2017 Best Guess Recruiting Class: November 30th

The 2016 Michigan football regular season is over. And though it ended on one of the sourest notes in my lifetime, the program’s rise has caught everyone one’s attention, including the top recruits across the country. Add that into the ramping up of recruiting thanks to the free time for coaches and players, and this is a fun time to be locked into Michigan recruiting.

To really get the party started, I’ve put together my latest 2017 Michigan football recruiting class prediction.

Here’s how I put the list together:

  • Total Number
    • The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown had a phenomenal break down of how many scholarships Michigan could have available in this class. Everyone is hearing it’ll be a big class and Brown backs it up with his numbers, saying it could land between 32-35 signees for the Wolverines ($), depending on roster attrition via graduation, transfer and the NFL draft.
  • Class Attrition
    • With the high school season and CFB regular season over, and NSD approaching quickly, this is where movement could start to take shape. I still believe there will be some departures from the current class as meritocracy and better possibilities elsewhere start to happen.
    • There’s a good chance a couple names on the “Just Missed” list end up in this class as well.
  • Positional Numbers
    • After six was said to be the sure-fire number on the offensive line, seven then looked to be the number. But now, it could possibly go up to eight, according to TMI’s Sam Webb ($). With four OL already committed and several top targets favoring UM, this is the most likely position group to see big changes.
    • With top targets in reach, Michigan looks like it’ll be completely open to taking 2-3 more defensive lineman.
    • The wide receiver number remains at four though a little change up thanks to a familiar face.
    • Even with the offer to Tre McKwitty, I do not think Michigan lands a tight end in this class.

So, this class is going to be pretty huge and cause a lot of craziness from now until NSD/the spring. But, when you look at the elite level prospects on the board, it should be completely worth it.

Check out my latest 2017 Michigan football recruiting class prediction:

Chances Key

  • Excellent – Top Team
  • Very Good – Top Three
  • Good – Top Five
  • Fair – Puncher’s Chance
  • Poor – Likely Not Happening

1. QB: Dylan McCaffrey, 6’5″ 205lbs. Littleton, CO (Valor)

Photo Credit: Ray Chen/ArrayPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Ray Chen/ArrayPhoto.com

Though McCaffrey has taken a bit of a tumble in the recruiting rankings, the quarterback commit is still the highest rated player in the class. On top of his talent level, he’s one of the leaders of the class in terms of recruiting the other top talent around the country. Just a couple of top rated recruits he’s targeted includes Donovan Peoples-Jones, Nico Collins and Oliver Martin.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 2/16/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • RankingsScout (4*, #109 overall) – Rivals (4*, #50 overall) – 247 (4*, #55 overall) – ESPN (4*, #60 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #52 overall, #4 Pro-QB, #1 in Colorado

2. RBKurt Taylor, 5’8” 200lbs. Covington, GA (Grayson) 

Taylor was one of the first members of Michigan’s 2017 class and looks to be as solid as can be in a commitment. He’s been a consistent visitor to campus throughout his recruitment, including his official visit this past weekend for the Penn State game. Things still look as solid as ever here but if UM adds another running back, his recruitment could become a little more interesting.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 10/16/15
  • First on List: August 2015
  • RankingsScout (3*, #56 RB) – Rivals (3*, #26 RB) – 247 (3*, #52 RB) – ESPN (3*, #56 RB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #865 overall, #54 RB, #95 in Georgia
  • Other Options: Najee Harris, Eno Benjamin

3. RB: AJ Dillon, 6’1” 240lbs. Groton, MA (Lawrence Academy)

Dillion is the top ranked player out of Massachusetts and proved his ranking after his performance at The Opening. Though his talents translate more to padded football than the 7v7 game, his athleticism consistently shows. He fits the mold of an old-school power back and reminds me a bit of former OSU standout Chris Beanie Wells.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 3/28/16
  • First on ListFebruary 2016
  • RankingsScout (3*, #40 RB) – Rivals (4*, #17 RB) – 247 (4*, #99 overall) – ESPN (3*, #38 RB)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #300 overall, #20 ATH, #1 in Massachusetts
  • Other Options: Najee Harris, Eno Benjamin

