Michigan Football Recruiting: Why 5-Star Leon McQuay III Is U-M's Key Target

Zach DirlamSenior Analyst IINovember 8, 2012

Brady Hoke and the Michigan Wolverines will host 5-star safety Leon McQuay III this Saturday.
Brady Hoke and the Michigan Wolverines will host 5-star safety Leon McQuay III this Saturday.Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines will play host to several class-of-2014 prospects along with current commits from their 2013 recruiting class, but the headlining visitor for this Saturday's clash with the Northwestern Wildcats will be 5-star safety Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla.).

With Michigan's top two targets, 5-star running back Derrick Green (Richmond, Va.) and 4-star wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill.), taking other official visits and delaying their decisions until closer to national signing day in February, McQuay has become the Wolverines' key target for the time being.

The Wolverines have a lot of ground to make up in the race for McQuay, who is favoring the Florida State Seminoles, USC Trojans and Vanderbilt Commodores right now. This weekend's official visit is likely the last chance Michigan has to get back in the race for the Armwood High School star.

Maize and Blue fans would love to see the Wolverines add Green and Treadwell to their No. 3 ranked recruiting class to give incoming 5-star quarterback Shane Morris (Warren, Mich.) even more weapons than he is projected to have.

However, McQuay has shot up the Wolverines' recruiting board given the ongoing drama as to whether or not 3-star cornerback Gareon Conley (Massillon, Ohio) will remain a member of Michigan's 2013 recruiting class or de-commit and take other visits.

"The desire to visit other schools is strong in Conley," Rivals.com's Josh Helmholdt wrote on Wednesday. "But for the time being it appears Michigan has been able to at least make him reconsider." 

Landing McQuay would more than make up for the loss of Conley if he does wind up taking his talents elsewhere.

Michigan already has suitable options at running back and wide receiver in their current haul of prospects, but the Wolverines will be down to three cornerbacks, and only 2-star defensive back Channing Stribling is taller than 6'0". 

The coaching staff wanted to have two "big" defensive backs in the 2013 class, which is part of the reason the Wolverines jumped on Stribling quickly after an impressive performance at their summer camp.

In the end, this weekend's visit will go well, but the Wolverines won't be able to beat out Florida State, USC or Vanderbilt for McQuay's services.

Some of the notable junior prospects expected to be in Ann Arbor this weekend are cornerback Parrker Westphal (Bolingbrook, Ill.) athlete Dareian Watkins (Gallon, Ohio), wide receiver Derek Kief (Cincinnati, Ohio) and defensive tackle Daniel Cage (Cincinnati, Ohio). 


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