2018 Best Guess Recruiting Class: April 25th

Welp, this was one of the harder 2018 class predictions I’ve put together as the Michigan recruiting board has had a pretty big shakeup since the last BGRC.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson committed to UCLA. Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory committed to Miami. And Michigan landed four commitments in the last month.

Add in the spring game visits and high school camps beginning, and there’s been a lot of movement for UM. That includes new quarterback targets, a trio of legit wide receiver options, and 3-5 of the staff’s top targets looking very likely to end up in Ann Arbor.

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

  • Class Size: This is the million dollar question early on in 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. I’m sticking with 18 in 18.
  • 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.
  • One spot that looks like it will now take two commits is the quarterback position. Looking at the future depth chart, it looks like a good idea.
  • Class Attrition: With so many out of state commits and top targets, it’s impossible to say every commit sticks until NSD. However, at the moment, all things look solid.

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: Joe Milton, 6’5” 220lbs. Orlando, FL (Olympia) 

Milton has quickly become the new “most wanted” recruit for the Michigan fan base and it looks to be the same for the staff. According to The Wolverine’s Chris Balas and others, Pep Hamilton made his down south to watch Milton throw in-person and now Michigan may be the favorite ($). Add in him wanting to quickly announce a decision, educational opportunities, the family atmosphere at UM, the staff’s ability to develop quarterback talent, and my Crystal Ball prediction is in for Michigan. Add in his post-Georgia spring game visit reaction and it’s just a matter of minutes/hours/days before he takes the first quarterback spot in this class.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #29 QB) – Rivals (4*, #113 overall) – 247 (4*, #272 overall) – ESPN (4*, #124 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #306 overall, #12 Pro QB – #49 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Tyler Shough

2. ATH: James Graham, 6’1” 180lbs. Fitzgerald, GA (Fitzgerald)

With Michigan said to be looking for two quarterbacks in this class, Graham could be a reall nice option. He’s a big, athletic, physical player that stars as a dual-threat quarterback and defensive back in high school but could play a wide array of positions for Jim Harbaugh’s offense. And he may get the opportunity to see what he could be at Michigan as, according to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, UM is “probably leading at this point” ($), after his spring game weekend visit. If the staff continues to push for him, you have to like Michigan’s chances. Especially with the new pipeline to the Peach State.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #45 ATH) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #24 DT-QB) – ESPN
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #667 overall, #22 DT-QB, #67 in Georgia
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Tyler Shough, Michael Barrett

3. RB: Christian Turner, 5’11” 190lbs. Buford, GA (Buford) 

Photo Credit: David McGregor/Gwinnett Prep Sports

Photo Credit: David McGregor/Gwinnett Prep Sports

Turner burst onto the recruiting scene this winter as he added offers from the likes of Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Notre Dame, MSU and, of course, Michigan’s in the first two months of the year. But it was his first unofficial visit to Ann Arbor on Thursday, April 6th that put the Wolverines out front for good. He committed to UM just days after leaving campus.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 4/10/17
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #72 RB) – Rivals (3*, #26 RB) – 247 (3*, #29 RB) – ESPN (4*, #268 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #526 overall, #32 RB, #51 in Georgia

4. WR: Jahan Dotson, 6’0” 175lbs. Highstown, NJ (The Peddie School)

Photo Credit: TheOZone.com

This is easily the hardest position to predict in this class as Michigan looks to be in the top 2-3 for multiple guys, including Kamryn Babb and Amon-Ra St. Brown. So, I’m going to stick with the guy I’ve had in this spot for months now in Dotson. Even though he has yet to visit Ann Arbor this spring, this has continued to look like a recruitment that looks like it’ll work out in Michigan’s favor. Dotson told Bucknuts247’s Bill Kurelic that he plans on making his decision in “May or June” ($). We’ll see if the staff can get him on campus before then. If so, I feel good about Michigan’s chances here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: August 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #40 overall) – Rivals (4*, #110 overall) – 247 (4*, #118 overall) – ESPN (4*, #96 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #73 overall, #15 WR, #2 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kamryn Babb, L’Christian Smith

