National Signing Day is Feb. 3. While that’s a long way away, here’s my best guesses for Michigan’s 2017 recruiting class as of October.
Highlands Ranch (Colo.) Valor Christian 4-star Dylan McCaffrey – Committed since the spring, McCaffrey is one of the captains of the class and isn’t going anywhere.
Groton (Mass.) Lawrence Academy 4-star RB A.J. Dillon – Dillon is having a tremendous season with eight touchdowns in his last two games. He’s all set on Michigan.
Los Lunas (N.M.) 4-star RB O’Maury Samuels – He plans to visit some West Coast schools, including USC, Arizona. He hasn’t reported that he’s received any other big offers besides Michigan and Arizona, nonetheless the official visits should lead to more opportunities. I still think he sticks for now.
Grayson (Ga.) 3-star RB Kurt Taylor – Is there anyone who broadcasts how much they love Michigan as much as Taylor? If Michigan is able to land 5-star Najee Harris, which I’ll address later, then maybe Taylor looks elsewhere, but, if it’s up to him, he stays.
Detroit Cass Tech 5-star WR Donovan Peoples-Jones – He’s the cream of the crop. The best from Detroit in some time. And he’s Michigan’s No. 1 guy, and has been since the start. Florida is there, so is Michigan State and even the Buckeyes, but I’m pretty confident he’ll enroll at Michigan in January as an early enrollee.
Pinson (Ala.) 4-star WR Nico Collins – He’s visited Michigan on his own three times during the summer. He’s headed for his official visit soon, although there isn’t a date. There’s a group of three uncommitted prospects I have the highest confidence on and he’s one of them.
Cheshire (Conn.) Academy 4-star WR Tarik Black – This all took off in August after Black’s visit for the BBQ at the Big House, then his official visit for the home opener. Alabama and Auburn have pushed, but this one would really surprise me, if he doesn’t select Michigan.
Iowa City (Iowa) 4-star WR Oliver Martin – He’s the biggest mystery in the country, along with Najee Harris. After his official visit for the game against Wisconsin, though, Michigan leads the way. In-state Iowa and Michigan State could make a run, while I think Notre Dame’s implosion has knocked them out. Quite the receiver class the Wolverines could bring in.
Adelo (Texas) 4-star OT Chuck Filiaga – A month ago, I thought Michigan was resting at the bottom of his choices. After Filiaga’s visit for the Wisconsin game, they are on top. If he gets back on campus, they could wrap it up soon. It’ll be a battle until the end, but, as for now, the confidence is there that they land him.
Brooklyn (N.Y.) Poly Prep 4-star OT Isaiah Wilson – Alabama was thought to have it wrapped up with Wilson at one point, but Michigan has all the momentum once again for Wilson. His great relationship with assistant Tyrone Wheatley is a huge reason I have the confidence that he chooses Michigan.
Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage 4-star OT Kai-Leon Herbert – I know, I know, everyone thinks Florida is going to flip Herbert. I talk to him almost daily, and, while Florida is a real option, he would have done it by now, in my opinion. He’s visiting Saturday for Illinois, his second visit, which could provide a big step towards keeping him in the class.
Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage 4-star OT Tedarrell Slaton – A teammate of Herbert’s, Slaton has been slated as a Michigan favorite for quite some time. That hasn’t changed, and I’m still confident he comes even if Herbert decommits.
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 4-star C Cesar Ruiz – Like Collins, Ruiz is one of the three uncommitted prospects I have the highest confidence on. After his visit for the Wisconsin game, it was all but wrapped up.
Darien (Conn.) 3-star OL Andrew Stueber – One of the best 3-stars you will see at the position, Stueber has had a great season and isn’t going anywhere.
Sugarcreek (Ohio) Garaway 3-star OL Joel Honigford – A product of two parents who attended Ohio State, Honigford’s story will be one we hear a lot when he starts seeing the field. He loves Michigan, talks about it all of the time, and isn’t going anywhere.
Oak Park (Mich.) 3-star OL Ja’Raymond Hall – Hall was the first commitment of this class. He’ll be one of eight in the most crowded offensive line class in quite some time, but in the end I still think he sticks.
As for now, I don’t think Michigan snags a tight end in this class by choice. They have a ridiculous number of TEs on the team, including five that are underclassmen. But if they can somehow get in the race for Sacramento (Calif.) 4-star TE Josh Falo, they would take him.
Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal 4-star DE Luiji Vilain – Vilain is one of my favorite prospects in this class. His film is absurd, including a 40-yard touchdown catch last week. Think Ezekiel Ansah; he’s a superstar in the making.
St. Joseph (Mich.) 4-star DE Corey Malone-Hatcher – He’s the captain of the recruiting class, as that’s all he does is recruit. If you doubt he sticks to the class, check his Twitter feed where he makes videos for other recruits to come join the class.
Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic 4-star DE James Hudson – I wasn’t sure how much I liked Hudson’s game until I saw him in person. Hudson dominates at a powerhouse school, towering over everyone, and he should see playing time during his first two seasons.
Flint (Mich.) Southwestern Commencement Academy 4-star DL Deron Irving-Bey – I had thought Michigan was out of it for Irving-Bey before his official visit against Hawaii. He canceled three visits, and the interest didn’t seem there. But since his visit, he returned for another, and likely will again soon since he’s nearby. It’s between the Wolverines and Spartans, and, as of right now, the Wolverines have more to offer.
Berrien Springs (Mich.) 3-star DT Phillip Paea – Oregon is still in there for Paea, and he might even visit. But they have a slim shot to flip him because he’s pretty set on his commitment.
Paramus (N.J.) Catholic 4-star LB Drew Singleton – Michigan has been No. 1 since Day 1. Clemson is going to push hard, but his roots are in Ann Arbor with his New Jersey friends, such as his best friend Rashan Gary.
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 4-star LB Jordan Anthony – Auburn, Oklahoma and Penn State are in there, but Michigan has led since his spring game visit April 1. I don’t think that’s changed, nor will it.
Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary’s 4-star LB Josh Ross – His older brother just graduated last year from Michigan, and he’s been a longtime commit. He’s not going anywhere.
Fort Myers (Fla.) 4-star LB Shanon Reid – If Michigan wants Reid, they’ll get him. I think they want to add another linebacker, but it’s unclear whether they want Reid or Rhode Island 3-star recruit Kwity Paye.
Newtown (Conn.) 3-star LB Ben Mason – He’s not going anywhere. He’s also having a tremendous season on both defense and offense.
Detroit King 4-star CB Ambry Thomas – He wants to play with his cousin Jaylen Kelly-Powell, and I think there’s no doubt Kelly-Powell comes here. If Thomas holds up on that promise, he’ll join, too.
Detroit Cass Tech 4-star S Jaylen Kelly-Powell – The biggest lock left. He’s the final player I’m most certain will come to Michigan. As previously noted, he’ll have a big role in getting Thomas here.
Cegep du Viuex (Canada) 4-star CB Benjamin St-Juste – Yes, he’s visiting Virginia Tech. It’s his only other offer, but if he leaves this Michigan class, most will be surprised.
Florence (Ala.) 3-star S J’Marick Woods – Arkansas is giving Michigan a run for its money. Woods is due for his official visit soon, though, and that should cement his commitment.
Detroit Cass Tech 3-star CB Donovan Johnson – I know it’s weird to put someone in here that hasn’t even been offered, but I think Michigan will inevitably make an offer to get him.
Quick notes on why some players aren’t listed here
- I think Michigan has more momentum than ever right now with Antioch (Calif.) 5-star RB Najee Harris. I still don’t have enough confidence to put him on the list, but a lot can change by next month. Let’s put it this way – I was close to including him.
- Calabasas (Calif.) Darnay Holmes is a 5-star CB that a lot of people ask about. Michigan is No. 2 right now, but UCLA has too many family roots to confidently put him on the list.
- I was hesitant to put Donovan Johnson on the list because Michigan may inevitably not offer him. But I think he’s fit for this class, and his Cass Tech brethren will push for him to be offered soon.
- Another Alabama commit, Pensacola (Fla.) 5-star OT Alex Leatherwood wasn’t on the list. If he gets back on campus, I think the opportunity is there to flip him. Until then, I think he sticks with Alabama.
- South Jordan (Utah) 4-star DT Jay Tufele visits on Michigan Saturday against Illinois. They’ll have to blow him away, as they’re desperate for a defensive tackle, and he’s a strong Ohio State lean.
- Kennedale (Texas) 5-star LB Baron Browning sounded like he had another good visit to Michigan against Wisconsin. But again, if he leaves Texas, then I think it’s to Ohio State.
All rankings are from 247Sports.com’s composite ranking system, unless otherwise noted.