You don’t always get what you want. And, for the first time in two recruiting cycles, Michigan didn’t get what it wanted most in its class.
Las Vegas Bishop Gorman QB prospect Dorian Thompson-Robinson, a 4-star according to the 247Sports Composite, had been Michigan’s top target for nearly a year, having been offered by the Wolverines in June of 2016.
In Michigan’s two previous classes, it landed its long-time top target: Rashan Gary in 2016 and Donovan Peoples-Jones in 2017.
Those two commitments were paramount. They were seen as must-gets in two classes that had more than 25 players sign, making for two of the biggest classes in the country.
In 2018, it’s a different narrative. The Wolverines are adding significantly fewer recruits, having little room with fewer than 10 seniors on the current roster. And there isn’t a player on Michigan’s board this cycle as important as Gary or Peoples-Jones.
Thompson-Robinson is a national talent who is going to be starting in Los Angeles within his first two years on campus — don’t second-guess that — but losing him doesn’t hurt nearly as much as losing Gary or Peoples-Jones would have.
Michigan’s focus on a quarterback changed when its confidence on the Las Vegas product wavered. The loss isn’t surprising, nor devastating; it was expected and well-prepared for by the Wolverines.
Regardless, the focus must now shift on who exactly the “top target” is.
We’ve got one candidate in mind.
Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep 4-star DT Tyler Friday
An easy answer? Sure. A correct one? Definitely. Friday could have been argued as the top target over Thompson-Robinson during the last few months.
Michigan and New Jersey might as well be considered the same state when it comes to Wolverines recruiting. The state’s last three top-ranked prospects signed with the maize and blue in the last three of four years: Jabrill Peppers (2014), Gary (2016) and Drew Singleton (2017).
Can Friday be the next top-ranked Jersey prospect to choose the Wolverines?
It sure seems that way. 247Sports’ No. 46 overall prospect No. 2 defensive tackle in 2018 has been considered a Michigan lean for a few months now. Four of the five 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions currently in for Friday favor the Wolverines (Rutgers has one other).
The Wolverines will lose starting defensive tackle Mo Hurst in 2018 — and quite a few others in 2019 — making for what could be an early impact for Friday, should he choose Michigan.
He has 5-star potential, being just a few spots away from that prestigious status.
Rightfully so, Friday should be Michigan’s top target in the 2018 class.