Signing Day Live Blog: Updates On ALL Of Michigan's Recruiting Action
The early signing period officially begins in college football today, with Jim Harbaugh's Michigan Wolverines' football program expected to put the finishing touches on an outstanding 2021 recruiting class.
We will provide evaluations on each of U-M's signees below as their letters of intent roll in, while keeping you updated on everything that occurs inside the world of Michigan recruiting.
Subscribers can also follow along with our live message board thread by clicking HERE, as detailed updates will be provided on location from TheWolverine's EJ Holland and Clayton Sayfie as they travel the state of Michigan and attend various signing ceremonies.
Sayfie and Holland have also made a few last-minute Signing Day predictions, which Wolverine fans won't want to miss out on. The video can be seen here: FINAL MICHIGAN FOOTBALL SIGNING DAY PREDICTIONS
8:12 PM — Plantation (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas three-star cornerback Ja'Den McBurrows sticks with his Michigan commitment
"I teetered back and forth between 5.7 and 5.8 here, but McBurrows’ in-game evaluation this fall pushed him over the top. Look, McBurrows lacks the ideal height and length that Michigan looks for in a cornerback prospect, but he plays bigger than his size and makes up for it with his quickness and toughness. McBurrows plays aggressively in press man and has terrific technique and patience.
"McBurrows was asked to play on an island against powerhouse Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage when I saw him live, and he completely shut down his side of the field. While on the smaller side, McBurrows isn’t afraid to get physical against the run and make tackles. Not super speedy straight-line (ran a 11.0 100m as a junior) but great foot speed and breaks on balls quickly. Not much of a ceiling with McBurrows, but he’s a safe take with ‘dog’ mentality, who will eventually earn a starting job or, at the very least, make a big impact in the nickel." — EJ Holland
7:43 PM — Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas four-star athlete Jaydon Hood signs with Michigan
"Hood is a bit of an enigma. His junior film screams four-star prospect. He’s an athletic inside linebacker with a ton of speed and fires through gaps like a missile. However, his senior season has left a lot to be desired for. Hood transferred to national powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas this offseason and has been a rotational player. My in-game evaluation saw him show no gap integrity, get walled off on several plays and basically no production.
"He was benched for the remainder of the game after halftime. On the surface, Hood looks like the perfect attacking MIKE linebacker in Don Brown’s scheme. Was the transition to STA just difficult or did Hood regress? That’s something he’ll have to answer at the next level. Right now, ranking him is extremely difficult, and I can’t get that in-game eval out of my head. I would like to see more senior film when his season comes to an end, but he obviously did not look the part of a Rivals250 prospect." — EJ Holland
5:14 PM — Rivals.com analysts Adam Gorney and David Berry break down Xavier Worthy's decision to reaffirm his pledge and sign with Michigan
4:39 PM — Fresno (Calif.) Central four-star wideout Xavier Worthy reaffirms his pledge to Michigan
"Worthy may have received a higher grade from me had I seen him in more than just a private workout setting. His junior reel is very impressive, but we did not get to see him take the next step as a senior due to California’s cancellation. With that said, Worthy is still one of the fastest and electric players in the country. Built like a track athlete – shorter torso with long legs. Glides like a gazelle once he hits the open field. Top end speed is elite. An absolute burner with 10.55 100m speed (time came as a sophomore), Worthy stretches the field on the outside.
"More straight-line speed than wiggle but is quick in short space and will do a ton of damage out of the slot at the next level. Has the ability to turn a short slant or screen into a house call. Gains separation with ease. Very adequate route runner but has room for improvement in that area. Can also make plays as a kick and punt returner. Perfect fit for Michigan’s offense and will see the field as a true freshman if he sticks with his commitment. Very, very skinny. Adding weight and strength is a must. Has a Devonta Smith-level ceiling." — EJ Holland
3:04 PM — EJ Holland will appear on The Huge Show to talk recruiting at 4:25 ET
2:59 PM — New Michigan signee Donovan Edwards explains what it's like being recruited by Jim Harbaugh
1:43 PM — West Bloomfield (Mich.) High four-star running back Donovan Edwards signs with Michigan
1:17 PM — Watch Donovan Edwards' announcement live
This is the scene of where it's all about to go down…
1:05 PM — Del Valle (Tex.) High three-star running back Tavierre Dunlap
"Dunlap had a really rough in-game eval this fall, tallying less than 20 yards against Texas powerhouse Austin Westlake. I tried not to factor that too much into my evaluation since it was just one bad game, but I still have some question marks. Dunlap lacks agility and quickness but has good long speed once he gets loose. Decent track times for his size.
