July 1, 2016
ANN ARBOR – Kurt Taylor Jr. was one of three 2017 players at Newton High School in Georgia with a scholarship offer from Michigan.
The three-star running back is the only one of his former Newton teammates to commit to Michigan but, after transferring to nearby Grayson High School, there are new teammates he can recruit for the Wolverines. At least one of them has interest in Michigan and it happens to be one of the youngest prospects who ever earned an offer from the Wolverines.
Owen Pappoe, a 2019 linebacker, already has 35 scholarship offers and earned the nickname “The Freak” after picking up double-digit offers as an eighth grader while dominating middle school opposition. He was one of two eighth graders that Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh offered a scholarship last year.
Pappoe called Harbaugh one of the best coaches in the country and said he’d like to join Taylor on a visit to Ann Arbor.
“I really want to get up there,” he said. “Besides Kurt, a lot of people have been telling me about (Michigan) and they say everything is great, from the football facilities to academics.”
As a freshman starting on the varsity team, Pappoe had 50 tackles (21 for a loss), 17 sacks and two interceptions, to go with 16 touchdowns, according to AL.com. He has offers from Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State and a slew of other high-level programs. Despite the recruiting process ramping up before he even entered high school, Pappoe, who plans on trimming down his list of college choices later this year or next summer, is taking it in stride.
“You’ve got to take your time with it, you can’t rush things as far as committing,” he said. “It’s just fun to go through the process.”
Two more commitments: Michigan received verbal commitments from two more 2017 players and both are offensive linemen. Andrew Stueber, a three-star offensive tackle from Darien High School in Connecticut, committed to Michigan on Saturday. He’s the No. 83 offensive tackle and No. 802 player overall in the 2017 class, according to 247 Sports. Stueber holds offers from 17 schools, including Penn State, Boston College and Harvard. Joel Honigford, a three-star offensive tackle from Garaway High School in Ohio, committed to Michigan on Wednesday. He’s the No. 48 offensive tackle and No. 431 player overall in the 2017 class and has 29 offers. Honigford picked Michigan over finalists Michigan State, Auburn and Oregon. The Wolverines now have 17 players committed to the class, which ranks No. 4 nationally.
Eighth grader earns offer: Harbaugh became the first Michigan coach to offer a scholarship to an eighth grader by doing so twice last year. He apparently added to that list by offering a scholarship to Hawaiian eighth grader quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava, who tweeted the news on Wednesday morning. Harbaugh and Michigan are certainly not alone in offering prospects before they even reach high school – a practice that raises the question of what age is too young to receive an offer.
On the list: Using Twitter to release a list of finalists is the go-to practice among recruits and Michigan was again mentioned by numerous prospects in the last week. Cesar Ruiz, a four-star center, included Michigan in his top eight. The IMG product also talked about Michigan and his new outlook on the recruiting process. Jedrick Wills, a four-star offensive tackle from Lafayette High School in Kentucky, placed Michigan in his top eight. Devon Hunter, a four-star safety from Indiana River High School in Virginia, included Michigan in his top 11. Markquese Bell, a four-star athlete from Bridgeton High School in New Jersey, put Michigan in his top 13.
Left off the list: Dylan Moses, a five-star linebacker from IMG and the No. 2 player overall in the 2017 class, released a list of his five official visits. Moses, who has an offer from Michigan, tweeted that his visits will be at Alabama, Miami, Texas, UCLA and Ohio State. His planned visit at Ohio State is Nov. 26 for the game against Michigan. The Wolverines also missed out on a couple significant prospects in the last week as Wyatt Davis, a five-star guard from St. John Bosco High School in California, picked Ohio State and Jhamon Ausbon, a four-star receiver from IMG, committed to LSU after having Michigan in his final four.