Michigan lands a flurry of commitments ahead of dead period

Football, Recruiting

Matt Dudek meant business when he called this weekend “huge” on Thursday.

With over a dozen targets on campus just hours before a month-long NCAA recruiting dead period, Michigan’s director of recruiting took notice of the stakes. In a class-defining weekend, Dudek and the Wolverines landed eight pledges, per Dudek’s Twitter page. So far, four have publicly announced their plans to play college football in Ann Arbor.

The first domino fell on Sunday morning when three-star athlete William Mohan, the nation’s 415th-ranked prospect, announced his commitment. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Brooklyn native is the third-best New York prospect in the 2020 class, according to 247Sports.

Mohan, who plays prep football for Erasmus Hall, was recruited by assistants Anthony Campanile and Chris Partridge. The potential viper chose Michigan over conference rivals Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State, among others, after visiting Columbus last weekend. Mohan’s recruitment was seen by some as a race between the Wolverines and Ohio State.

As Dudek continued to tweet his signature gif of Ralph Wiggum from The Simpsons with each incoming pledge, a second prospect publicly shared his commitment to Michigan.

This time, it was three-star defensive end Aaron Lewis, who flipped his commitment from West Virginia. The Williamstown, NJ native was also recruited by the tandem of Campanile and Partridge.

Lewis, the country’s 434th-ranked 2020 prospect, brings great size at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds. He, too, held reported offers from Ohio State and Penn State. Big Ten foes Wisconsin, Nebraska and Maryland also extended scholarships ahead of his visit to Ann Arbor this weekend.

Just two hours after Lewis’ flip, a player close to the top of Michigan’s wish list announced his commitment. Four-star safety Jordan Morant, the nation’s 10th-ranked 2020 safety and No. 160 overall prospect, selected the Wolverines over Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Penn State.

The 5-foot-11, 212-pound ball hawk could eventually form a daunting pairing with five-star 2019 signee Daxton Hill, who is set to compete for playing time as a true freshman this fall.

Morant’s pledge gave Campanile and Partridge their third win of the day. The duo has shown a promising impact on the recruiting trail in the northeast thus far, to say the least. Concerns about recruiting emerged when former U-M assistants Greg Mattison and Al Washington left for Ohio State in January, but Campanile and first-year defensive line coach Shaun Nua haven’t missed a beat since their hirings, effectively dismissing those concerns in their infancy.

Later in the evening, three-star offensive lineman Reece Atteberry gave U-M its fourth public commitment of the day. The 6-foot-5, 280-pound lineman 2020 prospects hails from Aurora, CO, where he anchors the offensive line at Eaglecrest High School.

Atteberry, the 403rd-ranked prospect in the nation and No. 8 center, is offensive line coach Ed Warinner’s third commit of the class. He turned down offers from Ohio State, Auburn and Oregon, among others, to join Warinner’s 2020 talent crop.

With the additions of Atteberry, Morant, Lewis and Mohan, Michigan is now sitting on 14 commitments in the 2020 class. On Sunday, the Wolverines’ group jumped from No. 23 to No. 13 in the 2020 rankings. Dudek’s Twitter post indicates that four more recruits will join that group in the coming days, which could vault Michigan into the top-10. Four-star wide receiver AJ Henning, four-star running back Blake Corum and three-star athlete Eamonn Dennis could headline the program’s next batch of 2020 commits.

But for the time being, Sunday’s quartet joins a class of five four-stars — defensive lineman Braiden McGregor, cornerback Andre Seldon, offensive tackle Zak Zinter, linebacker Osman Savage and quarterback JD Johnson — and five three-stars — linebackers Nikhai Hill-Green and Cornell Wheeler, tight ends Nick Patterson and Matthew Hibner and offensive tackle Micah Mazzccua.

With the NCAA’s recruiting dead period looming, Michigan appears to have taken a huge step forward in shaping its 2020 class.

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