Michigan Football: Wolverines make more progress on flips in 2023

Catching up on Michigan football recruiting, the Wolverines hosted a number of recruits last weekend and made progress in terms of the 2023 class and flips. 

Recruiting might be on the backburner a little bit this week for Michigan football with the game of the year coming up on Saturday against Ohio State.

For the fifth time during the Jim Harbaugh era, both teams will be ranked in the top 12 and this will be the fourth time that “The Game” will be for the Big Ten East title.

Michigan football won a game like that last year and one year later, the 2023 recruiting class doesn’t really look the way we expected.

For years, Michigan football fans believed the key to unlocking a truly elite level of recruiting was beating Ohio State. The Wolverines did that, made the playoff and the recruiting ranking is lower than ever, although it’s trending up.

There is a reason for that of course and it’s NIL. Michigan isn’t getting down in the dirt like a number of other programs and it has hurt them. No question about it.

But after picking up another commitment last Friday from three-star (consensus) offensive lineman Nathan Ebofi, Michigan has nine top-500 recruits in the 2023 class out of 16 total.

The class ranks 22nd in the 2023 team rankings according to 247 sports but there is still work to do, especially on the defensive line and in the secondary. Michigan doesn’t have a single commitment in the secondary for 2023 right now.

However, the Wolverines are hoping they were able to change that this weekend or take steps in that direction.

The biggest news of the weekend was Aaron Gates, a defensive back committed to Florida, taking a surprise visit. There has been talk of a flip here for months. EJ Holland of The Wolverine even predicted it at one point but it hasn’t happened yet.

But this late visit makes me confident there is still a chance. We’ll see if Michigan football did enough but flipping Gates is still possible.

Jyaire Hill is another possibility. The top-200 cornerback out of Illinois would be a huge addition to the 2023 class and Jim Harbaugh has made a strong push for him personally, which was needed after Illinois put on the full-court press.

Hill was in Ann Arbor for the Illinois game but it’s hard to know if that swayed things in Michigan’s direction. Hill has an 88-percent chance of committing to Illinois according to the On3 prediction machine but Michigan isn’t dead yet and is in a better spot than it was.

More flip attempts in 2023

Cameron Calhoun recently decommitted from Cincinatti and Kentucky became the favorite according to the On3 prediction machine. Yet, a visit from Calhoun to Michigan football over the weekend has the Wolverines right in the mix.

Calhoun told Holland that he wants to take an official visit in December. That would be an official visit and if that winds up happening, that’s a huge win for Michigan in its quest to land the top-500 cornerback out of Ohio.

Michigan football is aiming to flip linebacker Jason Hewlett too from Cincinatti according to Holland but there isn’t a public offer. That’s not the case with Breeon Ishmail, who is a 2023 linebacker that has been projected to the Wolverines by Holland and others.

He’s ranked 1,403 overall in the 2023 class and is 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. Kentucky is the favorite according to the prediction machine but new expert projections should change that and Ishmail is yet another player out of Ohio as you can see the impact of Steve Clinkscale in all of these recruitments.

The push in Ohio is a good thing and let’s remember, Rod Moore was ranked outside the top 1,000 when Michigan first offered, and that’s been a win.

Landing Calhoun and Hill would help, but so would flipping Gates, Roderick Pierce and Jamel Howard, and the two defensive linemen visited, so there is hope for another strong finish, as well as hope of getting a 5-star QB in 2024.