"Bigger back that can power through defenders and will continue to add weight. Built well in both his upper and lower halves. Has Hassan Haskins-like upside and will likely be in the same mold once he arrives at Michigan. Isn’t a plus pass catcher and not a playmaker in the open field. A true North-South runner that can wear down a defense. Needs to gain more explosion and continue to work on short area quickness. Overall, a solid RB2 take if Michigan can land Donovan Edwards." — EJ Holland
11:43 AM — Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei four-star receiver Cristian Dixon
"A big-bodied wide out with the frame to continue to add weight and strength. Listed at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds but has added around 10 pounds while training this offseason. Did not have a senior season but did flash as a junior at national powerhouse Mater Dei against top competition across the country. Has great game speed for his size. Can take the top off the defense on the outside.
"Builds his game around technique. Fluid and sinks his hips well. Known as a go route deep threat when rising up the ranks but now a refined route runner. Spent offseason working with projected first round NFL Draft pick Jaylen Waddle and added more versatility to his game. Excellent catch radius and perfect snagger of the ball when coming across the middle. Will be a quarterback friendly target on short-intermediate routes. Does not use his size to his advantage. More finesse than physical. Can seem to be lackadaisical at times. High ceiling but needs to play at a high level more consistently." — EJ Holland
11:10 AM — Former Michigan four-star defensive end commit Quintin Somerville flips to UCLA
11:04 AM — These are the only remaining Michigan's commits who still haven't signed:
• Per EJ Holland, two of the pledges below are NOT expected to sign with U-M today. Find out who they are HERE.
11:02 AM — East Lansing (Mich.) High three-star wide receiver Andrel Anthony
"Anthony is the prospect with the most incomplete evaluation on this list. I saw him at a camp last year, so my in-person eval is old. However, from that setting and watching film, Anthony’s athleticism jumps off the charts. He can jump out of the gym, so it’s no surprise Michigan talked to him about playing basketball in Ann Arbor as well. Long arms with an excellent catch radius.
"Very skinny and will need to add weight. Out-leaps defenders, great ball tracker and body control. Has speed to get vertical and make plays on deep routes but not overly fast. Makes plays in the open field and turns short passes into big gains. Can continue to improve route running but solid in that area. Athletic profile is there and does everything well but not necessarily exceptional. Should be a very solid receiver on the outside but can also move inside and make plays out of the slot." — EJ Holland
10:55 AM — What's the latest with a key Michigan four-star target?
10:25 AM — Jacksonville Sandalwood four-star linebacker Branden Jennings flips his commitment from Michigan to Maryland
10:11 AM — Suffield (Conn.) Academy four-star defensive end KeChaun Bennett
"A Northeast prospect with a Brooklyn attitude, Bennett is an expert pass rusher who’s at his best when he can pin his ears back and get after the quarterback. In my in-game eval last season, Bennett was a terror off the edge with pure speed and recorded a pair of sacks. Most of his junior film is him simply edge rushing and sacking or pressuring the quarterback.
"Bennett is much faster than the weak competition he plays, but he also shows an array of pass rushing moves, which should allow him to make a quick transition to the next level. Bennett can play as a stand-up backer or provide a pass rushing presence from the five depending on how his body fills out. He needs to continue to add weight and strength but looked a little more filled out in the private workout I saw him in this offseason — he did not have a senior season. I have not seen much of Bennett against the run, but as a pass rusher, he’s an excellent addition." — EJ Holland
10:01 AM — A Quick Update on Ja'Den McBurrows
• EJ Holland provides his latest thoughts on the situation surrounding Plantation (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas three-star cornerback and U-M commit Ja'Den McBurrows, including where his confident level is at in regards to the Sunshine State native sticking with the Wolverines. The update can be read HERE.
