Michigan landed its 19th commitment in Detroit Cass Tech 4-star safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell on Tuesday morning.
With the staff looking to add anywhere from seven to 11 more members to the 2017 class, we ask the question: Who is next?
There are plenty of options. Michigan is in on a lot of high-profile recruits, and with some of them wanting to enroll early, decisions will begin to roll in around mid-December, and in piles from January to the final day in February.
The last time we predicted who would be next, we were right.
Here’s who’s next for Michigan.
A 4-star center out of Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, a top five-school nationally, Cesar Ruiz will announce December 18.
I know for being “next to commit” that’s far away. It’s exactly a month. But, with how recruiting works, and with the players Michigan is after, it’s more than likely to work out this way.
The Wolverines are after blue-chips right now, and will be for the remainder of the cycle. It used to be common for recruits to commit the day of their visit to a school. But it doesn’t work like that often anymore.
Now, players like Ruiz set commitment dates months ahead, and stay loyal to that date.
With most of Michigan’s targets deciding at one of the two All-American Games (Army, Under Armour), or on National Signing Day, the early enrollees are what fans should focus in on.
The options for Michigan in the early enrollee department are 5-star wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, 5-star running back Najee Harris, 5-star offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, 4-star running back Eno Benjamin and 4-star cornerback Ambry Thomas.
And Cesar Ruiz.
I think Ruiz will be the first of three current uncommitted early enrollees to pick Michigan. Ruiz then will shift his focus to his 4-star linebacker teammate, Jordan Anthony, who is also favored to choose Michigan.
With him being on campus early, and the center spot possibly up for grabs, Ruiz will have an immediate shot to play in 2017.
Current Michigan center, Mason Cole, is expected to declare for the NFL Draft.
Ruiz presents one of the better lower bases, with outstanding mechanics for a prep player. But most of all, he’s a highly-recruited true center that Michigan won’t have to teach how to play the position, like they’ve had to in recent years.
The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Ruiz is the nation’s No. 1 center and the No. 65 overall prospect.
Look out on December 18, when Ruiz is expected next for Michigan’s 2017 class.
Other names to keep in mind
Here’s some other names to remember as guys that could announce their commitment before Ruiz:
Brooklyn (N.Y.) Poly Prep 5-star OT Isaiah Wilson: He visits Saturday against Indiana, and should the visit blow him away, he could walk away committing. He has no scheduled commitment date. Wilson is between Alabama and Michigan, with Florida State, Georgia and USC as distant competition.
Detroit Cass Tech 5-star WR Donovan Peoples-Jones: With no commitment date set up, and being an early enrollee, the clock is ticking for Detroit’s most coveted prospect. Peoples-Jones is a Michigan lean with Florida and Ohio State close in pursuit. Michigan State and Florida State are distant competition.
Detroit King 4-star CB Ambry Thomas: I was stuck between Ruiz and Thomas going into this, and I picked Ruiz because of his set date to announce. Thomas is still without a set date, but said his decision would come after the season. That could mean next week, or Jan. 15, the final day he can decide as an early enrollee. His cousin, Kelly-Powell, committed Tuesday, and he could soon follow. Thomas’ decision is tight between Michigan and Michigan State.
All ratings are from the 247Sports.com composite ranking system, unless otherwise noted.