2019 DE Zach Harrison Update from Sam Webb & Josh Newkirk

Submitted by Caesar on June 25th, 2018 at 6:24 AM


Especially with 2019 DTs Smith and Hinton in the fold, maybe Michigan has built up some recruiting momentum on the d-line to start thinking about uber-recruit Zach Harrison as at least possible, if still very unlikely.  By way of background, here's the 247 profile (link) for the 4th-ranked 2019 prospect. His OV to Michigan was this weekend (June 21). 


In this brief clip from Sam Webb and Josh Newkirk (link), overall, it seems like Michigan did as well as they could, though the long-term impact has yet to be seen. Other highlights:

  • Sam feels like this moved them past Penn State, but not Ohio State. Wolverines are still chasing the Buckeyes.
  • Al Washington seems to be Michigan's point man and is developing a good relationship with Harrison. He's had a 'significant impact' on improving the relationship.
  • Paye, Kemp, and Vilain are his student hosts/recruiters.
  • Michigan effectively addressed some negative recruiting issues, which Sam says didn't necessarily come from Ohio State. 
  • Unfortunately, his OV to Ohio State was right after his Michigan visit. I have found no articles on how this went, though I'm sure it was more than fine.
  • Sam thinks Harrison is sincere about looking at schools outside of Ohio State. 
  • Harrison will look to end his commitment around his birthday in mid-August.
  • Michigan's Recruiting BBQ will take place right before Harrison's decision date. 

Some Thoughts

Michigan and Ohio State both have strong arguments to make when it comes to success on placing DL guys in the NFL. Interestingly, Michigan has the better DL class for 2019 at this point, though OSU's historic recruiting success and strong overall class probably minimizes that. 

Harrison plays it pretty close to the vest; there aren't many reports on his preferences, objectives, leanings, etc. I have read some conflicting things about Michigan fandom in his part of the state (which is basically a suburb of Columbus). If Michigan has a legitimate shot, what I think ultimately messes things up is his commitment date. If Harrison was committing later in the year, Michigan would have more time/opportunity to pitch replacing Gary and a righted ship (assuming Michigan won some games). On the other hand, if he shows up to the BBQ...



June 25th, 2018 at 7:51 AM ^

Good post. Thanks for info. Unfortunately looks like he’ll pick OSU in the end, but love how the staff is going to fight til the last day for this one. 

Any more commitments to come today?


June 25th, 2018 at 10:58 AM ^

Yeah of course, a lot of time left in the cycle and a lot of variables out there. Guys' rankings will change, teams will add and lose guys, etc. On that note, I do think a few of our commits/prime targets will rise in the rankings yet, which will also change our class rank. All has the offer list of a four star, Charbonnet should be a much higher four star - he just doesn't do any camps or 7v7 or interviews, McNamara could impress at the opening, etc. 


Lot of things can change before the final rankings come out.

Gentleman Squirrels

June 25th, 2018 at 11:35 AM ^

On Sam's show this morning, multiple people expressed that Charbonnet is due for a huge rise in rankings, primarily because no one has really seen him. He doesn't do camps so his game tape is pretty much all there is to rely on. All should get a rise because he's been doing well in camps. I expect Velazquez to get a rise once his senior season is underway, though I would expect anything more than a high 3 star ranking. Barnhart is expected a bump to 4 stars as well. Along with McNamara, I expect Trente Jones to also get a bump. Should George Johnson commit today, I bet his rating goes up to higher 3 star as well (just based on looking at his offer list)


June 25th, 2018 at 1:26 PM ^

I mean it'll be nice but also short lived. They both have higher averages and are in on more "elite" level recruits. Same goes for penn state as well. Assuming a solid year on the field I would bet we finish somewhere between 8-10 and 3rd behind osu and psu in recruiting. If we have an elite/championship level year obviously anything is on the table and if we have another 8 win year I could see us losing both Herron and Hinton (I know Hinton seems extremely solid but there are rumors on the UGA message boards that a bad year from Michigan could provide an opening) so a long ways to go this year.

Also penn state is the negative recruiter but is also pushing the chance to help Franklin be the first black head coach to win a championship and its been an effective message. Expect Harrison is about 98% likely to pick osu so unless he's back on campus I wouldn't worry too much about him.


June 25th, 2018 at 10:15 AM ^

"Kid has been all OSU since 8th grade when I met him."

Webb said just 20 minutes ago that Harrison is NOT somebody who's had a gigantic thing for OSU his whole life.

