Michigan has little more than a month remaining to try to fill out its wish list for its 2017 recruiting class.
But what happens if that wish list ends up with more names crossed out than boxes checked?
In honor of the Christmas season, here is how Michigan could end up with lumps of coal rather than the season’s best toys here in late December.
While 5-star (247Composite) RB Najee Harris remains the top priority for Michigan heading into the final leg of the dead period that ends on Jan. 11, there is a certain offensive unit that Michigan must land an elite player with in the remaining chapters of this cycle.
And that’s the offensive line.
I’m a firm believer that Harris would change the program. And Michigan beating out Alabama for his services would be a symbolic commitment of how the tide has begun to shift. But I also think that if the Wolverines strike out on Harris, adding another running back commit is paramount due to the lack of any elite talent in Michigan’s two current running back commits.
That, it leads me to the fact that Michigan’s offensive line has always been its biggest setback. It has kept Michigan from a lot, including a great running game the last few years. And Michigan has a chance at landing what I believe to be a top-5 offensive tackle in the 2017 class in Aledo (Texas) 4-star OT Chuck Filiaga.
His size (6 feet 7), matched with his college-level mechanics and readiness to play early, make a recipe for a surefire tackle prospect for the Wolverines. Filiaga’s only setback is his strength, which Michigan’s strength-and-conditioning program would certainly improve big time.
So Michigan will hope to get two Christmas gifts under the tree in Harris and Filiaga. Finding only one there would still be a heckuva holiday. But failing to land either and the Wolverines will be unwrapping coal.
We will find out Filiaga’s decision on Jan. 7 — the final day of the early signing period — at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. As for Harris’ decision … well, none of us “know.” But since he’s an early enrollee, we won’t have to wait past Jan. 7.