2018 Best Guess Recruiting Class: May 31st

There has been one thing that has separated the SEC from every other conference over the past 15+ years hasn’t been the coaching. It hasn’t been the fan bases or the fact that “it just means more”. It’s been the athleticism. SEC country is filled with the best collection of athletes in the country. And Jim Harbaugh knows it. That’s why the conference’s coaches complained until they got their rule on satellite camps. But it’s too late. Harbaugh has invaded the South and this 2018 class should show it.

When things are all said and done, this class could very well be one of the most physically impressive classes in program history.

Here’s a little background on how that could all play out:

  • 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, though I wouldn’t be shocked to see less than 18 on NSD.
  • 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.
    • It’s well known by now that Michigan is looking to bring in two quarterback commitments, with Joe Milton holding one spot.
    • With Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield on board with Emil Ekiyor, there’s a chance the staff only signs three offensive lineman in this class.
  • Class Attrition: With so many out of state commits and top targets, it’s impossible to say every commit sticks until NSD. There are rumblings out there but not nearly enough smoke to even spark a flame, at this point.

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) 

Though he made a spring game visit to Georgia (the team who looked to be the main competition for UM heading into his decision) the weekend after his trip to Ann Arbor, things looked to be all set for the big quarterback to commit to the Wolverines. But it wasn’t a slam dunk. He actually requested four different commitment edits a week before his commitment. However, he stuck with his lean to the Wolverines and committed with the help of a pretty awesome SBNation video that featured “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix as well as Milton throwing a football that explodes into a Block M.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 5/7/17
  • First on List: April 2017
  • 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

2. QB: Tyler Shough, 6’5” 195lbs. Chandler, AZ (Hamilton) 

Michigan is clearly looking to take two quarterbacks in this class, and with Milton firmly in the fold, Shough is (by far) the best bet to secure the 2nd spot. Thanks to being a lifelong fan of the Wolverines, his father being from the state, his high academic standing, and his unofficial visit to Ann Arbor earlier this month, things look good for UM here. However, this is far from a slam dunk as he has a very real chance to be the only 2018 QB commit for several other programs, including Georgia, Florida State, Alabama, Indiana and North Carolina. Though he may a top target for some of the higher ranked programs at this time. That’s why I’m sticking with my Crystal Ball prediction here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #66  QB) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (4*, #215 overall) – ESPN (3*, #29 QB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #539 overall, #20 Pro QB, #4 in Arizona
  • Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: 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: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #49 RB) – Rivals (3*, #26 RB) – 247 (3*, #29 RB) – ESPN (4*, #268 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #528 overall, #28 RB, #52 in Georgia

4. ATH: Michael Barrett, 6’1” 210lbs. Valdosta, GA (Lowndes) 

Barrett is another Georgian that Michigan looks to be in great shape with heading into the summer. Though he’s a quarterback in high school, his future looks to be at running back and as a wildcat quarterback. Both of which look to be positions of need in this class. According to his interview with Rivals Chad Simmons, Barrett is very high on Michigan, naming it “one of (his) top schools ($). If he’s able to get up to campus this summer or fall, like expected, the Wolverines should be in great shape/

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (NR) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #23 DT-QB) – ESPN (3*, #43 ATH)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #526 overall, #19 DT-QB, #51 in Georgia
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Treshaun Harrison, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kamryn Babb

5. WR/KR: James Graham, 6’1” 190lbs. Fitzgerald, GA (Fitzgerald) 

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Graham is back on the list for the second month in a row after recently naming Michigan to his top 10. The Swiss army knife-like prospect visited Ann Arbor back in April and reportedly enjoyed it so much that Michigan made a huge move up his list. According to Rivals Chad Simmons’ interview with Graham, UM made a big impact during the visit and is in his top three ($). If the staff pushes for him, there’s a very real chance Harbaugh pulls another talented prospect out of Georgia.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #46 ATH) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #25 DT-QB) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #671 overall, #22 DT-QB, #66 in Georgia
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Treshaun Harrison, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kamryn Babb 

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

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Michigan still looks to be firmly atop Muhammad’s list, even though he’s mentioned his desire to play ball in the SEC. Thanks to the educational opportunities in Ann Arbor, his fit in UM’s offense and the chance to play early thanks to the lack of a tight end in the 2017 class, the Wolverines are still the heavy favorite for the four star tight end.