I'm not saying that means he won't sign with the Buckeyes, but there seems to be a difference of opinion on that particular aspect of his recruitment.

SMart WolveFan

June 25th, 2018 at 6:08 PM ^

Lemme ask you:

Do you think his "luv" for the University is greater than the love he has for his state and the respect he has for his fellow Ohio high school football players?

I mean, does he want to "be a buckeye" or does he want to represent Ohio with other Ohio players?

See what I'm getting at?


June 25th, 2018 at 11:25 PM ^

Thanks for that information Weimy.

I'm sure a lot of readers appreciate knowing this. I think hopes are too high that Harrison could choose Michigan. It does seem there is a real, small percentage of a chance. If it happens, I will be very happy, because he's not just a great player, but he seems like a nice kid. But if it doesn't, it will be what I expected. And I won't call it "losing out to Ohio St again". It will just be, he is from Ohio St and grew up loving Ohio St, just like so many readers here grew up in Michigan and love Michigan.


June 25th, 2018 at 9:23 AM ^

It's always going to be a reach to pull elite kids from strongholds, but it does sound like UM made a strong case.  Can't ask for much more.


June 25th, 2018 at 10:10 AM ^

I think the results of this season could also play a big part in a possible flip if he chooses OSU in August.  It's awesome that we got him on campus and even better if he attends the BBQ.  If we put together a strong season and are in the hunt for a playoff spot...who knows?


June 25th, 2018 at 10:19 AM ^

It won't hurt to be good regardless, but I agree a strong season can make Michigan a bit more appealing for late flips.  I don't think OSU will crater this year, but every season you see an elite team stumble a bit and they lose a couple of recruits in the process.  My bet this year is PSU takes a small step back and maybe that opens up a door or makes a couple of kids take a second look at their commitment.


June 25th, 2018 at 11:21 AM ^

This would be a massive victory for the staff, but these kind of recruiting fights are very difficult when you have been getting your ass kicked by the school you are competing against for the past 15 years.  Zach has never seen Michigan beat a good OSU team, and grew up around people who no longer respect Michigan Football.  

Would love to stick it to Urbs with this recruiting win and then a W in Columbus this year!

I think the big thing going for us is the personalities on our team.  We have so many good kids with a great mix of ambition as well as just being a good, well rounded person.  One of the things not discussed as much is that Harbaugh does not recruit the punks that Ohio State does.  We are attracting the type of people Michigan wants as alums and ambassadors for the program.  Harbaugh understands the concept "Michigan Man" very well.


June 25th, 2018 at 3:19 PM ^

Urban has made it a priority to not recruit punks since he's been at OSU. If memory serves correct, he has passed on several very highly rated kids due to character concerns. Looks like he learned a lesson at Florida. There was a 5 star from Florida a few years back who he backed away from due to character issues and I've also heard rumors that he cooled on kareem Walker for similar reasons.


June 25th, 2018 at 8:42 PM ^

What you said about not respecting Michigan here in Ohio is so true. Buckeye fans don't even consider the Michigan game a rivalry anymore. My son who is 13 now and has only seen one win over the suckeyes, gets ridiculed at school if he wears his Michigan gear, he is the ONLY Michigan fan in his school. I've told him over the years that back when I was his age Michigan was really good and will be again someday soon. 


June 25th, 2018 at 12:17 PM ^

Penn State is the negative recruiter.  They are the absolute worst, have been really negative towards OSU/Michigan in particular.  Go figure. 


They attack Brown/Mattinson/Larry Johnson for their age, tell players they won't be around when they need them.  Its all they have because all three of those guys are punching NFL tickets while the D is pretty average. 


June 25th, 2018 at 3:01 PM ^

OSU has Larry Johnson (who many of these kids absolutely love for some reason) and has a reputation for producing star DE's who get drafted in early rounds. Throw in the fact that he's an Ohio native and it becomes obvious where he's going to go. 


* If he were to be more interested in pursuing academics than the nfl, UM would have a better shot.


June 25th, 2018 at 7:50 PM ^

Webb was asking all of the recruitniks about Harrison.  Seems like he's going to commit to OSU, but there is a chance we can pull him away.    One of the guys [Lorenz?] also said that we are probably in the top two for Quavarious (sp?) Crouch because he wants to play defense and some offense not just RB.    Can you imagine  Hinton, Herron, Mazi Smith, Crouch and Harrison in the same class?   It's not going to happen, but I'm going to imagine it for just a minute or two.