4. RB: O’Maury Samuels, 5’10” 190lbs. Los Lunas, NM (Los Lunas) 

Samuels posted the best rating in The Opening Regional camps with a 138.30 rating (which was the best on the regional circuit). That put his name on the map even more than his commitment to Michigan. With that extra attention, official visits elsewhere are expected. Though I still believe he sticks with the Wolverines in the end, he’s another name to watch if the staff adds a 4th running back to the class.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 4/4/16
  • First on List: April 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #22 RB) – Rivals (4*, #18 RB) – 247 (3*, #24 RB) – ESPN (4*, #240 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #276 overall, #21 RB, #1 in New Mexico
  • Other Options: Najee Harris, Eno Benjamin

5. FB/LB: Ben Mason, 6’3” 245lbs. Newtown, CT (Sandy Hook)

Photo Credit: H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media

Mason is one of the two-way players in the class which makes him a player that doesn’t look to be going anywhere. His ability to play both linebacker and fullback at the collegiate level fits Harbaugh’s style to a tee. Outside of his on the field play, he’s also a pretty big recruiter for the class as he targets the east coast targets in Tarik Black and Isaiah Wilson. It’s looking unlikely he signs with anyone besides the Wolverines barring any changes on the coaching staff’s end.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 5/3/16
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (3*, #64 DE) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #35 ILB) – ESPN (4*, #28 OLB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #738 overall, #34 ILB, #5 in Connecticut

6. WR: Donovan Peoples-Jones, 6’2″ 195lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)

The best player in the state and receiver in the country continues to look like one of the safest bets in this 2017 class. Though Peoples-Jones has yet to officially visit Michigan, it’s expected to happen during the mid-December visit date. That visit should be the icing on the cake for DPJ as he’ll be making a decision not too long after the visit as he’ll be early enrolling at the school of his choice. I’ll be completely shocked if it’s not Michigan.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (5*, #32 overall) – Rivals (5*, #13 overall) – 247 (5*, #8 overall) – ESPN (4*, #27 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 5 star, #12 overall, #1 WR, #1 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Oliver Martin

7. WR: Nico Collins, 6’5” 200lbs. Pinson, AL (Clay-Chalkville)

Collins is another big, athletic receiver that has been a safe bet to commit to Michigan for awhile now. Thanks to several visits, the connections with the coaching staff, and the chance to see the field early has all signs still pointing towards the Wolverines. And even though Alabama and Georgia are pushing, this is another top target I’d be shocked to see not choosing Michigan.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: November 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #116 overall) – Rivals (5*, #23 overall) – 247 (4*, #156 overall) – ESPN (4*, #154 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #90 overall, #13 WR, #3 in Alabama
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Oliver Martin

8. WR: Tarik Black, 6’4” 205lbs. Cheshire, CT (Cheshire Academy)

Photo Credit: Justin Weekes / For the Record-Journal

Black recently officially visited Alabama for the Iron Bowl this past weekend and was clearly blown away as he told SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner that the Crimson Tide are his leader at the moment. That’s obviously big news but I still pretty confident that the big receiver will end up sporting the Maize and Blue when he makes his decision in the “next 2-3 weeks”. That’s mainly because of the lack of wide receiver spots that Bama has left for the other top receivers on its board. Now, if something changes there, things could get very interesting.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: May 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #99 overall) – Rivals (4*, #99 overall) – 247 (4*, #193 overall) – ESPN (4*, #223 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #130 overall, #18 WR, #1 in Connecticut
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Oliver Martin

9. WR: Brad Hawkins, 6’2” 210lbs. Camden, NJ (Suffield Academy)

Photo Credit: 247Sports.com

Photo Credit: 247Sports.com

According to multiple reports, the 2016 commit and JUCO standout will be eligible to sign with Michigan this season. And this is big news. Hawkins was one of the most underrated additions to the 2016 class. He’s a player that could be a standout at either wide receiver or free safety, though reports have said that the staff likes him on offense.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 7/3/2015
  • First on List: April 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #224) – Rivals (4*, #206) – 247 (4*, #202) – ESPN (4*, #191)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #206 overall

