Recruiting & Scouting

First two weeks of June brings several commitments from the state of Michigan

Football   | Scott Burnstein

State Champs! Sports Network

The school year ended with a bang on the statewide college football recruiting scene. There were four in-state FBS commitments in the first two weeks of June.

Michigan kicked off the June recruiting rush by snagging Detroit Cass Tech offensive lineman Michael Onwenu on the second day of the month. Virginia Tech dipped into the picture late last week and secured the commitment of Saline quarterback Josh Jackson. Michigan State then got in on the action by picking up Ann Arbor Skyline wide receiver Hunter Rison and Battle Creek Central linebacker Brandon Randle over the weekend following strong showings at the Sound Mind, Sound Body Football Academy hosted by Macomb Dakota. All the players are incoming seniors, except Rison, who will be entering his junior season this fall.

Onwenu (6-foot-4, 280 pounds) is a consensus 4-star recruit and Top 5-to-10 player in the state’s Class of 2016. He chose Michigan over Ohio State, Alabama, N.C. State, Penn State and Miami (FL) and is expected to be a guard on the line at the college level.

“Jim Harbaugh’s excitement and enthusiasm is contagious, that made me want to play for him,” said Onwenu of how the Wolverines’ hire of Harbaugh as their new coach swayed his selection in the direction of Ann Arbor. 

The recruiting analysts are giving Harbaugh kudos for the grab.

“It’s a great get for Michigan at an important position,” Scout.com’s Allen Trieu said. “For his size, he’s very agile and moves very well. That’s led him to be quite dominating on the camp circuit dating back to last summer.”

Jackson (6-foot-2, 215 pounds), a dual threat under center, saw his recruiting stock start to soar after leading Saline to an appearance in the Division 1 state championship game last fall and performing well at the Elite 11 quarterback showcase camp. Virginia Tech got the nod over Oregon State, West Virginia, Utah, Minnesota and Northwestern.

As a junior in 2014, Jackson (son of Michigan running backs coach, Fred Jackson) threw for 2,700 yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing for another 12. In the regional finals, his more than 400 total yards from the line of scrimmage and six touchdowns (four in the air, two on the ground) pushed Saline to a thrilling 42-35 ousting of Canton.

Trieu likes Jackson’s upside.

“He’s the kind of kid who’s just kept getting better, the strides he made between his sophomore and junior years were tremendous,” Trieu said.

Rison (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) became Michigan State’s first commit to its’ Class of 2017 Saturday. Randall (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) committed Sunday.

Rison’s father is former Spartans All-American and retired NFL All-Pro wide receiver Andre Rison, his position coach and offensive coordinator at Skyline.

“Hunter is going to be big time, he’s a natural, just like his dad,” Skyline coach Chanterius Brocks said. “He runs smooth routes, he’s got quickness and soft hands. That’s what college coaches are looking for.”

Randall is a fast-rising 3-star recruit. The outside linebacker just began getting FBS offers in the last six weeks. Besides Michigan State, he has offers from N.C. State, Minnesota and Indiana, too.

“Long, fast and athletic,” is how Trieu describes him. “He’s raw, but projects to develop nicely in that Michigan State defensive scheme.”