The Wolverines hosted quite a few top in-state targets Wednesday night when the Wolverines took on the Northwestern Wildcats. 2017 Detroit (MI) 4-star S Jaylen Kelly-Powell, 2017 Detroit (MI) 5-star WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, 2017 Detroit (MI) 4-star CB Ambry Thomas, 2017 Detroit (MI) 3-star DL Jordan Reid, 2017 Berrien Springs (MI) and 2017 4-star OG Phillip Paea all were the 2017 recruits that were in Ann Arbor.
In terms of Michigan’s No. 1 2017 target, Donovan Peoples-Jones, the Wolverines are still looking pretty within his recruitment. For example, the Wolverines received a mid-week unofficial visit from Peoples-Jones, along with his group of in-state friends. Plus, the Wolverines are the presumed favorite for him, according to 247sports’ Steve Wiltfong. Not to mention, Michigan made his top ten list of schools that was send to Rivals’ Josh Helmholdt. Even though the Wolverines are still looking pretty for Peoples-Jones, his recruitment will likely end in February. Florida and Tennessee are the other schools that are heavily involved in his recruitment.
Jaylen Kelly-Powell was also on campus Wednesday night. Furthermore, this has been a Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State recruiting battle. However, all three schools look to be head-and-head for Kelly-Powell. Per Scout.com, he plans on heading back down to Ann Arbor for the spring game on April 1st. However, it’s not confirmed, which if he does not get on campus within the next few weeks. The Wolverines could be in big trouble in Kelly-Powell’s recruitment. Due to Michigan State reportedly making up a lot of ground within the last few weeks.
Michigan also hosted one of their rising targets in the 2017 class on Wednesday. That recruit was Phillip Paea and he claims it was a “great visit.” Paea has picked up some big-time offers within the last few weeks and prior to his visit to Ann Arbor, both Notre Dame and Michigan State were sticking out. However, Paea told me after his visit to Michigan that “Michigan is at the top of his list.” Paea told 247sports.com the following about his Michigan visit:
“The coaching staff and facilities were just amazing,” said Paea. “The moment you were on campus you just get this really great feeling.”
Finally, one of the other in-state targets that was on Michigan’s campus was Ambry Thomas. He has visits scheduled for Auburn and Oklahoma in the near future; however, both Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State are also in the mix. However, he did tell Rivals’ that he wants to leave the state of Michigan and create his own path. To make things even worse for the Wolverines, Michigan’s cornerback coach Greg Jackson is leaving to coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Jackson was Thomas’ main recruiter and that was a big blow for the Wolverines. One of the few positives for Michigan, is Thomas plans to be back at Michigan next month. In addition, 247sports’ Steve Wiltfong thinks at the end of the day Michigan will be the school for Thomas.
Thomas told 247sports’ the the following about his visit to Michigan:
“This visit was different and went really well. It was a good chance for me to just kick it and get to know the coaching staff a lot more. I met Coach Brown for the first time, and he was a really laid back guy.”
Note: 2018 Detroit (MI) 4-star CB Kalon Gervin also took a visit to Michigan on Wednesday night. I had a chance to sit down and talk to him after his Michigan visit.
– Shane Kinnee (Senior Editor)