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July 26, 2013The Barbecue at the Big House has taken shape in recent days, with a two-day spread, in part split between the 2016 prospects and those older than them. The full list inside...
2014 ProspectsSouthfield (Mich.) defensive lineman Malik McDowell
McDowell is the top prospect in the state of Michigan according to Rivals.com. The 6-6, 305-pounder has played defensive end throughout his career, but has become big and strong enough to make an impact on defensive tackle if that's the position he'd prefer to play. He has long been considered a slight Michigan lean, though he maintains that every school recruiting him still has a chance. That means getting him back on campus with his dad is a boost to U-M's recruitment.
No longer attending - New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine running back Leonard Fournette, Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep running back Jonathan Hilliman. Fournette has gone silent, but we'd be surprised if he made it in.
2015 ProspectsDetroit Cass Tech defensive/offensive lineman Joshua Alabi - Offered
The 6-4, 255-pound Alabi played defensive end for Cass Tech as a sophomore, but will play mostly along the offensive line this fall. He says that most schools are still recruiting him on defense, including Michigan. The Wolverines were the first school to offer, and should remain in good position.
Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine linebacker Jerome Baker - Offered, New Addition
Baker's previous visits to Michigan have been scuttled due to changes in his plans, but the offered junior plans to finally make it to town - and pick up the offer that he's received in person. He is a top-10 player in Ohio next year, and this will be his first chance to experience U-M.
Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake wide receiver George Campbell - Offered
An elite 2015 prospect - he should be a top-10 player nationally - and a teammate of 2014 commit Mason Cole, the 6-4, 200-pound Campbell is capable of running a sub-4.4 40-yard dash. That's fast. He will make the trip along with Cole, and although Michigan was one of his early offers, the competition will be fierce for his signature.
Saginaw (Mich.) Heritage wide receiver/athlete Brian Cole - Offered
Michigan was the first school to offer the 6-2, 190-pound Cole, who could be the state's top prospect in 2015 (though there is a crowded field at the top). He has made multiple visits to both Michigan and Michigan State, who are the prime contenders very early in his recruiting process. He's a multi-skilled athlete capable of playing wide receiver or defensive back at the next level.
Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward defensive back Shaun Crawford - Offered
Crawford is a 5-9, 165-pound defensive back whose diminutive size is rendered irrelevant by impressive athleticism. Crawford grew up a big Michigan fan, and it has seemed a couple times early in his recruiting process (including shortly after receiving his offer from the Wolverines) like he might be an early commitment. He's now planning to take his time with the process and take some unofficial visits, but the visit atmosphere has a funny way of speeding things up sometimes.
Downers Grove (Ill.) North quarterback/athlete David Edwards
The 6-6, 2150pound Edwards is a high school quarterback, but has enough athleticism to play other positions in college, most likely tight end. He holds early offers from Illinois, Indiana, and Vanderbilt, and will make his first trip to Ann Arbor to see what the Maize and Blue are all about.
Cincinnati St. Xavier linebacker Justin Hilliard - Offered
The 6-2, 225-pound Hilliard is likely the state of Ohio's top recruit in the 2015 class, at least in the early going. He camped at Michigan and earned his offer after just one day performing in front of the U-M coaches. His older brother C.J. is a 2014 running back commitment for Iowa, but Justin is open when it comes to his recruiting process.
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Baldwin offensive lineman Sterling Jenkins - Offered
Michigan was the first bigtime prospect to offer Jenkins, and the Wolverines pulled the trigger within a couple days of his impressive performance at the Pittsburgh Rivals Camp Series event. The 6-8, 295-pounder showed some rough edges to his game at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge in June, but he has plenty of time to develop, and he has size that just can't be taught. Michigan is in good shape in his recruitment.
Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne defensive back Tyree Kinnel - Saturday Visitor
Kinnel has long held Michigan at or near the top of his list, but the long wait for a Michigan offer is starting to wear that down. Kinnel camped in Ann Arbor, and is confused as to why a program like Tennessee will offer, but not the Wolverines. He will be at Michigan Saturday (the day before the BBQ), and the Michigan coaches will surely explain to him that a U-M offer holds a little more value than one from Tennessee (the Vols have offered more than 250 prospects, the Wolverines a little more than 100 in the 2014 class), and that the 2015 class in particular will be a small one. The 6-0, 190-pound safety is on the borderline now, but could pick up a Michigan offer in the future.
