It took Taylor Tatum less than two minutes to respond.
Shortly after Michigan landed a commitment from Top 100 Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller running back Jordan Marshall, many U-M fans began wondering about Tatum, a fellow Top 100 running back that seemed to be favoring the Wolverines before Marshall’s sudden pledge.
The question was simple: Is Michigan still a factor in your recruitment?
Landing Marshall and Tatum was always considered a dream scenario. In this era of recruiting, where social media and NIL rule, star backs want to be ‘The Guy’ and don’t want to share carries. It always seemed like one or the other for the Wolverines.
Woody once said ‘this town ain’t big for the big enough for the both of us.’ But it was. Woody and Buzz Lightyear became Pixar’s powerhouse duo in Toy Story. And the fact is, Michigan’s backfield IS big enough for Marshall and Tatum.
That’s been proven.
Two years ago, Blake Corum and Hassan Haskins ran all over opposing defenses en route to a Big Ten title and College Football Playoff appearance. Not much changed last year when Corum and Donovan Edwards did the same.
The shelf life of a running back can often be short. It’s one of the toughest positions to have longevity in regardless of sport. Edwards will soon head to the NFL as a high draft pick with significantly less wear and tear on his body than his counterparts, which should lead to a longer career as a pro and in turn more income.
It’s an easy sell for both Marshall and Tatum. You can bet Ohio State will negative recruit Michigan as it continues to work on the latter. And you can bet schools in the south will negative recruit Tatum now that Marshall is a Michigan commit. But the fact of the matter is Michigan may very well be the best landing spot for both prospects.
Not only can you preserve your body, you get to play in an offense that runs the ball at will behind an offensive line coming off back-to-back Joe Moore Awards. You also get to play for a Michigan legend and one of the best developers of talent nationally in Mike Hart. Elite backs should be salivating to play in Ann Arbor regardless of competition.
Wait… so what was Tatum’s response?
“Yeah (Michigan is still in it). Nothing but a lil competition (laughing emoji).”
Tatum isn’t scared of anyone, nor should he be. We’re talking about arguably the best back in the country who rushed for nearly 2,000 yards as a junior at powerhouse Longview (Texas) High in the best high school football playing state in America. We’re also talking about one of the best athletes in the nation. The dude may be an MLB draft pick on the diamond and ran in the Texas state track meet despite it being his THIRD sport.
Tatum really is ‘him’
And don’t forget the baseball factor. New Michigan baseball coach Tracy Smith made Tatum a priority as soon as he arrived in Ann Arbor. It was Smith that got Tatum in front of the football staff not the other way around.
Tatum is an elite football player, but he’ll admit that his first love was baseball. The fact that Michigan made him a top target as a baseball prospect first really means something to Tatum. That alone will always have the Wolverines in play in this recruitment.
While no date has been set, Tatum still intends on making an official visit to Michigan in June. Perhaps Marshall can join him.
Reach for the sky.
The post Why Michigan can land elite RBs Jordan Marshall AND Taylor Tatum this cycle appeared first on On3.