Have Michigan football recruiting questions? We’ve got answers. Join us every Wednesday for the Land of 10 Michigan recruiting mailbag to discuss Wolverines recruiting. This week, we discuss assistant coach Chris Partridge’s future, and could another commit flip to an SEC school?
Q: Are you worried about our best recruiter, Chris Partridge, probably leaving? Assuming new SEC teams are going to spend. — George Felekides via Facebook
A: Chris Partridge, Michigan’s linebackers coach and special teams coordinator, has made a name for himself since joining Jim Harbaugh’s staff in 2015 from Paramus Catholic High School in New Jersey. He’s gone from director of player personnel to assistant coach in less than one year and has been a driving force in Michigan earning national rankings of No. 7 and No. 5 for its last two recruiting classes. He’s been named national recruiter of the year each cycle, first by Rivals in 2016 and then by 247Sports in 2017.
He will get a lot of calls about his services from other programs. There is expected to be a lot of coaching changes in the SEC, and there will be opportunities for a promotion and salary increase for Partridge. Michigan has increased its total pay for assistants over the years, which includes paying coordinators Don Brown, Tim Drevno and Pep Hamilton more than $1 million each. Money shouldn’t be an issue for Michigan, but the opportunity for a promotion is something that other schools can offer.
Q: How solid is Otis Reese at this moment ? — Kosco Long Goodie Payne via Facebook
A: Not as solid as he was in the spring.
Otis Reese is a 4-star defensive prospect from Lee County High School in Leesburg, Ga., the alma mater of current freshman defensive lineman Aubrey Solomon. Reese plays safety for Lee County but is projected as a linebacker in college. He committed to Michigan in June 2016 and would be a good candidate to play the viper role in Don Brown’s defensive scheme. Reese, however, appears to be seriously considering in-state Georgia. He has made multiple visits to Georgia games this season, and there is plenty of pressure from UGA fans for him to stay home. It’s similar pressure that Solomon faced as he went through the recruiting process. Reese hasn’t visited Michigan since April. The coaching staff, including Partridge, has made him a priority and has maintained communication with Reese, but his final decision is still uncertain.
Q: With all the recent de-commits at UCLA and a likely coaching change, is Dorian Thompson-Robinson back in play for UM ? Even with two QB commits already? — Anonymous via Facebook
A: This question came from a reader and follower on Facebook who wished his name not be used. Dorian Thompson-Robinson is a dual-threat quarterback from Las Vegas who committed to UCLA in April, spurning the Wolverines. Former Michigan passing game coordinator Jedd Fisch is the offensive coordinator at UCLA, where head coach Jim Mora is on the hot seat as his team stands at 4-5 this season. There has been no indication that Thompson-Robinson, who is rated the No. 46 overall player in the country by the 247Sports composite, has changed his mind but that certainly could change if Mora and Fisch are no longer with the Bruins.
As the reader points out, Michigan already has two quarterbacks committed to the 2018 class: Joe Milton and Kevin Doyle. Both are considered pro-style quarterbacks but they both are mobile outside the pocket and can run. Michigan is going to have a smaller class in 2018 than the last two recruiting cycles, so it’s unlikely it takes on a third quarterback.
Q: Where do we stand with Tyler Friday ? — @poppaTman via Twitter
A: The Wolverines are in Tyler Friday’s top 5, which he announced Monday night. The 4-star defensive tackle from New Jersey’s Don Bosco Prep is another top priority for the Wolverines, and he is considered to be leaning toward Michigan ahead of the other four schools on his list: Ohio State, UCLA, Penn State and Miami. Michigan defensive line coach Greg Mattison has a great reputation with developing his players, and he also fosters tremendous relationships with them. I mentioned how important Partridge is to the recruiting process, but Mattison is equally important.
Q: Will this be a Top 10 class ? — Sonnie Rollins @rollins_09 via Twitter
A: Not likely. As things stand on Nov. 8, the class is rated No. 14 nationally by the 247Sports composite. There are 15 commits in the class, which should end up at around 23 depending on roster attrition. The Wolverines are still in the running for several top 100 players, including Friday, defensive end Eyabi Anoma, defensive tackle Michael Thompson and athlete Bryan Addison. If they were to sign all four players, perhaps the class moves into a top 10 ranking but it already has a solid foundation.
Have a question about Michigan recruiting? Tweet us @Landof10MICH or follow on the Land of 10/Michigan Facebook page and ask us there. We’ll try to answer in a future mailbag. Check to see if your issue already was addressed by reading previous Michigan recruiting mailbags here.
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