Salt Lake City Brighton linebacker/athlete Osa Masina - Offered, Saturday and Sunday Visitor
Michigan was the first out-of-region offer for Masina, though several heavy hitters have followed through since. The 6-4, 210-pounder is an exceptional athlete who would likely play outside linebacker should he opt to come to Michigan. His older brother, Uaea, signed with Utah in the 2013 class, so the home-state draw may be tough for Masina to turn down.
Detroit King linebacker/safety Tyriq Thompson - New Addition
Thompson is a bit of a tweener, a 6-0, 205-pound prospect who could play strong safety or weakside linebacker in college. He's the son of former Michigan defensive back Clarence Thompson, who will accompany him on the trip. Though he doesn't have an offer yet, it's obvious which school the younger Thompson grew up loving.
Detroit Cass Tech running back Mike Weber - Offered
Weber is one of the competitors to be the top in-state prospect in 2015. The 5-11, 210-pounder missed the first half of his season as a sophomore and still rushed for over 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns. He's a speedster who should be even more successful this fall, adding a physical edge to his game. U-M is the leader, with Ohio State, Michigan State, and Notre Dame among the others in the mix.
2016 ProspectsTrotwood (Ohio) Madison quarterback Messiah DeWeaver - Saturday Visitor
DeWeaver was thrust into action in Trotwood's first game last fall as a freshman. While he had early struggles, the 6-2, 185-pounder showed of glimpses of his potential. He's continued that, including a strong performance at U-M's summer camp. While it will likely be quite some time before he earns an offer, he's clearly on the radar for the Wolverines. His visit, like Kinnel's, will be Saturday (and possibly extend into Sunday).
Farmington (Mich.) wide receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick - Saturday Visitor
Although Fitzpatrick is just a 5-11, 165-pounder going into his sophomore year, there is size in his family (dad Greg is 6-3, and his maternal grandfather is also over 6-0), and he should blossom physically in the coming years. Adding size to an already impressive skillset - he was one of the best wideouts at the Cincinnati Rivals Camp Series event, even though he was two years younger than most participants - should see him develop into a top recruit.
Saginaw (Mich.) Arthur Hill defensive end Lawrence Gordon - New addition
Gordon is likely to attend Sunday's edition of the event along with fellow Saginaw native Brian Cole. Though nothing is set in stone, expect to see him there. The 6-6, 235-pounder only has a couple games of varsity experience, but could develop into a top-notch prospect.
Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy linebacker Dele' Harding - New addition - Weekend-long visitor
Though two Eastern Christian Academy prospects (Canteen and Watson) earned offers at and committed shortly after U-M's 2013 summer camp, their rising sophomore teammate Dele' Harding may have been the most impressive prospect from the Maryland powerhouse. Already 6-1, 211 pounds, he was physical and smooth from the LB position. He's one to watch for an offer.
Traverse City (Mich.) West offensive lineman Thiyo Lukusa - Saturday Visitor
The 6-6, 280-pound Lukusa was a key member of a strong Traverse City West offensive line as a freshman, and only looks to continue that going forward. He has Division I size already, and with continued development should become a bigtime prospect.
Traverse City (Mich.) West offensive lineman Tommy Roush - Saturday Visitor
Already 6-3, 270 pounds as a freshman, Roush will be plyiong his trade in some new surroundings this fall. He is transferring from Petoskey (Mich.) High School to Traverse City West. He was one of the most impressive young performers at Michigan's 2013 summer camp, and could be a dominating guard down the line.
Downers Grove (Ill.) South offensive lineman Erik Swenson - Offered
Swenson was one of the first 2016 prospects to pick up a Michigan offer. He grew up a big U-M fan (as did his dad, though the rest of the family likes Northwestern), and it could be hard for him to turn down his opportunity in Ann Arbor. Still, since he's such a young prospect, it's unlikely that a decision is on the immediate horizon.
CommitsHinsdale (Ill.) Central tight end Ian Bunting
Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy wide receiver Freddy Canteen
Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake offensive lineman Mason Cole
St. Clairsville (Ohio) linebacker Michael Ferns
Kenton (Ohio) linebacker Noah Furbush - new addition
Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian wide receiver Drake Harris
Southfield (Mich.) defensive end Lawrence Marshall
Richmond (Va.) Collegiate School quarterback Wilton Speight
Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy cornerback Brandon Watson
Beverly Hills (Mich.) Detroit Country Day wide receiver Maurice Ways
Jefferson Hills (Pa.) Thomas Jefferson linebacker Chase Winovich
Naples (Fla.) Barron Collier defensive tackle Brady Pallante (Greyshirt) - New Addition
Stay tuned over the course of the week for updates to the visitors list, including more confirmations from those we're still looking into as possibilities.