Week by week, the 2018 recruiting class is coming into focus as prospects Michigan is pursuing hard begin to commit.
Many were on the board early on, but now there are fewer players available to pursue.
Here’s an update on four defensive prospects Michigan is pursuing.
Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep 4-star DT Tyler Friday
This remains a no-brainer, as Michigan once again is going after New Jersey’s top prospect.
Following his second visit to Michigan last week, Tyler Friday to the Wolverines continues to be a popular choice as four 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions predict he’ll choose Michigan.
Michigan linebackers coach Chris Partridge, a former New Jersey high school coach, is playing a key role in the recruitment of New Jersey prospects. Friday has good relationships with the entire staff, including one that stands out with defensive coordinator Don Brown.
Arguably Michigan’s top overall target (excluding a quarterback), Friday remains a comfortable lean to the Wolverines.
Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep 4-star LB/S Shayne Simon
Sticking with another New Jersey prospect, Shayne Simon has been a longtime target for Michigan.
Simon took his first visit to Michigan last week, and it sounded as if it was a success.
Simon values education as much as any recruit. On top of that, he’s a perfect fit for Brown’s defensive scheme. He could play the viper, outside backer or safety.
Stanford and Notre Dame are in the mix, but early in the process the Wolverines command the most promise to land Simon.
San Diego (Calif.) St. Augustine 4-star CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart
Arguably the best prep cornerback in the country, Isaac Taylor-Stuart has been Michigan’s most coveted prospect at the position since his offer in February.
Playing some of the best man defense you’ll see in high school, Taylor-Stuart has the intangibles that would make him a star in Michigan’s aggressive defense.
Alabama and USC are the two main threats in this recruitment. Expect Taylor-Stuart to decide late in the cycle, and expect Michigan to time its push for him based on his visit. If he visits Ann Arbor, Michigan will be a serious contender.
Despite having three cornerback commits already, it would be a widely debated topic if Michigan were to say no to this future star.
Toledo (Ohio) St. John’s Jesuit 4-star OLB Dallas Gant
Michigan’s top linebacker target has been Dallas Gant since his offer, but the Wolverines were late to the party with the 247Sports composite’s No. 5 overall outside linebacker.
At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Gant would be a great fit in the back of Michigan’s front seven. He’s a linebacker most schools want, but he’s one that defensive coordinator Brown needs.
Ohio State presents stiff competition, and the Ohio native choosing any school but the Buckeyes would be a surprise. But the longer he waits, the more visits Michigan can get from Gant, whose high school is only 45 minutes from Ann Arbor.