10. OL: JaRaymond Hall, 6’5″ 285lbs. Oak Park, MI (Oak Park)

Photo Credit: MIPrepZone

Hall has been committed to Michigan since last December and looks to be solid in that commitment. There were some questions raised by UM fans after Hall was unable to make it to the BBQ at the Big House earlier in the month. However, I believe Hall looks to be one of the most solid commitments in the class as he’s been a regular at the Big House this season. But with all of the craziness coming for the OL class, every current commit is a name to watch.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 12/5/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • RankingsScout (4*, #35 OT) – Rivals (3*, #72 OT) – 247 (3*, #43 OT) – ESPN (4*, #172 Overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #318 overall, #33 OT, #8 in Michigan

11. OL: Andrew Stueber, 6’6” 290lbs. Darien, CT (Darien) 

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Stueber may not be the most recognizable name or highly ranked recruits but he’s easily one of the most college ready prospects in UM’s class. He also has the versatility to play all along the line at Michigan, which is another reason why the staff is so high on him. He’s solid as can be to Michigan.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 6/25/16
  • First on List: July 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #262 overall) – Rivals (3*, #69 OT) – 247 (3*, #78 OT) – ESPN (4*, #41 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #421 overall, #46 OT, #4 in Connecticut 

12. OL: Joel Honigford, 6’6” 275lbs. Sugarcreek, OH (Garaway) 

Photo Credit: 247Sports

Photo Credit: 247Sports

Honigford is a recruit that has a high ceiling but he’s got a bit of a ways to go to get there. Though he’s very athletic and has the ideal frame for an offensive tackle, his weight is something that he’ll need to work on. Now, that will come with age and more time in the weight room so it’s not a big problem. Once he gets the size and strength necessary, he could be a very nice tackle prospect for Drevno.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 6/29/16
  • First on List: July 2016
  • RankingsScout (3*, #47 OT) – Rivals (3*, #47 OT) – 247 (3*, #72 OT) – ESPN (4*, #205 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #448 overall, #48 OT, #20 in Ohio

13. OL: Kai-Leon Herbert, 6’5” 285lbs. Ft Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage)

Herbert was one of the biggest recruiting wins of the class so far for Michigan after beating out the likes of Florida and Miami (FL) for the Sunshine State standout. But will UM be able to hold onto him? There’s been a lot of smoke out there about Florida and Miami making a move for Herbert. He visited Ann Arbor for the Illinois game and looks to be solid once again. We’ll see if the in-state schools are able to change things but, as for now, he looks very likely to sign with the Wolverines.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 7/6/2016
  • First on List: June 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #251 overall) – Rivals (4*, #228 overall) – 247 (3*, #71 OT) – ESPN (4*, #108 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #247 overall, #27 OT, #35 in Florida

14. OL: Chuck Filiaga, 6’6” 335lbs. Aledo, TX (Aledo) 

Photo Credit: 247Sports.com

Photo Credit: 247Sports.com

After telling 247Sports’ Jeremy Clark that The Wolverines are his new leader ($) after his official visit for the Wisconsin game and that still looks to be the case. Oklahoma looks to be the biggest threat at this point but with the staff looking like they’ll continue to push hard for the big man up until his January 7th decision, I believe Michigan will be the choice.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: October 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #125 overall) – Rivals (4*, #122 overall) – 247 (4*, #105 overall) – ESPN (4*, #137 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #97 overall, #14 OT, #13 in Texas
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Tedarrell Slaton, Alex Leatherwood, Austin Deculus, Deron Irving-Bey

15. OL: Isaiah Wilson, 6’7” 350lbs. Brooklyn, NY (Poly Prep) 

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Going into his official visit for the Indiana game, Wilson looked like the 2nd best bet in terms of offensive lineman behind Cesar Ruiz. Afterwards, my confidence is even higher that the five star tackle will end up committing to and signing with the Wolverines. Alabama is still hanging around but I don’t see that happening thanks to the OL haul the Crimson Tide have already put together.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: August 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #49 overall) – Rivals (5*, #6 overall) – 247 (4*, #101 overall) – ESPN (5*, #2 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 5 star, #31 overall, #7 OT, #1 in New York
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Tedarrell Slaton, Alex Leatherwood, Austin Deculus, Deron Irving-Bey

