The Michigan coaching staff has made the state of Florida a major priority. In the 2017 recruiting class, The Wolverines are currently sitting very well with a lot of top-targets in the Sunshine State. Even though it is still early in the recruiting class for 2017 prospects, The Wolverines are looking really good for a few Florida targets.
Below, I add some notes on a few Florida targets for The Wolverines and where Michigan stands in their recruitment.
2017 OL Tedarrell Slaton
2017 Fort Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage) five-star OT Tedarrell Slaton is one of the top offensive linemen in the nation. As a result, he is a major target for the Michigan offensive line coach Tim Drevno and the rest of the coaching staff.
Within Slaton’s recruitment, Michigan is sitting on top of Slaton’s list of schools and has for the last few months. Something noteworthy is, that Slaton plans to visit Michigan over the summer per reports I have heard close to his recruitment. Not to mention, but he visited Michigan back in February and has not visited any other schools since then, which is another huge bonus. Slaton is a top-recruit deep in the south and even though Michigan has had the lead for a while now. He will still be a tough prospect to pull away from the south. Due to Slaton wanting a great education and a top-notch traditional program, Michigan could be able to pull one of the best offensive linemen in the south.
2017 Illinois commit RB Mike Epstein
After receiving an offer from Michigan in January, the coaching staff has been in hot pursuit of Mike Epstein, who is currently committed to Illinois. He made the trip up to Ann Arbor for the spring game a while back and really enjoyed his time at Michigan. After his trip, he told Scout’s Josh Newkirk that he is getting “great vibes” from Michigan. Ever since his Michigan offer came, he has been somewhat of a soft commit to Illinois and when Illinois made a coaching change, Epstein was not too happy about that. Furthermore, Epstein wants to visit a few more schools before he makes his final decision; that decision is expected to come in the summer. Furthermore, I think Michigan could possibly receive some really good news from Epstein.
Note: The Michigan coaching staff has informed Epstein that he is still a take if he decides to commit to Michigan. Despite having three running backs already committed.
2017 CB Stanford Samuels
Samuels was a major target heading into the 2017 class and he was a very well known recruit for many Michigan fans after three of his former teammates ended up signing with Michigan in the 2016 class. However, The Wolverines look to have fell off of Samuels’ recruitment and the Florida State Seminoles appear to be the large favorite for him. A few days ago, he released a top four list of schools that included Florida State, Alabama, Michigan, and Georgia. Regardless, with Samuel’s father being a former Florida State player and the strong connections to Tallahassee, I don’t see Michigan having much of a chance here.
2017 CB Randall Haynie
2017 Fort Lauderdale, FL (Cardinal Gibbons) three-star CB Randall Haynie recently received an offer from the Michigan coaching staff. Since The Wolverines offered, they’ve now taken a lead within his recruitment and this comes before a visit to Michigan. With the coaching staff most likely not going to land Samuels, Haynie now appears to be the priority at the cornerback position. Haynie is planning on visiting Michigan in the near future, which most likely could be a commitment visit from Haynie. If the staff pushes for his commitment, I think they will get it.
The Wolverines appear like they will have another strong presence in the state of Florida in the 2017 class. When National Signing Day rolls around, I expect Michigan to have more than two commitments from some Sunshine State prospects.
– Shane Kinnee (Senior Editor)