After a couple relatively quiet weeks in Michigan football recruiting after landing Fresno (Calif.) Central East wide receiver Xavier Worthy on July 10, U-M's recruiting board at wide receiver is gaining even more clarity.
At this point, Michigan has three wideout pledges in the 2021 cycle, and the two main targets left on the board are East Lansing (Mich.) High's Andrel Anthony and Atlanta (Ga.) Pace Academy's Jayden Thomas, and the former took an unofficial visit to Michigan on Sunday according to his Twitter.
Anthony has slowly been closing down his recruitment and is set to announce his commitment on Friday, July 31. At the moment, Michigan is in the running along with Michigan State, Penn State and Notre Dame. This weekend visit from the in-state prospect gives the U-M coaching staff one final opportunity make a compelling pitch to Anthony for the No. 4 wide receiver spot in the class, but the coaches aren't the only ones putting in work here. Recently, Worthy and Michigan all-purpose receiver Giles Jackson have both done their fair share of recruiting as well, taking part in a true team effort.
When it comes to Thomas, the SI All-American candidate is currently on a bit of a slower timeline. Thomas told Wolverine Digest that he is eyeing a mid-December decision perhaps, and that time sticks out because it would allow for him to take his official visits. That is an important piece for the Georgia product.
Recently, Thomas has been hearing from a contingent of head coach Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, and the pair have shared their vision with the talented 2021 prospect.
“He is telling me that when I get there, there's going to be a lot of spots for me,” Thomas said. “He said he needs more X receivers because he has kids that are all under 6-foot, just speed guys and inside guys. He needs X kids, and he is looking at me, so that's where he said I would plug in.”
These two recruits seem to be at the very top of Michigan's wide receiver recruiting board, and there are not many notable prospects behind them. The Wolverines have done a good job establishing a strong position for each player, and one of those two are expected to close out U-M's search for a fourth wideout in this cycle.
When examining Anthony's final four schools, Michigan has notably done a sound job recruiting receivers with pledges from Worthy, Cristian Dixon and Markus Allen. These three players help comprise a U-M class that ranks No. 7 in the country according to Rivals.com.
As for Michigan State, the Spartans have 11 commits so far in a class that ranks No. 59 nationally, but not one of those 11 prospects plays the wide receiver position. And given Anthony lives in East Lansing, he has been a clear priority for the Spartans for a long time. This is a recruiting battle that MSU certainly wants to win. Penn State, on the other hand, has 13 players committed in the 2021 cycle, and they are also looking for their first verbal pledge from a wide receiver. Finally, Notre Dame has 13 commits as well, one of which is from a wide receiver in Lorenzo Styles Jr., and their class ranks No. 14 in the nation.
Where are you expecting Andrel Anthony to wind up in a few days? Will Michigan picks up another in-state commitment on Friday? Let us know!