Every week we gather to open a bag of questions about Michigan recruiting.
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This week, we dive head-first into questions about the future of the 2018 class, along with a true freshman tight end that might affect this pursuit of the position in the 2018 class.
@LandOfJustice Most likely QB to join 2018 if DTR goes to UCLA?
— Zach (@ZachWoodruff3) February 7, 2017
Answer: To clarify: “DTR” is Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a 4-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings. He is Michigan’s top prospect in the 2018 class. His main recruiter at Michigan was Jedd Fisch, who is now the offensive coordinator at UCLA – the other school that’s in the mix for him. Fisch’s hire seemingly gave the Bruins its biggest edge yet in the recruitment of the Las Vegas Bishop Gorman quarterback.
So if Michigan misses on him, who’s next in line? Michigan has only offered one quarterback that isn’t already committed. Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 4-star QB Artur Sitkowski is the lone name on the list right now with interest from Michigan. Therefore, if the Wolverines can’t grab Thompson-Robinson – which I don’t expect them to – then the pursuit of Sitkowski will ramp up.
The other option is to offer a new QB prospect. There are two in-state options in 3-star recruit Theo Day, a teammate of Michigan legacy target Aidan Hutchinson at Dearborn (Mich.) Divine Child, and in-state Northwestern 3-star commit Jason Whittaker.
My opinion? I like Whittaker’s game better. I think he throws a really great ball, has good size at 6-foot-4 and is a fantastic on-field leader. Day is one inch taller and weighs just as much at 197 pounds. They’re both good Plan C’s, but I like Whittaker and have since seeing him live more than a year ago.
@LandOfJustice Who, in your eyes, are the staffs top initial unpcoming targets for the 2018 class?
— Nick Michaels (@umblue1) February 7, 2017
Answer: I think this one is pretty up in the air right now. But if I had to pick three initial guys, I’d go with these three recruits:
- Thompson-Robinson: Michigan definitely wants a dual-threat in this class, and he is the prime target.
- Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 5-star RB T.J. Pledger: It’s unknown how serious Michigan’s chances are with Pledger, but it did make the cut into his top schools. The Wolverines missed out on their high-profile, game-changing, 5-star RB recruit in 2017 in Najee Harris. Only two backs were a part of the class, so a top-notch running back is a huge point of emphasis in 2018. And Pledger is the perfect fit.
- A tight end: I know, this isn’t one single recruit. Michigan wants tight ends, and with the news of freshman Devin Asiasi seeking a transfer, it makes it all the more important. Bishop Gorman 4-star TE Brevin Jordan is a package deal with Thompson-Robinson, but we all know that those two are the top targets overall, because of one coming with the other. The most likely one to land right now is Jacksonsville (Fla.) Providence 4-star TE Will Mallory, who looks primed to become a member of the class. The other top targets are Missouri City (Texas) 4-star recruit Mustapha Muhammad and Lindenhurst (N.Y.) 4-star recruit Jeremy Ruckert. The Wolverines would be happy landing three in this class, especially if Asiasi transfers.
@LandOfJustice Who do you think the local Ambassador of the 2018 class will be?
— Zach (@ZachWoodruff3) February 7, 2017
Answer: There are no in-state commitments right now, thus there is no ambassador. But the earlier-mentioned 4-star DE Aidan Hutchinson is an in-state legacy recruit that might be able to fill that role.
His father, Chris, was a defensive lineman at Michigan from 1979-1982, and it shouldn’t be much longer until Hutchinson pledges to the Wolverines. And once he does, he could be that ambassador.
Regardless, I don’t see any recruit being an ambassador like early enrollee DE Corey Malone-Hatcher was for the 2017 class.