2018 Best Guess Recruiting Class: March 15th

Heading into spring practices, the Michigan football staff is starting to make a push for several top targets in the 2018 class. That includes getting a lot of those targets to make a trip to Ann Arbor this spring. And that’s when this class could really start to take off.

The staff is expected to host it’s top quarterback target, one of the best tight ends in the class, and multiple top wide receiver targets this spring. However, they look to be playing catch up for every one of them. That’s what makes this latest class prediction so difficult. So, I had to dig deep into the tea leaves to put this one together.

Here’s a little background on the breakdown of the class:

  • Class Size: This is the million dollar question at the beginning of every class. And, like always, the exact answer will not be known until NSD. But just looking at the expected departures plus the normal attrition that comes with every season, I have this class being much smaller than the previous two classes.
  • Position Numbers: With a limited amount of space in this class, the staff will have to choose exactly which position it will load up on with tight end and defensive backs being a main focus.
  • As for two positions look to be pretty much wrapped up are the linebacker and defensive end positions. The staff looks more than happy to finish the class with Otis Reese and Aidan Hutchinson.
  • Two positions that the staff looks to be extremely picky with are the two offensive skill positions, running back and wide receiver. Look for Michigan to only sign one at each position.
  • Class Attrition: Michigan has only three commits in the class so far and all three look to be pretty safe bets to remain. However, you never know what will happen over a year of recruiting.

Chances Key:

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

Check out my latest 2018 Michigan football recruiting class prediction:

1. QB: Dorian Thompson-Robinson , 6’1” 195lbs. Las Vegas, NV (Bishop Gorman)

Photo Credit: Review Journal

Photo Credit: Review Journal

Thompson-Robinson remains on the list but things are getting a lot more interesting than ever before on this front. According to a source, UCLA may actually be in the driver’s seat after his recent visit to campus. The Jedd Fisch hiring looks to be working out extremely well for the Bruins as well as the negative pitch against Michigan’s recent success on the quarterback recruiting front. That’s why my CB is on UCLA. But I don’t think this thing is over just yet. Thompson-Robinson told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong that he’ll be making his return visit to Ann Arbor on April 11th ($). And I believe that visit could sway the momentum back towards the Wolverines. Even if that doesn’t happen, Jim Mora’s job looks to be on the line this season. A bad year and he could be out the door, which would obviously makes things interesting for DTR’s recruitment.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #74 overall) – Rivals (4*, #41 overall) – 247 (4*, #87 overall) – ESPN (4*, #107 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #51 overall, #4 Duel QB, #2 in Nevada
  • Crystal Ball: UCLA
  • Other Options: Joe Milton, Matt Carroll, Jack Plummer

2. RB: Jashaun Corbin, 6’0” 195lbs. Melbourne, FL (Holy Trinity) 

Photo Credit: USATodayHSSports

Photo Credit: USATodayHSSports

I could easily put  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ right here since the running back spot is a complete guess at this point. Michigan has missed and looks like it’ll miss on most, if not all, of the top ranked backs in this class. But there’s one name that’s starting to gain some steam and that’s Corbin, who recently received his offer from the staff. The Sunshine State standout is a dynamic back that reminds me a bit of former Alabama standout TJ Yeldon, which is pretty much exactly what the UM staff is looking for in this class. And they may have their best chance here as Corbin told The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown about his high interest in UM after receiving his offer from Jay Harbaugh ($).

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (3*) – Rivals (NR) – 247 (3*, #40 RB) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #702 overall, #41 RB, #110 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Keaontay Ingram, Iverson Clement, Tavion Thomas, Asa Martin, Markquese Stepp

3. WR: Jahan Dotson, 6’0” 160lbs. Hightstown, NJ (The Peddle School)

Wide receiver is another spot that’s very tough to predict at this point as Michigan looks to have several top targets that could fill this spot in the class. Kamry Babb and Jalen Hall may be the top targets on the board but, at this point, I believe Jahan Dotson remains the best bet to end up at Michigan. He’s a New Jersey recruit that the staff got in early with and fits the smaller, quicker receiver they look to be targeting in 2018. A spring and/or summer visit could put UM in great position to land him.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #39 overall) – Rivals (4*, #110 overall) – 247 (4*, #112 overall) – ESPN (4*, #96 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #68 overall, #10 WR, #2 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Kamryn Babb, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jalen Hall, L’Christian Smith, Anthony Schwartz

4. TE: Will Mallory, 6’5” 210lbs. Jacksonville, FL (Providence) 

According to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, Mallory is a name to watch closely as, potentially, the next player to drop for Michigan ($). All signs have continued to point towards Michigan since he was offered back in May of 2015. He’s one of the top tight ends in this class and is related to three previous Wolverines, including his father, Mike Mallory, who was a standout linebacker for the Wolverines in the mid-80’s. Keep a close eye on him this spring.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #132 overall) – Rivals (4*) – 247 (4*, #242 overall) – ESPN (4*, #114 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #178 overall, #9 TE, #36 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Jeremy Ruckert, Mustapha Muhammad, Malcolm Epps, Judge Culpepper

