/Meet The Commits: U-Ms 2021 Class Coming Together In Impressive Fashion

Meet The Commits: U-Ms 2021 Class Coming Together In Impressive Fashion

The Michigan Wolverines’ 2021 football recruiting class is off to an outstanding start, with nine of its 21 pledges currently residing as four-star prospects.

We have provided background info on each of them below (in chronological order from the newest pledge to the oldest), and will continue to update this article each time Michigan lands a new commitment.

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Michigan Wolverines football commit J.J. McCarthy

Michigan Wolverines football commit J.J. McCarthy is rated as the sixth best quarterback in the country. (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

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East Lansing (Mich.) High three-star receiver Andrel Anthony

Height: 6-2

Weight: 175

2019 Stats: 54 catches for 954 yards and nine touchdowns

Quick Biography: Andrel Anthony pledged to Michigan on July 31, choosing the Maize and Blue over his hometown Michigan State Spartans.

Anthony was viewed as a priority for Mel Tucker and MSU, but Jim Harbaugh swooped in late in the process and landed his commitment.

Despite being a three-star, Anthony held impressive offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ole Miss and Penn State.

“They told me that I can come in and be an immediate factor,” Anthony said. “It feels like they really want me. They’ve made it known, especially over the last month and a half. Them checking up to see how I’m doing and how my family is doing means a lot.”

Fresno (Calif.) Central three-star receiver Xavier Worthy

Height: 6-1

Weight: 160

2019 Stats: 54 catches for 992 yards and 16 touchdowns, while averaging 18.4 yards per catch

Quick Biography: He committed to Michigan on July 10, choosing the Maize and Blue over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee.

“I have family there,” Worthy said. “My uncle is a big Michigan fan and has liked them since 1998. They do a lot of reverses and things like that, so I feel like that fits what I do. I really like the coaching staff because they’re straightforward about everything.”

At 6-1, 160, Worthy is viewed as a bona-fide speedster, qualifying for state in the 100m as a sophomore with an impressive time of 10.55.

Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei four-star wide receiver Cristian Dixon

Height: 6-2

Weight: 185

2019 Stats: 35 receptions for 611 yards and six touchdowns.

Quick Biography: Dixon committed to Michigan on June 25, choosing the Wolverines over notable offers from Auburn, Florida State, LSU, Miami (FL), Notre Dame, Texas A&M and USC.

Dixon told TheWolverine prior to his pledge that California, Michigan and Oregon were his “big three,” along with LSU.

“[Offensive coordinator Josh] Gattis sees me as a deep threat and being that big dude,” Dixon said. “All his dudes are shorter. He wants me to be a nuisance for defenses on the outside with my size.

“He thinks I’m a mixture of [Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout] Chris Godwin and [Alabama receiver] DeVonta Smith and can develop into that type of player. Coach Gattis is cool, and I love what it takes to be a winner. We probably talk once a week.”

Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro four-star defensive end Quintin Somerville

Height: 6-1

Weight: 233

2019 Stats: 68 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks

Quick Biography: He committed to Michigan on June 20, choosing the Wolverines from an impressive offer list that included other notable schools such as Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Ohio State.

Somerville’s relationship with defensive line coach Shaun Nua was one of the primary reasons he pledged to U-M, along with his love for Big Ten football.

“Big Ten football is definitely my thing,” he said. “The defense out there is really different than out here. It is a real game out there. You can just tell. Living out here, football is not as important as it is out there, and it is just great football.”

Somerville is the fourth defensive end commit in Michigan’s 2021 class, joining four-star KeChaun Bennett, three-star T.J. Guy and two-star Dominick Guidice.

Wallingford (Conn.) Choate Rosemary Hall three-star offensive tackle Tristan Bounds

Height: 6-8

Weight: 280

Quick Biography: Bounds pledged to Michigan on June 1, choosing the Wolverines over other notable offers from Notre Dame and Texas. He was U-M’s fourth offensive line commit in the class.

The 6-8, 280-pounder cited Michigan’s Ross School of Business as one of the primary reasons he chose the Maize and Blue, noting he’d indeed like to study business in college.

