2017 Best Guess Recruiting Class: July 26th

With the BBQ at the Big House less than two weeks away and National Signing Day just over 6 months away, I’ve put together my 2017 Best Guess Recruiting Class for the month of July that has plenty of change from the previous lists. That includes four new names from the June list, three of whom are making their first ever appearance on the list. There are also a couple uncommitted additions who I believe are names to watch during the BBQ.

Here’s a couple notes on how I put together the list together:

  • Total Number: I’ve been sticking with 30 recruits for my last couple classes but this class is up to 31. According to TMI’s Sam Webb, this class could land between 28-32 recruits through grayshirts, added attrition and other situations ($).
  • Positional Numbers: According to both Webb and Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, Michigan is only expected to take 6 offensive lineman in this class and are also shooting for 6 defensive lineman. Both of these numbers are represented on the list below with a certain jumbo athlete fitting the 6th DL spot. There are also some players on the “Just Missed” list who I believe UM could land but didn’t add for numbers sake, that includes another offensive lineman.
  • Attrition: Last month, I could only see at least one possible decommitment on current commitment list. But, this month, I’m starting to feel like there could multiple losses in this class. And, like always, I’m not going to get into who I believe could leave the class or why. But either way, I could see class attrition bring the class down to the 28-29 number.

Add that all in with reading the tea leaves and doing some digging, and here’s 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)

The highly ranked quarterback is well known for his family (son of former NFL receiver Ed and brother of Stanford star running back, Christian) but looks likely to make a big name for himself at the college level. He not only comes from a family full of elite athletes but he may be the best of the bunch. His frame, leadership qualities, football IQ and pocket presence mixed with the tutelage of Jim Harbaugh gives him a chance to be a star in the Maize and Blue after a little time in the cafeteria and weight room.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 2/16/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • RankingsScout (4*, #101 overall) – Rivals (4*, #45 overall) – 247 (4*, #54 overall) – ESPN (4*, #19 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #39 overall, #2 Pro-QB, #1 in Colorado

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

The three star is a tough, stout, quicker than fast running back that loves contact. When you look at how built he is for a high school student (or anyone for that matter), you can see why he has no problem looking for defenders. Though he can also beat the defense with a quick first step, he has similar running style to former Wolverine, Mike Hart. With his move to Georgia powerhouse, Grayson, Taylor will have the chance to truly prove his talents to the naysayers this fall.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 10/16/15
  • First on List: August 2015
  • RankingsScout (3*, #48 RB) – Rivals (3*, #26 RB) – 247 (3*, #47 RB) – ESPN (3*, #65 RB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #826 overall, #50 RB, #83 in Georgia
  • Other Options: Stephen Carr, Najee Harris, Sione Lund

3. RB: AJ Dillon, 6’1” 239lbs. Groton, MA (Lawrence Academy) 

The #1 player out of Massachusetts is the prototypical Jim Harbaugh recruit. He’s a very smart player both on and off the field, plays and excels at multiple positions and happens to do so with a hard nosed mentality. And that is what jumps off the screen on his highlight tape and during his time at The Opening. At Michigan, he could be a workhorse similar to DeVeon Smith.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 3/28/16
  • First on ListFebruary 2016
  • RankingsScout (3*, #40 RB) – Rivals (4*, #17 RB) – 247 (4*, #99 overall) – ESPN (3*, #40 RB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #295 overall, #17 ATH, #1 in Massachusetts
  • Other Options: Stephen Carr, Najee Harris, Sione Lund

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

The three star back (but rising) is one of the best athletes in the entire class. He proved his all around athleticism at The Opening Regional camp at JerryWorld, posting a 138.30 rating (which was the best on the regional circuit) against some of the top players in the nation. That speed, strength, agility and physical build is what the staff wants and needs out of another running back in the 2017 class as he’s the true home run threat the depth chart needs. If he takes to the coaching, he could be a star for the Wolverines.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 4/4/16
  • First on List: April 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #23 RB) – Rivals (4*, #18 RB) – 247 (3*, #25 RB) – ESPN (4*, #236 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #267 overall, #20 RB, #1 in New Mexico
  • Other Options: Stephen Carr, Najee Harris, Sione Lund

