Analysis: Elite offensive lineman Josh Garnett scorns Michigan, goes with Stanford
Not this one.
The Michigan football team, in great need of offensive lineman, was one of two frontrunners to land premier guard recruit Josh Garnett. But, the Puyallup, Wash., native announced Thursday evening he has elected to stay on the West Coast.
He is headed to Stanford.
Garnett is a five-star prospect according to Scout, and the 13th-best undecided recruit. He is No. 3 overall at guard.
He is Rivals' top four-star recruit.
In other words, he was the best remaining guard on the board. And he's gone.
Michigan was expected by some to be a slight leader for Garnett, in part because of his close relationship with others in the class. That includes offensive lineman Erik Magnuson and defensive lineman Ondre Pipkins.
Pipkins seemed particularly vexed by the commitment.
"I hate being #Lied to woww this is crazy," he tweeted, shortly after asking where Garnett had committed. "Can't trust people but I wouldn't want it around me or #Michigan"
Magnuson later added: "Just got out of practice and heard all the news. I'm sorry Michigan fans I tried my best to get Garnett. Sorry to let y'all down."
The Wolverines have attracted a consensus top 10 recruiting class in the country, but still have a major need at offensive line. They played last season with only eight scholarship players at the position -- two of whom are lost to graduation -- and guard Caleb Stacey decommitted from the program last weekend.
So, Garnett was a key recruit, and Michigan lost out.
But it's still in good shape.
The Wolverines remain stockpiled in top-end offensive line recruits, with verbal commitments already in from five-star Kyle Kalis; four-stars Blake Bars and Magnuson; and three-star Ben Braden. Three-star tight end pledge A.J. Williams also could play the position, and many project him to do so.
That's considered to be one of the top offensive line classes in the country, rivaled perhaps only by Ohio State. But, they need at least one and probably two more recruits to round out the group with adequate depth.
The Wolverines are a finalist for two other high-profile offensive linemen in Jordan Diamond of Chicago and Alex Kozan of Castle Rock, Colo. Both are four-star recruits.
Michigan also already has contacted Rutgers commit Chris Muller after former coach Greg Schiano left for the NFL on Thursday, according to multiple reports, and could become a player for the four-star tackle from Pennsylvania.
The Wolverines' 2012 class, which has lost three pledges, currently stands at 23. They are expected to have room for up to 28, although it's becoming more likely they will not max out this class. That would leave more room for the 2013 cycle.
Verbal commitments are nonbinding. National signing day is Wednesday.
The Wolverines have scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference that day to introduce their newest crop of players.