New Jersey Opening Recap; Including Recruiting Nuggets On Michigan Targets

One of the many Opening regionals that take place all over the country was hosted in New Jersey at the New York Jets practice facility. The New Jersey regional over this past weekend featured two 2017 Michigan football commits who really showed out and performed.

2017 Groton, MA (Lawrence Academy) four-star RB Michigan commit A.J. Dillon who really tore up the field at The Opening had himself a month. Dillon posted the event’s top SPARQ rating out of all the prospects there and earned a spot on the 247sports’ top four performers of the event. Not to mention, but he earned a spot at The Opening during the summer.

The other Michigan commit who was at the event and performed well was 2017 Montreal, QC (Cegep du Vieux ) CB Benjamin St-Juste. For a cornerback his size, he posted some really good stats and results. At 6-foot-3, 189-pounds, he ran a 4.64 40-yard dash with an outstanding 3.93 shuttle and a 34 inch vertical. Including a compliment from Scout’s Brian Dohn, who stated that “he showed a nice skill set on the field.”

Both Dillon and St-Juste have become forgotten recruits in the 2017 class. They are both really talented and raw prospects who will bring a lot of talent to Michigan.

Michigan had two commits perform really well, but The Wolverines had a lot of targets they’re pursuing who performed well. Not to mention, but Michigan has a strong grip in the state of New Jersey and look like they could land a lot of talented prospects who were at the camp.

2017 OT Isaiah Wilson

Wilson was at both the New Jersey opening and the Rivals camp. He seemed to struggle a little bit at both camps, but performed much better at the Rivals camp. At the Rivals camp, he won the offensive line MVP and dominated almost every rep he took.

In terms of his recruitment, this appears to be a Michigan-Alabama recruiting battle, now that Ohio State is now out of the running for Wilson. The five-star offensive tackle, has narrowed things down to Michigan, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, USC, with Rutgers looming in the background.

Wilson has informed me and told me multiple times that he has no leader. However, it appears that Michigan has a slight lead due to his parents taking more of a liking to The Wolverines than Alabama. Regardless of what schools are sticking out right now, his recruitment will be a long one because he plans to visit all the schools on his list for an official visit.

2017 LB Ben Mason

Mason recently picked up a Michigan offer and The Wolverines immediately became a threat. Well, after a recent visit to Ann Arbor from Mason, Michigan appears to be primed to pick up a commitment from Mason this Tuesday. Wisconsin, is the only other school who could make a run for Mason for one simple reason. The Badgers are offering him the ability to play linebacker as Michigan is offering him more as a fullback, but with a chance to play linebacker. Come Tuesday, I think Michigan will have another commitment in the 2017 class.

2017 WR Tarik Black

Tarik Black has been a prospect who has been hard to read and has appeared to bounce between teams in terms of his leader. However, he informed Scout’s Brian Dohn that his top schools as of right are UCLA and Michigan, with Stanford, Alabama, and Notre Dame in the background. The Wolverines have appeared to be his leader ever since they offered back in May. In addition, Michigan has quite a large lead from what I am hearing from Black’s family members. Furthermore, Black plans to make a silent commit before his senior season and will then make it official at the Army All-American game. Which always make things interesting.

2017 ATH Markquese Bell

Michigan and Rutgers appear to be the top two schools for Bell, but Ohio State is definitely a threat lurking in the background. The Buckeyes could become more of a threat if Bell does indeed decide to head down to Columbus for the annual Friday Night Lights, where he could land an offer.

A few weeks ago, Rutgers reportedly had gained the lead in Bell’s recruitment. That news was build off of Bell not wanting to leave the state of New Jersey because of his grandmother (who he lives with), not being able to move around too much. Well, those rumors appear to be now gone as Bell informed 247sports’ Ryan Bartow that Michigan was still his leader.

I expect his recruitment to continue to bounce back and forth between Rutgers and Michigan. Bell informed me a few weeks ago, that he will take a official visit to Michigan and Rutgers in the fall and will make his decision after those visits. I like Michigan’s chances, but Rutgers has a good chance because of his grandmother and being the in-state school.

OG Joshua Fred-Jackson

Fred-Jackson is not one of the top-targets in the 2017 class for Michigan, but he is a prospect who could very well end up choosing Michigan. He has a top three list of schools, which are Michigan, North Carolina, and Rutgers. The Wolverines are new to his recruitment, with only offering the New Jersey offensive linemen a few weeks ago. However, according to 247sports’ Ryan Bartow, Michigan and North Carolina are his top schools as of right now. Despite, The Wolverines being so high up with him, I feel like North Carolina has the slight lead here.

DT Corey Bolds

Bolds has been a familiar name with many Michigan fans in the 2017 class coming from Paramus Catholic High School. Bolds is an elite defensive tackle prospect, according to recruiting rankings from all four sites. Even though, Michigan has been a leader for him for quite sometime, according to 247sports Steve Lorenz, he is not a take for the staff right now. Both Michigan and Clemson appear to be the two schools that are pushing for Bolds. However, it will be interesting to see if the coaching staff would accept his commitment.

LB Drew Singleton

Singleton is Michigan’s top target on the defensive side of the ball for the 2017 class. He has visited Michigan many times already and has been favoring Michigan for quite sometime, but the Clemson Tigers are right up there with Michigan. Well, the coaching staff is not the only member of the Michigan family who is recruiting Singleton. 2016 Michigan signee and Singleton’s former high school teammate, Rashan Gary was at the New Jersey opening recruiting Singleton. The Wolverines are in very good position for the Paramus Catholic standout.

Quick Notes On Other Prospects At The Opening

  • 2017 Philadelphia, PA (St. Joseph’s) five-star RB D’Andre Swift informed 247sports’ Ryan Bartow that he wants to visit Michigan over the summer. However, he has more of an interest in visiting some ACC and SEC schools. We will see if he ends up visiting Michigan.


  • 2018 Don Bosco Prep (NJ) four-star DL Tyler Friday informed Rivals Adam Friedman that he wants to visit Michigan in the summer. Friday holds a Michigan offer.


  • 2018 Old Bridge (NJ) QB Artur Sitkowski landed an offer from Michigan recently. He plans to visit Michigan this summer very soon. The Wolverines offer for Sitkowski made him “speechless.”

– Shane Kinnee (Senior Editor)