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Thursday, April 25, 2013
The Weekly Update: Recruiting Notes

By Tom VanHaaren

The Weekly Update is a look into Michigan recruiting:


Michigan has recruited the state of Virginia very well recently, and the Wolverines are hoping to continue that success into 2015. Defensive back Garrett Taylor (Richmond, Va./Saint Christophers) and his teammate Ricky DeBerry are two prospects who could see heavy interest from the Michigan coaching staff.

"I talked to Coach [Roy] Manning recently, and he stressed how important we were to them," Taylor said. "He said that Coach [Al] Borges only went to see Wilton Speight, Derrick Green and then us in our area."

Taylor and DeBerry have been racking up offers recently but have not yet been offered by Michigan. DeBerry also recently took a trip to Ann Arbor to check out what Michigan had to offer, something Taylor is hoping to do very soon.

"I'm trying to figure out a time when I can get on campus," he said. "Hopefully either in May or for one of their one-day camps during the summer I'll be able to get up there."

Since Michigan has increased its presence in the Virginia area, Taylor says Michigan is a school he is very interested in. It's still early in the process, but he has done some research on the Wolverines and knows a little bit about the program.

"Michigan is a realistic team for me. I like them because of the history and tradition of their program," he said. "They are a top-15 academic program, and I'm building a great relationship with Coach Manning. Not to mention they play in the Big Ten and have had two great back-to-back recruiting classes."

Taylor says he has been paying attention to recruiting and believes Michigan's recent recruiting success is a glimpse into the future for the Wolverines. That is an important factor for him, and something both he and DeBerry are watching.

The teammates have talked about playing together at the next level, but both say there is plenty of time before they start to think about making decisions.


The commitment of tight end Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) to Michigan put the Wolverines in an excellent position for a few different reasons.

The coaching staff has gotten commitments from big-time kids at important positions. They already have the quarterback they wanted, an offensive and defensive lineman, a versatile linebacker, the elite-level receiver they were looking for and now an athletic tight end.

That is a very good foundation for this class, and it gives the coaching staff the opportunity to be flexible with certain position groups. By landing receiver Drake Harris (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian), the coaching staff can sit back a little more and figure out which prospects would be the best fit for the rest of the class.

Maurice Ways (Beverly Hills, Mich./Country Day) was offered recently after being evaluated by receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski, and Ways is a main option at this point. Ways has been saying that he wants to take his time to enjoy the process, but a visit on Thursday might speed things up a bit. If Ways decides to pull the trigger, his decision could speed up the decisions of other receiver targets for Michigan.

Another target visiting soon is linebacker Chase Winovich (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson), who is scheduled to be in on May 10. This will be his second trip to Ann Arbor, and with linebacker Kyron Watson also planning a return visit, this could be another situation where Winovich might want to jump on board before a spot gets taken. There is potential for that to happen.

Once a few other pieces start to fall for Michigan, there is also the chance that other prospects start to feel the pressure as well. That might include some of the elite-level prospects, but that is yet to be seen. With only 16 spots available at this time, if two more prospects decide to commit, remaining spots are going to get tight pretty quickly.

Not everyone will feel as though they need to hurry, but it does look like a few prospects could move things up. As of now, defensive back Parrker Westphal (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) is planning on narrowing his list in June then focusing on that list until the end. His timeline isn't set in stone, though, so there could be room for movement if he deems that necessary.

This should be an interesting spring and summer for Michigan. We'll have to wait and see which dominoes fall first.