Free Press writers react to Michigan’s debacle against Ohio State, 62-39, discussing every angle from Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 24, 2018.
Nick Baumgardner, Freep
Marietta (Ga.) quarterback Harrison Bailey has always been a phenom.
Bailey received his first scholarship offer — from Miami (Fl.) — when he was in eighth grade.
Before he began high school, he already had verbal offers from Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Florida, among others.
Bailey’s star has not diminished.
According to the 247Sports Composite, he is the No. 59 overall prospect in the class of 2020 and the No. 3 pro-style quarterback. As a junior, he completed 212 of 335 passes for 2,809 yards with 29 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Thursday, he’ll announce his college decision, picking between Michigan and Tennessee.
And the Wolverines could be slated for some good news.
“All the indications we’ve gotten are that he is a Michigan lean,” said 247Sports analyst Steve Lorenz. “Rusty Mansell, our Georgia guy, he’s known Bailey for three years. He’s the one doing his commitment interview, regardless of who he chooses, and his crystal ball (prediction) has been on Michigan for the last few weeks.”
Bailey has been a top target for the Wolverines in the 2020 class — as he is for many other schools. Passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton has led the way for Michigan, while safeties and special teams coach Chris Partridge has also had a hand in Bailey’s recruitment.
“He’s a really big Pep Hamilton fan,” Lorenz said. “This is another indication of Michigan’s efforts in the state of Georgia.
“They got him up for a very early visit on campus. Both he and his dad were impressed by the offensive staff as a whole, obviously impressed with Harbaugh.”
Bailey’s talent and long-time status as a highly-recruited prospect have made him one of the most visible recruits in the nation, regardless of class, according to Lorenz. Which means that a commitment to either Michigan or Tennessee would help with recruiting other highly-touted prospects.
“There are a lot of elite prospects interested in playing with him at the next level,” Lorenz said. “So I think for Michigan or Tennessee, if they can get him, more than normal, I think it’ll give that school more of an edge or more of an opportunity with a couple of guys they wouldn’t have had an opportunity with.”
If Bailey’s current ranking holds, he would be the top-ranked quarterback signed by Michigan under Jim Harbaugh. Redshirt sophomore Brandon Peters was the No. 61 overall prospect, redshirt freshman Dylan McCaffrey was the No. 123 overall prospect and freshman Joe Milton was the No. 204 overall prospect.
Reno (Nev.) Damonte Ranch prospect Cade McNamara, committed to Michigan’s class of 2019, is ranked No. 278 overall.
Contact Orion Sang: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang.