Stay updated as Michigan rises toward the top of the recruiting rankings! Don’t miss the coverage from Kevin Goheen, who brings two decades of experience as a sports writer to coverage of Michigan recruiting. Read his daily notebooks here at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, and follow us on Twitter for the latest Wolverines recruiting news.
Wolverines still pursing tight ends for 2018
Michigan has a pair of tight ends committed as part of the 2018 class, Mustapha Muhammad of Ridge Point High School in the Houston area, and Luke Schoonmaker of Hamden Hall in Connecticut.
This class is likely to end up with 22 to 25 players depending on attrition of the roster from graduation, the NFL Draft and possible transfers. Fifteen players already are committed to the Wolverines so space is going to be tight, especially with needs still to be filled on the offensive, defensive line and wide receiver.
Could Michigan still be looking to add another tight end?
— Joe Gleason (@joeagleason) November 10, 2017
It doesn’t take much to notice how important the tight end position is to Jim Harbaugh’s offensive scheme, from blocking in the run game to giving the quarterback an option in the passing game. Five different tight ends have been used in 2017, with Sean McKeon and Zach Gentry earning the most prominent roles as the season has progressed. McKeon leads the team with 24 receptions, and Gentry is averaging a team-best 16.2 yards per catch.
Adding a third tight end comes back to the loss of Devin Asaisi from the 2016 class as a transfer to UCLA and the fact that Michigan did not sign a player at the position in 2017. This is more for 2019 and beyond than it is for the 2018 season.
That’s why Michigan is still pursuing Michael Ezeike of Ontario, Calif., Tommy Tremble of Norcross, Ga., and has reportedly re-opened dialogue with former commit Leonard Taylor of Springfield, Ohio. Ezeike and Tremble are scheduled to be at Michigan Stadium on Nov. 25 for the game against Ohio State. Schoonmaker is a similar prospect as Gentry. He is 6-foot-6, 225 pounds, and has played quarterback in high school. Gentry was recruited to Michigan as a quarterback before being converted to tight end. Schoonmaker has a head start in that developmental process.
Joe Linta, Schoonmaker’s high school coach, says Schoonmaker has run 4.55 seconds for the 40-yard dash and has a broad jump of 7-4.
“He’s got tremendous body control and hand-eye coordination,” Linta said. “He’s a rare athlete who could probably convert to wideout because he’s got a skinny frame right now. He’s probably more like a big wideout, a bigger, faster Tarik Black, I would say.”
Black, who’s promising freshman season was cut short after three games due to a fractured foot, played at Cheshire Academy in nearby Cheshire, Conn.
Basketball recruit class now official
Forward Brandon Johns of East Lansing signed his National Letter of Intent Friday during a school pep rally ahead of the Trojans’ football team playing in the Division 3, Region 2 final at Battle Creek Harper Creek. That wrapped up Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class of five, which the Wolverines officially announced after receiving Johns’ NLI.
— BrandonJohnsJr (@Brandon_Johns0) November 10, 2017
Johns joins forwards Ignas Brazdeikis and Colin Castleton, shooting guard Adrien Nunez and point guard David DeJulius in a class that is rated No. 1 in the Big Ten by the 247Sports composite rankings. DeJulius is from Detroit East English Village. He and Johns give the Wolverines two in-state signees in the same class for the first time since 2007, when Manny Harris and Kelvin Grady were signed in Beilein’s first season.
“David is a highly talented point guard that plays with poise and personality,” Beilein said in a news release. “His abilities to score and be a playmaker fit well in our style of play. Anytime we can get one of the top in-state prospects, it’s a great for our program. He’s a leader, has high character, and is a hard-working kid who values academics and the total Michigan experience. We love it when guys come running through the door to be a part of the Wolverine family.”
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