Michigan lands three-star RB Rawls

BY foxsports • February 1, 2011

FOX Sports Detroit

Feb. 1, 2011

Flint Northern running back Thomas Rawls confirmed his oral commitment to Michigan during a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

Rawls, who is 5-foot-10, 210 pounds, is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 77 running back in the nation, a three-star player.

His high-school coach is Fred Jackson Jr., son of Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson Sr.

Rawls' status has been up in the air because of concerns he might not qualify academically. He is Michigan's 18th commitment.

Players can begin signing official letters of intent Wednesday.

"They just offered over the weekend," Scout.com recruiting analyst Allen Trieu said, referring to Michigan's interest. "We think had he gotten his grades together (earlier), he would have had a ton of BCS offers (from the six major conferences).

"He, arguably, could be the top running back in the state of Michigan."

Michigan is also waiting on decisions from several other players, including offensive lineman Jake Fisher (Traverse City West). Fisher had committed to Michigan but reopened his recruiting after Rich Rodriguez was fired as coach.

Fisher's also considering Michigan State among his final four with an announcement planned for Wednesday.

It's possible Fisher and others will move their news conferences up because of the weather forecast calling for a major snow storm to hit the region.

"If they can get four-star offensive lineman Jake Fisher to recommit, that would be huge," Trieu said of Michigan. "He visited Oregon and Florida. He would be a big re-get."

Michigan is believed to be the front-runner to land tight end Frank Clark (Cleveland), who is planning to announce Tuesday night.

Tight end Chris Barnett (Hurst, Texas) and linebacker Leilon Willingham (Denver) are also on Michigan's wish list. Barnett has indicated he might wait until as late as Saturday before revealing his school.

The Wolverines, meanwhile, are in a recruiting battle down to the wire with Michigan State, among others, for four-star defensive tackle Darian Cooper (Hyattsville, Md.).

Michigan State, which has at least 20 commitments, also is in contention for 6-5, 295-pound defensive tackle Fou Fonoti, a junior-college transfer.

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