Bounds also singled out U-M offensive line coach Ed Warinner and the relationship he built with him, explaining the veteran mentor’s resume speaks for itself.

“He does less recruiting,” the lineman began “He does more informing about his resume and what his players are doing. Coach Warinner had four guys drafted this year — that’s huge.

“He just gives me the information and there is no rock unturned as far as what I know about Michigan.”

Suffield (Conn.) Academy four-star defensive end KeChaun Bennett

Height: 6-4

Weight: 225

2019 Stats: 48 tackles, 12 stops behind the line of scrimmage, seven sacks and two fumble recoveries

Quick Biography: He committed to Michigan late on the evening of May 27, becoming the 16th pledge in the Maize and Blue’s 2021 class.

Bennett chose U-M over other notable offers from the likes of Miami (FL), Notre Dame, Penn State and Tennessee, becoming the third defensive end commit in the class.

The four-star was high on Michigan early in the recruiting process, but questions regarding how high he stood on the coaching staff’s board then arose.

Defensive coordinator Don Brown made a strong push for him over Memorial Day weekend, however, leading the No. 1 player in the state of Connecticut to commit just two days after the annual holiday.

Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas three-star athlete Jaydon Hood

Height: 6-1

Weight: 212

2019 Stats: 115 tackles, seven sacks and one interception

Quick Biography: He committed to U-M on May 25, despite never having visited Ann Arbor before.

Hood is tabbed as an athlete by Rivals.com, but projects to play linebacker at Michigan. He is also the teammate of fellow three-star U-M cornerback commit Ja’Den McBurrows.

The Florida native chose the Maize and Blue over notable offers from Florida State, LSU, Miami (FL) and Penn State, and hopes to major in engineering upon arriving at Michigan.

“I like the fact that they make you go to class,” Hood said. “There aren’t really online classes for the players. I actually like that and appreciate that.”

Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood four-star linebacker Junior Colson

Height: 6-2

Weight: 215

2019 Stats: 123 tackles, 19 TFLs, 11.5 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles

Quick Biography: He committed to Michigan on May 24 after being a silent pledge to the Wolverine coaching staff for over a month, picking U-M over LSU, Ole Miss, Oregon and Tennessee.

Colson picked up his Michigan offer in the summer of 2019 and then proceeded to take an official visit for the November showdown against Ohio State; he was slated to take another one this spring but wound up having it canceled.

“I believe Michigan was the best fit for me and my family,” Colson said. “Being able to come in and play early, having great academics because football ends at some point in life and cultural fit made it the best option for me.

Colson has some Michigan connections, with his mother having grown up in the state and rooted for the Maize and Blue when she was young.

Clayton (Ohio) Northmont three-star safety Rod Moore

Height: 5-11

Weight: 170

2019 Stats: 85 tackles, four interceptions, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two kick return touchdowns and one punt return score

Quick Biography: He committed to Michigan on May 10, despite never having visited Ann Arbor before.

Moore was scheduled to take an unofficial visit to U-M back in March, but was forced to cancel it. The safety not only shined on the football field in 2019 but on the track as well, qualifying for state in the 60-meter and the 200-meter.

“I talked to Coach Brown, and I feel like I can fit into their defensive scheme really well, even early on,” Moore said. “They like me as a free safety or a viper. They like how versatile I am on film and feel like I could play more than one position.”

Bolingbrook (Ill.) High three-star outside linebacker Tyler McLaurin

Height: 6-3

Weight: 215

2019 Stats: 52 tackles, four tackles for loss, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, one sack and one interception

Quick Biography: He pledged to Michigan on May 9, after originally planning on a July commitment date. A recent visit to Ann Arbor just before the recruiting dead period set in helped speed up that timeline, however.

McLaurin chose the Maize and Blue over notable offers from Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Nebraska, citing U-M’s academic and athletic prowess and his relationship with tight ends coach Sherrone Moore as two of the primary reasons why.

“They have a top notch education, especially in the major I want to go into [computer science],” McLaurin explained. “It’s almost not competed against. Football wise, they are always a top 25 bowl program. They have the best connections out there right now and know the right people to get you in the right situation after college.