5. TE: Brevin Jordan, 6’3” 235lbs. Las Vegas, NV (Bishop Gorman)

Photo Credit: Nevada Preps

Photo Credit: Nevada Preps

Jordan is one of the best and most athletic tight ends in the class. Reminds me a bit of Martellus Bennett. And up until recently, he’s also a player I figured was destined for UCLA. But I’m starting to feel better about Michigan’s chances here. For one, the obvious friendship with teammate Dorian Thompson-Robinson helps. Add in him visiting UM on April 11th and his want to play at a “Tight End U” school ($), things are looking pretty good for UM heading into that trip. This looks to be a recruitment that is 100% tied to DTR. If he chooses UCLA, Jordan likely ends up there. If he chooses UM, the Wolverines’ chances improve greatly.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: April 11th
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good to Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #27 overall) – Rivals (4*, #106 overall) – 247 (4*, #136 overall) – ESPN (4*, #129 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #79 overall, #3 TE, #3 in Nevada
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Jeremy Ruckert, Mustapha Muhammad, Malcolm Epps, Judge Culpepper

6. TE: Zach Sheffer, 6’3” 230lbs. Ponte Verda, FL (Nease)

Photo Credit: Pro Impact Sports

Photo Credit: Pro Impact Sports

The staff is looking to take a couple tight ends in this class and with Mallory looking like a lock to fill at least one spot as a true pass catching tight end, and I still believe Sheffer is the odds on favorite to fill the TE-H role. His game looks like he’d fit the UM offense very well and with the staff heavily targeting Florida this cycle, I like Michigan’s chances here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: February 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*) – Rivals (3*, #14 TE) – 247 (3*, #22 TE) – ESPN (4*, #212 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #443 overall, #17 TE, #72 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Jeremy Ruckert, Mustapha Muhammad, Malcolm Epps, Judge Culpepper

7. OT: Daniel Faalele, 6’9” 390lbs. Melbourne, Australia (IMG Academy)

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Faalele is the biggest recruit in this class. Both physically and question mark wise. Though he’s extremely raw (in a report from ESPN, he didn’t even know what a first down was when he got to IMG), he’ll be a problem for defenders once he truly learns the game thanks to already having elite size and good athleticism. He showed that potential during a spring camp when he manhandled another legit recruit. It’s just a small glimpse of why Drevno and Harbaugh want him in this class. And that very well may happen as he’s consistently mentioned Michigan among his top teams. Add in a source close to the situation mentioning that people around IMG believe UM is the favorite and I believe the Wolverines are in prime position to add the elite tackle prospect that it needed in this class. I’m not too far away from putting in my Crystal Ball to Michigan here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: February 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #27 OT) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #491 overall, #39 OT, #78 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Penei Sewell, Antwan Reed, Richard Gouraige, Marquan McCall, Jalen Mayfield

8. OT: Ryan Hayes, 6’7” 255lbs. Traverse City, MI (TC West)

Hayes recently received his offer from Michigan and quickly looks to have jumped up the offensive tackle board. Notre Dame and Michigan State were the early favorites but the momentum looks to have switched over to the Wolverines. According to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, the uber athletic tackle prospect is expected to visit Ann Arbor soon and a big reason why UM is making a move here is new OL coach Greg Frey ($). With the need for high end tackles in this class and the better program stability in Ann Arbor, I like Michigan’s chances here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: May 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (4*, #89 overall) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #189 overall, #13 OT, #2 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Penei Sewell, Antwan Reed, Richard Gouraige, Marquan McCall, Jalen Mayfield 

9. OL: Antwan Reed, 6’4” 290lbs. Muskegon, MI (Muskegon) 

Reed is an interesting recruit this cycle. My Crystal Ball has been on Michigan for him since he received his offer from the staff but it’ll be interesting to see how hard they push for the big man from Muskegon. If he’s a take and the staff makes him a priority, I think he’s very likely to choose the Wolverines. But, we’ll see exactly how big of a target he is throughout the cycle.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: May 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (3*) – Rivals (4*, #210 overall) – 247 (4*, #297 overall) – ESPN (4*, #232 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #335 overall, #25 OT, #53 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Penei Sewell, Marquan McCall, Jalen Mayfield, Richard Gouraige, Curtis Dunlap

