’21 WR Board Filled With Bevy Of Standout Prospects
Now that the Michigan coaching staff has turned its full attention over to the 2021 cycle, the Wolverines are scouring the nation to find the team’s next set of dynamic pass catchers.
At the moment, U-M has passed out 31 scholarships to junior wide receivers, and that number is expected to grow over the next follow months. Currently, six of those prospects have already pledged to other schools, so that leaves roughly two dozen on the table, and Michigan is working to further its relationship with this bunch.
Here are a group of wideouts to keep an eye on as the 2021 cycle kicks forward.
247Sports.com Composite Ranking (by position)
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
East Lansing, Michigan
Pampano Beach, Florida
For some prospects like Bowling Green (Ky.) Frederick Douglas four-star Dekel Crowdus, Michigan has been in pursuit for an extended period of time. U-M offered Crowdus during the summer before his junior season, and the athletic player has remained in contact with the Michigan staff since that time.
Recently, Crowdus released a list of his top 10 schools. Michigan made the cut, along with Baylor, Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Texas, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
Out of 22 offers, Crowdus is focusing on 10 schools moving forward and is slated to issue his commitment on his birthday, which is May 10. This timeline puts an increased importance on previous visits taken by the Kentucky prospect.
In the past, Crowdus has become a familiar face on both Kentucky and Louisville’s campuses, and Ohio State was slated to host Crowdus recently before the coronavirus interrupted many a recruiting schedule.
Still, Crowdus is a talented prospect that keeps listing Michigan as one of his top schools. As a sophomore, Crowdus hauled in over 800 receiving yards and over 10 touchdowns, so his playmaking skills would be well utilized in Ann Arbor with standout U-M quarterback commit J.J. McCarthy slinging the football.
Also from the Midwest, three-star wide receiver Markus Allen picked up a Michigan offer just last month, and his relationship with the U-M staff is improving on a weekly basis. Just this past weekend, Allen FaceTimed with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, and the group discussed when Allen can make it up to campus.
Not long before this, Allen put Michigan into a group of 10 schools that he dubbed his top 10, but the junior wideout clarified that his recruitment is still open shortly thereafter.
Regardless, Michigan is squarely within Allen’s focus, and the 6-2, 190-pound receiver is a fan of how much the Wolverines’ offense resembles that of his high school team. Particularly, Allen studied how the team utilized Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tarik Black while they were in Ann Arbor, and this also appeals to the rising junior prospect.
“Especially with bigger receivers being the size they are and the way they are, I feel like when I get to college I’ll be their height, weight and size,” Allen said. “Michigan does a good job of using receivers in that size category.”
Allen is teammates with 2021 defensive back Rod Moore and 2022 athlete C.J. Hicks, and both players hold offers from U-M as well. Allen has discussed the possibility of all three players lacing up their cleats together for Michigan, and this continues to be an attractive selling point for the coveted group of Ohio prospects.
In the past week, Michigan extended its list of offered receivers to include Myrtle Beach (S.C.) High three-star J.J. Jones, and this was a momentous occasion for a player who has long admired the U-M program.
In the aftermath of his offer, Jones declared that he is highly interested in taking a trip to Ann Arbor and will pursue this opportunity as soon as the recruiting calendar resumes.
“I already told coach I will definitely go out there for a visit as soon as possible, as soon as this coronavirus thing gets up and out of the way,” Jones told Wolverine Digest. “I would love to go out and visit Michigan.”
Jones has heard from both Harbaugh and Gattis recently, and Gattis mentioned that he has been watching Jones for some time now.
“I had sent him my film, and he said trust me I’ve already seen it,” Jones said.
Shortly thereafter, Jones hauled in his Michigan offer. And after a junior season spent hauling in deep passes, Jones and his 6-3, 195-pound frame have a wealth of schools to choose from.
In addition to Michigan, Jones reports offers from Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisville and Penn State, among others. Jones was also scheduled to visit Clemson recently but was forced to find another time for the trip due to the coronavirus.
Jones mentioned that he was looking to have his recruitment finished before his senior season starts, but that timeline might slide back until mid-season depending on how the next couple months shake out.
However, Michigan does need to search too far outside of Michigan to find talented junior pass-catchers as East Lansing (Mich.) High three-star prospect Andrel Anthony resides within the state and holds a U-M offer.
As one of the premier recruits in Michigan, Anthony has both visited the Wolverines campus and received visits from the U-M coaching staff. However, other programs, such as Michigan State and Notre Dame, are looking to land Anthony in the ’21 cycle and will serve as a stiff challenge for the speedy recruit’s pledge.
Growing up in East Lansing, Anthony has also taken numerous trips to MSU’s campus, and the new Spartans coaching staff is reportedly very high on the local athlete. With both in-state powers looking to haul in Anthony’s commitment, his visit schedule will be one to watch moving forward.
As both a track and football star at East Lansing High, Anthony has built a reputation as one of the quicker wide receivers in the nation. Anthony has a tall, slender frame at 6-2 and 165 pounds, and his burst helped the junior create separation at the top of his routes. These qualities have helped establish Anthony as a skilled target among the U-M wide receiver board.
With Anthony checking in as a vertical threat that can stretch secondaries, Michigan is after another wide receiver that fits that profile in Xavier Worthy. Coming from Fresno (Calif.) Central East High School, Worthy is a 6-1, 165-pound receiver that could fit into Gattis’ speed-in-space offense down the road.
Worthy picked up his Michigan offer in February, and the dynamic prospect has regularly heard from the Wolverines since that time. In fact, Worthy was on the phone with Harbaugh over the weekend, and the two are working out a time for Worthy to take an official visit to Ann Arbor.
“Michigan was a school I liked since I was a kid,” Worthy told Wolverine Digest. “It was a dream school. It was one of my favorite schools growing up.”
Currently, Worthy is targeting June for his official visit to Michigan and also hopes to take officials to Nebraska, Utah, Oregon State and Oregon. Worthy holds 12 offers right now, but those five programs have his attention at the moment.
Hailing from Arlington (Texas) Mansfield Summit, three-star wide receiver Hal Presley is one of the more recent downfield passing threats to land a Michigan offer. The Wolverines extended an offer to Presley just over a week ago, and the 6-4, 190-pound target was ecstatic to receive the news.
“I was excited because I’ve always watched them on TV, and they’ve always been one of the big dogs in college football,” Presley told Wolverine Digest.
Though Presley is located quite far away from Michigan’s campus, Presley is quite familiar with the U-M program. On the 7-on-7 circuit, Presley is coached by former Michigan defensive back Brandon Williams, and the three-star recruit is intrigued by what his future would look like in Ann Arbor. Presley said that he would like to take a visit to U-M, but he is unsure when that would occur.
Michigan also passed out an offer to Pompano (Fla.) Monarch Beach three-star Jaden Alexis last month, and he expressed interest in the Wolverines program as well. His visit timeline is not known at this time, but Alexis is hearing from some of the nation’s top programs, so he is expected to field a visit-filled schedule once recruiting speeds back up.
Alexis totes offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Miami, Penn State and Texas among his 30-plus scholarships. With powerhouse programs in the mix, Michigan would benefit from hosting Alexis on campus sooner rather than later.
Which WRs in the 2021 class are you pulling for Michigan to land? Would you prioritize size or speed on the outside? Let us know!