Monday, June 17, 2013
Michigan camp: What to watch
By Tom Van Haaren
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Michigan coaching staff will host several top prospects this week for their high school camp. Running from Sunday until Thursday, there will be plenty of news out of the event as the week goes on. Here are just a few things to watch heading into the week:
For the past two years Michigan has extended an offer to an under-the-radar rising senior after stellar camp performances. In the 2012 class, it was safety Jeremy Clark and in the 2013 class it was Channing Stribling.
For both prospects it was very unexpected, especially for Stribling, who decided to play defensive back instead of wide receiver at the camp on a whim.
Michigan has the No. 1-ranked recruiting class so far in 2014, but still has some holes to fill. There will be plenty of 2014 prospects on hand looking to earn offers, and the question is if Michigan continues the trend of offering a recruit after performing well in person.
Defensive back Jalen Embry (Detroit/King) will be on hand as well as wide receiver Asantay Brown (Muskegon, Mich./Mona Shores), looking to earn that coveted offer from the Wolverines.
It might be a name that hasn't surfaced yet, much like Clark and Stribling, who were the definition of sleeper prospects. With so many big names on the board for Michigan, there is a chance that the streak will be broken.
Damien Harris, a 2015 running back from Kentucky, earned an offer from Michigan at last year's camp and is returning this year. He has declared Michigan as his leader and stated how excited he is to get back up to Ann Arbor.
He will again be accompanied by his mother, Lynn, who is also a Wolverines fan.
Harris has said that he wants to wait out his process and take more visits before deciding. It's probably unlikely that he commits this weekend, but getting him on campus again is a good step in the right direction for the Michigan coaches.
With offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Tennessee, among others, Harris is going to be one of the more sought-after prospects in his class.
2016 running back coming back
Robert Washington (Huntersville, N.C./Southlake Christian Academy) has already been to Michigan once and is making a return visit this week for camp.
The 2016 running back is committed to Mississippi State, but says that because he is so young, he is keeping his options open. One of those options could be Michigan as Washington has stated the Wolverines are a team he hopes to learn more about.
He'll get the opportunity to learn more face to face at Michigan's camp and could come away with an offer. The 5-10, 188-pound back already holds offers from Mississippi State, Arizona State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Syracuse and UCLA.
His interest level is showing by making his second appearance on campus, coming all the way from North Carolina. If he does receive an offer, Michigan could be a big player in his recruitment going forward.
Erik Swenson can relax
For being so young, it seemed like Erik Swenson (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South) had waited forever for his Michigan offer. First making his appearance at Michigan's camp as an eighth-grader, the 2016 prospect was recently offered by the coaching staff.
A Michigan fan, he had been hoping to grab that offer and it finally came through for him. He and his family were ecstatic and relieved when the coaching staff told him they were offering a scholarship.
Michigan added to the list of Illinois, Notre Dame and Ohio State for the 6-foot-6, 280-pound lineman.
Swenson doesn't need to compete now that he holds the golden ticket, but he is coming back to camp anyway to work with the coaching staff. He plans on waiting quite a while to make a decision, but it can't hurt to get him back on campus.
2015 is loaded
The 2015 class will be out in full force this week as all the rising juniors are looking to impress the coaches. This is their time to shine, and there is plenty of opportunity to earn an offer.
This is where wide receiver commit Drake Harris (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) earned his offer last year, along with many other Michigan commitments.
Prospects including offensive linemen Gabe Megginson (Jacksonville, Ill./Jacksonville), Chuma Edoga (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern), Anthony Herbert (Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer East) and Evan Mallory (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) will all be competing throughout the week.
Defensive backs and linebackers will be out in full force as well in Ann Arbor. Eric Glover-Williams (Canton, Ohio/McKinley), Tyler Woodley (Powder Springs, Ga./McEachern) and Justin Hilliard (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) are just a few of the names that will be on hand.