16. OC: Cesar Ruiz, 6’3” 315lbs. Camden, NJ (IMG Academy)

Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

With Jaylen Kelly-Powell committed, Ruiz takes over the spot as the safest bet in the class. North Carolina is said to be a threat but I don’t think he’s fooling anyone with that one. He’s another guy that’s expected to make his decision known sooner rather than later. There isn’t a player I’d be more shocked to see commit elsewhere.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: June 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #100 overall) – Rivals (4*, #118 overall) – 247 (4*, #64 overall) – ESPN (4*, #70 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #65 overall, #1 C, #13 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Drew Dalman, Tedarrell Slaton, Austin Deculus 

17. DL/OL: Phillip Paea, 6’4” 280lbs. Berrien Springs, MI (Berrien Springs)

Paea is one of the biggest “just scratching the surface” members of the class. That’s in both his game and as a recruiter. He’s a raw talent but has the chance to be a very good defensive tackle thanks to his sneaky athleticism and wrestling background. As a recruiter, he told Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz about his plans for a “Poly pipeline” to Michigan ($). He’s a crucial part of the recruitment of Jay Tufele.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 4/2/16
  • First on List: March 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #24 DT) – Rivals (3*, #15 OG) – 247 (3*, #28 DT) – ESPN (4*, #30 DT)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #451 overall, #36 DT, #12 in Michigan

18. DL/OL: James Hudson, 6’5” 280lbs. Toledo, OH (Central Catholic) 

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Hudson is the latest commitment in the class and is a big time add for the staff. At 6’5” 280+, he has the size and athleticism to play all along the defensive line but is expected to play the 3-5 technique for Michigan. Though MSU was a close 2nd place finish, I don’t expect him to end up anywhere besides Ann Arbor, barring any craziness. Though his college position is up for question as several reports have come out mentioning his unreal ceiling as a left tackle. We’ll see what the coaching staff has in store for Hudson.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 8/8/16
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (3*, #26 DT) – Rivals (4*, #233 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #226 overall) –ESPN (4*, #30 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #325 overall, #13 SDE, #16 in Ohio

19. DT: Rutger Reitmaier, 6’3” 275lbs. Nashville, TN (Lipscomb Academy)

Reitmaier finally made his official visit to Michigan for the Indiana game and things looked to go as well as possible. As a player that looks like a perfect fit on Greg Mattison’s defensive line (reminds me a ton of Maurice Hurst with his athleticism and pass rushing ability) and a commit of now head coachless Oregon, my Crystal Ball is in for the big man to flip to the Wolverines.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good (Committed to Oregon)
  • Highlights
  • First on List: October 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #31 DT) – Rivals (3*, #28 DT) – 247 (4*, #171 overall) – ESPN (4*, #25 DT)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #375 overall, #23 DT, #11 in Tennessee
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Deron Irving-Bey, Tedarrell Slaton, Popo Aumavae

20. DT: Jay Tufele, 6’3” 295lbs. South Jordan, UT (Bingham) 

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Tufele was easily one of the toughest decisions on this list. I felt very good about Michigan’s chances after his official visit for the Indiana game. But the one thing that held me back from putting in a Crystal Ball was his official visit to Ohio State this past weekend. And though it looked like he had a fantastic time, I still think this is a battle that Michigan can win in the end.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: July 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #37 overall) – Rivals (4*, #95 overall) – 247 (4*, 39 overall) – ESPN (4*, #131 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #58 overall, #4 DT, #1 in Utah
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Deron Irving-Bey, Tedarrell Slaton, Popo Aumavae