5. FB: Chase Lasater, 6’2” 235lbs. Jacksonville, FL (Trinity Christian)

The Floridian is the first full back commit of the Harbaugh era and looks to be a perfect fit in UM’s pro-style, ground and pound offense. He is a physical, hard nosed, athletic player that plays both fullback and linebacker for his high school but is expected to be used primarily on offense in the Maize and Blue. But questions are still out there on whether or not he signs with UM. At this point, I believe he will.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 4/1/16
  • First on List: April 2016
  • RankingsScout (2*) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (NR) – ESPN (3*, #2 FB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #1335 overall, #2 FB, #187 in Florida
  • Other Options: Sione Lund, Tory Carter

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

Peoples-Jones remains the top target on the recruiting board and still looks very good to end up at Michigan. His ties to the program and University are deep and, through a decision isn’t expected until later on in the cycle, a great season on the field should put the Wolverines in a fantastic position. While my Crystal Ball isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, Florida and Ohio State look to be the two biggest threats until he signs his LOI.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #33 overall) – Rivals (5*, #11 overall) – 247 (5*, #8 overall) – ESPN (4*, #12 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 5 star, #7 overall, #1 WR, #1 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Tarik Black

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

Collins has made it very clear that Michigan is the favorite in his recruitment and has been for a couple months now. And with him possibly making it to Ann Arbor again for the BBQ, I wouldn’t completely rule out a decision. Commitment or not, you cannot completely count out Nick Saban and Alabama. They’ll likely get him on campus again for an official visit this fall which will mean Michigan’s on the field performance and official visit will be very important.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: November 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #112 overall) – Rivals (5*, #21 overall) – 247 (4*, #106 overall) – ESPN (4*, #152 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #76 overall, #13 WR, #1 in Alabama
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Tarik Black

8. WR: Oliver Martin, 6’1” 195lbs. Iowa City, IA (West) 

Martin is a first timer on the BGRC and it’s a little bit of a stretch. He burst onto the recruiting scene at The Opening when he became Dylan McCaffrey’s favorite target on Team HyperCool. That performance not only helped him make one of the largest jumps in recruiting rankings history but also helped him receive an offer from the UM staff. After doing some digging, I put in my Crystal Ball for Martin to Michigan. With him expected at the BBQ with several of his HyperCool teammates, UM could very well move firmly into the leader position before he leaves campus.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No, BBQ
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • RankingsScout (4*, #267 overall) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (4*, #67 overall) – ESPN (3*, #91 WR)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #261 overall, #36 WR, #1 in Iowa
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Tarik Black

9. TE: Josh Falo, 6’5” 225lbs. Sacramento, CA (Inderkum) 

Though a 2nd tight end looks very likely to be added to the class, the 2017 tight end recruiting board is pretty limited at this time. It looks to be Major Tennison and my newest addition to the list, Josh Falo. The big, athletic TE-Y has the look of a big timer and looks to be the top target for the staff moving forward. He teamed up with the Michigan commits and targets on Team HyperCool at The Opening which looks to be helping UM here. He’s expected to travel all the way across the country on his own dime for the BBQ, which says a ton about his interest. A great visit as well as a big push from the staff and commits should put UM at/near the top of his list with Oregon and USC. It’s a bit of a reach at this point but I think the BBQ and his fit in the Wolverines’ offense wins out in the end.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No, BBQ
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #218 overall) – Rivals (4*, #8 TE) – 247 (4*, #59 overall) – ESPN (4*, #179 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #167 overall, #4 TE, #19 in California
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Major Tennison, Tyler Johnson, Charles Reeves

10. TE: Carter Dunaway, 6’6” 225lbs. Bloomfield Hills, MI (Brother Rice)

The three star is a legacy recruit as his father Craig played for Bo from 1980-82 and his brother Jack will be joining Michigan this summer as a preferred walk-on. Add in his lifelong affinity for the Maize and Blue, and this was a quick and easy decision that only took two weeks after landing his offer. He’s a player that has plenty of room to grow and has been starting to show flashes of his potential throughout the camp circuit this offseason. Expect him to legitimize his addition to the class during his senior season.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 4/18/15
  • First on List: April 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (2*) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #48 TE) – ESPN (3*, #17 TE)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #1289 overall, #56 TE, #34 in Michigan
  • Other Options: Major Tennison, Tyler Johnson, Charles Reeves

