Michigan's second-year head coach Brady Hoke and his staff have not lost many battles this offseason on his way to accruing the nation's top ranked 2013 recruiting class, which already boasts 17 commitments. But the Wolverines lost out on 3-star defensive end Christian Lacouture (4-star, No. 12 overall defensive tackle by Scout) on Saturday when the 6'5", 255-pounder from College Station, TX, verbally committed to Nebraska.
The Wolverines became one of three finalists for Lacouture's services after wowing the nation's No. 25 ranked defensive end during his visit to Ann Arbor for their spring game a few weeks ago, however a return trip to Lincoln over the weekend was enough to seal the deal for Nebraska. Lacouture's top three was rounded out by LSU.
"You know, I actually committed to Nebraska today," Lacouture informed HuskerOnline.com. "I'm actually up [in Lincoln] right now. My parents are up here with me and it's just a good time.
"I committed to coach (Bo) Pelini, coach (Rick) Kaczenski and coach (John) Papuchis. They were all jacked up about it."
Michigan had hoped Lacouture would add depth to their defensive line in their 2013 class, which only has one verbal commitment from a defensive lineman at the moment. As Lacouture went on to explain though, he just felt Nebraska was "the right place."
Although options at DE are running low for Michigan's 2013 class, the Wolverines recently got some good news when 4-star defensive end Tashawn Bower (Somerville, NJ) told TheWolverine.com he intends to visit Ann Arbor in July.
"Yeah. It looks like me and my father will probably be going to the barbecue they are having in July," Bower said. "I'm looking forward to just seeing the school and everything. Getting to meet the coaches up there, and meeting the other recruits, too."
Who does Michigan have a better shot at landing?
Bower does not intend to trim down his list of schools until later this summer, so the Barbecue at the Big House will provide the Wolverines with a crucial opportunity to impress the nation's No. 9 ranked defensive end and No. 250 overall prospect.
"I plan on taking all five [official visits]. What I have to do is take my unofficials to kind of narrow it down to a top five," the Immaculata High School defensive lineman said. "It's going to be whoever is there in my top five that will be the ones I'm doing officials to."
With the Wolverines falling behind Nebraska and Washington in the pursuit of highly coveted 4-star defensive end Joe Mathis (Upland, CA), Bower's visit to Ann Arbor this summer must go well if Michigan hopes to add another top notch defensive end to their current class.
Another highly ranked prospect who plans on visiting Michigan this summer is 4-star running back and Rivals100 member Derrick Green (Richmond, VA).
"The first time I went there, I wasn't able to meet the head coach," Green said on Friday. "I know that's a big thing and they want to get me out there to meet him. They're not trying to pressure me at all, they're telling me to take my time with it and make sure I make the right decision for me.
"I definitely want to sit down with the head coach with my parents. I'm trying to set something up with Coach (Fred) Jackson where I can come down over the summer."
Michigan already have 3-star running back Deveon Smith (Warren, OH) and 4-star athlete Wyatt Shallman (Novi, MI) in the fold for 2013, but the Wolverines are looking for a speedy back to complement the two power runners they have committed.
Which running back would you rather land?
Green fits that need perfectly with a 6'0", 215-pound frame and sub-4.40 second speed in the 40-yard dash.
Many Wolverine fans have been monitoring the recruitment status of 4-star running back Ty Isaac (Joliet, IL) closely, but with no decision in sight for the nation's No. 2 running back and No. 18 overall prospect the door is wide open for Green to commit if his interest in Michigan rises this summer.
Either one of the talented running backs would fill Michigan's need for a speedster in the backfield. The only problem is, there will only be room for one of them in the Wolverines 2013 recruiting haul.
Zach Dirlam is the Lead Editor of the College Basketball section as well as Big Ten columnist for the FOX Sports/MSN/YardBarker affiliate website Sports at Work. Check out his blog, Dirlam’s Dirty Dugout Sports Blog, which features this story, along with other articles and video reports on major sports.
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