21. DL: Aubrey Solomon, 6’4” 295lbs. Leesburg, GA (Lee County)

Photo Credit: 247Sports

Photo Credit: 247Sports

I’m doing something I never thought I would do and haven’t done in a long time. I’m putting Solomon back in the class prediction. After he decommitted in response to #ThankYouLetterGate, everyone thought he was destined to stay down south and play for his home state Bulldogs. Welp, so much for that. Thanks to the Michigan staff’s push to get Solomon and his mother to Ann Arbor for an official visit, things look to be favoring the Wolverines once again. It doesn’t look to be a slam dunk but, at this point, I believe Michigan can win over mom and get his signature.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: June 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (5*, #20 overall) – Rivals (4*, #94 overall) – 247 (4*. #41 overall) – ESPN (
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #59 overall, #4 DT, #7 in Georgia
  • Crystal Ball: Cloudy
  • Other Options: Deron Irving-Bey, Popo Aumavae, 

22. DL: Donovan Jeter, 6’5” 250lbs. Beaver Falls, PA (Beaver Falls)

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Jeter is the 279th ranked player in the country and the #11 strong side defensive end in the class. And I believe that’s a very fair ranking. The talented lineman is a big, strong, physical player that has the size and the athleticism to play the 5, 7 and, with some more size, the 3 technique in Don Brown’s defense. As for his commitment, he looks very likely to sign with Michigan.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 8/8/16
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #300 overall) – Rivals (4*, #14 DT) – 247Sports (4*, #237 overall) – ESPN (4*, #28 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #279 overall, #11 SSDE, #8 in Pennsylvania

23. DE: Kwity Paye, 6’4” 235lbs. Warwick, RI (Bishop Hendrickson) 

Photo Credit: ESPN

Photo Credit: ESPN

Paye is a player that was quickly identified by Don Brown as a perfect fit for the Michigan defense. His size, speed and motor pops off of the screen throughout his highlights, as does his pure rawness. With more coaching and time in the weight room, he could be a very disruptive player in the Maize and Blue throughout his playing career. As for his commitment, he flipped from Boston College and looks set to sign with UM, barring any crazy changes.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 8/8/16
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (3*, #32 DE) – Rivals (4*, #233 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #221 overall) –ESPN (4*, #30 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #314 overall, #13 SDE, #15 in Ohio

24. DE: Luiji Vilain, 6’4” 235lbs. Ontario, Canada (Episcopal (VA)) 

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Vilain was the 2nd Canadian addition the class and, like fellow Canadian Benjamin St-Juste, he’s a player with a very high ceiling. Though he’s already a top 100 recruit in the class, I firmly believe he’d be a top 50 guy, pushing for five star status, if he played his entire high school career in the US. Luckily for Michigan, they’ll get the chance to reap the benefits of his natural ability throughout his career.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 6/12/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #138 overall) – Rivals (4*, #181 overall) – 247 (4*, #85 overall) – ESPN (4*, #102 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #95 overall, #7 WDE, #3 in Virginia

25. DE: Corey Malone-Hatcher, 6’4” 240lbs. Saint Joseph, MI (St. Joe’s)

Malone-Hatcher is another one of those “scratching the surface” commitments mainly because of the injury that kept him out for a large portion of his junior season. But he’s back to 100% and should put on a show during his senior year. At Michigan, he’s projected to play weak side defensive end but he’ll continue to play linebacker and tight end throughout his senior season. As for his recruitment, don’t worry about him going anywhere in this class. He’s become the vocal leader and main player recruiter for the 2017 class.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 6/2/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #297 overall) – Rivals (4*, #14 SDE) – 247 (4*, #261 overall) – ESPN (4*, #273 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #285 overall, #17 WDE, #5 in Michigan

26. ILB: Josh Ross, 6’2″ 225lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (OLSM)

Photo Credit: MIPrepZone

Ross is easily one of the most solid commitments in the class. As a four star inside linebacker, he’s not only a big get for the staff but he’s also a player that should see the field quickly. He has the athleticism and instincts to be a game changer as both a blitzer and coverage linebacker in Don Brown’s defense.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 3/22/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • RankingsScout (4*, #230 overall) – Rivals (4*, #206 overall) – 247 (4*, #194 overall) – ESPN (4*, #234 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #209 overall, #10 ILB, #3 in Michigan