5. TE: Mustapha Muhammad, 6’4” 235lbs. Missouri City, TX (Ridge Point)

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Muhammad has long been a top target for the coaching staff but still looked a bit like a long shot to pull him out of the Longhorn State. But after a visit to Ann Arbor for the spring game, Michigan has firmly placed itself at the top of his list. And that can be seen with TMI’s Sam Webb’s tweet during the visit as well as the avalanche of Crystal Ball predictions for Muhammad to Michigan, myself included. UM will have its work cut out for them to stay firmly atop his list up until NSD, but, as of right now, it looks like this is one of the safest uncommitted bets in the class.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #48 overall) – Rivals (4*, #14 TE) – 247 (4*, #127 overall) – ESPN (4*, #46 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #92 overall, #4 TE, #10 in Texas
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Will Mallory, Malcolm Epps, Keaton Upshaw

6. TE: Jeremy Ruckert, 6’5” 230lbs. Lindenhurst, NY (Lindenhurst)

Michigan is going to take at least two tight ends in this class. Muhammad is one but the second isn’t a lock. Will Mallory looked to be that for a long time before Miami ramped up the pressure and landed his commitment last week. Though he remains a real option to end up signing with Michigan by the time NSD rolls around, at the moment, i’ll keep him off the list. So, I’m going with Ruckert thanks to him looking to have the highest probability to take this second spot. The staff looks to be in better shape with the #2 tight end in the class than his Crystal Ball predictions may suggest as Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz has continued to hear good things about UM’s chance, recently calling it a “two team race” ($). This may be a recruitment that goes on for awhile, which should give the Michigan staff time to continue making up ground on OSU. If he decides early, that may not be good for UM.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #76 overall) – Rivals (4*, #134 overall) – 247 (4*, #36 overall) – ESPN (4*, #111 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #62 overall, #2 TE, #2 in New York
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Will Mallory, Malcolm Epps, Keaton Upshaw, Zach Sheffer

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

Hayes continues to look like a safe bet to join the class, and could be an even bigger priority than before because of his ability to play tight end at the collegiate level. With a spot looking like it’s sitting there waiting for him, it looks more like a matter of when, not if. Lets just say I have the majority of the New Michigan Man post put together.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: March 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #29 OT) – Rivals (3*, #49 OT) – 247 (4*, #95 overall) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #149 overall, #14 OT, #2 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Tyrone Sampson, Richard Gouraige, Verdis Brown, Marquan McCall 

8. OT: Jalen Mayfield, 6’5” 250lbs. Grand Rapids, MI (Catholic Central)

Photo Credit: MLive.com

Photo Credit: MLive.com

Like Hayes, Mayfield looks like another slam dunk and a player looks to be a matter of when, not if. After making his way to Ann Arbor for the spring game, UM looked locked into the spot. But when you add in him not receiving an offer from Notre Dame during his visit to campus this past weekend, and all signs continue to point towards him staying in-state and committing to the Wolverines.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: March 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #223 overall) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (4*, #105 overall) – ESPN (3*, #49 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #420 overall, #31 OT, #8 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Tyrone Sampson, Richard Gouraige, Verdis Brown, Marquan McCall 

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

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Though things have been pretty quiet between Michigan and Faalele, the early connection is still something I believe is strong enough to keep UM in this one throughout. Add in the addition of Greg Frey to the staff and his long history of taking raw, lower rated lineman with more natural talent than polish and turning them into NFL draft picks, and I think the Wolverines staff’s pitch to the largest man in the class is stronger than ever. However, according to a source, as he gets more national attention, his top list looks to be expanding. A big push from the Michigan staff looks like it could really make an impact. We’ll see if the staff makes the push or looks to slow things down on the offensive line with the in-staters likely to join the class soon.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Fair
  • Highlights
  • First on List: February 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #44 OT) – Rivals (3*, #28 OT) – 247 (3*, #343 overall) – ESPN (4*, #25 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #495 overall, #38 OT, #74 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Tyrone Sampson, Richard Gouraige, Verdis Brown, Marquan McCall

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

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Michigan was actually the first program to offer Ekiyor on the recruiting trail. Since that offer (March 2015), Michigan has looked like a favorite for the top player in the state of Indiana. Though it wasn’t a slamdunk for the Wolverines throughout. Tennessee was the program most analysts had their eye on as a potential landing spot for Ekiyor but thanks to the power running game, academic advantages, longtime recruitment and unofficial visit for the Wisconsin game, the four star guard decided to end his recruitment and commit to the Wolverines.

