Michigan is all about momentum right now, on the field as well as on the recruiting trail.
Less than 24 hours after the 42-7 rout over Penn State, the 2019 and 2020 classes both grew by one.
First, 3-star running back Tim Baldwin became the 2020 class’s sixth commitment. The Ashburn (Va.) product is considered the No. 36 running back in the country and the No. 7 player in the state of Virginia per Rivals.
Also an outside linebacker in his Broad Run High program, he flashes aggression and physicality. This translates to his offensive game, as he runs square with his pads into and over defenders.
His only recorded speed or agility in any way is a 4.52-second 20-yard shuttle from this past April.
He committed to the Wolverines over offers from Boston College, Syracuse, West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia. He also was receiving heavy interest from Ohio State and Penn State, visiting the latter a couple times.
In addition, the 24-man class this year bumped up to 25 after 3-star athlete Mike Sainristil, a former Virginia Tech commitment.
While listed as a cornerback on many recruiting sites, Michigan reportedly is looking at the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder at slot receiver.
He looked to be close to flipping to the Wolverines after visiting Ann Arbor for the BBQ in July. Don Brown visited his Everett (Mass.) school during the recent bye, which placed him over the top.
Sainristil’s head coach, Theluxon Pierre, played for Brown at UMass.
While a 3-star on 247Sports’ composite, ESPN currently sees him as a low 4-star, the No. 1 prospect out of Massachusetts and the No. 24 overall athlete.
While he doesn’t possess blazing speed, he translates what he does have onto the football field.
“His track times are good-not-great (7.07 in the indoor 55-meter dash),” wrote Tim Sullivan of Virginia Tech’s Rivals affiliate, “but he translates every bit of that when the pads come on. He’s able to cover more because of that speed than because of his specific techniques, and with the ball in his hands, makes things happen primarily with that initial burst.”
If you convert his 55-meter dash time proportionally to a 40-yard one, it’s about 4.55 seconds.
In addition to VT, he holds offers from BC, Wisconsin, Ole Miss, Rutgers, Southern Miss and North Carolina.
He positional versatility is evident from his junior highlight video, where you see him everywhere in the secondary and getting the ball in various ways on offense.
Between Quintel Kent, George Johnson III and Sainristil, Michigan is bringing in reinforcements at wide receiver. Only six receivers were projected to be on scholarship for 2019.
With 24 commitments for only 16 open scholarship spots in 2019, the coaching staff is honing in on two elite 5-star prospects. The first is longtime Ohio State lean Zach Harrison.
The Lewis Center (Ohio) native officially visited for the Buckeyes’ 36-31 squeaker versus Nebraska this past weekend. Since then, 247Sports insiders have submitted crystal balls for him…to attend Michigan.
Josh Newkirk, Garrett Fishaw and Brice Marich are predicting Harrison leaves the state of Ohio for the Wolverines. National analyst Luke Stampini also has him wearing maize and blue next fall.
Steve Wiltfong went as far to say this ($):
“Zach is definitely going to Michigan,” said one person I spoke with on Saturday. “I talked to him last week and I think he is close to making his decision.”
For weeks, Harrison has refuted a long-held assumption about his affinity for Ohio State. Specifically, many thought his mother preferred the Scarlet and Gray. Instead, she reportedly prefers her son stay close to home.
Compare these TMI quotes from the horse’s mouth back to back:
On Michigan: “I like Michigan a lot. I like the players. I’m close to the players on the team. The commits I’m close to. I have a good relationship with the coaches, coach (Al) Washington, coach (Greg) Mattison has been good. And their defense has been really good so I know I’d be able to play on a championship defense if I go there.”
On OSU: “Coach (Larry Johnson) J is one of the best coaches ever to do it for defensive linemen. And it’s right in my backyard so being a hometown hero would be great to play at Ohio State.”
The stars are aligning for a monster signature from the No. 5 overall recruit.
Lastly, 5-star athlete Quavaris Crouch loved his trip to Ann Arbor for the Penn State beatdown. The Harding University High of Charlotte product even seemed to thrive in the brisk weather.
Steve Lorenz ($) claimed the Wolverines are pulling ahead of Clemson for his services. He even goes as far to say that the No. 28 player nationally would choose them at this very moment.
While Crouch will officially announce his attentions at the Army All-American Game on Jan. 5, he has stated his intentions are to silently commit beforehand. Despite Lorenz’s optimism, Clemson still holds all the crystal balls.
Stay tuned on Maize n Brew for more reactions from Penn State recruiting weekend.