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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Linebacker updates: Watson, Morgan

By Chantel Jennings

ADDISON, Ill. -- Between the commitment of Michael Ferns (St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville) and the linebacker depth they have in the two classes before him, the Wolverines really need to take only one more linebacker in the 2014 class. They have a few options on the board and, depending on visits and commitments, they could close this linebacker class in the next month or so. Chase Winovich (Jefferson Hills, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) seems to be highest on the target board, but here are two other targets with significant Michigan interest:

Kyron Watson
6-foot-1, 210 pounds
East St. Louis (Ill.) High

The ESPN 150 outside linebacker has it down to Michigan and Kansas, which to most would seem to be an interesting combination.

The Wolverines provide a football environment that’s all about “teaching and learning,” Watson said. He has formed a strong relationship with a few different coaches on Michigan’s staff, which is really important to him in his recruitment. Those kinds of relationships seem to be what’s keeping Kansas in the discussion, too.

“I really like my recruiter, Reggie Mitchell,” Watson said. “That’s a huge, huge part of it for me.”

Watson would like to make his decision by the end of May. He has been to Kansas’ campus twice already and will make his first visit to Ann Arbor on May 20. Watson said a possible commitment on that visit isn’t out of the question if Michigan impresses enough.

“Yeah, there’s definitely a chance of that,” Watson said.

The Wolverines seem to be looking for a strongside linebacker and while Watson is defined as an outside linebacker, he’s a bit on the smaller side compared to other top OLBs. However, the Wolverines like how hard he hits and his instincts.

If Ferns is still the only committed linebacker by May 20, that visit will definitely be something to keep eyes on.

Nyles Morgan
6-2, 220 pounds
Crete (Ill.) Crete-Monee

Morgan didn’t want to name any kind of a top group at Sunday’s Chicago NFTC. He’s picking up interest by the day, and it’s no surprise why when watching the ESPN 150 inside linebacker play.

He’s a physical, aggressive linebacker, and because he keeps getting new interest, he wants to make sure he listens to anyone who’s willing to talk to him.

“I’m still open like a book, really,” Morgan said.

His interest stems from all over the country, but the Wolverines are trying to keep the prospect in the Midwest. Michigan stopped by his high school last Friday, after having “dropped off” in the communication for a bit with Morgan.

“They were saying they loved [me],” Morgan said. “And that I could play the SAM or the inside linebacker.”

But the Wolverines -- who don’t like late recruiting cycle changes and surprises -- might not be able to line up their respective timeline with Morgan, who doesn’t plan to narrow his offer list until midway through his senior season, with a decision coming sometime after the season.

Michigan fans should be well acquainted with Crete-Monee High School, as it’s the alma mater of former top wide receiver recruit and Ole Miss signee Laquon Treadwell. Morgan was a high school teammate of Treadwell and said Ole Miss is definitely in it for him. He already visited the school and was very impressed with it.

But with being in the Chicago area, a trip to Ann Arbor this summer isn’t off the board for Morgan, who would like to take as many unofficials this summer as possible.