ANN ARBOR - The Michigan football program and coach Rich Rodriguez received some pleasant news for a change Saturday when Detroit Cass Tech defensive tackle William Campbell declared his commitment to the Wolverines.
Campbell, a five-star recruit according to recruiting Web site Rivals.com, made his announcement during the third quarter of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio. He was previously committed to UM but rescinded that verbal promise so he could consider other schools in September.
The 6-foot-5, 305-pound Campbell certainly brightened what has been a tough offseason for Rodriguez and the Wolverines. Coming off a 3-9 season - the worst in school history - Rodriguez parted ways with defensive coordinator Scott Shafer (who officially resigned last month), promising running back Sam McGuffie transferred and prep quarterback Shavodrick Beaver de-committed from UM and chose Tulsa.
Rodriguez is not permitted to discuss any of his recruits until they sign with the Wolverines next month but said yesterday he's hitting the road Wednesday to resume recruiting. UM is believed to have 21 commitments, and Rodriguez said he'd like to have a 25-man recruiting class.
The Wolverines' top two recruits - Campbell and quarterback Tate Forcier - will likely be among the seven incoming freshmen who will be on campus when classes start Wednesday. The two are listed in the university's phone directory - an obvious sign they've enrolled - as are defensive end Anthony LaLota, linebacker Brandin Hawthorne, running back Vincent Smith and defensive backs Vladimir Emilien and Mike Jones.
With the addition of Campbell, who chose UM over Louisiana State and Miami and is the nation's fourth-ranked defensive tackle according to Rivals.com, the Wolverines now have the seventh-best recruiting class in the country. Ohio State, which has 24 commitments, has the second-ranked class.
Rodriguez is likely looking for another quarterback to compete with Forcier and take the place of Beaver.