Impact And Analysis Of Xavier Worthy's Michigan Commitment
Michigan finally closed one of its top targets in the 2021 cycle earlier today when Fresno (Calif.) Central East four-star wide receiver Xavier Worthy committed to the Wolverines. With Worthy as a member of U-M's '21 class, Michigan now stands at No. 5 in the country with 20 pledges according to the Rivals.com team rankings.
Worthy, who stands at 6-1 and a slender 164 pounds, is the literal personification of a player with impact speed. From the slot or in the return game, Worthy has the quickness, explosion, stamina and vision to take any touch to the end zone. Simply put, Worthy has speed that cannot be coached, and that is why the Michigan coaching staff was so thrilled to land the dynamic prospect to U-M's 2021 class on Friday.
U-M now stacked at wide receiver
Now including Worthy, the Wolverines have three wide receivers committed in the current cycle. Clayton (Ohio) Northmont three-star Markus Allen was the first player to come off the board to pick Michigan back on April 28, and he brings a completely different skill set to the field. Allen is a big and strong recruit at 6-3 and 205 pounds, and his playing style translates to a big time red zone threat. Allen will help Michigan pick up first downs on crossing routes, timing routes and other play designs that complement his pass catching talent.
After Allen, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei four-star receiver Cristian Dixon committed to Michigan on June 25 to give U-M two wideouts at that time. Dixon is a more crisp route runner that is impossible to intimidate on the field, and he brings a consistent level of competitiveness to each route he runs. Dixon has a high degree of understanding for complex route concepts, and he will brings that football IQ to Ann Arbor.
Other targets in the 2021 class
And with Worthy joining that pass catching contingent, Michigan has one of the strongest wide receiver groups in the country. Naturally, Worthy's pledge will alter the amount of players that Michigan will consider taking at the receiver position moving forward, and it is the belief of Wolverine Digest that U-M has really zeroed in on its final target at the position-- Atlanta (Ga.) Pace Academy four-star Jayden Thomas.
On June 23, Thomas told Wolverine Digest that contact was picking up between he and Michigan, underscoring that he truly feels like a priority of the U-M coaching staff. At 6-2 and 205 pounds, Thomas is an athletic prospect that can pull down off-target throws and is a threat both in the open field or down near the red zone. Thomas is also an accomplished baseball player, and he is in discussion with the Wolverines' baseball program about a potential future as a dual-sport athlete.
When looking at other targets in the 2021 class, East Lansing (Mich.) High wide receiver Andrel Anthony has long been looked at as a player with the potential to wind up in Michigan's class. As time has gone on, though, it appears that the Wolverines have prioritized other prospects at the position over him, and he seems to have slipped down U-M's board. Also, Penn State is a school believed to have made a surge with Anthony lately, so while Michigan was part of his recent top four, he is more likely to wind up at a different Big Ten school, perhaps Michigan State.
How much space is left?
Now with 20 players committed, Michigan will need to be quite selective moving forward. That should not be too much of a challenge since U-M has long established its top targets at each remaining position, so more of a business as usual procedure as Michigan looks to close out the class. Wolverine Digest has previously estimated that U-M will end up with anywhere between 24-26 players in this cycle, and that number has slightly grown to between 25 -27 prospects. Attrition can always change this number, but that is the target total at the moment.
What do you think of Michigan's ability to haul in Xavier Worthy earlier today? Which prospects are the most important to focus on with Worthy in the fold? Let us know!