Michigan Football: Jim Harbaugh scores recruiting win over Mel Tucker

Michigan football landed a commitment from three-star recruit Andrel Anthony over Michigan State and it was a nice win for Jim Harbaugh over Mel Tucker.

Some days as a Michigan football fan are better than others and Friday, was a great day to be a Wolverine.

That’s because Andrel Anthony, a three-star recruit out of East Lansing, officially committed to the Wolverines over Michigan State, in a satisfying recruiting win for Jim Harbaugh and company.

It was the first real head-to-head battle on the recruiting trail between Harbaugh and Mel Tucker and it proved to be no contest. The Spartans were seen as the leader for quite some time, controlling double-digit crystal balls, before a late push by Michigan turned things around.

Friday, Anthony made it official and dealt a painful blow the Spartans 2021 class, seeing as he would have been their top-ranked commitment in the 2021 class.

As far as what Anthony brings, here’s a look at his scouting report from 247 sports’ Allen Trieu:

Long, thin frame. Very smooth, natural athlete. Changes directions and comes in and out of his breaks fluidly. That serves him well as a route runner where he creates separation. Excellent ball tracking skills and body control. Shows ability to make catches in traffic. Solid runner after the catch. Must get physically bigger and stronger. Pure straight line speed is something he can still add more of as well. Should be a very good college receiver who can play on the outside or in the slot and be a difference maker at the Power 5 level.

Anthony’s recruitment was a little unorthodox and it seemed like there were cooling off periods on both sides. But the Wolverines made a strong push for him and now they have a dynamic group of receivers in 2021.

Getting a quality player is great but also doing it at the expense of Michigan State is even better.

State of Michigan State recruiting

While it’s obviously very early in the tenure of Mel Tucker, he wasn’t able to build a strong enough relationship with Anthony, who is from East Lansing, to keep him over Michigan.

The Spartans had the advantage of him being their top target and not having a single wide receiver committed. But in the end, maybe that worked against them.

Michigan football has been a machine during the spring and summer, landing 19 commitments now since March, including three wide receivers prior to Anthony.

Those guys seemed to really recruit Anthony and that probably made a difference. Most of the time recruits aren’t really swayed by other recruits, but Michigan is building a special class and the Spartans class can only be described as a dud.

Here’s what Anthony told EJ Holland of Rivals about Michigan State ($):

“It was just the vibe I got from the (Michigan) coaches from Day 1 during my sophomore year. I really liked Tucker’s staff, but I haven’t been able to build a relationship with them like I have with Michigan. That was a big part. Just being (at Michigan) around the coaching staff and players, they loved to talk to me… At the end of the day, I knew the decision was mine.”

That’s not necessarily an indictment of Michigan State but this recruitment was a golden opportunity for them to build some momentum and they missed out on it.

And if Anthony had gone to the Spartans, I think Michigan would have regretted not recruiting him harder. He will be an ideal fit in the Josh-Gattis offense and now, it’s going to be harder for the Spartans to say that they recruit well in the state.

Next: Final predictions for Michigan's 2021 class

Ultimately, in his article, Holland may have summed it up best when he called the Spartans “irrelevant.” Currently, MSU is 63rd in the 247 team rankings for 2021 and 13th in the Big Ten.