10. OG: Emil Ekiyor, 6’3” 325lbs. Indianapolis, IN (Cathedral) 

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Ekiyor was the 2nd addition to the class and is a guy that shouldn’t be taken for granted. With the staff always in need of talented lineman, he’s one of the top interior lineman in this class. Though he’s made a visit to Florida State and recently received an offer from Alabama, he still consistently says that he’s all Michigan. I still fully expect him to end up with UM but he’ll definitely be a guy to watch as the cycle goes on.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 10/2/2016
  • First on List: February 2017
  • RankingsScout (4*, #123 overall) – Rivals (4*, #148 overall) – 247 (4*, #140 overall) – ESPN (4*, #74 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #97 overall, #4 OG, #1 in Indiana

11. DT: Tyler Friday, 6’3” 260lbs. Ramsey, NJ (Don Bosco) 

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Friday is another highly ranked player that Michigan is sitting in great position with early on. He visited over the summer which looked to give UM a step up on the competition. My Crystal Ball is already in for the Wolverines as I believe the staff will continue to push for the versatile big man. Expect him back on campus this spring and/or summer.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #61 overall) – Rivals (4*, #33 overall) – 247 (4*, #51 overall) – ESPN (4*, #102 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #38 overall, #2 DT, #1 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Michael Thompson, Taron Vincent, Matthew Jones, Austin Fontaine, Rick Sandidge

12. DE: Aidan Hutchinson, 6’6” 240lbs. Dearborn, MI (Divine Child) 

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Hutchinson is my early bet to end up finishing the class as the top ranked player in the state of Michigan for 2018. At 6’5”, his length and athleticism makes him a dominant force at the high school level. But it’s his motor and tenacity that stands out the most. He looks like a great fit for Brown’s defense and Mattison’s defensive line. And it looks very likely they’ll get to chance to coach him as he looks to be one of the safest bets in this class as he’s another legacy recruit (son of former UM standout Chris Hutchinson).

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 2/22/17
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #201 overall) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (4*, #80 overall) – ESPN (4*, #94 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #199 overall, #8 SDE, #2 in Michigan

13. ATH: Alim McNeill, 6’2” 270lbs. Raleigh, NC (Sanderson)

Alim is a new member to the list and one that may become a mainstay moving forward. First mentioned by Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, the defensive lineman/linebacker/fullback/tight end hybrid is a one of the staff’s top targets ($). Alim also raved to Lorenz about Michigan’s coaching staff’s ability to produce NFL talent and even mentioned the “forty year decision”. If the staff can get him on campus this spring, UM should be able to make a big move.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4* DE) – Rivals (3*, #22 DT) – 247 (3*, #16 SDE) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #350 overall, #13 SDE, #16 in North Carolina
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Dallas Gant, Teradja Mitchell, Jeremiah Martin, Dorian Hardy, Micah Parsons,Tyreke Smith

14. OLB: Otis Reese, 6’2” 195lbs. Lee County, GA (Lee County)

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Reese was the first member of this class and may end up being the highest ranked get for the staff by the time NSD rolls around. His athleticism, length and instincts make him a dominant force in high school. If he shows those skills off at camps throughout the spring and summer, he should continue to shoot up the rankings. As for Michigan’s chances to hold onto him, things look as good as ever after Aubrey Solomon signed on NSD.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 6/20/16
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #193 overall) – Rivals (4*, #215 overall) – 247 (4*, #126 overall) – ESPN (4*, #194 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #171 overall, #7 OLB, #18 in Georgia

15. SS: Shayne Simon, 6’2” 200lbs. Jersey City, NJ (St. Peter’s Prep)

Photo Credit: John Munson | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Photo Credit: John Munson | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Simon has quickly emerged as one of the staff’s top targets at the safety position and that pursuit looks to already be paying off. 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong is hearing good enough things about Michigan’s chances here that he’s put in his Crystal Ball for Simons to UM ($). With safety being a big position of need in this class, look for the staff to continue to push for Simon. An early visit to Ann Arbor could be huge here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #149 overall) – Rivals (4*, #127 overall) – 247 (3*, #43 S) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #209 overall, #18 S, #5 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Sammy Faustin, CJ Smith, Tyreke Johnson, BJ Foster, Gemon Green

16. DB: Myles Sims, 6’3” 160lbs. Atlanta, GA (Westlake) 

Myles “Spider” Sims is the Nico Collins of this class. He’s a highly ranked top target out of south that most pegged to the SEC but Michigan just may win out in the end. And that’s not only because of his wildly successful first visit to Michigan this past weekend. According to The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown, Sims is originally from Michigan and his parents actually worked for General Motors ($), which makes him a much different “SEC recruit”. Though the lack of Chick Fil-A’s could be a factor to overcome, I like Michigan’s chances to steal another top talent out of SEC country.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #83 overall) – Rivals (4*, #63 overall) – 247 (3*, #28 S) – ESPN (4*, #211 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #210 overall, #17 S, #20 in Georgia
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Gemon Green, Josh Jobe, Kyler McMichael, Isaac Taylor-Stuart, Chris Smith

