ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Recruiting season has officially ended, and Michigan’s freshman recruiting class is set following National Signing Day.
Wednesday afternoon, Michigan unveiled its 2017 incoming class of 30 players — 19 officially signed National Letters of Intent and joined the football program’s 11 early enrollees, who started classes in January in Ann Arbor.
Michigan introduced its class Wednesday afternoon in “Signing of the Stars,” an event at the Crisler Center that included appearances by former Michigan players LaMarr Woodley and Devin Funchess, and comedians the Sklar brothers, and, of course, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh.
Michigan’s 2017 recruiting class, rankings
|DT||Aubrey Solomon||5-star||Leesburg, Ga.|
|WR||Nico Collins||4-star||Pinson, Ala.|
|OC||Cesar Ruiz||4-star||Bradenton, Fla.|
|WR||Tarik Black||4-star||Cheshire, Conn.|
|DE||Donovan Jeter||4-star||Beaver Falls, Pa.|
|DE||Corey Malone-Hatcher||4-star||St. Joseph, Mich.|
|OT||JaRaymond Hall||4-star||Oak Park, Mich.|
|CB||Benjamin St. Juste||4-star||Montreal, Quebec|
|S||J’Marick Woods||4-star||Florence, Ala.|
|DE||Luiji Vilain||4-star||Ottawa, Ont.|
|LB||Drew Singleton||4-star||Paramus, N.J.|
|LB||Jordan Anthony||4-star||Bradenton, Fla.|
|OT||Chuck Filiaga||4-star||Aledo, Texas|
|QB||Dylan McCaffrey||4-star||Highlands Ranch, Colo.|
|LB||Josh Ross||4-star||West Bloomfield, Mich.|
|DL||James Hudson||4-star||Toledo, Ohio|
|DE||Deron Irving-Bey||4-star||Flint, Mich.|
|RB||O’Maury Samuels||4-star||Los Lunas, N.M.|
|WR||Oliver Martin||4-star||Iowa City, Iowa|
|WR||Brad Hawkins||3-star||Camden, N.J.|
|OT||Andrew Stueber||3-star||Darien, Conn.|
|OT||Joel Honigford||3-star||Sugarcreek, Ohio|
|DT||Phillip Paea||3-star||Berrien Springs, Mich.|
|DE||Kwity Paye||3-star||Warwick, R.I.|
|RB||Kurt Taylor||3-star||Covington, Ga.|
|LB||Ben Mason||3-star||Newtown, Conn.|
|P||Brad Robbins||2-star||Westerville, Ohio|
What is Michigan’s recruiting class ranked?
Early enrollees: 11
5-star commits: 2
4-star commits: 20
247Sports composite ranking: No. 5
Big Ten ranking: No. 2
Intended targets who signed Wednesday with Michigan
Michigan landed its two biggest targets Wednesday when 4-star wide receiver Nico Collins and 5-star defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon announced they committed to Michigan.
Collins will join a group of young wide receivers that includes 5-star early enrollee Donovan Peoples-Jones and 4-star receivers Tarik Black and Oliver Martin. Collins caught 46 passes for 895 yards and nine touchdowns in his senior season at Clay-Chalkville High School in Pinson, Ala., and at 6-foot-5 brings size and range to Michigan’s young receiving corps.
Solomon joins a defensive line that will graduate NFL prospects Chris Wormley and Taco Charlton, as well as tackle Ryan Glasgow. Building depth, however, is a priority for defensive line coach Greg Mattison, and the only way to do that means giving playing time to younger linemen. Solomon could have a chance to immediately step in and get playing time as a freshman, much like Rashan Gary did at defensive end in 2016.
Lol… well as many can tell today was a day I'll remember for ages ??… #GoBlue
— Aubrey Solomon (@AubreySolomon91) February 1, 2017
Michigan also added one more player who went under the radar: punter Brad Robbins of Westerville, Ohio. Robbins could fill the hole that’s left by the graduation of Kenny Allen, Michigan’s primary punter in 2017 who also handled kickoffs and field-goal kicking. 247Sports ranks Robbins as the country’s No. 13 punter.
Three takeaways from Michigan’s National Signing Day
The 4-stars have it: Twenty 4-star recruits, in fact, will be a part of Michigan’ incoming freshman class. Upon first glance of Michigan’s incoming class, one might ask why there are only two 5-star players. Michigan, however, is a program that emphasizes player development, and with key losses to graduation and to the NFL at offensive line, wide receiver and in the secondary, Michigan needs talent and skill that can be utilized immediately and refined over the long-term.
New coaches with the new faces: It remains to be seen how Pep Hamilton, Jay Harbaugh and Greg Frey will mold the younger players. Hamilton, Michigan’s passing game coordinator, inherits quarterback Wilton Speight but also has to develop a group of incoming wide receivers who have potential but lack experience. Harbaugh, Michigan’s running backs coach, is in his first year coaching the position at the college or NFL level (after two seasons as Michigan’s tight ends coach) and will bring O’Maury Samuels and Kurt Taylor into the fold. Frey has four freshman tackles to work with, including 4-star recruits Chuck Filiaga and Ja’Raymond Hall.
Who are these guys? In addition to Michigan’s 30 incoming scholarship players, Michigan also added 10 preferred walk-ons. They’ll have the opportunity to earn a scholarship, like holder Garrett Moores, the Glasgow brothers (center Graham, defensive tackle Ryan and safety Jordan) or former Wolverines safety and co-captain Jordan Kovacs.