Michigan came by and offered me a scholarship and I almost didn't believe him at first. I just feel honored more than anything and humbled that they believe in me enough to offer me. I will remember Michigan being my first ever offer. That's very special to me."

At this point, Michigan looks to be in good shape with Alex, considering it's the first school that has offered him. Come next year, I fully expect Alex's recruitment to get a boost, and for some Pac-12 schools to be knocking on his door.

Alex's Hudl highlights can be viewed by clicking here. 

2016 CB Trayvon Mullen
The last offer to be handed out on Thursday, was to 2016 CB Trayvon Mullen (Pompano Beach, FL).
Michigan continued to recruit the state of Florida this week, and what better prospect to offer than uber talented cornerback Trayvon Mullen.

Mullen has all the talent to become a very effective cornerback at the college level. He has ideal speed (4.37 40 time), and size (6’2, 175 lbs.) to play the cornerback position at the next level. Trayvon is rarely beaten 1on1, and has the ability to stick to the opposing team’s best receiver. Very good instincts, with good ball skills. Reliable defender, who can play zone or man to man coverage. Has good lateral agility and breaks to the ball very quickly. Trayvon has good hips and can stop on a dime to change directions. Good footwork and doesn't loose site of the ball or the man he’s covering. I could potentially see Trayvon being a multi-year starter at the college level.

Trayvon is ranked as the #6 cornerback, and #74 overall in 2016 according to 24/7. His Hudl highlights can be viewed by clicking here. 

Recruits That Were Re-Offered Scholarships

While some recruits received a Michigan scholarship this week, others were told that the scholarship that Brady Hoke had offered in the past were still valid including;

2016 WR Theo Howard (Thousand Oaks, CA)
2016 DT Rashan Gary (Scotch Plains, NJ) 
2015 DE/TE Jake Pickard (Millburn, NJ) 
2016 WR Dylan Crawford (La Canada Flintridge, CA)
2016 WR Donnie Corley (Wyandotte, MI) 
2016 TE Naseir Upshur (Philadelphia, PA) 
2016 OLB Caleb Kelly (Fresno, CA) 

Could Zach Gentry Flip His Commitment?

Rumors have been swirling over the past few days that the coaching staff reached out to 2015 Texas quarterback commit Zach Gentry.

Well, the rumors are true and it looks as if the interest is mutual. On Thursday, Wolverine 24/7’s Steve Lorenz confirmed that Zach Gentry would be taking an official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend. 

Although Michigan already has one quarterback commit this recruiting cycle (Alex Malzone), it's no secret that Jim Harbaugh loves competition. With no proven starter yet for the Wolverines, Zach Gentry could just be what the doctored ordered. Shane Morris will likely head into training camp as the favorite to become the starter, but nothing is set in stone yet, and Wilton Speight, Alex Malzone, and perhaps Gentry could push for the starters job.

Zach has all the tools to become a very effective quarterback in Jim Harbaugh's offence.  He's your standard pro-style quarterback standing at 6'6 and already weighing 230 pounds. Zach is able to make all the throws at a variety of distances. He’s very comfortable in the pocket, and waits for the play to develop. Goes through his reads as well as any high school quarterback I've watched. Throws a nice, crisp ball with a tight spiral. Zach has a very strong arm, and looks as if he throws the ball with relative ease. Does a good job of throwing the ball to only where the receiver can catch it. Unlike most prototypical pocket qb’s, Zach is able to stretch the play out with his legs if needed. Has decent speed and is capable of picking up first downs with his legs.
At this point, I think it’s just a matter of when Zach will flip his commitment to Michigan. He’s already taken out anything to do with Texas on his twitter bio, and if Michigan comes through with a quality official visit, I fully expect Zach to become the first QB of the Jim Harbaugh era.

Zach is ranked as the #4 quarterback in 2015 and #105 overall according to Rivals.

Official Visitors This Weekend

2015 QB Zach Gentry *Texas commit
2015 DE Reuben Jones
2015 TE Matt Snyder *Nebraska commit
2015 CB Will Lockett *UCLA commit
2015 CB Markel Bush
2015 OL Nolan Ulizio *UConn commit
2015 ATH Chris Williamson
2015 LB/DE/FB Reagan Williams *Stanford commit

Other Notes:
2015 ATH John Kelly (Oak Park, MI) committed to Tennessee on Thursday afternoon. Michigan offered him in October, and at one point seemed to be the leader for his services.

2015 TE target Chris Clark (Avon, CT) will announce his college choice live on ESPNU on National Signing Day. Chris will decide between UCLA and Michigan, and at this point I would guess that Chris commits to Michigan.

2015 South Carolina CB commit Damon Arnette (Fort Lauderdale, FL) was visited by Coaches Harbaugh, Durkin and Drevno on Thursday night.

In a strange turn of events, 2015 CB Nate Dalton tweeted out on Wednesday, that he would not be visiting Michigan this weekend for an official visit after all. On Thursday, Nate took to twitter once again to announce that he had committed to Arkansas.

Coaches Jim Harbaugh and Tim Drevno had an in-home visit with 2015 WR Ryan Davis (Saint Petersburg, FL) on Wednesday.

2015 LB target and current Alabama commit Joshua McMillon (Memphis, TN) will not be taking an official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend after all. 

Coach Harbaugh visited 2015 WR Auden Tate (Tampa, FL) on Thursday. Tate, visited Michigan for the Maryland game this year, and grew up a Michigan fan. There is a possibility that he may visit before NSD.

2015 DE target Reuben Jones (Lakeland, FL) decommitted from Nebraska late Thursday night. My best guess is by Sunday night, he's a Wolverine. 

For up to the minute recruitment news, you can follow Travis Cooper on Twitter @MaizenBlueCoop. You can also follow Maize & Blue Nation on TwitterFacebook, and Flickr

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