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Michigan football flips defensive tackles from Michigan State, Colorado on National Signing Day

Wolverines get commitments from Rayshaun Benny, Ikechukwu Iwunnah

Head coach Jim Harbaugh waits to take the field to play the Iowa Hawkeyes at Michigan Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh waits to take the field to play the Iowa Hawkeyes at Michigan Stadium on October 05, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (2019 Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Michigan football set off more recruiting fireworks on National Signing Day, flipping Michigan State defensive tackle commit Rayshaun Benny and Colorado defensive tackle commit Ikechukwu Iwunnah.

Fresh off a handful of new coaching hires, Jim Harbaugh turned his attention to the late signing period over the last couple of weeks, and his staff managed to finish strong.

READ: Michigan is perfect example of why college football needs a 16-team playoff (just hear me out)

It became obvious over the last couple of seasons that defensive tackle was a massive weakness for the Wolverines, and after the firing of Don Brown, new defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and his assistants set their sights on addressing that weakness.

Last week, they landed an important commitment from four-star defensive tackle George Rooks, the No. 19 player at his position and No. 4 player from the state of New Jersey.

Rooks had offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Auburn and many others.

Perhaps the most high-profile announcement came Wednesday morning, as Michigan flipped Benny, the four-star Oak Park tackle, from rival Michigan State.

Benny notably committed to the Spartans after MSU upset Michigan at the Big House on Halloween. When he didn’t sign with Michigan State during the early period, it was a sign that perhaps his recruitment wasn’t finished.

That was obviously the case, as he officially signed with Michigan.

Obviously, this was a massive offseason victory for Michigan, as it not only added the No. 16 defensive tackle and No. 6 player in the state at a position of major need, but also dealt a major recruiting blow to its in-state rival.

Benny had offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame, LSU, Georgia, Auburn and many other schools.

Finally, Michigan polished off a strong class by flipping Iwunnah, a three-star prospect who had been committed to Colorado.

While he’s ranked outside the top 1,000 players in the class, Iwunnah’s 6-4, 275-pound frame likely drew Michigan to him. At the very least, he adds more depth to the position.

The key, obviously, will be for Michigan to develop these three defensive tackles and get the most out of them on the field. Landing high-profile commits -- such as Christopher Hinton and Mazi Smith -- hasn’t been the problem.

Shaun Nua, Sherrone Moore and the rest of the defensive staff deserve credit for these recruiting wins. But it won’t mean much if the culture inside Michigan’s locker room doesn’t change after disappointing 2019 and 2020 seasons.


About the Author:

Derick is a Senior Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.