Michigan Football: Mike Macdonald getting to work on recruiting trail

Michigan football recruit Will Johnson Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Michigan football recruit Will Johnson Syndication: Detroit Free Press /

Mike Macdonald was announced as Michigan football defensive coordinator Sunday and already, he’s been busy on the recruiting trail. 

As far as Michigan football is concerned, it was a blessing that the Baltimore Ravens lost to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday because it meant that Mike Macdonald was able to officially take over as defensive coordinator.

Michigan announced the hire on Sunday and according to EJ Holland of The Wolverine, Macdonald wasted almost no time hitting the recruiting trail.

Holland tweeted on Monday that Macdonald has already been in contact with Will Johnson, the elite 2022 cornerback from the state of Michigan.

Obviously, reaching out to Johnson was a no-brainer because he’s easily the top guy on the board for the Wolverines, especially since he plays a position of need and is the top-ranked recruit in the state.

As of right now, the Wolverines own all of his crystal ball projections (six of them) but the confidence level is only at a five and some are at a 2-3. Holland, the top Michigan football recruiting expert also has a Futurecast pick in for Johnson to U-M and said he isn’t changing it.

However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t work to do. Macdonald needs to build this relationship quickly and he also needs to make a decision about the cornerbacks coach.

Mike Zordich had built a relationship with Johnson and he’s not coming back. Reports are that Jesse Minter could be hired to coach the secondary, but it’s not clear if that means corners, safeties or both.

Macdonald probably shared some of that information with Johnson or maybe indicated some sort of timeline but Macdonald has also coached in the secondary and comes from a Ravens defense known for being one of the best in the NFL.

Those things should work in his favor with Johnson, who is now a must-get for the Wolverines, especially since it seems like Domani Jackson is trending to USC.

While it was smart to reach out to Johnson, Macdonald should also make a point to establish contact with Michigan State commit Rayshaun Benny, who is someone that is thought to be open to a flip, especially with a long-term deal in place for Jim Harbaugh.

2022 QB doesn’t put Michigan in his top list

In a bit of bad news for Michigan football, the Wolverines didn’t make the top list for 2022 quarterback and top target Nicco Marchiol.

Marchiol was once trending with crystal ball picks to Michigan and then Florida State was the favorite and the Seminoles were on the final list along with Rutgers, Florida and Arizona State.

A few weeks ago, the Wolverines were the first program to offer dual-threat QB DeQuandre Smith and this could shed some light on why Smith was offered. It could also mean he’s a legit target going forward.

The Wolverines have offered a number of other elite signal callers in 2022 but possibly due to landing a five-star QB in 2021, as well as the uncertainty surrounding Harbaugh for a while, they don’t seem to be in a strong position with any of them.