Just a few days after Michigan football's recruiting class of 2023 took a major June hit, a commitment Friday restored some hope in Ann Arbor as July began.
With four-star linebacker Raylen Wilson of Florida decommitting Wednesday, the Wolverines' class had fallen to No. 55 nationally, and 13th in the Big Ten. But on Friday, Michigan added a four-star linebacker from Pennsylvania in Semaj Bridgeman.
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Bridgeman, of Philadelphia's Imhotep Institute, pledged maize and blue via Twitter on Friday evening, issuing a statement along with an image of himself wearing No. 7 in Michigan gear. The 6-2, 230-pound defender is ranked as the No. 20 linebacker nationally in 247 Sports’ composite rankings and the No. 6 recruit in Pennsylvania.
“First and foremost I would like to give thanks and honor to the most high," Bridgeman tweeted. "Secondly, I want to take the time to thank and appreciate my mon, pop, & siblings for the advice, the belief in me, & sacrifices they’ve made for me to be able to chase my dreams, and also my grandparents for the extra support. I would also like to honor all of my coaches that have lead me in the right direction in regards to becoming the better young man and athlete that I am now. Lastly, thank you to all the universities that offered me an opportunity to play at their school. With that being said I am 777% committed to the M."
Bridgeman also had offers from dozens of Power Five schools, including LSU, Penn State and Michigan State. After last season, he narrowed down his options to six schools: Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon, Rutgers, and South Carolina. He visited Ann Arbor on June 10 and committed 10 days after his most recent college visit, to Rutgers on June 21.
Bridgeman was the eighth commitment for the Wolverines' class of 2023, following Missouri wide receiver Fredrick Moore earlier Friday and Illinois tight end Deakon Tonielli on June 19 as the only three since the end of March. Moore and Tonielli are three-stars, as are four other members of the eight-player class.
The commitments from Bridgeman and Moore brings the Wolverines up to No. 50 overall, though they're still ahead of only Indiana among the 14 teams slated for the Big Ten in 2023. (USC and UCLA, which will join the conference for 2024 play, are ranked No. 10 and No. 62, respectively, for 2023 by 247 Sports.)
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan football gets '23 commitment from 4-star LB Semaj Bridgeman