The Michigan Wolverines have a very unique opportunity this year when they play the Michigan State Spartans in their annual rivalry game. Not only can they pick up a much needed win against the team from East Lansing, but they also have the chance to win over a huge recruit who will happen to be at the game: 5-star running back Derrick Green.
Justin Rowland of DucksSportsAuthority.com reports that Michigan is in the 5-star back's final six, and that he'll be in Ann Arbor to watch them take on the Spartans for an official visit:
His six finalists are Auburn, Michigan, Ole Miss, Oregon, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
The 6-foot, 220-pound back will be in Ann Arbor for his official visit to Michigan when they take on in-state and Big Ten rival Michigan State on October 19. What about his other officials?
Rivalry games can be rather unpredictable year to year, but there's one thing that they will always bring to the table, and that's emotion. To say that the clash between the Spartans and Wolverines is emotional would be an understatement.
This is a rivalry that literally divides households in the state of Michigan, and as of late it has gone the Spartans' way—and that's something that really bugs the true, blue Wolverines fans. The tension is going to be high and the stakes are going to be even higher come October 20th. Take it from me, as someone who's been to these games, the atmosphere is incredible. Even if both teams were struggling, this game would have the feel of a heavyweight title match. Furthermore, with both programs vying for dominance in the Big Ten right now, this game is going to be huge.
A big Michigan win on the field would be a huge boost in their recruitment of Green, and they really need a win.
There are few things more powerful in recruiting than showing a prospect what a big-time game feels like at your campus, especially a rivalry game like this one. The Big House is already impressive enough, but add in the electricity of potentially beating the Spartans, and it's going to be a memorable experience for the young back.
If Michigan can pull off the huge win, perhaps they could gain an advantage and move to the top of Green's list.
The harsh truth is, they're going to have to win him over at the MSU game. With big schools like Auburn, Oregon and Tennessee on Green's list, amongst others, the pressure to reel him in on this official is going to be huge. If they can't, one of those other big schools just might, and that's not a chance Michigan can take.
There's always a ton on the line whenever Michigan squares off with MSU, but this year the stakes are even higher.
An official visit is much more than what happens on the field, but one would be naive to think that another loss to MSU wouldn't hinder the Wolverines' chances of getting a commit from Green. A win could go a long way, though, and it could actually serve to be the moment that seals the deal for Brady Hoke and company.