SITM Presents: Today’s U Recruiting Roundup
Check out Today’s U for recruiting, Michigan / Michigan State and more.
By: Eric Rutter / @ERutterTodaysU
At this point, eight weeks of football have expired in the Michigan high school season and sure-fire playoffs teams are separating from the pack. While many seniors will embark on one last playoff run, even more will play their last down of football this Friday night.
Toledo Lands Commitment From Underrated 2016 Chandler Park WR Jalen Martin
The Toledo Rockets’ football program, ranked No. 19 in the country, received a boost to its wide receiver corps when Chandler Park Academy senior Jalen Martin issues his verbal commitment. Martin, listed as a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com, received his first offer from Eastern Michigan back in 2013. Since that time, additional programs such as Central Michigan, Akron, Miami (Oh.), Toledo and Western Michigan joined the mix with offers.
Martin eventually decided on Toledo amid a dominant senior campaign, but excellence has become the norm for the 6’3”, 205-pound athlete. During the offseason, Martin earned wide receiver MVP honors at Camp Pride, a premier skills camp held at Saginaw Valley State University. At the camp, Martin glided downfield and snagged pass after pass with supreme body control.
Although Martin is listed as a three-star, he plays above that distinction. This year, Martin is playing tight end and defensive end in addition to his duties at wide receiver. In the last game, Martin had two fumble recovery touchdowns, one of the 97-yard variety and another from 25-yards out, which served as a quick snapshot into the dominant season of the Chandler Park senior.
2017 Pioneer OLB Derrick Hubbard Recaps ‘Crazy’ Michigan Visit
Over the weekend, all eyes were focused on Ann Arbor for the heavy-hitting matchup between Michigan State and Michigan. This rivalry-fueled meeting, the first of the Jim Harbaugh era, ended in stunning fashion with the Spartans returning a botched punt for a touchdown in the final seconds.
Many top prospects from across the state witnessed this dramatic finish first hand including Pioneer junior outside linebacker Derrick Hubbard.
“That was a crazy atmosphere,” Hubbard told Today’s U. “That is personally one of the biggest games I’ve ever been to. That [finish] was just crazy. That was the last thing you would ever expect. I thought Michigan had the win, but Michigan State finished right there. They just finished.
“The crowd was amazing. Michigan had all the fans come out to the game and fill the stands. That showed that they really support Michigan. It’s a great place to be. Coming into that game with the crazy atmosphere, it’s probably one of the biggest games I’ve been to.”
Hubbard has also visited Michigan State, Purdue, Toledo and Eastern Michigan this season. On the high school field, Hubbard has amassed 10 tackles for loss so far and figures to visit additional schools over the next year and a half.
2017 Livonia Churchill DB Jamal Allen Talks Miami (Oh.) Offer and Iowa Visit
This season, junior athlete Jamal Allen has experienced a high level of success. With the Chargers stand at a mediocre 4-4, Allen has snagged six interceptions, two of which were returned for a touchdown, and five other touchdowns.
Allen, who stands at 6’ and 186-pounds, picked up an offer from Miami (Oh.), the first of the process.
“When I visited Miami, the coaches were very welcoming,” Allen told Today’s U. “I just knew I had a special bond with the coaches and it was a really good experience. The school in general, we saw the facilities, campus and now that they are about to expand their coaching facilities, I think things will be really good out there.”
Apart from the RedHawks, Allen was invited by Iowa to take in a football game earlier this season. The Hawkeyes hosted both Allen and North Texas University in what was a dominant victory for the Iowa team. Allen was impressed by this showing and stays in communication with the Hawkeyes’ coaching staff.
2017 Allendale TE Nate Umlor Breaks Down Recruitment
Last Friday, Today’s U traveled to Allendale High School to scout several notable prospects on Michigan’s western side. On Allendale’s side, junior athlete Nate Umlor leads the way. Listed at 6’6” and 247-pounds, Umlor is a big-bodied recruit that is difficult to cover beyond the line of scrimmage. Also an asset in the running game with his blocking, Umlor has the frame and ball skills to play tight end at the next level, but also serves as a defensive end for his team.
“Each school is kind of different,” Umlor told Today’s U. “Recruiting me, I have Michigan and Michigan is looking at me for a tight end. Western [Michigan] is looking at me for tight end. Northwestern is looking at me for defensive end. Iowa is looking at me for offensive tackle and offensive lineman. Tennessee is looking at me for tight end. Most of them are tight end with Illinois, Purdue, Toledo and Miami (Oh.).”
Umlor took a visit to Miami (Oh.) this past Saturday and also plans on visiting Tennessee for the Vanderbilt game, which is scheduled for November 28th.
3-Star 2017 RB Kurt Taylor Commits to Michigan Wolverines
Shortly before its weekend matchup with the Spartans, the Michigan Wolverines picked up a verbal pledge from a top Georgia running back. Kurt Taylor, a three-star prospect from the
Peach State, took his second unofficial visit to Michigan over the weekend. On Friday, Taylor pulled the trigger and issues his commitment to the Wolverines’ staff over other offers from Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Vanderbilt, among others.
“The tradition and the history of Michigan,” Taylor explained to Today’s U. “How coach Harbaugh has coached here in his first year by changing it and bringing all that back. I want to be a part of it. I think I fit Michigan.
“When I first came to visit, the excitement and the chills I had watching the game… I was just excited,” Taylor said. “The fans were the best. After the game I just felt like I was home with the love the team gave me. I felt like I was in the team already.”
Although the Wolverines were unable to register a victory on the scoreboard, Michigan did end up a victor on the recruiting trail as part of an epic game, lively environment and the addition of a talented junior prospect into the fold for the Maize and Blue.