- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
Michigan is hosting its annual barbecue on Saturday and Sunday, and there are some top targets expected to make it in town. While there are a few that are still unsure if the visit will happen, Michigan will have the chance to sway some of the top prospects.
No. 1 running back Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine) is planning to make the trip, and he would be the top prospect on hand, of course.
Aside from Fournette, here is a look at five more important prospects visiting this weekend:
2015 DB Shaun Crawford (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward)
5-9, 168 pounds
ESPN Junior 300 Rank: No. 49
Why he's on the list: Michigan leads for Crawford, and he is a Wolverines fan. He camped in Ann Arbor, so it's good to get him return for another visit while the campus is still fresh in his mind. This will be a different atmosphere, more relaxed, so he and his family will be able to see a different side of what Michigan has to offer.
In his words: "This BBQ will be a great trip for my family and me to further build our relationship with the Michigan staff and community. The BBQ will be a chance for me to enjoy myself at a place I could soon call home. Michigan is my top school and this will put them above others, depending on my experience."
2014 RB Jonathan Hilliman (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter's Prep)
6-1, 202 pounds
ESPN 300 Rank: No. 285
Why he's on the list: Michigan is behind right now for Hilliman, and it looks as though Ohio State might have a good shot with him. Ideally the Michigan coaches would probably like to see a running back in this class, but there aren't many options outside of a few prospects. Hilliman is one of those options and this visit could help propel the Wolverines up his list.
In his words: "Michigan is in my top six and is a school that really has a great chance with me. I will be at the BBQ and I'm looking to get some of my questions answered. Also, I'm anxious to meet some of the recruits and committed players to get a sense of what made them commit. Should be a live weekend."
2015 OL Sterling Jenkins (Pittsburgh/Baldwin)
6-8 290 pounds
ESPN Junior 300 Rank: No. 75
Why he's on the list: The Michigan coaches are always looking for big, strong tackles and Jenkins fits the bill. He has outstanding size and good feet, with potential that is through the roof. Michigan has already offered and Jenkins seems to be very interested in the Wolverines. If this visit goes well, it could help boost Michigan's standing with Jenkins and potentially help them continue the trend of landing top linemen.
In his words: "Being one of the first few schools that started recruiting me, finally meeting with the coaches and really looking into Michigan will give me a better view of the program as a whole."
2015 DL Joshua Alabi (Detroit/Cass Tech)
6-4, 248 pounds
ESPN Junior 300 Rank: No. 51
Why he's on the list: Alabi has already been offered, and he's from Cass Tech. He is going to be one of the top local prospects, which means it will be important for Michigan to keep him at home. It seems as though he is open to any school at this point, so the coaching staff needs to put the best foot forward every chance they get. Defensive linemen are always going to be a premium at Michigan under coach Brady Hoke, so this is one prospect that can't get away.
Offers: Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Tennessee, Wisconsin
2016 OL Erik Swenson (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South)
6-6, 280 pounds
2016 class not ranked
Why he's on the list: Swenson already holds an offer from Michigan, among a few other big programs. It's rare for an offensive lineman his age to receive so much interest early on, and there's a reason he's getting it. He has the potential to be an outstanding lineman at the next level, and he just happens to be a Michigan fan. The more Michigan can get him on campus, the better. He was on hand for camp once again this year so getting him to return for this type of event is a major positive for the Wolverines.
In his words (from a June 24 story): “If I had to commit right now, it would definitely be Michigan. Once we took her to Michigan and showed her the facilities … my mom realized why I love Michigan. She met all the coaches, loves all of them. Even the environment of Ann Arbor, she loved.”
6dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy
7dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy