And then there were none.
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh made some waves in the recruiting world last spring when he got verbal commitments from Leonard Taylor and Antwuan Johnson, two 2018 prospects from Springfield.
Recruiting observers – and fans of Ohio State and Michigan – took notice because Harbaugh wasn’t very active recruiting the Buckeye State – long a key recruiting area for the Wolverines – at the beginning of his tenure.
Snagging Johnson and Taylor early looked like a coup for Harbaugh, giving Buckeye fans reason to wonder if he would be able to bring back the bad old days when it seemed like Michigan regularly plucked plum talent from Ohio.
Well, as of today neither four-star prospect is going to be heading to Ann Arbor for college.
Johnson, who has since transferred to Dunbar High School, announced his decommitment on Twitter on Friday morning, less than three weeks after Taylor reopened his recruiting.
He told SBNation he was still tight with Harbaugh but questioned the commitment of position coach to him.
Worth noting: Michigan linebackers coach Chris Partridge is in his first year at that position after spending a season as director of player personnel in recruiting.
Prior to 2015, he was the head coach at Paramus Catholic High School, the New Jersey prep powerhouse that produced recent Michigan five-star signees Jabrill Peppers (2014) and Rashan Gary (2016).
Michigan’s first full-year recruiting class under Harbaugh had no Ohioans, his 2017 group currently has two verbal members from the Buckeye State — defensive tackle James Hudson of Toledo Central Catholic and offensive lineman Joel Honigford of Sugarcreek Garaway.
While Harbaugh proved last winter he can put together a top class without Ohio, it will still be interesting to see what role the traditional battleground state plays moving forward.
Recruiting nationally is important, but so is maintaining a strong presence in one’s backyard for nearly every powerhouse program across the country.
Ohio State’s top-ranked 2017 recruiting class currently features five Ohioans amid 18 members, including Miamisburg offensive tackle Josh Myers and Cincinnati Colerain defensive back Amir Riep.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.