27. LB: Drew Singleton, 6’3″ 215lbs. Paramus, NJ (Paramus Catholic)

Photo Credit: Steve Hockstein | For NJ Advance Media

Singleton has firmly been a member of this class prediction and continues to be a part of it, even after tearing his ACL and being out for the rest of his senior season. That injury is a hiccup at this point and I don’t believe it will affect his standing with the staff. His great relationships with both the players on the roster and staff have me, once again, feeling very confident he’ll end up choosing Michigan over Clemson and others.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #68 overall) – Rivals (4*, #43 overall) – 247 (4*, #77 overall) – ESPN (4*, #131 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #67 overall, #3 OLB, #1 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Baron Browning, Juliano Falaniko

28. LB: Willie Gay, 6’2” 215lbs. Starkville, MS (Starkville)

Gay is back on the list for the first time since May and it looks like he could very likely stay. He’s told several reporters that Michigan is his leader after he officially visited for the Illinois game and quickly decommitted from Ole Miss. If he can get the grades to get into UM, I think he burns the SEC and heads north for his college ball.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: May 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #89 overall) – Rivals (4*, #17 OLB) – 247 (4*, #95 overall) – ESPN (4*, #214 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #121 overall, #8 OLB, #3 in Mississippi
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Baron Browning, Juliano Falaniko

29. LB: Jordan Anthony, 6’1” 230lbs. Olney, MD (IMG Academy) 

Anthony has become another mainstay on this class prediction and will continue to be on here until something more comes out about him not choosing UM or linebacker spots running out. But, since that’s not the case, he’s firmly on the list with a decision that looks like it could come at any moment.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: June 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #150 overall) – Rivals (4*, #70 overall) – 247 (4*, #200 overall) – ESPN (4*, #125 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #116 overall, #6 OLB, #22 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Baron Browning, Juliano Falaniko

30. S/OLBJaylen Kelly-Powell, 6’0” 183lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)

Photo Credit: YouTube.com

This was an ending sources have let us know about for quite sometime as he worked with our very own Stephen Osentoski to put together his official commitment video. Look for him to become a main recruiter alongside Corey Malone-Hatcher to wrap up this class.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First on List: May 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #269 overall) – Rivals (3*, #31 S) – 247Sports (4*, #148 overall) – ESPN (4*, #265 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #260 overall, #21 S, #4 in Michigan

31. S: J’Marick Woods, 6’4” 205lbs. Florence, AL (Florence)

Photo Credit: USATodayHSS

Woods has long been committed to Michigan and has been a top recruiter for the staff throughout the cycle. He’s been talking about helping build a pipeline from Alabama to Michigan, which Harbaugh and his staff have been trying to set up since they got to Ann Arbor. Mississippi State and Arkansas are said to be making a push but I highly doubt Woods flips to either program.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 3/28/16
  • First on List: April 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #26 S) – Rivals (3*, #36 S) – 247 (3*, #32 S) – ESPN (4*, #21 S)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #349 overall, #28 S, #16 in Alabama

32. DB: Elijah Hicks, 6’0” 185lbs. La Marida, CA (La Marida) 

Hicks is a current Notre Dame commit that officially visited for the snowy Indiana game and there is now plenty of smoke out there about a possible flip being in motion. First reported by TMI’s Sam Webb, Hicks is a name to watch ($). And it would be a nice addition to the class. He’s a big bodied defensive back that could play multiple spots. Keep a close eye on this one.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good (Committed to Notre Dame)
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #259 overall) – Rivals (4*, #27 ATH) – 247 (3*, #49 CB) – ESPN (3*, #38 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #340 overall, #37 CB, #40 in California
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Brandon Sebastian, Deommodore Lenoir

33. CB: Benjamin St-Juste, 6’3” 190lbs. Montreal, Quebec (Cegep du Vieux) 

Photo Credit: CEGEP du Vieux Montreal

St-Juste went from an unknown recruit to a legit four star cornerback after showing off the size and athleticism that the Michigan staff saw during the camp circuit. Besides recruiting analysts, other programs have started to take notice as well. Virginia Tech is the biggest new comer to extend an offer to St-Juste and is expected to receive an official this fall. However, it looks highly unlikely the Canadian standout leaves UM’s class.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 6/23/2015
  • First on List: August 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #32 CB) – Rivals (4*, #215 overall) – 247 (4*, #92 overall) – ESPN (3*, #61 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #319 overall, #35 CB, #1 in Quebec