  • 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 longtime member of this list and continues to look like the best bet to fill the interior defensive line spot in this class. However, Ohio State may make this a tighter race than previously thought as he recently visited both schools in the last month. But, with Michigan looking for more early impact defensive tackles and looking likely to only take one in this class, I’m still very comfortable with my Crystal Ball on UM.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #61 overall) – Rivals (4*, #38 overall) – 247 (4*, #66 overall) – ESPN (4*, #123 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #46 overall, #2 DT, #1 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Alim McNeill, Michael Thompson, Keondre Coburn 

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

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

As the son of former Michigan linebacker standout, Chris Hutchinson, Aidan was a player that looked very likely to end up in this class as soon as his name popped up on the radar. Though he didn’t want to be known as a full blown “slam dunk” recruit for the Wolverines, all signs continued to point towards UM heading into his senior year. And he followed through by committing to Michigan in February.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 2/22/17
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #233 overall) – Rivals (3*, #17 WSDE) – 247 (4*, #85 overall) – ESPN (4*, #276 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #214 overall, #9 SDE, #4 in Michigan

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

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Only going into his junior year, Reese is just scratching the surface as a recruit. Michigan offered him back in April and quickly became the favorite in his recruitment. Thanks to a summer visit, both he and 2017 DT Aubrey Solomon committed to the staff. With Solomon signed, Reese doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere, even though the likes of Georgia and Florida are pushing.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 6/20/16
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #175 overall) – Rivals (4*, #215 overall) – 247 (4*, #130 overall) – ESPN (4*, #216 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #165 overall, #9 OLB, #18 in Georgia

14. SS: Shayne Simon, 6’3” 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 become another one of the top targets that continues to look like he’ll end up being a part of this class. 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong put his Crystal Ball for him to UM earlier in the spring ($) and things have only started to look better for Michigan here after his visit last week. Though Notre Dame could be a contender, the stability and opportunity, both academically and athletically, at UM may be too hard to pass up.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: March 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #149 overall) – Rivals (4*, #127 overall) – 247 (3*, #21 S) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #162 overall, #8 OLB, #5 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Josh Jobe, Sammy Faustin, Isaac Taylor-Stuart, Chris Smith

15. FS: German Green, 6’2” 170lbs. DeSoto, TX (DeSoto) 

After extending an offer to the raw safety out of the Longhorn state, the Wolverines quickly became a top candidate to land both of the Green brothers. But things really started to heat up as the duo made their way to Ann Arbor for the first time just days after the spring game.Thanks to that trip and the game plan/recruiting pitch from the coaching staff, German and Gemon didn’t waste much time announcing their commitments to UM.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #62 S) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #74 S) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #934 overall, #84 CB, #120 in Texas

16. CB: Gemon Green, 6’2” 165lbs. DeSoto, TX (DeSoto) 

Mentioned for months, by Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, as a top target for the staff, Green was a player that looked like he was going to be a very tough pull away from the Longhorn State. That was especially true when TCU offered. The long cornerback prospect was seen as a lean to the Horned Frogs for awhile. But that was until Michigan really started pushing, offered his brother, German, and got the duo up to Ann Arbor for a post-spring game visit. Thanks to the staff’s prioritizing of tall, long defensive backs and their admiration for the three star shown during his first trip to campus, both Gemon and his brother, German, decided to commit to Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class right after their first visit to Ann Arbor.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #185 overall) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #368 overall) – ESPN (4*, #42 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #340 overall, #32 CB, #47 in Texas

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

As soon as the staff flipped the 2017 switch off and flipped the 2018 switch full on, Sims was a priority. But, as a top recruit out of the heart of SEC country, most figured he’d end up staying down south. With the SEC powers, like Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia extending offers, as well as national brand names, like USC, Ohio State, Texas and Stanford throwing their hat in the ring, this was going to take another Nico Collins-like recruiting pitch to win out. And, whataya know, Harbaugh and his staff did just that as Sims committed to Michigan, making him another huge get for UM out of SEC country.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 4/7/2017
  • First on List: March 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #80 overall) – Rivals (4*, #51 overall) – 247 (3*, #37 CB) – ESPN (4*, #157 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #120 overall, #14 S, #14 in Georgia

