It’s the offseason, but recruiting never stops in Ann Arbor, Mich., where Jim Harbaugh and his Michigan staff are already building their 2018 class.
With it being so early in the process, now is the time when schools map out their top overall targets before filling out their 2018 class. And in Ann Arbor, that means a lot of attention paid to one particular side of the ball.
Defensively, the Wolverines have a lot to concentrate on. But who are the top targets?
1. A high-impact safety
After losing one starting safety following the 2015 season, then both starting safeties from last season, the Wolverines are left with a thin crop at the back end of their defense.
After taking only two safeties in the 2017 class, Michigan would be wise to take on three safeties — with at least one highly rated 4- or 5-star recruit — from a 2018 field with a lot of options.
Let’s start with 5-star prospect BJ Foster from Angleton (Texas) High. 247Sports ranks Foster as the No. 1 safety in the class and the No. 11 overall player in the nation.
But getting Foster out of Texas, and the South in general, is going to be a tough pull.
Some other options are 4-star prospects Shayne Simon (Jersey City, N.J.), Josh Proctor (Owasso, Okla.) and Leon O’Neal, Jr. (Cypress, Texas).
Regardless of who it is, the Wolverines need to add a high-impact, high-rated, prospect at safety in 2018.
2. Tyler Friday
Michigan added as high of an impact as it could at defensive tackle the past two classes in 5-star players Rashan Gary (2016) and Aubrey Solomon (2017).
So, why not add another?
Michigan’s defensive line has been its best position group under defensive line coach Greg Mattison. And I’ve always gone by the motto that you simply cannot have enough talent on the defensive line.
From Michigan’s hottest out-of-state pipeline, Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep 4-star DT Tyler Friday might already have the Wolverines as his top school early on in the process.
If it can add Friday — the nation’s No. 2 DT per 247Sports — Michigan will add to an already crazy talented group on the front four.
San Diego St. Augustine 4-star CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart received his Michigan offer earlier in February.
The talented top-50 prospect hails from San Diego, the city where Harbaugh cut his head-coaching and recruiting teeth at the University of San Diego before heading to Stanford and the San Francisco 49ers.
But Taylor-Stuart isn’t shying away from leaving home, as he’s been tabbed an early favorite to choose Alabama.
Once the Wolverines offered, they immediately made an impact. With both parents huge fans of Harbaugh from his days in San Francisco, his style of play matching well with what the Wolverines draw up defensively, Taylor-Stuart should be their top target at the position.