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June 14, 2014
Thoughts, predictions on U-M targets from SMSB
The cold air at the Sound Mind Sound Body camp at Chandler Park Academy couldn't stop things from heating up with Michigan, and one of its top targets at the camp.
Linebacker Dele' Harding of Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy was one of the top performers there, and walked away with a U-M offer.
The news hadn't got out yet, though, until I caught up with the 6-1, 232-pound Harding at a McDonald's down the road, and he informed me of the offer. Harding just so happened to be wearing a Maize and Blue shirt, and most of his coaches were too. He spoke highly of the program, and stands a great chance to end up at Michigan.
He already has two former teammates at Michigan, in freshman wide receiver Freddy Canteen, and rookie cornerback Brandon Watson. Both were at the SMSB camp, and talked to Harding a lot about Michigan.
The three could have an opportunity to play together again in college, so that really intrigues Harding a lot. He smiled every time at the mention of Michigan's name. Harding would be a big get for U-M in the 2016 class.
Another offered player at the camp was Traverse City West 2016 offensive lineman Thiyo Lukusa. He was absent for day one on Thursday, but made his way to the camp on Friday. The 6-5, 300-pound OL didn't compete, but talked to the Michigan coaches a lot, most notably, head coach Brady Hoke.
Lukusa picked up an Ohio State offer yesterday - and has offers from Michigan State and Wisconsin too, in addition to U-M -- but is considered to be a Michigan lean. He almost committed to the Wolverines a few months ago, but decided to hold off. I think he eventually pulls the trigger on Michigan, but other schools will be pushing hard for him.
Another big target for U-M at the camp, in the literal sense, was Detroit Cass Tech 2016 two-way player Mike Onwenu. Like Lukusa, Onwenu is massive at 6-2, 320-pounds, and also has an Ohio State offer. He will probably end up on the offensive side of the ball, but is just as effective on defense.
He moves quicker than he looks, and has incredible strength for someone who just finished the 10th grade. Onwenu said he likes Michigan, which has yet to offer, a lot, and plans to attend the Wolverines' summer football camp next week. The Maize and Blue have several Technicians on their roster, so that pipeline is something Onwenu likes a lot, getting to playing with old teammates.
Michigan junior linebacker James Ross has a little brother by the name of Joshua Ross, who could be just as good as his older brother some day. The younger brother is already as tall at 6-1, and just completed his first year of high school at Orchard Lake St. Mary's (Mich.). He holds a Michigan offer, but won't be able to camp in Ann Arbor next week, because his high school school is holding a camp of its own.
Ross likes the Wolverines a lot, mainly because his brother goes there, and said they continues to recruit him hard. Most think he will be a Wolverine, but offers from Michigan State, Oklahoma, and Ohio State says it won't be that easy to land him.
Another older and little brother connection was at the camp on Friday, in Michigan sophomore safety Delano Hill, who watched his brother Lavert Hill show up. The younger Hill will be a junior at Detroit Cass Tech, and should pick up an offer from U-M before he leaves high school.
He earned his first offer from Illinois on Thursday, and should see his recruitment pick up. At 5-11, 165-pounds, Hill still has time to grow physically, and already has the skill set to be a top cornerback. He can run, reacts fast, and is a willing learner. He racked up three interceptions in the 1-on-1 portion of the camp on Friday.
Michigan 2015 quarterback commit, Alex Malzone, of Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice was great at the camp on day two. Once again, his favorite target was teammate Grant Perry. Michigan wide receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski was seen talking to Perry for a minute.
Perry runs great routes, can get off press coverage with ease, and catches everything with his hands. He has three Mid-American Conference offers, but an offer from the Wolverines may be unlikely because they may not have room for him in their 2015 class.