“Coach Moore is truly a one-on-one type of person. He’s really genuine about everything. That means a lot because it’s all about honesty in the recruiting game.”

Clayton (Ohio) Northmont three-star wide receiver Markus Allen

Height: 6-2

Weight: 185

2019 Stats: 51 receptions for 1,099 yards and 15 touchdowns

Quick Biography: He committed to Michigan on April 28, signifying the first wide receiver pledge in U-M’s 2021 class.

Allen had originally set a commitment date of May 8, but decided to end his recruitment earlier than expected after forming a solid bond with offensive coordinator Josh Gattis during the recruiting dead period.

The three-star pulled the trigger even though he had never been to Ann Arbor, choosing the Maize and Blue over notable offers from Georgia Tech, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Plantation (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas three-star cornerback Ja’Den McBurrows

Height: 5-10

Weight: 175

2019 Stats: 37 tackles, six interceptions for a combined 95 yards, 15 passes defended, four blocked punts, one blocked field goal and a 41-yard average on six kick returns, including one he took 95 yards to the house

Quick Biography: He committed to Michigan on April 24, despite never having visited Ann Arbor before.

Cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich and first-year linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary served as McBurrows’ primary virtual recruiters in the weeks leading up to his pledge, with the Plantation, Fla., native representing the first cornerback commit in Michigan’s 2021 class.

McBurrows’ offer list is outstanding (despite only being rated as a three-star prospect), with the 5-10, 175-pounder choosing U-M over notable offers from Florida State, LSU, Miami (FL), Ohio State and Tennessee.

Mansfield (Mass.) High three-star defensive end TJ Guy

Height: 6-4

Weight: 240

2019 Stats: 30 tackles and seven stops behind the line of scrimmage

Quick Biography: He pledged to Michigan on April 17, despite never having visited Ann Arbor before.

The one-time Boston College commit was offered by Brown in February, and cited his relationship with the 64-year old as a major reason why the Wolverines wound up winning him over.

“He likes that I’m big and athletic,” Guy said of Brown. “I can rush the passer and come off the edge, but I can also play the five-technique. I might play the three-technique a little bit too. I can really move all over.”

Guy started at offensive tackle for Mansfield in 2019 as well, and helped pave the way for over 2,000 rushing yards for the Hornets.

Detroit Cass Tech four-star center Raheem Anderson

Height: 6-3

Weight: 295

Quick Biography: He pledged to Michigan on Easter Sunday (April 12) following a successful video chat with head coach Jim Harbaugh the previous Thursday (April 9) that led to Anderson giving the U-M staff his silent pledge.

Offensive line coach Ed Warinner and Moore were his primary recruiters (along with Harbaugh), with the trio making it clear the four-star was a priority to them in the aforementioned April 9 discussion, despite the fact U-M already had a center commit in Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star Greg Crippen.

Anderson is rated as the No. 2 center in the nation (behind only Damascus (Md.) High four-star Ryan Linthicum) and the sixth best player from the state of Michigan.

Dedham (Mass.) Noble and Greenough School three-star linebacker Casey Phinney

Height: 6-1

Weight: 228

2019 Stats: 97 tackles, to go along with 904 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball

Quick Biography: He pledged to Michigan on April 3 over offers from Boston College, Georgetown, Harvard, Massachusetts, Princeton and Yale, despite never having visited Ann Arbor before.

Phinney has been named the team MVP each of the last two years at Noble and Greenough School.

“He’s tough, quick, and does a great job filling running lanes,” Rivals.com Mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst Adam Friedman explained. “Phinney is a high football IQ guy who does a great job reading and reacting to the play.

“He isn’t a huge interior linebacker but he plays with the strength and toughness of a 6-3 230+ linebacker. Phinney is at his best making plays between the hashes and plugging running lanes.”

Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary’s kicker Tommy Doman

Height: 6-3

Weight: 178

2019 Stats: Connected on nine of his 15 field goals (long of 43 yards), while making 50 of his 52 extra points. Doman also averaged 40.3 yards on 18 punts, dropped five inside the opposing 20-yard line and recorded touchbacks on 60 of his 71 kickoffs.