  • 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

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

Hayes is the latest commitment in the class and one that was seen coming from a mile away. He wasn’t extremely high on Michigan’s board early on, Greg Frey’s addition to the coaching staff changed that. And thanks to Frey, Hayes’ first visit to Ann Arbor went so well that the Wolverines became the far and away leaders. And that stayed true all the way up until his commitment over Memorial Day weekend.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 5/27/17
  • First on List: March 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #262 overall) – Rivals (3*, #49 OT) – 247 (4*, #102 overall) – ESPN (4*, #30 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #206 overall, #17 OT, #3 in Michigan

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

Photo Credit: MLive.com

Photo Credit: MLive.com

Like Hayes, Mayfield was another four star in-state offensive tackle commitment in the month of May after being a longtime lean to the Wolverines. His commitment was one that may be going under the radar more than it should. He’s a big, athletic tackle with a mean streak and a very high ceiling. It’ll be interesting to see how he develops under Frey.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 5/23/17
  • First on List: March 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #221 overall) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (4*, #86 overall) – ESPN (3*, #62 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #310 overall, #24 OT, #6 in Michigan

9. OL: Daniel Faalele, 6’8” 400lbs. Melbourne, Australia (IMG Academy)

Photo credit: 247Sports.com

Photo credit: 247Sports.com

Though Faalele has been on the last couple of class predictions, he was one of the last names I added to this list. Michigan is still in good shape here and I obviously think they can get him but they’ll have to really build on the whole “found him” thing. His offer list is now a “who’s who” of national powers and, according to a source, plenty of teams are making an impact. However, if Michigan pushes for him (which I think may be on hold until after the staff sees some real game tape) and can get him on campus for Greg Frey to pitch him on his developmental skills, I really like their chances to land one of the most polarizing recruits in the class.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: February 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #44 OT) – Rivals (3*, #28 OT) – 247 (3*, #333 overall) – ESPN (4*, #25 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #425 overall, #33 OT, #67 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Jerome Carvin, Verdis Brown, Marquan McCall

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

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Ekiyor was the second commitment of this class, and like you hear with a lot of longtime commits at one time or another during the cycle, things may not be as strong as they once were. According to multiple reports, including The Wolverines Brandon Brown’s, contact hasn’t been what it once was between the big guard and the staff ($). This may be a recruitment to watch over the summer but, at this moment, I see the staff reaffirming things with Ekiyor and him remaining firmly in this class.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 10/2/2016
  • First on List: February 2017
  • RankingsScout (4*, #166 overall) – Rivals (4*, #148 overall) – 247 (4*, #150 overall) – ESPN (4*, #57 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #97 overall, #3 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 top target for the staff and has looked like one of the safer bets for the majority of the cycle up until this point. But, as of late, Penn State and Ohio State look to be making a big push. However, thanks to the longtime recruitment from the staff and the chance to be the only true interior defensive lineman in this class, I still feel good about my Crystal Ball for Friday to Michigan.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #61 overall) – Rivals (4*, #41 overall) – 247 (4*, #119 overall) – ESPN (4*, #123 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #61 overall, #4 DT, #2 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*, #231 overall) – Rivals (3*, #17 WSDE) – 247 (4*, #89 overall) – ESPN (4*, #276 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #219 overall, #8 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 SEC powers will continue to push from now until NSD.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 6/20/16
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #177 overall) – Rivals (4*, #215 overall) – 247 (4*, #138 overall) – ESPN (4*, #216 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #160 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

Notre Dame has made its way into the picture for Simon but things still look very good for Michigan here. He’s been a longtime top target for the coaching staff and looks to be the perfect fit at the safety position in this class. As long the staff keeps its foot on the gas and correctly pitches him, I like their chances to land yet another top recruit out of New Jersey.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: March 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #151 overall) – Rivals (4*, #127 overall) – 247 (4*, #99 overall) – ESPN (4*, #21 S)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #140 overall, #6 OLB, #4 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: 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
  • Commitment Date: 4/20/17
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #61 S) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #81 CB) – ESPN (3*, #59 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #1077 overall, #97 CB, #148 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
  • Commitment Date: 4/20/17
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #183 overall) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #368 overall) – ESPN (4*, #42 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #327 overall, #32 CB, #45 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. CB: Josh Jobe, 6’1” 180lbs. Miami, FL (Cheshire Academy) 

Photo Credit: The Miami Herald

Photo Credit: The Miami Herald

I may be all the way out on a limb by myself on this one but I feel like Michigan’s going to pull a surprise commitment out of this class and Jobe looks like a prime candidate. He’s been a top target for the staff for quite sometime and even though he “shut down his recruitment” earlier this spring, Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz continues to hear that Michigan is in good shape to flip him after, what is expected to be, a wild recruitment ($). Jobe’s move up to Cheshire Academy (Tarik Black’s high school) could be gigantic for Michigan. We’ll see if it’s enough to receive his LOI on NSD.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Committed to Miami (Good)
  • Highlights
  • First on List: February 2017
  • RankingsScout (4*, #42 overall) – Rivals (4*, #166 overall) – 247 (4*, #33 overall) – ESPN  (4*, #110 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #62 overall, #9 CB, #13 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kamryn Babb, Jeremey Ruckert, Isaac Taylor-Stuart, Chris Smith

Projected Class Score: 251.20 (per 247Sports)

If Michigan were to have finished with this score in 2017, it would have had the #10 class in the country, per 247Sports. And though it wouldn’t be another top five class, a top 10 finish would be a nice accomplishment in such a small class following a big, uber-talented class.

Just Missed the List

  • WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
    • For the second class prediction in a row, St. Brown was one of the last names taken off of the list. Notre Dame and USC are the teams that’ve been making the most noise and there’s a very real chance he ends up at either program. But I’m not counting out Michigan at all here. The educational opportunities in Ann Arbor are among the best in the world and that chance to the “the man” in this class could be a bigger selling point than some may think. But, I’m gonna have to wait until he gets to campus before I can truly think about adding him to the list.
      • May 2017 Prediction: USC
  • TE Jeremey Ruckert 
    • Ruckert is another elite prospect and top target for the staff. Though I put him on last month’s class prediction, his longtime lean to Ohio State is too much to put him in the top 18 players most likely to commit. But this one is far from over.
      • May 2017 Prediction: Ohio State
  • WR Kamryn Babb
    • Another top receiving target for Michigan that has continued to name Ohio State his leader. But, like Ruckert, this recruitment looks to be a little closer than some think. Though the Wolverines may need to pull out all of the stops if/when he makes a return visit to Ann Arbor to have a chance to knock the Buckeyes off the top of the list.
      • May 2017 Prediction: Ohio State 
  • ATH Tre’Shaun Harrison
    • Harrison is another player that was on the last couple of class predictions but momentum has swayed quite a bit. 247Sports Steve Wiltfong moved his Crystal Ball to Oregon and it started a mini-avalanche of predictions to the Ducks. But, like the other names above, Michigan could make a big move if the staff is able to get Harrison to campus this summer or fall. But, for now, it looks like he may stay out west.
      • May 2017 Prediction: Oregon
  • OL Jerome Carvin 
    • Carvin is the latest offensive lineman to be offered by Michigan. And though he’s not the highest rated lineman, he does hold offers from both Michigan and, even more recently, Alabama. He’s shown early signs of liking what the Wolverines have to offer and the staff looks to like him a lot as a prospect. If they push for him, there looks to be a real chance UM could pull him out of SEC country to take the final OL spot.
      • May 2017 Prediction: Alabama
  • TE Will Mallory
    • Mallory’s commitment to Miami was something not many saw coming (at least up until about a month before it happened) 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?
      • May 2017 Prediction: Miami
  • 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.
      • May 2017 Prediction: Iowa State

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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