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

While the four star was not the most offered recruit in the state (at the time of his UM offer), he is a player that was expected to blow up on the scene throughout his recruitment. Though I don’t believe it would change his decision to Michigan as he’s looked like a near lock to end up in the Maize and Blue since the day they offered. Add in how high the staff is on him and something huge would have to happen for him not to sign with the Wolverines on NSD.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 12/5/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • RankingsScout (4*, #248 Overall) – Rivals (3*, #68 OT) – 247 (3*, #43 OT) – ESPN (4*, #166 Overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #302 overall, #32 OT, #8 in Michigan

12. OT: Andrew Stueber, 6’6” 290lbs. Darien, CT (Darien) 

Stueber isn’t the highest rated recruit in the class but he showed the staff what he can do with his size and strength during the Big Man camp in Ann Arbor in mid-June. That performance earned him an offer which quickly pushed Michigan to the top of his list as a “dream offer”. He wasn’t expected to make his decision until August at the BBQ but he wanted to guarantee his spot in the class and committed to Michigan in late June.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 6/25/16
  • First on List: Now
  • RankingsScout (3*, #43 OT) – Rivals (3*, #64 OT) – 247 (3*, #78 OT) – ESPN (4*, #41 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #588 overall, #65 OT, #3 in Connecticut 

13. OT: Joel Honigford, 6’6” 275lbs. Sugarcreek, OH (Garaway) 

Most analysts had Honigford pegged to Michigan State as he had visited East Lansing several times over the last year. Michigan offered in April and didn’t really make a move for him until the staff hosted him for a visit in mid-June. After that visit, he named UM among his top 4 two days before he decided to commit to the Wolverines out of the blue. He’s a player that has room to grow and will be a player to watch throughout his senior season.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 6/29/16
  • First on List: Now
  • RankingsScout (3*, #47 OT) – Rivals (3*, #46 OT) – 247 (3*, #72 OT) – ESPN (4*, #199 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #437 overall, #48 OT, #21 in Ohio

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

As one of the top offensive lineman in the class, Herbert’s recruitment saw offers and attention from several heavy hitters. But for the majority of his recruitment, it was the in-state Florida Gators who were the strong favorite and were expected to gain his commitment at any moment. All signs continued to point towards UF but that was until Michigan ramped up their pressure on him. Thanks to a summer visit and the possibility of early playing time, he committed to the Wolverines in one of the most talked about commitment videos of all time.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 7/6/2016
  • First on List: June 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #180 overall) – Rivals (4*, #61 overall) – 247 (3*, #71 OT) – ESPN (4*, #106 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #165 overall, #20 OT, #31 in Florida

15. OL: Henry Bainivalu, 6’5” 290lbs. Seattle, WA (Skyline) 

Bainivalu may not be the name you’re expecting to see here for one of the last non-center offensive line addition but I believe he’s much higher on Michigan and vice versa which has him making his 3rd straight appearance on the list. He paid his way to visit Ann Arbor during the fall and has consistently talked about how much he enjoyed the visit and likes UM since. Washington looks to be the main competition here but I believe a good season on the field and a successful official visit can sway the versatile lineman away from the in-state Huskies.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: May 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #229 overall) – Rivals (4*, #29 OT) – 247 (4*, #134 overall) – ESPN (4*, #155 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #182 overall, #23 OT, #3 in Washington
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Isaiah Wilson, Tedarrell Slaton, Toryque Bateman, Aaron Banks, Alex Leatherwood

16. OC: Cesar Ruiz, 6’4” 290lbs. Camden, NJ (IMG Academy)

Ruiz is another longtime returning member of this class though my positivity on his inclusion is not as high as it once was. Like with OT Isaiah Wilson, Alabama has ramped up their pressure and has become another favorite to land the talented offensive lineman. This will be a recruiting battle to watch very closely but I still believe the longtime recruitment, familiarity with both the staff and roster, and good chance to start from day one will win out in the end.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: June 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #98 overall) – Rivals (4*, #119 overall) – 247 (4*, #63 overall) – ESPN (4*, #89 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #72 overall, #1 C, #17 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Drew Dalman, Tedarrell Slaton, Isaiah Wilson, Aaron Banks

