Back on Christmas, five-star receiver Julian Fleming dropped a loaded top 10 including the University of Michigan.
TOP 10 pic.twitter.com/Ap29y3pMLh
— 🃏0J4🃏 (@julian_040) December 25, 2018
Also included in the list is Alabama, due in large part to the efforts of the Bama’s former co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach and new Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis.
In an interview with The Wolverine, Julian Fleming said “I have a good relationship with him [Gattis]. We talk weekly and he’s been at school earlier in the year so we’ve already transitioned from Penn State to Bama and now we’re going from Bama to Michigan.”
Alabama and Penn State seem to be leading the pack at the moment, but much of that is because of Gattis. Now that Gattis has joined the Wolverines, there should be an even better chance that Julian Fleming dons the maize and blue.
No. 1 WR in the Class of 2020
At 6-foot-3 and 210-pounds, Julian Fleming is one of the best pass-catching prospects available. Fleming has won back-to-back PIAA Class 2A state titles with the Southern Columbia Tigers and is recognized by PennLive as Pennsylvania’s top-ranked junior. From a national perspective, he is the No. 1 receiver and the No. 5 player overall in the country for the Class of 2020 according to the 247Sports’ Composite rankings.
Fleming has not yet decided when he will announce his decision, but it’s expected that he will sign with a school during next year’s December early signing period for the Class of 2020.
10 teams are currently in the mix, including Alabama, Virginia Tech, Michigan, Georgia, USC, Clemson, LSU, Florida, Penn State, and Ohio State.
The 247Sports’ Crystal Ball currently heavily favors Penn State (82%), as the receiver visited campus often during the regular season and took another trip to Happy Valley in December.
It’ll be interesting to see how things change in 2019 now that Josh Gattis is with Michigan.
Josh Gattis effect
Josh Gattis has become known for recruiting and developing elite wide receiver talent since his first coaching stop at Western Michigan.
In 2011, Gattis coached Jordan White to the best season of his college career. During the 2011 regular season, White had 127 receptions for 1,646 yards, ranking first among NCAA Division I FBS players in both categories according to ESPN. White was named as a Biletnikoff Award semi-finalist for the second consecutive season and became the first “consensus” All-American in school history at Western Michigan. White was drafted by the New York Jets in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
In 2012, Gattis was hired by Vanderbilt as wide receivers coach and offensive recruiting coordinator. At Vanderbilt, Gattis coached current Philadelphia Eagle Jordan Matthews to two first-team All-SEC honors. In the two seasons under Gattis, Matthews caught 206 passes for 2,800 yards and 15 touchdowns according to Sports Reference. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Matthews in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 42nd overall pick.
In 2014 Gattis followed head coach James Franklin from Vanderbilt to Penn State and assumed the same role with the Nittany Lions. At Penn State, Gattis coached current Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin. In 40 career games at Penn State, Godwin racked up 154 receptions, 2,421 receiving yards, and 18 receiving touchdowns according to Sports Reference. Godwin decided to forego his final year at Penn State and was selected by the Buccaneers in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Gattis’ latest success came at Alabama with Biletnikoff Award winner Jerry Jeudy. This year under Gattis, Jeudy racked up 1,315 receiving yards with 14 touchdowns on 68 receptions in his Sophmore year according to ESPN. He’ll need at least one more season under his belt before making the jump to the NFL, but if Jeudy can have another successful campaign in 2019 he’ll certainly draw attention from the NFL.
Given Gattis’ track record it’s not surprising that Julian Fleming would be interested in playing for the coach.