Since Jim Harbaugh was hired as Michigan’s head coach in December 2014, he has been known to go to great lengths to secure recruits. However, after his third lackluster season leading the Wolverines, you will not find Harbaugh climbing any trees or sleeping on any floors this recruiting season.
Why is this? For one, Harbaugh has already signed a 14th ranked recruiting class with some key players, especially exceptional offensive lineman. The 2018 class is not shabby by any means; however, this is not close to the 5th and 8th ranked classes Harbaugh has put together for the past two years.
Furthermore, Harbaugh has been putting a focus on his coaching staff. Strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert, defensive coach Al Washington, offensive coach Dan Enos, and tight-ends coach Sherrone Moore were all added to the coaching staff this off-season and have been a major impact on the recruiting trail. Not only did Harbaugh fill some vacant coaching spots with tackles and tight-ends coach taking a job at Florida State, he also put together a fiery recruiting team.
So, no need for Harbaugh to do all the crazy antics he once did to get players to commit to Michigan. Instead, he has a team of new, energetic coaches to spice up Michigan’s recruiting campaign.
WATCH OUT: There is still some uncertainty whether newly hired Dan Enos will be staying at Michigan or taking a job at Alabama as the new quarterbacks coach.
Onto the recruiting update of the week. Check out the predictions on four of Michigan’s top recruits two weeks out from signing day.
Ja’Marr Chase, 4-star wide receiver
After his official visit to Michigan back in November and an in-home visit, the Wolverines seemed fairly confident in landing their first wide receiver of the 2018 class. But Chase changed things up. After initially acting cool toward his home state university, LSU, Chase has come around to the Tigers especially following his official visit to LSU earlier in January. The Auburn Tigers have also caught Chase’s attention. He even has a rather late official visit to Auburn planned for Feb. 3.
Chase has even posted a picture to his Twitter (@10jayy_) declaring his final two school sbeing Auburn and LSU. Unless by some crazy circumstance (or miracle), it’s safe to say that Michigan has officially lost this top recruit.
Nicholas Petit-Frere, 5-star offensive tackle
This recruit has been hard to read. Petit-Frere is not super active on social media, nor does he do many interviews. This leaves it difficult to predict what decision he will make when signing day comes around. This is what we do know: he’s a top target for Florida, Alabama, Miami, and of course Michigan. You can expect nothing less than each school’s full-court press in the next two weeks to get Petit-Frere on their roster. Other Midwest schools heavily pursuing Petit-Frere are Ohio State and Notre Dame.
I do not think Michigan will be able to reel in this 5-star recruit with his home state favorite Florida in the mix along with Alabama and Ohio State putting significant effort into his recruitment come signing day.
Jarrett Patterson, 4-star, offensive tackle
Immediately following his decommitment from Arizona State, Patterson took official visits to Michigan, UCLA, and Notre Dame: his predicted top three schools. As of now, the California native is very much divided between the three schools all with exceptional academics as well as athletics.
After his official to Michigan, Patterson praised the program for getting players ready for the NFL and Harbaugh for being a player oriented coach. There’s a good chance thar Patterson goes to Michigan, but we won’t know until Signing Day as I do not expect Patterson to announce anything before then. I think Patterson has a tough decision to make, but will ultimately become a Wolverine.
Otis Reese, 4-star outside linebacker
Although Reese is committed to Michigan and has been for quite some time, I am still including him in the list of recruits to watch in the next week. After finally making his official visit to Michigan Jan. 19, Reese posted some hype pictures in full Michigan uniform. This was a great sign for the Wolverines until Reese also officially visited Georgia this past weekend. Reese unofficially visited the Bulldogs three times during the course of the 2017 season.
Reese posted on Twitter a list of his official visits and at this point none of the schools listed should be counted out: Michigan, Georgia, Central Michigan, LSU, and Clemson. Georgia is most definitely a front runner for the Georgia native and Michigan should be uneasy about his commitment going into the last two weeks before signing day. Come Feb. 7, I do not see Reese becoming a Wolverine.
For up to date news on Michigan recruiting, follow me on Twitter @GraceBoyles231