Michigan’s Football spring practice trip in Bradenton, Florida continues to roll on and the Wolverines have captured the college football world within the last few weeks. Friday will be the fourth and final day for the Wolverines spring practice.
With all that being said, the recruiting world keeps on spinning. For the 2017 class, the coaching staff is pursuing the center position. Center might be the biggest target for the Wolverines in the 2017 class, and Michigan is in very good position with two very highly-rated centers.
Michigan is currently down in Bradenton, Florida practicing at IMG Academy. IMG Academy is where one of Michigan’s top center target plays for, #1 center 4-star center Cesar Ruiz. The coaching staff is not aloud to contact or talk to Ruiz while they are at IMG because it’s currently the quiet period.
The Wolverines have always been the presumed leader for Ruiz ever since a Michigan offer. Ruiz has taken a handful of visits to Ann Arbor over the last few years. In addition, Ruiz former high school teammates and New Jersey friends: Brad Hawkins, Ahmir Mitchell, Ron Johnson Jr, Kareem Walker and Rashan Gary are all heading to Ann Arbor for the next 3-to-4 years. Ruiz told me Mitchell, Walker and Hawkins are all pursuing him very hard. Ruiz also mentioned that “they are like his brothers and Michigan has a family environment.” Well, Ruiz’ brothers could recruit him even harder because according to Scout’s Corey Bender, Ruiz will likely visit Michigan in the near future.
Michigan is clearly the favorite for Ruiz. I am not the only one who thinks that either. 247sports’ Steve Wiltfong, has put in a crystal ball prediction for Ruiz to Michigan a few days ago after he had a interview with Ruiz. I recently had a conversation with Ruiz and he will be releasing his top five list of schools anytime now. However, he told me that “Michigan will make the cut, no question.” He also said that Tim Drevno “is his dude and he could definitely see himself playing in Ann Arbor under Drevno.”
Rivals’ Mike Farrell had a interview with Ruiz a few days ago:
Michigan is also heavily pursuing 2017 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 4-star C Brett Neilon. He is a teammate of 2016 Michigan signee WR Dylan Crawford and was offered by the Wolverines late in January. He will be visiting Ann Arbor on April 1st for the Michigan spring game, along with his friend 2017 5-star OL Wyatt Davis.
Neilon currently has a top five of California, Duke, Michigan, UCLA and Washington. UCLA and Washington look to be the two big-time competitors for the Wolverines; however, Michigan is the only team with a legit chance to pull him away from the west-coast. But, Neilon has a lot of interest in both USC and Stanford, who have not offered yet. Neilon’s father and brother both went to USC, if the Trojans offer they look to be a legit threat.
The Wolverines already have a really good shot at landing Neilon. However, Tim Drevno needs to keep building a relationship and showing he is a priority for the coaching staff. If the visit for Neilon on April 1st goes well, I would not be shocked if he pulls the trigger on his commitment. But, he plans on committing sometime in the summer.
– Shane Kinnee (Senior Editor)