It’s Thursday, folks. You know that means. It’s mailbag day.
Every week we answer your hard-hitting Michigan recruiting questions on Land of 10.
Want to see your question answered? Tweet me @LandOfJustice and see if your question makes the mailbag and gets answered.
Let’s get to it.
Which recruits at The Opening would be likely to commit to the Maize and Blue, besides the recruits that are already committed?
— Brian Hall (@15bshall97) June 15, 2017
Michigan’s presence at The Opening this year won’t be nearly as impactful as it was in 2016, when Team Hypercool was filled with current and future Wolverines.
Here’s a list of realistic Michigan 2018 targets, plus one from the following year, scheduled to attend The Opening Finals in Eugene, Ore., at the end of June. The Wolverines will have four commits there.
Anaheim (Calif.) Mater Dei 5-star WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
Belleville (Mich.) 5-star OT Devontae Dobbs (Class of 2019)
St. Louis Christian Brothers College 4-star WR Kamryn Babb
Apopka (Fla.) 4-star OT William Barnes
Peach County (Ga.) 4-star WR Kearis Jackson
St. Louis Lutheran North 4-star DL Ronnie Perkins
Lindenhurst (N.Y.) 4-star TE Jeremy Ruckert
Washington D.C. Woodson 4-star RB Mychale Salahuddin
Concord (N.C.) 4-star DL Rick Sandidge
Hamilton (Ariz.) 4-star QB Tyler Shough
Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep 4-star LB Shayne Simon
Parkway North (Mo.) 4-star DT Michael Thompson
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 3-star OT Daniel Faalele
The Wolverines are considered the favorites for only Shough. But, they still have a chance with all of the players.
Keep a close eye on Barnes, who has been showing a lot of interest in the Wolverines lately. The same goes for Jackson.
Michigan was once the favorite for Simon, but Notre Dame emerged as the leader this week.
As far as who is likely to commit to Michigan? I’d tab Shough as a recruit in this group who’s most likely to choose the Wolverines – and there’s even some hesitancy to that.
How big will this class be for 2018?
— Sonnie Rollins (@rollins_09) June 15, 2017
This is a grand old question that gets asked every month. Readers want to know the number.
There doesn’t seem to be an exact number for Jim Harbaugh and his staff. It’s more of a range. Based on multiple conversations with sources knowledgeable of Michigan’s plans, look for the Wolverines to have at least 15 signees but not more than 20.
The Wolverines have pushed their limits the past two classes by adding 26 players in 2016 and 30 in the 2017 class, thus limiting them to a smaller class in 2018.
Expect Michigan to hold off on adding many linebackers, receivers and defensive linemen, as it’s added a large number of players at those positions in the past two classes.
Thoughts on Tyler Shough?
— Brayden (@BraydenCole95) June 15, 2017
It’s not a huge surprise, but another recruitment where the Wolverines once held a big lead isn’t seeming like a sure thing.
Following a visit to North Carolina, Shough received two Crystal Ball Predictions on his 247Sports profile – both predictions tabbing him to the Tar Heels. One came from a North Carolina recruiting writer, but the other came from Steve Wiltfong, arguably the most nationally knowledgeable writer in the industry.
To put it simply: When Wiltfong predicts something, there’s truth and proof behind it. It’s not just throwing something at the wall.
Regardless, the Wolverines still command his predictions, with 12 of 14 going their way.
From our end, it’s tough to count Michigan out. Shough grew up a diehard fan of the program, has a great relationship with the staff and isn’t afraid to compete with current QB commit Joe Milton.
But, there’s a lot of ahead of him in Ann Arbor in redshirt freshman Brandon Peters, true freshman Dylan McCaffrey and the aforementioned Milton, who would head to Michigan at the same time as Shough.
In Chapel Hill, things are easier, competition isn’t as jam-packed and the quarterback room isn’t filled with an absurd amount of talent.
Shough has said he values academics to the highest standard, and the Tar Heels can meet that criteria for him. Is it to the same standard as Michigan? Maybe not, but it’s as close as it gets between the two.
So, sitting here on this Thursday, we don’t have enough to say Shough isn’t choosing Michigan – but we don’t have enough to call this one a lock, as we have for months now.