Michigan signed 30 players to its 2017 recruiting class on Wednesday.
And in 2016, it had 26 freshmen enroll. It’s highly anticipated that Michigan will add under 25 recruits in its 2018 class.
With the 2017 class coming to a close, here’s an early look at options at each position for Michigan in the 2018 class.
Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman 247Sports composite 4-star QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson is Michigan’s top overall target in the 2018 class. It sounds like he’s down to Michigan and UCLA, with the Bruins having the edge right now. Jim Harbaugh told Thompson-Robinson that he and the staff are targeting a dual-threat quarterback for the 2018 class and they want him to be that guy. The biggest twist is UCLA hiring former Michigan assistant Jedd Fisch – Thompson-Robinson’s main recruiter at Michigan.
Other names to watch: 4-star prospects Artur Sitkowski, Allan Walters
Another product of Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, 5-star prospect T.J. Pledger is the top running back on Michigan’s radar in 2018. Michigan has a solid relationship with IMG, bringing in two prospects from the program in its 2017 class. Pledger has Michigan in his top schools, and fans should expect Michigan to pursue a spring game visit from him.
— #D1Bound Nation. (@SportsRecruits) December 31, 2016
Other names to watch: 4-star prospects Jaelen Gill, Fabian Franklin
After missing out on a big-framed offensive lineman in 2017, Michigan might make that its top priority in 2018. Another IMG Academy product, unranked OT Daniel Faalele, was discovered by the Wolverines staff at an Australia satellite camp – yeah, the one they got a lot of heat for hosting. Faalele’s exposure from that camp allowed him to get discovered by the nation’s No. 2 ranked high school team. He stands 6-foot-9, 390 pounds.
Michigan will also look heavily at in-state 4-star prospects Marquan McCall (Oak Park) and Antwan Reed (Muskegon). It already has a commitment from Indianapolis Cathedral 4-star OG Emil Ekiyor.
Other names to watch: 4-star prospect Richard Gouraige
Michigan will go hard after 5-star prospect Jalen Hall, the nation’s top receiver and No. 3 overall. But things are very cool there for now. After adding five receivers in 2017, Michigan might add just two, maybe one, receiver in 2018.
Surprise, surprise: Another IMG product should be looked at closely in 4-star prospect Brian Hightower. He visited in 2016.
Other names to look out for: 4-star prospects Jahan Dotson, Jasiah Provillon, Joshua Moore
Michigan added zero tight ends in 2017 because of a good volume of them already on campus. Look for the Wolverines to add at least two in 2018, as they’re already hot on a few names.
Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman 4-star Brevin Jordan is the top target, as he’s a package deal with Thompson-Robinson.
Four other names stand out as top targets: Lindenhurst (N.Y.) 4-star Jeremy Ruckert, Missouri City (Texas) 4-star Mustapha Muhammad, Jacksonville Providence (Fla.) 4-star Will Mallory and Nease (Fla.) 3-star Zach Sheffer.
Michigan brought in a big group of eight defensive linemen in 2017, so look for it to add about four max in 2018.
The top target is IMG Academy 5-star DT Taron Vincent. Again, with IMG, the relationship is good, but Vincent has already visited Ann Arbor once. And not much is known on whether he will return.
On the edge, the top target is Dearborn (Mich.) Divine Child 4-star DE Aidan Hutchinson, a Michigan legacy. The Wolverines are expected to land him.
And a name that has begun to trend for Michigan is St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) 4-star DE Nik Bonitto. Expect a visit from him, and for Michigan to be in it for the distance.
Other names to watch: 5-star DE Micah Parsons, 5-star DE KJ Henry, 4-star DE Dorian Hardy, 4-star DE Tyreke Smith
Michigan has one 2018 outside linebacker commit in Lee County (Ga.) 4-star prospect Otis Reese. With four signed in 2017, look for them to add two more in 2018.
The nation’s top ILB prospect, 5-star Teradja Mitchell, put Michigan in his top schools earlier this week. He should be the top target, but things are cool with him right now.
Detroit Country Day 3-star LB Kolin Demens is a Michigan legacy and is expected to inevitably commit to Michigan.
Other names to watch: 5-star prospect Palaie Gaoteote
Adding just two each at cornerback and safety, and with a lot of options in 2018, this could be a group of up to six or seven guys.
Atlanta Westlake 4-star prospect Myles Sims is the top priority at safety, but pulling from the South is a tall task.
The biggest name to look for at safety is BJ Foster, a 5-star prospect from Angleton (Texas). He has Michigan in his top group and is expected to visit at some point in 2017.
At cornerback, everyone’s top priority is the nation’s best, 5-star CB Patrick Surtain Jr. Michigan lost Kai-Leon Herbert to a de-commitment in 2017, and he’s a former teammate of Surtain Jr.’s at Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage. We know that ended ugly, so might that have an effect?
Miami commit 4-star prospect Josh Jobe took an unofficial visit to Michigan in 2016 all the way from Miami (Fla.). He should stick with the ‘Canes but don’t count Michigan out.
Other names to watch: 4-star CB Asante Samuel Jr.