34. CB: Ambry Thomas, 5’10” 170lbs. Detroit, MI (King)

Photo Credit: CampusInsiders

Thomas is starting to look more and more like a player that Michigan will eventually sign. However, he’s still enjoying his recruitment and MSU remains a possibility. But I highly doubt that’s where he ends up. I believe the night and day differences in both program’s seasons could be the deciding factor here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #58 overall) – Rivals (4*, #178 overall) – 247 (4*, #31 overall) – ESPN (4*, #227 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #100 overall, #11 CB, #2 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Brandon Sebastian, Deommodore Lenoir

35. CB: Darnay Holmes, 5’10” 190lbs. Calabasas, CA (Calabasas)

Photo Credit: MaxPreps

This is the closest I’ve been to taking Holmes out of the projected class since I added him back in August. But I’m gonna keep sticking to my guns and believe he does, in fact, make it to Ann Arbor in December for his official visit. If he does that, I believe Michigan can sway him again, especially with the struggles and rumors surrounding Jim Mora at UCLA. But he has to make that visit. Otherwise, he could either stay out west or possibly end up in Columbus.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: March 2015
  • RankingsScout (5*, #9 overall) – Rivals (5*, #15 overall) – 247 (5*, #18 overall) – ESPN (4*, #40 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 5 star, #12 overall, #2 CB, #3 in California
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Brandon Sebastian, Deommodore Lenoir

Projected Class Score: 309.17 (per 247Sports

If Michigan were to finish the class like this, it would definitely rival Ohio State for the best class in the nation. It would easily be one of the program’s greatest recruiting hauls on paper and could be a real pillar of the Harbaugh era as there are several potential star players on this list.

Just Missed

  • WR Oliver Martin
    • Martin is a player I still believe could end up in this class. However, Notre Dame is still making a hard push and there’s a chance he doesn’t have a spot left if he takes too long with his decision.
      • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • RB Najee Harris
    • I was extremely close to putting Harris on the list but, if that were to come true, there would be attrition from the current running back haul. With Harris’ official visit coming up in December, there’s a real chance he’s on next month’s BGRC.
      • Crystal Ball: None
  • OL Tedarrell Slaton
  • FB Tory Carter
    • Carter is still committed to LSU at the moment but after his official visit to Michigan for the Indiana game, it looks like a very real possibility that he flips to the Wolverines. However, with the numbers crunch, it’s hard to put another fullback in the class over other positions.
      • Crystal Ball: None
  • DL Deron Irving-Bey
    • Irving-Bey may be in a similar boat as Oliver Martin. It looks like he’s heavily favoring Michigan at the moment but with numbers getting tight, he looks like he could be a player that is squeezed out. But, if there’s room, I believe he signs with Michigan.
      • Crystal Ball: Cloudy
  • OLB Brelin Faison-Walden
    • Faison-Walden is another player that I still have my Crystal Ball on Michigan for that’s on the “Just Missed” list. And that’s for two reasons: 1) I think PSU’s turnaround has him favoring his commitment at the moment but 2) I still won’t rule out Chris Partridge and Don Brown here, if they truly want him in this class. This is one to watch closely as I could see it go either way.
      • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • OT Alex Leatherwood
    • Michigan wants Leatherwood but unless the staff can get him back on campus before the turn of the new year, it’s extremely unlikely that the five star tackle flips from Alabama.
      • Crystal Ball: None
  • OLB Shanon Reid
    • I flipped my Crystal Ball prediction from Michigan to LSU for Reid after a source informed me that Michigan was unable to accept his commitment. With the offer from the Tigers now on the table, it looks likely that he ends up staying down south.
      • Crystal Ball: LSU

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Garrett Fishaw

Born and raised in Metro Detroit. Played soccer and graduated from Seton Hill University. Live in Atlanta. Owner and Managing Editor of MGoFish.com