Michigan’s game against Michigan State may not have turned out as planned — despite never trailing until the clock hit zero, U-M fell on a botched special teams play — but the top recruits who made their way to the Big House on Saturday still saw a lot to like.
The Wolverines hosted four official visitors and a huge number of prospects on unofficial trips.
The highest-ranked prospect in attendance was Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy five-star tight end Isaac Nauta. The 6-foot-4, 234-pounder decommitted from Florida State over the summer.
“It was a great time,” he said. “I’m exhausted; there was a bunch of stuff that you’ve got to fit in in two days. Overall, it was a great visit. They didn’t end up winning, but it was a great game, and at least I can say I was there for one of the classics.
“Michigan definitely won the football game. They beat them in every area, as far as from a viewer’s perspective. The atmosphere was great; there were 112,000 there. Probably just as much outside the stadium. There were a ton of people, it was loud, and besides the end, it was a really good game.”
A trio of California four-star prospects — Elk Grove defensive back Lamar Jackson, Los Angeles defensive back David Long and Rancho Santa Margarita wide receiver Dylan Crawford — joined Nauta as official visitors. Perhaps none was as impressed as Rancho Santa Margarita Catholic’s Crawford, the nation’s No. 90 recruit. The 6-1, 175-pounder got a good idea of how he’d fit in the U-M offense.
“I could see myself fitting in there. I feel like I could play there. I like the coaching staff and, obviously, the Michigan education is solid, and the networking there is unreal,” he said. “They don’t really have a slot player who could take the fly sweep. They were showing me all the footage about how they have to bring Jabrill (Peppers) on offense to do the bubble-screen routes and stuff like that. They said if, I was there, they wouldn’t need to do that.”
Among unofficial visitors, the headliner likely was Detroit King senior wide receiver Donnie Corley. He plans to make an early college decision in order to join the program of his choosing in January, and this was his second unofficial visit to Ann Arbor this fall. Thus far, he has taken official visits to Michigan State and Tennessee and plans to use one to go to U-M before his commitment.
Despite Saturday’s result on the field, the atmosphere in Michigan Stadium likely will help the Wolverines field a more talented team in 2016 and beyond.
Recruiting: MSU, U-M vie for King’s Corley
Tim Sullivan is the football recruiting editor of The Wolverine magazine and thewolverine.com. He is also a contributor to national football recruiting coverage on the rivals.com network. You can follow him on Twitter @tims_wolverine.