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

The rising three star is a big, physical and versatile athlete that could play multiple positions at the next level. In high school, he plays both offensive guard and defensive tackle but thanks to his wrestling background, it looks like he’ll be a run stuffing big man in the middle of the Wolverines defense for years to come.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 4/2/16
  • First on List: March 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #25 DT) – Rivals (3*, #16 OG) – 247 (3*, #26 DT) – ESPN (4*, #30 DT)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #443 overall, #35 DT, #12 in Michigan

18. DT: Aubrey Solomon, 6’3” 305lbs. Leesburg, GA (Leesburg County) 

As a top player in the country and coming from the heart of SEC country, Solomon was a priority recruit for all. Most believed he was going to stay down south and play for Nick Saban at Alabama or Kirby Smart at Georgia, however, one trip to Ann Arbor for the on-campus Big Man camp was all he needed to see. His quickly built relationship with the staff and the opportunities available at Michigan were the main factors here in one of Jim Harbaugh’s biggest wins on the recruiting front. Now, he just has to get that signature.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 6/18/16
  • First on List: June 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #129 overall) – Rivals (4*, #91 overall) – 247 (4* #216 overall) – ESPN (4*, #61 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #95 overall, #6 DT, #11 in Georgia

19. DT: Jay Tufele, 6’3” 300lbs. South Jordan, UT (Brighton) 

Tufele is the top defensive line prospect remaining on the board for Michigan and a player I believe they’re in great shape to land. Ohio State has been the favorite over the last couple months but I believe a visit to Ann Arbor for an official visit this fall on top of a growing relationship with Coach Tuoiti could sway things towards the Wolverines. It’ll be a tight battle between the bitter rivals throughout and will likely be the top battle between Harbaugh and Meyer in this class.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: February 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #35 overall) – Rivals (4*, #99 overall) – 247 (4*, #39 overall) – ESPN (4*, #86 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #47 overall, #3 DT, #1 in Utah
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Neil Farrell, James Hudson, Deron Irving-Bey, Hunter Echols, Greg Rogers

20. DE: Luiji Vilain, 6’4” 235lbs. Alexandria, VA (Episcopal) 

Vilain had visited Ann Arbor multiple times in the past after his trips to Detroit for the Sound Mind Sound Body camps throughout his high school career. This had him very high on the Maize and Blue. But it wasn’t until earlier this spring that he finally received his offer. Once that was in hand, Michigan looked to be in great position and he proved that when he made an unofficial visit in the middle of May. He committed less than a month later.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 6/12/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #138 overall) – Rivals (4*, #180 overall) – 247 (4*, #85 overall) – ESPN (4*, #97 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #96 overall, #6 WDE, #3 in Virginia

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

As a top recruit, CMH was a top target for the nation’s elite programs, including Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame. However, Michigan held an advantage from the get-go. Thanks to the staff picking up where the previous staff left off (especially Coach Mattison staying on him) and continuing to make him a priority, he decided to wrap up his recruitment by pledging to the Wolverines at the beginning of June.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 6/2/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #296 overall) – Rivals (4*, #14 SDE) – 247 (4*, #261 overall) – ESPN (4*, #269 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #280 overall, #17 WDE, #5 in Michigan

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

 

Singleton has been a priority for this staff from the start of the 2017 cycle and remains among the most wanted prospects. And I still believe they get their guy. Clemson, Pitt and Alabama are threats here but I believe the longtime relationships with Chris Partridge, Jabrill Peppers and Rashan Gary, as well as the budding relationship with Don Brown, will help Michigan land the top ranked player in New Jersey for the 3rd time in the last 4 classes.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #67 overall) – Rivals (4*, #39 overall) – 247 (4*, #77 overall) – ESPN (4*, #128 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #60 overall, #3 OLB, #1 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Baron Browning, Juliano Falaniko, Will Ignont, Willie Gay, Kenneth Murray 

