Michigan is in on a lot of uncommitted prospects. Some leaning towards them, others leaning elsewhere. What would the class look like if it were to end today?
Here’s a look.
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 one of the best athletes on the East Coast at his position. He’s out for a couple more weeks with a lower body injury. But as for his commitment, he’s all set on the Wolverines.
Los Lunas (N.M.) 4-star RB O’Maury Samuels – Samuels is coming back this week after missing the last two games with an ankle injury. He plans to visit some West Coast schools, including USC and 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 or Samuels looks elsewhere, but, if it’s up to him, he stays. He just announced last week that he will be in the Polynesian All-American Bowl, too.
Detroit Cass Tech 5-star WR Donovan Peoples-Jones – He’s been the No. 1 target on Michigan’s board for some time now. He’s also the best prospect from Detroit in a long time. His top five was announced as Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. Florida is a threat, 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 – There’s a group of three uncommitted prospects I have the highest confidence on, and he’s one of them. Collins is hearing a lot from Georgia, but their season has been going poorly and hasn’t impressed him.
Cheshire (Conn.) Academy 4-star WR Tarik Black – This all took off on Aug. 6 after Black’s visit for the BBQ at the Big House, followed by his official visit for the home opener on Sep. 3. Alabama and Auburn have pushed, and it’s close, but I’ll be surprised if it’s not 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. Martin doesn’t want to be in the spotlight, he just wants to be one of the guys, according to a source near Iowa. If he were to choose the Hawkeyes, he would be the biggest name and have huge expectations. At Michigan, he’d be one of four great wide receiver commits.
Adelo (Texas) 4-star OT Chuck Filiaga – Filiaga wasn’t really considering Michigan a month or so ago. After his official visit to Ann Arbor on Oct. 1 for the Wisconsin game, the Wolverines suddenly took the lead by impressing his mother and Filiaga big time. He just visited Oklahoma, and they definitely presented themselves as a threat, along with Oregon, Texas and USC still knocking as well. If Michigan can get him on campus again, I think that would wrap it up.
Brooklyn (N.Y.) Poly Prep 4-star OT Isaiah Wilson – This one could be close to wrapped up. Alabama was in there for a while, but his great relationship with Michigan assistant Tyrone Wheatley is a huge reason I have the confidence that he chooses the Wolverines..
Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage 4-star OT Kai-Leon Herbert – Michigan did wonders on Herbert’s official visit for the Illinois game on Oct. 22. His parents loved it, and he got a fresh reminder on why he committed here originally. I talk to him almost daily, and, while in-state Florida is a real option, he would have done it by now, in my opinion.
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 – If Michigan is able to bring in 5-star Alex Leatherwood, then you could see Stueber, Honigford or Hall leave the class. But Stueber is a high-end 3-star that Michigan will likely want to retain.
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 about when he starts seeing the field. He loves Michigan, talks about it all of the time, and isn’t going anywhere, as long as it’s his choice.
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, ultimately, I still think he sticks. Again, if Leatherwood happens to come, though, he may be checking out other options. Behind the scenes, Western Michigan has been speaking with him a lot about making an immediate impact.
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 who 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. He’s an early enrollee, so he’ll be in Ann Arbor in January.
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. He’s also an early enrollee, so the two defense linemen will be getting their work in early.
Toledo (Ohio) Central Catholic 4-star DE James Hudson – Hudson dominates at a powerhouse school, towering over everyone, and he should see playing time during one of his first two seasons. He was between Michigan and Michigan State, and, based on performance, he made the right choice. He won’t be as much as peeking anywhere else.
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. But the Wolverines are looking at adding eight prospects on the line, which might not be what Irving-Bey prefers. This one is close.
Beaver Falls (Penn.) 4-star DT Donovan Jeter – Michigan did a great job on Jeter’s official visit for its game against Illinois on Oct. 22. So good, in fact, that he committed the next day. He decommitted from Notre Dame, due to his relationship with Brian Kelly, but his rapport with Jim Harbaugh seems great. He even publicly said he’s all settled in on his commitment.
Berrien Springs (Mich.) 3-star DT Phillip Paea – Oregon is still in there for Paea, and he might even visit Michigan. But they have a slim shot to flip him because he’s pretty set on his commitment.
Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) 3-star DE/LB Kwity Paye – Although I think Paye is a linebacker at the next level, he’s listed as both. He flipped his commitment after visiting Michigan and Boston College in back-to-back weeks. He’s not going anywhere.
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 – It’s possible that Anthony would have committed already, but he has some non-football things to figure out. Auburn, Oklahoma and Penn State are in there, but Michigan has led since his spring game visit April 1.
Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary’s 4-star LB Josh Ross – His older brother graduated last year from Michigan, and he’s been a longtime commit. He’s not going anywhere.
Starkville (Miss.) 4-star LB Willie Gay – There are some things that Gay has to figure out behind the scenes before he can commit to Michigan. Assuming that these things do figure themselves out, Gay will be a part of this class. He loves Michigan, and the staff is a huge fan of his game.
Newtown (Conn.) 3-star LB Ben Mason – He’s not going anywhere. He’s also having a tremendous season on both defense and offense.
Calabasas (Calif.) 5-star Darnay Holmes – As I noted in a recent story, things have, once again, picked up between Michigan and Holmes. Once a UCLA lock that I never believed would come to Michigan, a source said things have switched over. Nonetheless, this is the tightest race Michigan faces, much like the Devin Asiasi recruitment last season.
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. Michigan State and Florida could present problems, but in the end it’s always been Michigan for the cousins.
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, my jaw will drop.
Florence (Ala.) 3-star S J’Marick Woods – Arkansas is giving Michigan a run for its money. Woods is due for his official visit Saturday against Maryland, though, and that should cement his commitment.
Detroit Cass Tech 3-star CB Donovan Johnson – He still hasn’t been offered by Michigan. But he’s a freak athlete with a high ceiling. A source said that Michigan has begun to ask more and more about him. If he ends up getting the offer, he’d be all in on choosing the Wolverines.
Quick notes on why some players aren’t here
- I think Michigan is so very close to getting 5-star Antioch (Calif.) RB Najee Harris. But he’s the biggest mystery in the country, and I would be lying if I said I knew where he leans. He loves Jim Harbaugh, but pulling him away from the dynasty at Alabama won’t be easy. It could come down to who wins the title.
- Again with an Alabama commit, Pensacola (Fla.) 5-star OT Alex Leatherwood isn’t on this list because I think Michigan needs to get him on campus again, and, since he’s an early enrollee, I just don’t see enough time for the Wolverines to swing him.
- South Jordan (Utah) 4-star DT Jay Tufele is Michigan’s top option left at that position, along with Lee County (Ga.) 4-star Aubrey Solomon. Tufele is going on his Ohio State visit soon, and that visit will decide his fate, but the Wolverines are very close to swaying him. As for Solomon, he visits Michigan this Saturday, and they could convince him why he committed here the first time.
- I do think one of the current offensive linemen leave the class, but until others commit, I’m not sure who it might be. If I had to choose someone, I think it’s between Herbert, Stueber and Hall.
All ratings are from the 247Sports.com composite rating, unless otherwise noted.