- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
The Weekly Update at WolverineNation is a sneak peek inside Michigan recruiting.
Good Counsel High School in Maryland has been a hotbed of recruiting and continues to produce top talent, including offensive lineman Sam Mustipher in the 2014 class. Mustipher recently received an offer from Michigan, and it seems to have him pretty excited.
He had been in contact with the coaching staff for quite some time but just now received the offer.
"They've always been interested in me. Coach [Curt] Mallory came up a week or two ago to the school," he said. "It's a humbling experience. Some kids never get a chance to play at these schools and some of these schools have won national championships."
Michigan is familiar with Mustipher's high school as this coaching staff has recruited it hard in recent years. They were able to snare defensive back Blake Countess, who is someone Mustipher considers a good friend.
"We used to carpool together at Good Counsel and his dad has been on me about Michigan," he said. "His family got me interested in Good Counsel in the first place. I ended up seeing Blake there and seeing how much I liked Good Counsel, so who knows maybe it will be the same thing with Michigan."
He isn't close to making a decision but is very excited about how fast things are happening for him. He expected some of this early attention because he knew his abilities but still wants to take some time and take his visits.
"I want to get a chance to see how the players and coaches interact, so I want to go to a spring practice and get some one on one time with the coaches," he said. "I'll sit down with my parents and we'll see which schools I want to visit. Definitely the schools that show the most love as far as letters and me contacting them are the ones sticking out."
Mustipher isn't just a star on the field. He also excels in the classroom. Academics will be a major factor in his decision, mainly because he has a specific major in mind that he'd like to pursue.
"I'm thinking of civil or nautical engineering. I've just been researching certain majors and I have a strong academic base so I'm looking to continue that," he said. "Straight out of college you can get an engineering internship at $50,000. The goal is to go to the league, but if I can't then that would be a good backup plan."
LEON MCQUAY III
I have been in contact with safety Leon McQuay III's (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) dad, and they are saying Leon still is undecided. His father said they still are working off the top five of USC, Michigan, Vanderbilt, Florida State and Oregon but haven't narrowed it down from there.
McQuay is still planning on announcing his decision at the Under Armour All America game on Jan. 5, but they are coming down to the wire. The McQuay family needs to give ESPN a 24-hour notice on what they plan on doing, so we'll know beforehand if he is still making his decision during the game.
I still think Michigan is in it, although probably behind. If he wants to enroll early then he will need to make a decision soon,
As I've said before, it looks like Dan Samuelson (Plymouth, Ind./Plymouth), Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and Dan Skipper (Arvada, Colo./ ) are the main targets remaining. Samuelson and Skipper already have taken visits, and now it's Hunt's turn.
The ESPN 300 lineman will be visiting on Jan. 11 with a few other prospects as well, including safety Reon Dawson (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison).
Dawson, who is still committed to Illinois, almost took a visit with teammate and linebacker commit Mike McCray, but decided to go to Illinois that weekend instead. By scheduling this trip to Michigan it looks like Dawson will give Michigan a serious look. If the Wolverines lose out on McQuay, Dawson could be the defensive back to take that spot.
It seems as though things will start to become more clear once McQuay makes a decision, and after the Jan. 11 weekend.
Running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va./Hermitage) is also still out there and is still saying he's going to decide soon. I have to imagine the U.S. Army All-American Bowl is trying to get him to announce his decision at the game, but we'll see if that happens.