9:56 AM — Bolingbrook (Ill.) High three-star linebacker Tyler McLaurin
"Another high floor, low ceiling kid, McLaurin is a smart, instinctive player with a great build. His length and frame, which can support, plenty of weight, leave some room for him to outperform his ranking. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder spends a lot of time in the middle and does a great job of shooting gaps and making stops at or behind the line of scrimmage. While not a plus in pass coverage, McLaurin can hold his own in that area.
"McLaurin does have a bit of an issue shedding blocks, but he can diagnose at a high level. He doesn’t bend well enough to transition over to being a full-time pass rusher. Though, flexibility has been a key area of focus this offseason. If he stays at linebacker, McLaurin seems destined for the WILL spot in this scheme. However, his biggest upside might be at defensive end. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him put on a ton of weight and spin down. Smart kid that will pick up things quickly but will need a few years for physical development. Should be noted that he did not have a senior season." — EJ Holland
9:49 AM — Lehigh Acres (Fla.) High three-star cornerback Omarion Cooper signs with Florida State. Rumors of a potential flip to Michigan had surfaced in recent days.
9:40 AM — Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood four-star linebacker Junior Colson
"Colson is my highest rated commit in Michigan’s 2021 class. No senior film is available, but I had an opportunity to see Colson twice in-game this season as well as in 7v7 and a private workout this offseason. I also saw him in-game as a junior and took a deep dive into his clips from that year. Colson is everything you want in a linebacker. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Colson is built like a tank, having thick upper and lower halves. He’s a punishing inside backer that fills gaps in a hurry and has the instincts to dissect plays almost instantaneously. Colson has a ton of speed, but his lateral quickness and flexibility make his special.
"A guy his size should not be able to move the way he does. He can also cover and blitz off the edge. Colson has been recruited for Michigan’s ‘Viper’ spot because of his explosiveness on the defensive side of the ball, but he can make an impact in any of the linebacker roles. Colson still has plenty of upside as well. A converted wide receiver, Colson just started playing linebacker as a sophomore. For being from Haiti, where football is an afterthought, and recently learning a new position, Colson is much further along than you would think. High ceiling, high floor kid that will be tough to keep off the field as a freshman." — EJ Holland
9:26 AM — Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star quarterback J.J. McCarthy
"Is McCarthy a five-star prospect? It’s very close. While he didn’t put up super gaudy numbers as a senior, McCarthy was extremely efficient. Early in his high school career, McCarthy forced throws while trying to make a play, including two interceptions during my in-game eval as a junior. However, McCarthy improved in that area throwing no picks as a senior. McCarthy still isn’t afraid to take shots, though. He trusts his arm talent, which is elite. Is very capable of making throws no other signal-caller in the class can. Ball placement is elite as well.
"Arm strength is superior. Could be more consistent from an accuracy standpoint. Only completed 58 percent of passes as a senior (did suffer from some drops). Special when moving around the pocket. Escapability is extremely impressive. Capable of making Johnny Manziel-like Houdini plays. Doesn’t run a lot but when he does, McCarthy is quick and elusive and often picks up chunks of yards. Has added good weight and strength to what was a skinny frame. Would likely have received a five-star bump with more of a dominant senior year. Has all the intangibles. Incredible leader and relentless worker. Will have a chance to win starting quarterback job as a true freshman at Michigan." — EJ Holland
9:11 AM — Clayton (Ohio) Northmont three-star safety Rod Moore
"Moore is another prospect I went back and forth on between a 5.8 and 5.7. Honestly, I don’t have an issue with either but went with the safer rating. Moore has average height and length for a safety but needs to add weight. How he develops in the Michigan strength and conditioning program will determine his trajectory in Ann Arbor. Isn’t spectacular in any one area but is very good all around. Has above average field speed with good track times (7.12 in the 60 m).
"Despite not having a muscular build, Moore isn’t afraid to mix it up in the box. In fact, his ability as a striker stood out to me the most during my in-person evaluation. Loves to get physical and will have even more success in that area once he adds muscle mass. Did not see as much as a I would have liked from a coverage standpoint, but his junior tape shows he can play a center fielder role and make plays when the ball is in the air. Underrated athleticism that was showcased when he lined up at wide receiver this season. Has the potential to be a gem in this class. Very, very, very close to four-star status." — EJ Holland
8:56 AM — Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary's three-star kicker Tommy Doman
"Look, it’s time that we, as an industry, stop slapping three-star ratings on specialists. Every D1 scholarship kicker/punter is a two or three-star on the recruiting sites. Either rank them properly or don’t rank them at all. It’s just lazy. I’m not claiming to be an expert evaluator of specialists, but Doman is the best you can get. Selected to both the Under Armour and Adidas All-American games, Doman will be a weapon for the Wolverines in Ann Arbor.
"At 6-foot-3, 170 pounds, Doman has great size and a big leg. Will be a combo player at the next level, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him handle kickoffs, field goals and punts very early on in his career. Terrific hang time on punts and uses an array of techniques to put different spins on the ball when attempting to pin opponents deep. Accurate kicker with consistency on short and intermediate kicks. Capable of making long kicks as well. May be a better punter but definitely above average as a kicker." — EJ Holland
8:45 AM — Detroit Cass Tech four-star center Raheem Anderson
"The first thing that pops out about Anderson is his leadership. The intangibles are all there for him to be a multi-year starter at the center position. Commands respect from his teammates and is a player others want to follow. Great pre-snap recognition with the ability to help fellow offensive linemen make adjustments. High football IQ and very vocal. Plays with a mean streak.
"Likes to get nasty when run blocking and has served up numerous pancakes in my in-game evals. Overwhelms defensive linemen with his size and strength. Plays with a bully mentality. Has improved tremendously from junior to senior year from a technical standpoint. Also cut some bad weight. Deceptively nimble. Very good with his hands and feet. Has received comparison from the Michigan staff to Michael Onwenu and could very well have a similar path. Has guard flexibility due to his physical nature and brute strength." — EJ Holland
8:28 AM — Mansfield (Mass.) High three-star defensive end T.J. Guy
"I’m calling my shot with Guy. I feel like he’s going to be the steal of the class, so it’s no surprise I have him ranked higher than the industry. Guy is all potential right now. He’s very raw from a technical standpoint and hasn’t learned how to unlock his athleticism. For how physically impressive he is, Guy doesn’t seem to overpower offensive linemen. With that said, a couple of years of good coaching and strength and conditioning work could do wonders here. At 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, Guys moves extremely well for his size, which should come as not surprise since he ran the point for his high school basketball team and received some lower level hoops offers.
"In my in-person evals, Guy showed improve pass rushing moves and impressive lateral quickness — remember he did not have a senior season, so only junior film is available. He can play the five-tech or slide inside depending on how he fills out over the next couple of years. His athleticism, length and explosion are too exciting for me not to give him such a high grade." — EJ Holland
8:20 AM — Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star offensive guard Greg Crippen
"There is a big gap between the two services, and I have Crippen ranked lower than both, so opinion seems to really vary here. I have seen Crippen live four times, including twice this fall. On the positive front, Crippen shows elite level technique and hand placement. Consistent snapper at the center position. Does all the little things right.