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

Photo Credit: The Seattle Times

Photo Credit: The Seattle Times

Harrison has one of my favorite highlight tapes in this class. His game reminds me a bit of former Alabama and current New England CB Cyrus Jones because of his pure speed, electricity and versatility at every position he plays. And that could be seen in the Maize and Blue as 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong is hearing good enough things about UM and Harrison that he put in his Crystal Ball in favor of Michigan ($). But, as a west coast guy, this will be a tough recruitment since getting to campus for an unofficial is a tough task during the school year. As long as the staff can get him on campus this summer for an unofficial or fall for an official, they should have a good shot at landing the dynamic west coaster.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #254 overall) – Rivals (3*, #25 ATH) – 247 (4*, #311 overall) – ESPN (4*, #160 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #268 overall, #17 ATH, #2 in Washington
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Josh Jobe, Chris Smith, Sammy Faustin, Kamryn Babb, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Michael Barrett

Projected Class Score: 258.29 (per 247Sports)

This definitely would be a lower rated class for Michigan, if the rankings were final. I expect a handful of UM targets to get big bumps in the rankings over the summer and during their senior year. Eithe way, it will be interesting to see if Harbaugh can put together another top 10 class.

Just Missed the List

  • QB Tyler Shough
    • With the staff said to be looking for two quarterbacks in this class, I had Shough in this spot for awhile. I figured his lifelong love of the Wolverines mixed with the educational opportunities in Ann Arbor would help Michigan beat out the competition. However, the offers from Alabama and Georgia seem like too good of opportunities to pass up instead of being the 2nd quarterback in the class.
  • TE Will Mallory
    • Mallory’s commitment to Miami was something not many saw coming (at least up until about a month ago) as the Michigan legacy looked destined to follow in his family’s footsteps. But Mark Richt’s push for the big man to stay home won out. Question is, will he be able to hold onto him if/when Michigan pushes for him between now and NSD?
  • S Sammy Faustin
    • Faustin named Michigan his leader after his March visit and received a rush of Crystal Ball predictions. However, with the additions of Sims and the Green brothers, it’s looking like a spot may not be available at the moment. This may be a recruitment to watch throughout the cycle.
  • CB Chris Smith 
    • Though he received an avalanche of Crystal Ball predictions this past weekend during his Georgia visit, The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown and Chris Balas are hearing very good things about where Michigan sits on Smith’s list ($). He may be the guy that Michigan is in the best shape with at the position but it’s hard to bet against the home state with so much time left in this class.
  • WR Kamryn Babb 
    • Babb is a guy I was very close to putting in the wide receiver spot but OSU still looks to lead, even though Michigan may have an ace or two in the hole. According to TMI’s Josh Henschke, Babb’s parents “seem to be pro-Michigan” ($). But, as you saw in the Dorian Thompson-Robinson recruitment, the parents don’t always get their wish.
  • DB Josh Jobe
    • Jobe is one of the highest rated players on Michigan’s board and, though he recently tweeted out that he’s done with his recruitment and is sticking with Miami, Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz isn’t buying it ($). If the staff gets Simon, they may be able to sit back and put all of their efforts into their “super” targets, including Jobe. We’ll see if that, along with playing his senior year in Connecticut at Tarik Black’s Cheshire Academy, can get the big defensive back.
  • WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
    • Here’s why St. Brown was one of my last subtractions from the list: At the moment, the Crystal Balls are in heavy favor of Notre Dame while a lot of others think it will eventually be USC for St. Brown. But there may be some real openings for Michigan. As, according to Irish247’s Tom Loy, “Notre Dame isn’t the team to beat as of today” ($). Loy also mentioned that the Trojans are only said to be looking to take two receivers in this class, which could make things interesting. It’ll get even more interesting if/when St. Brown makes it out to Ann Arbor as he could be the perfect fit for UM. He’s already a big fan of Jim Harbaugh (per Campus Insiders), which will make it even easier for the staff to be able to pitch him on being “the man” while also pitching its ability to develop talent and the University’s world class academic level. It’s a bit of a long shot at the moment, but without another receiver looking like a safer bet, this is one that definitely makes sense for both parties.
    • However, he has yet to visit. So, I’ll keep him off until he can take in Ann Arbor and get some in-person love from the staff.

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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