It’s the offseason, but recruiting never stops in Ann Arbor, Mich., where Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines are building their classes of the future. Check Land of 10 daily for the latest inside the Michigan recruiting room.
Joe Milton’s commitment to Michigan gives Wolverines a special weapon
Michigan’s previous two quarterback commitments were pro-style, pocket passers with sneaky mobility.
It stuck to that trend in the 2018 class, despite its transition to an offense that will mix in more spread offense looks.
In 2016, we saw the Wolverines sign Brandon Peters, who is now pushing for the starting job. Peters shines in nearly every department.
In 2017, Dylan McCaffrey signed with the Wolverines. He’s more mobile than Peters but smaller and with limited arm strength right now.
And now, the Wolverines have their 2018 quarterback – Joe Milton, a 4-star prospect, according to the 247Sports composite, from Orlando (Fla.) Olympia.
Milton is the first Jim Harbaugh-recruited Michigan quarterback to come from Florida, one of the nation’s top football states.
He’s also pretty athletic. Here’s a video of him doing back flips after a play.
— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) February 12, 2017
Milton can also throw the ball – what’s the best way to say this? – to a galaxy far, far away.
He can throw it as far as any prospect in the country and has the ability to throw on the run with great accuracy.
All in all, he presents Michigan with the same qualities that Peters and McCaffrey bring to Ann Arbor, but with a little less polish and a little more size and athleticism, making for a unique weapon under center.
What we project for Joe Milton at Michigan
With Wilton Speight starting now, Peters is likely to follow. After Peters, though, it gets interesting.
McCaffrey following Peters isn’t a sure thing – nothing ever is on a Harbaugh team – and that’s mostly because of the competition that Milton brings.
He has the arm strength that McCaffrey doesn’t possess. He’s as mobile, if not more so, than McCaffrey. And he can throw the ball better on the run (he could be the best on-the-run passer in the locker room upon his arrival).
McCaffrey has the edge in accuracy. And he is probably one of the best pure leaders I’ve seen out of high school. His football IQ is through the roof.
We see Peters starting until he leaves Michigan. If he leaves early, as a junior, then that gives Milton an opportunity as a redshirt freshman to compete with a redshirt sophomore, McCaffrey, for the starting job.
If he doesn’t leave early, then Milton will have an opportunity to compete as a redshirt sophomore.
Regardless, the battle between Milton and McCaffrey, when the time comes, will be a hot topic in the offseason.
But, as Harbaugh always says, iron sharpens iron.
Regardless, Milton will, at the very least, be in the mix as a redshirt freshman or sophomore.
What Joe Milton’s commitment to Michigan means for its 2018 class
Milton’s commitment moved the Wolverines up from No. 15 to the No. 14 overall class in the country.
Of the eight commitments in the class, five are 4-star prospects and three are 3-star prospects.
Milton is the fifth-highest ranked prospect among Michigan’s class. He commits as the nation’s 10th-rated pro-style quarterback and the No. 243 overall prospect.
For what it’s worth, of the 13 teams ahead of Michigan in the rankings, eight teams have more than 10 commitments. None has less commitments than Michigan.
The more players in a class, the better chance of it being ranked higher than others. For instance, Minnesota has 13 commitments and the No. 12 overall class. All 13 pledges are 3-star prospects. As more schools build their classes, the Gophers will surely fall.
Thus, as Michigan’s class starts to grow, it should pass schools like Minnesota.
Milton gives Michigan a unique weapon who will compete within his first two years on campus. He has the intangibles to become a top-50 player in the country, if he puts it all together like he has during camp season.