Michigan Football Recruiting: Will Henry Poggi Flip to Alabama on Signing Day?

Zach Dirlam@Zach_DirlamSenior Analyst IIFebruary 5, 2013

Will Henry Poggi sign with the Michigan Wolverines or flip to the Alabama Crimson Tide? Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com.
Will Henry Poggi sign with the Michigan Wolverines or flip to the Alabama Crimson Tide? Photo courtesy of 247Sports.com.

Although the Michigan Wolverines are not likely going to add any more prospects on national signing day, one of their top recruits, 4-star defensive tackle Henry Poggi (Baltimore, Md.) could provide the Maize and Blue faithful with an unwanted surprise.

Poggi originally chose the Wolverines over the Alabama Crimson Tide last June, but a recent visit to Tuscaloosa has everyone in Ann Arbor wondering whether or not he still intends to honor his verbal pledge on Wednesday.

Except for Poggi himself, nobody knows for sure who will have him on their roster in 2013, though there are several reasons to believe the Gilman School standout is likely to stick with Michigan.

First, five days before his trip to Alabama, Poggi gave every indication to current Michigan commit David Dawson that he will remain a Wolverine:

@daviddawson_ not much BREEEH just been chillen getting ready for Michigan wbu

— Henry Poggi (@The_Hank_Poggi) January 20, 2013

Since actions speak louder than electronically produced words, let's examine why Poggi went to Alabama on Jan. 25.

All of the uncertainty surrounding Poggi's intentions to check out the Crimson Tide again, despite Michigan's strict no-visit policy, began to surface after a report from Chris Balas and Tim Sullivan of TheWolverine.com on Jan. 11.

The two were under the impression Poggi's visit would be a "personal trip" and "not a recruiting visit."

This makes sense considering Poggi is "close friends" with Cyrus Jones, a former Gilman teammate and a freshman wide receiver at Alabama.

Even if the trip were for recruiting reasons, an Alabama insider Sullivan spoke with leading up to the visit did not believe Poggi would change his commitment.

"(Alabama) really expects him to stick with Michigan, even if he makes the visit," the insider said. "It really seems more like they want to take the trip because they can."

Take note of that last sentence in particular. Per NCAA rules, the institution hosting the recruit pays for transportation and lodging for any prospect taking an official visit.

So, if you were a highly touted football prospect with an opportunity to visit one of your former teammates without paying a dime out of your own pocket, wouldn't you take advantage of the chance to do so?

Given the amount of time spent college athletes are expected to dedicate to their studies and team activities, it is highly unlikely Poggi will have many opportunities to see Jones after his recruitment comes to an end.

Plus, the Crimson Tide are not exactly in a position to add Poggi to their current recruiting haul, even if the 6'4", 240-pounder wanted to ditch Michigan in favor of Alabama.

With the recent commitment of 5-star linebacker Reuben Foster, the Crimson Tide have 23 commitments in their 2013 class. Alabama will also be adding 5-star defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson on Wednesday, according to a report from Mike Farrell of Rivals.com.

Additionally, the Crimson Tide are still serious contenders for 4-star defensive end Dee Liner, 4-star running back Alvin Kamara, and 5-star defensive tackles Eddie Vanderdoes and Montravious Adams.

Junior college defensive tackle Jarran Reed and 4-star safety Antonio Conner are also considering Alabama.

This means Poggi would have to take a greyshirt in 2013 and hope a scholarship is available for him next season or walk-on to the team as a freshman. Neither of those options seem better than a guaranteed full-ride to Michigan.

For all of the aforementioned reasons, Wolverine fans should take a deep breath and exhale all of the concerns they may have about losing Poggi to the Crimson Tide.


Note: All player rankings are courtesy of Rivals.com.

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