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

Anthony is the guy I’ll watch closest during the BBQ at the Big House on August 6th. He’s expected to make his way up to Ann Arbor just a month after spending his time at The Opening with Team HyperCool. I believe Michigan leads for his services and this visit could be the perfect time to make that official. Nothing is guaranteed but, if he does indeed make it to campus, he’s a prime candidate to drop.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: June 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #150 overall) – Rivals (4*, #93 overall) – 247 (4*, #199 overall) – ESPN (4*, #122 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #114 overall, #8 OLB, #24 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Baron Browning, Juliano Falaniko, Kenneth Murray

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

The four star is one of the top 2017 linebackers and players in the state. While he was a top target for the previous coaching staff, he became a true priority when Harbaugh took over. And for good reason. There aren’t many linebackers that are better pure tacklers in the class which should make him a great fit at the WILL or MIKE spots in Brown’s defense.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 3/22/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • RankingsScout (4*, #228 overall) – Rivals (4*, #206 overall) – 247 (4*, #193 overall) – ESPN (4*, #231 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #217 overall, #9 ILB, #3 in Michigan

25. ILB: Ben Mason, 6’3” 245lbs. Newtown, CT (Sandy Hook)

Similar to 2017 LB Josh Ross, Mason is a physical, smart, instinctive player that just loves to play the game. He shows signs of being a productive MIKE or WILL linebacker but thanks to his ability to block, catch and make plays with the ball in his hands, fullback definitely looks to be a possibility for his future position.

  • Story
  • 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, #732 overall, #30 ILB, #5 in Connecticut

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

The three star Canadian committed to the 2016 recruiting class over the summer after putting on a standout performance at the UM camp. But because of the Canadian high school system, he reclassified to the 2017 class which ended up being a good move for both St-Juste and Michigan as it has allowed him to grow as a player and allowed him to show how big of a steal the Wolverines are getting. Now, he’s expected to take official visits elsewhere but I still believe he signs with UM.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 6/23/2015
  • First on List: August 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #32 CB) – Rivals (4*, #209 overall) – 247 (4*, #92 overall) – ESPN (3*, #54 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #349 overall, #39 CB, #1 in Quebec

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

Thomas showed off his ability to be an elite level receiver on top of his cornerback skills at The Opening for Team HyperCool as he racked up 10 catches for 338 yards and 4 touchdowns in just two games. That playmaking ability has been known by Michigan as they’ve been recruiting him as an athlete/cornerback so far. Thanks to that, the momentum UM has had in his recruitment and the likely possibility of playing alongside his cousin, Jaylen Kelly-Powell, my Crystal Ball isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And no, I don’t really buy the Florida stuff too much.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #55 overall) – Rivals (4*, #174 overall) – 247 (4*, #32 overall) – ESPN (4*, #257 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #101 overall, #13 CB, #2 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Darnay Holmes, Shaun Wade, Alex Perry

28. DBJaylen Kelly-Powell, 6’0” 183lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)

Though he recently received offers from both Alabama and Auburn, Kelly-Powell is still the safest uncommitted bet on this list. Rumor has it that he’s nearly committed to Michigan multiple times in the past. Could the BBQ finally be the right time? I wouldn’t completely rule it out but I do believe he’ll enjoy his recruitment and official visits either way.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: May 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #27 S) – Rivals (3*, #27 S) – 247 (4*, #144 overall) – ESPN (4*, #262 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #259 overall, #20 S, #4 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Darnay Holmes, Shaun Wade, Chaz Ah You

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

Woods is one of the biggest safeties in the class. At 6’3″+, he has the size, length and athleticism to be a real game changer on the backend of the defense. Though he’s still a bit raw as a cover man, he can play the centerfield position with the best of them thanks to that length and ball hawking ability. Something every defensive coordinator wants and needs.