"Showed improved strength and body structure from junior to senior year — definitely a benefit from being at IMG for multiple years. Could be a starter late in his career. On the negative side, Crippen has very heavy feet. Improving quickness is a must. Will also need to continue to develop in the strength and conditioning program. Has guard flexibility but isn’t overly nasty. Needs to add more physicality to his game." — EJ Holland
8:09 AM — Sterling Heights (Mich.) Stevenson four-star offensive tackle Giovanni El-Hadi
"El-Hadi is one of the more difficult prospects in the class to evaluate. Has an excellent physique and frame with plenty of room to be developed in the strength and conditioning program. Terrific bend, flexibility and athleticism. Projects best as a right tackle but could also slide inside. Can get nasty when he wants to and bury the opposition but does not do it on a consistent basis. Plus as a technician with really good hand placement. While athletic and twitchy, El-Hadi still has a bit of an issue with slow feet.
"Did not make a big leap from junior to senior year, but still a very, very good prospect. Could be a three years and on to the NFL type of player for Michigan but also has a low floor. El-Hadi has the plus of having an excellent talent developer in Ed Warinner and being an ideal fit for the Michigan program. If he puts it all together, he has the chance to be the best offensive commit in the class, but the question marks, senior in-game eval and floor forced me to dish out a conservative ranking." — EJ Holland
8:02 AM — Wallingford (Conn.) Choate Rosemary Hall four-star offensive tackle Tristan Bounds
"I wish I would have had a chance to see Bounds in-person more than once, but he did not have a senior season. He looked extremely impressive in his private workout and has really come along from a development standpoint. Built more like a heavyweight boxer than a basketball player, Bounds is a large, strong human with perhaps the biggest upside in this class. Bounds could easily outplay his ranking if development goes as expected.
"Has added plenty of weight and strength to his frame but can continue to add more while maintain his athleticism. Moves really well for standing at 6-foot-8, a height that can often create awkwardness. Long arms that keep rushers at bay. Obvious projection is left tackle. Plays aggressively and wants to physically punish the opposition. Can clean up some technical parts of his game, but there is a lot to love about Bounds’ projection." — EJ Holland
7:45 AM — Needham (Mass.) St. Sebastian's Country Day School four-star tight end Louis Hansen
"One of the most underappreciated commits in the class, Hansen is an elite level talent that should be a multi-year starter at the tight end position. A lack of a senior season hindered potential rankings jump, but camp film from this fall is terrific. Has added really good weight and strength to an already impressive frame. Has adequate speed as well, running in the 4.7s at 6-foot-5, 232 pounds. Will be an even more impressive physical specimen after a year in the strength and conditioning program.
"Excellent route runner and natural pass catcher. Knows how to use his size to his advantage and goes up and gets it at the highest point. Great body control. Physical blocker in the run game. Also flashed his ability as a defensive end during my in-game eval as a junior, recording three sacks. Very bright kid that will be an ambassador for the program on and off the field. Extremely high floor." — EJ Holland
7:32 AM — New Monmouth (N.J.) Mater Dei two-star defensive end Dominick Giudice
"Giudice is the lowest rated of Michigan’s commits this cycle, but he has the potential to be a regular rotational contributor after three years on campus and may even surpass those expectations. Giudice has added some really good weight since committing to Michigan. Now at 6-foot-4, 277 pounds, Giudice will definitely slide inside. He has a big frame with plenty of strength to go along with it. On his senior film, Giudice has no issue using his power to toss opposing linemen and dominate against weaker competition.
"He plays with a relentless motor and has shown improvement with the way he uses his hands. Giudice doesn’t bend all that well, and a clear lack of athleticism prevents him from going higher in my ranking. He also needs to work on his get off. Giudice fits the cliché billing as a lunch pail recruit with a chip on his shoulder. Overall, you’re getting a big, strong, mean kid that lacks athleticism but will be the hardest worker in the room." — EJ Holland
Key Announcement Times to Watch Today
• 10:00 AM — Jacksonville Sandalwood four-star linebacker and U-M commit Branden Jennings
• 1:30 PM — West Bloomfield (Mich.) High four-star running back and heavy Michigan target Donovan Edwards
• 4:00 PM — Fresno (Calif.) Central four-star receiver and U-M pledge Xavier Worthy
• 8:00 PM — Plantation (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas three-star cornerback and Michigan commit Ja'Den McBurrows
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