Quick Biography: He committed to Michigan on April 2 over offers from Air Force, Boston College, Colorado State, Navy, Washington State and Western Michigan.

Doman grew up wanting to be a Wolverine, and attended each of U-M’s specialists camps since he was 13 years old.

“Michigan has always been my dream school,” he told TheWolverine. “I said if Michigan ever offered me a scholarship, I would commit on the spot.”

Needham (Mass.) St. Sebastian’s Country Day four-star tight end Louis Hansen

Height: 6-5

Weight: 225

2019 Stats: 39 catches for 501 yards and four touchdowns, to go along with 43 tackles and six picks as an outside linebacker on defense

Quick Biography: He joined Michigan’s class on April 2, continuing the Wolverines’ tremendous recruiting success in Massachusetts and the Northeast region of the country in general.

Hansen cited his relationships with Brown and Moore as two of the contributing factors, along with U-M being an ideal fit for tight ends in Gattis’ offense.

“Academics were so important — even above football,” Hansen told TheWolverine on April 2. “It really doesn’t get much better than The Ross School of Business and the football program they have. I didn’t think I was going to find that anywhere else in the country. It just felt like the best place for me.”

New Monmouth (N.J.) Mater Dei two-star defensive end Dominick Giudice

Height: 6-4

Weight: 262

2019 Stats: 24 sacks and 43 tackles for loss

Quick Biography: He committed to U-M on March 25 as a bit of an under the radar prospect, despite never having visited Ann Arbor before.

“Growing up, Michigan was my dream school,” Giudice told TheWolverine following his pledge. “I imagined playing for them as a kid and have been working toward that goal since I was five.

“I always watched them on TV and loved the way they played hard-nosed football. They also have tremendous academics.”

Giudice’s 24 sacks as a junior in 2019 led the entire state of New Jersey.

Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star offensive guard Greg Crippen

Height: 6-4

Weight: 270

Quick Biography: He originally committed to Notre Dame on March 27, 2019, but backed off of that pledge just under a year later on March 4, 2020.

Crippen then announced his commitment to Michigan on March 25, and is viewed as the Maize and Blue’s primary option at center in the 2021 class (though the four-star is listed as a guard by Rivals, while the aforementioned Anderson can also play guard).

The 6-4, 270-pounder played his high school freshman season at Milton Academy in Massachusetts but then transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where he has spent each of the last two years.

La Grange Park (Ill.) Nazareth Academy four-star quarterback J.J. McCarthy

Height: 6-2

Weight: 195

2019 Stats: 2,820 passing yards, 34 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a 60 completion percentage

Quick Biography: He committed to U-M on May 11, 2019, after picking up an offer from the Maize and Blue six months earlier in November. At No. 31 overall nationally, McCarthy is the highest rated commit in Michigan’s 2021 class and is pegged as the sixth best quarterback in the country.

“I had a list of all the things I needed to check off before making my decision,” McCarthy told Rivals.com’s Josh Helmholdt in May. “It’s a literal piece of paper I have at home, and Michigan checked every single one of those boxes.”

The 6-2, 195-pounder led his school to consecutive Class 7A state championship games each of the last two years, taking home the title in 2018 but coming up just short this past season.

Sterling Heights (Mich.) Stevenson four-star offensive tackle Giovanni El-Hadi

Height: 6-6

Weight: 285

Quick Biography: He was the first commitment in Michigan’s 2021 class, pledging to the Wolverines on March 19, 2019, just two days after picking up an offer from U-M.

El-Hadi was still a bit of an unknown when he decided to end his recruitment, not yet possessing a star rating from Rivals and only holding offers from Central Michigan, Indiana, Iowa State, Penn State, Purdue and Western Michigan at the time.

“When Coach [Jim] Harbaugh offered me, I was so star struck couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I went home to let it set in and to make sure I was doing what was right for me and my family. We talked about it a lot and just realized it was the right choice.

“There was no point in waiting since I knew it was home and knew it was where I wanted to go.”

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