17. CB: Mario Goodrich, 6’2” 180lbs. Lee’s Summit, MO (West)

Photo Credit: RecruitingNewsGuru.com

Photo Credit: RecruitingNewsGuru.com

Goodrich is one of the top corners in this class thanks to his length and nose for the ball. It’s why the Michigan staff is enamoured with him. And thanks to that offer, the Wolverines are now atop his list and plans to visit this spring ($). From his reaction to getting the offer, if he does visit and is a take for the staff, he’s a guy I’d watch closely during/soon after that trip.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (3*) – Rivals (4*, #204 overall) – 247 (4*, #118 overall) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #275 overall, #19 ATH, #6 in Missouri
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Gemon Green, Sammy Faustin, CJ Smith, Tyreke Johnson, BJ Foster

18. ATH: Tre’Shaun Harrison, 6’2” 190lbs. Seattle, WA (Garfield) 

Photo Credit: The Seattle Times

Photo Credit: The Seattle Times

Harrison is easily one of my favorite prospects in this class. He’s an extremely athletic and versatile player that could play several positions at the next level, including running back, wide receiver, cornerback and/or safety. And Michigan seems to love him as a prospect as well. He told Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz about how hard the staff has been pushing for him and how he grew up a fan of the Wolverines ($). Thanks to all of that, plus his source close to the stuation, 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong put in his Crystal Ball for Harrison to Michigan. That just solidified my reasoning for having him on this list.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*) – Rivals (3*, #25 ATH) – 247 (4*, #311 overall) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #289 overall, #22 ATH, #3 in Washington
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Dallas Gant, Alontae Taylor, Isaac Taylor-Stuart, Gemon Green

Projected Class Score: 263.78 (per 247Sports)

At this point, this would be another very nice class for Harbaugh and the Wolverines. Though the score isn’t extremely high at the moment, several of the players will likely see big jumps in the rankings throughout the cycle, especially once the bigger camps start to take place over the spring and summer.

Just Missed

  • DE/OLB Nik Bonitto
    • Bonitto was bounced from the last list after Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz reported that Michigan is done (at the moment) at the defensive end position after the Hutchinson commitment. However, Bonitto continues to mentions UM in his top teams. This is a recruitment to watch closely as the cycle goes on.
  • ATH Alontae Taylor
  • DB Josh Jobe
    • Jobe is another player that was taken off the last BGRC because of other players looking like better bets. However, with Jobe making the move to Cheshire Academy (CT), the same school as WR Tarik Black, and getting away from Miami during the school year, I think Michigan can continue to chip away at his pledge to the Hurricanes.
  • CB Gemon Green
  • OL Curtis Dunlap
    • After talking to a source close to the situation, my Crystal Ball for the big man out of IMG Academy is on Miami. However, another source has continued to say that Dunlap is highly interested in Michigan. We’ll see how hard the staff pushes for him, committed elsewhere or not.
  • TE Mustapha Muhammad
    • According to The Wolverine, Muhammad is a player that is extremely high on Michigan and even has a UM commitment edit in his possession, if he’s ready to drop ($). However, other analysts haven’t been as high on UM’s chances. I’ll keep him off the list for now until there’s some more tea leaves in the Wolverines favor but he’s definitely a player to watch moving forward.
  • CB Kalon Gervin
    • Gervin shocked some when he committed to Notre Dame recently. Michigan was seen as the favorite thanks to him being the next top defensive back out of Cass Tech. However, the UM staff looks to be all about big, long, rangy corners and Gervin is more of the shorter, quicker guys that is all over the depth chart.
  • LB Kolin Demens
    • Demens is another name that’s off the list but continues to be a name to watch. Multiple analysts have reported that Michigan looks to pretty much be done at the linebacker position (barring a super wanting to commit). So, unless the staff changes its tune, Demens looks likely to end up elsewhere.
  • OG Marquan McCall
    • My Crystal Ball remains on MSU for McCall but that could very likely change if the staff pushes for the big man again. He looked like a near lock heading into the 2016 season but after not making a single trip to campus, things looked to fade. But, according to 247Sports, McCall is expected to visit A2 on April 15th. That visit could be one to watch. If the staff pushes, I like UM here.
  • CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart
    • Taylor-Stuart is a player I believe may fight his way to the top of Michigan’s defensive back board. He’s a prototypical new-age cornerback and, according to multiple reports, has real interest in UM. Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz is also hearing UM is making a strong push for him ($). However, at this point, it looks more likely that he ends up elsewhere.
  • WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
    • St. Brown looks to be one of the staff’s top overall targets and one of the top ranked receivers that they look to have an actual shot at landing. Though Notre Dame may be the early favorite, a visit to Ann Arbor could put UM right in the thick of this race. He’s a high academic recruit so expect the staff to sell him on that as well as the chance to be the only receiver in this class.

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Garrett Fishaw

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