We're half way through the season, so we have a pretty good idea of just how much progress some teams have made (Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin) and how far back others have gone (Ohio State, Minnesota, Indiana). This obviously has an effect on recruiting, and from Michigan's perspective, one guy in particular. Brionte Dunn.
I know he visited Penn State, but in reality it's a UM-OSU battle for the four star running back. The starts made by both these teams could be more different, as Michigan has clearly improved to become a more balanced football team, whereas Ohio State has serious offensive concerns; which have been alarming Dunn.
Ohio State are a very talented team, yet they are 3-3 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten, all but ending their chances of getting to Indianapolis. Plus, if you look at their schedule, they are probably only going to be favored in 2, maybe three games. So if we assume OSU gets to 6-6, what happens to Luke Fickell? He'll be fired.
Going back to Michigan, Dunn can see a team clearly improving, a team that has a shot at the Big Ten title, and a team with no impending NCAA hearings. Ohh, and his cousin is a 2013 commit; who doesn't want to play with family? :D
For these reasons, I'm fairly confident at the moment that Dunn will end up in Ann Arbor, firstly for an official visit, and then for the long run.
Looking at the rest of the projected class, I'm leaving it mostly the same; although it is getting harder to predict. Here's a few quick notes on the other three spaces.
- Zach Banner will decide his college destination after his last official visit, which will be in around a month's time. However, he won't announce his decision until after Christmas. If he were deciding today, I'd be pretty confident, but he has at least 3 visits scheduled over the next 30 days, so we'll just have to wait and see. This space will go to an OL, because Michigan still has a chance with Josh Garnett (visiting for OSU game), and UM recently offered OG Alex Kozan.
- WR Spot 1: This should go to Jordan Payton unless Notre Dame pulls something special out the bag for his visit to them next weekend. Pretty simple.
- WR Spot 2: I've still got Amara Darboh in the projected class, because he has shown a lot of interest and he should visit Michigan for the Ohio State game, which is obviously a great weekend to visit, especially if he witnesses a UM victory. However! WR Darius Powe has just named Michigan in his top five with a bunch of really weak PAC12 schools, and he'll also take an official to Michigan. He's from California, so probably knows Hoke quite well, this one could be interesting.
Wildcard Spot: I think the combination above (RB, OL, WR, WR) is what Michigan would like to close out the class with, but if a guy of exceptional talent wants in, they will probably have to adjust. The most likely candidate for that is Yuri Wright, the nation's #3 CB. He should take an official to Michigan late on in the season, hopefully for the OSU game which will give Michigan a chance at least.