  • Story
  • 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, #334 overall, #26 S, #17 in Alabama

30. ATH: Markquese Bell, 6’3”’ 195lbs. Bridgeton, NJ (Bridgeton)

Bell was off the June BGRC list as distance looked to be a major factor in his decision. However, he confirmed with 247Sports’ Ryan Bartow that playing away from home is no longer a factor. That definitely helps Michigan’s chances going forward though Clemson and in-state Rutgers are at the top of his list as well. Heavy pursuit from the UM staff after a successful (expected) visit for the BBQ should give the Wolverines a leg up (for the time being) on the competition.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: September 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #201 overall) – Rivals (4*, #221 overall) – 247 (4*, #234 overall) – ESPN (4*, #93 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #178 overall, #6 ATH, #3 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Darnay Holmes, Shaun Wade, Chaz Ah You

31. ATH: Popo Aumavae, 6’4” 315lbs. Stockton, CA (St. Mary’s)

And here’s the reach of the class. Aumavae is a name that hasn’t received a ton of coverage on the trail (one of the rare soon-to-be seniors that has yet to receive a Crystal Ball prediction) but is high on Michigan and vice versa. He is one of those rare jumbo athletes in the class that could excel as either a defensive tackle or offensive guard. Both positions that UM could use in this class. They’re likely to get an official from the West Coaster which could be huge for his recruitment. Oregon and Washington are the other top contenders but I think, with a push from the staff, UM could land the versatile lineman who could be a great fit as a 6th defensive lineman (or possible a offensive guard) in this class.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #24 DT) – Rivals (3*, #49 OT) – 247 (3*, #43 DT) – ESPN (3*, #34 OG)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #364 overall, #26 DT, #39 in California
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: James Hudson, Deron Irving-Bey, Hunter Echols, Neil Farrell, Greg Rogers

Projected Class Score: 295.28 (per 247Sports)

  • If I’m an actual crystal ball fortune teller and Michigan finishes with this class and score, it’ll be one of their best in the recruiting website era. It’ll likely find itself in the top five classes though I doubt this score would be enough to land the #1 overall class.

Just Missed

  • OL Tedarrell Slaton
    • Slaton is a guy I had on the rough draft of this list for a long time. Most, including myself, believed Michigan’s chances with Slaton would increase dramatically after his teammate, OL Kai-Leon Herbert, committed to UM earlier this month. That doesn’t look to be the case, according to The Wolverine ($). I think he could definitely be a part of this class, if he wants in. But, at this point, I think he may stay down south.
  • OT Isaiah Wilson
    • Along with Slaton, Wilson was the last “cuts” to the list. He’s a priority recruit for Michigan and has been for a long time now. That and the possibility to play quickly has UM at/near the top of his list. However, there’s no doubting Alabama having the momentum at the moment. This could come down to numbers and when he decides. Bama looks to only take 4 lineman and has 3 already committed. While UM is said to be taking 6 with 4 already committed. This one will be extremely close but, because of numbers and recent momentum, I think he chooses the SEC.
  • DL James Hudson
  • CB Darnay Holmes
    • Holmes is yet another player that was on June’s list and is one of the last players I removed from this list. Momentum is growing for Michigan and a visit for the BBQ should be ramp that momentum up even more. However, it would still be a shot in the dark to keep him on the list. I think it’s definitely possible but I believe he stays out west.
  • DT Neil Farrell
    • Farrell is another name to remember that hasn’t got a ton of pub just yet. Though, at this point, he may be the backup plan to Jay Tufele for the staff, I believe a big senior season could turn him into a take either way. However, like I said, he looks to be a little further down the board and has yet to visit campus so I have him off the list. But that’s very possible to change in the future.
  • SDE Deron Irving-Bey
    • There hasn’t been too much info out about DIB recently on the Michigan front but he’s still looks to be a main target for the staff. That pressure could end up increasing even more if James Hudson commits to MSU. However, there’s just not enough out there at this point to put him in the class. But if the staff pushes for a strongside defensive end, like expected, he could feel the extra love at the BBQ.
  • ATH Sione Lund
    • Lund is a name not to forget. He’ll be at the BBQ and has been a top target for Tim Drevno for awhile. If the staff really wants another fullback/running back in this class, I believe they could possibly sway him from Stanford. However, the visit has yet to happen so I couldn’t add him to this prediction.

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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