A brief recap of how 5-star Tulsa, Okla., safety Daxton Hill signed with Michigan football for the class of 2019.
Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press
Michigan football led Zach Harrison‘s recruitment.
Then it didn’t.
Now the Wolverines will play against Harrison once a year for at least the next three seasons.
The Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy Orange 5-star defensive end prospect picked Ohio State on Wednesday afternoon over U-M and Penn State. He announced his decision in a private ceremony at his high school, and will fax his letter of intent to the Buckeyes and enroll early.
According to the 247Sports Composite, Harrison is the No. 4 overall prospect and the top-ranked strongside end.
The 6-foot-5, 243-pound prospect has a blend of freakish athleticism and size. He ran a 4.62-second 40-yard dash and 4.45-second 20-yard shuttle, had a 37.6 inch vertical jump, tossed the power ball 44.0 inches and had a SPARQ score of 125.82.
Those are elite numbers for a player Harrison’s size, and his high school tape bore that out.
Harrison was a highly-coveted prospect. Aside from his three finalists, he held offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, and Notre Dame, among others.
And his recruitment had plenty of twists and turns.
Despite living near Ohio State’s campus, Harrison wasn’t assumed to be a lock to his hometown school. Still, Michigan wasn’t in Harrison’s recruitment as of last winter.
Assistant coach Al Washington, hired last offseason, resuscitated the Wolverines. Harrison took an unofficial visit in March, and took another in June.
Michigan surged toward the top of his recruitment during the fall. Harrison took his official visit on Oct. 13 and saw the Wolverines’ 38-13 win over Wisconsin.
At that point, U-M was considered the favorite.
But recruiting isn’t about whether you lead in October or November. It’s about whether you lead when a recruit is ready to make a decision. And when Harrison announced his, the Buckeyes had taken over at the top — perhaps thanks to their 62-39 shellacking of the Wolverines at the end of November.
A strong recruiting effort from Washington and the staff to get Michigan back in a recruitment it had been completely written off in. But in recruiting, there is no prize in finishing second.
Although the Wolverines didn’t get Harrison, they still had a good day Wednesday by signing 5-star safety Daxton Hill, who flipped from Michigan to Alabama on Dec. 8, and 4-star receiver Cornelius Johnson, adding to a class that is currently tops in the Big Ten.
Contact Orion Sang: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @orion_sang.