2018 Best Guess Recruiting Class: July 31st

Michigan welcomed its 11th and 12th commitments to the 2018 class during the month of July, with one going down earlier today. However, it probably won’t be the last of the summer as the Wolverines just may be getting some good news from at least one of its top targets on the board.That player is added to my latest 2018 Michigan recruiting class prediction below.

Here’s a little background on how I put my latest BGRC together:

  • 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. There’s been reports of it being anywhere from 18-22. So, I’ll going to stick with 18 in this prediction. It’s hard to see that much attrition take place after this season.
  • Position Numbers: With a limited amount of space in this class and 11 scholarships already accounted for, Michigan will have to be pretty selective with it’s final 7-11 spots.
    • It no longer looks like Michigan sign a second quarterback in this class, unless something drastic happens.
    • The staff now looks like it’ll try to sign two more defensive lineman, with multiple defensive tackles and defensive ends still left on the board.
    • With several defensive backs in a good-to-very good situation, it looks like there will be at least 1-2 more additions.
    • The biggest question looks to be how many offensive weapons the staff decides to add to the class. Though Schoonmaker jumped on board, it looks possible that the staff could still take two more tight ends. But will three tight ends take away a wide receiver or 2nd running back spot? It looks possible.
  • Class Attrition: With so many out of state commits and top targets, it’s impossible to say every commit sticks until NSD.
    • If there’s one current commit to watch, it’s still OG Emil Ekiyor, as Alabama has made a huge push for the four star offensive lineman.

Chances Key:

  • Excellent – Top Team/Expected to Land
  • Very Good – Top 2-3/Realistic Possibility  
  • Good – Top 5/Sticking Around
  • Fair – Top 10/Puncher’s Chance
  • Poor – Hardly Mentioned/Unlikey to Happen

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. And he doesn’t look to be going anywhere.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 5/7/17
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #265 overall) – Rivals (4*, #102 overall) – 247 (4*, #261 overall) – ESPN (4*, #126 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #164 overall, #11 Pro QB – #38 in Florida

2. RBMichael Barrett, 6’1” 210lbs. Valdosta, GA (Lowndes) 

Barrett is back on the list as he looks to be the only legit running back option on the board. According to his interview with Rivals Chad Simmons, Barrett is very high on Michigan, naming it “one of (his) top schools ($). This may all come down to him making it up to campus as Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz is hearing that Barrett is a top running back target for the staff ($). Not going to the BBQ wasn’t too big of a deal since it’s not very easy for most high school kids to make 12 hour trips over a weekend. So, all eyes will be on an official this fall. If he makes it up and is a take for the staff, it’s hard to see him not jumping on board.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #89 ATH) – Rivals (3* ATH) – 247 (3*, #55 ATH) – ESPN (3*, #48 ATH)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #670 overall, #51 ATH, #65 in Georgia
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: None
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: James Graham, Shocky Jacques-Louis, Amon-Ra St. Brown

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 as he committed to UM just days after leaving campus. He doesn’t look to be going anywhere in this class either after visiting campus again for the BBQ at the Big House.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 4/10/17
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #36 RB) – Rivals (3*, #15 RB) – 247 (3*, #23 RB) – ESPN (4*, #275 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #435 overall, #23 RB, #48 in Georgia

4. TE: Luke Schoonmaker, 6’6” 235lbs. Hamden, CT (Hamden Hall) 

Schoonmaker is the latest commitment for the class and it was a complete surprise. He went from an unknown recruit that never publicly announced his offer from the staff and ended up committing via Twitter to show the world of UM recruiting. But don’t let the lower ranking scare you off. Not only is an exceptional athlete for the tight end position but if there’s one spot (besides quarterback) that Harbaugh knows how to develop and spot talent at best, it’s the tight end position.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 7/25/17
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (N/A) – Rivals (N/A) – 247 (3*, #32 TE) – ESPN (N/A)
  • Composite Ranking: N/A

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

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

It’s been a minute since Muhammad was on Michigan’s campus and rumors started flying that UM was it for the talented Texan. And though he’s publicly said that he’d like to play in the SEC and has remained open to his other top schools, including Clemson, Texas and Notre Dame, all 23 Crystal Ball predictions remain on the Wolverines. Barring something drastic, this still looks extremely like it’ll end up being a big win for Harbaugh in a year where the tight end position is a huge need.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #65 overall) – Rivals (4*, #18 TE) – 247 (4*, #140 overall) – ESPN (4*, #47 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #111 overall, #5 TE, #14 in Texas
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Julius Welschof, Will Mallory

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

Hayes is one of the most interesting commitments in the class thanks to his, expected, arrival as a tight end and, eventual, move to tackle. 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*, #269 overall) – Rivals (3*, #49 OT) – 247 (4*, #108 overall) – ESPN (4*, #30 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #285 overall, #20 OT, #4 in Michigan

7. 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

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

Photo credit: 247Sports.com

Photo credit: 247Sports.com

Faalele is a complete toss up to be a part of this class. Though he’s long been connected to Michigan and several of his teammates believe that’s where he’ll end up playing his college ball, according to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, there’s still a question of where he sits on the staff’s board ($). However, there aren’t many lineman at the top of the staff’s board that UM is in very good shape with. So, ill keep Faalele on the list as the most likely addition at this point and a player that could become a must-take after he really gets his feet wet this fall. All eyes will be on the Australian Mountain at IMG.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: February 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #59 OT) – Rivals (4*, #162 overall) – 247 (3*, #36 OT) – ESPN (4*, #24OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #382 overall, #31 OT, #60 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Nicholas Petit-Frere, Rafiti Ghirmai, Raiqwon O’Neal, Jerome Carvin

9. OG/C: 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 have been fading away a bit. However, thanks to visits from the coaching staff and multiple visits to campus, including participating in the Big Man camp in June and the BBQ at the Big House, look to have Michigan firmly atop his list. But Alabama won’t go away and will be a threat throughout.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 10/2/2016
  • First on List: February 2017
  • RankingsScout (4*, #167 overall) – Rivals (4*, #145 overall) – 247 (4*, #153 overall) – ESPN (4*, #54 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #106 overall, #4 OG, #1 in Indiana

10. DT: Michael Thompson, 6’4” 290lbs. Saint Louis, MO (Parkway North)

Photo Credit: Gordon Radford/STLHighSchoolSports

Photo Credit: Gordon Radford/STLHighSchoolSports

Thompson returns to the list after a long break. He’s also my biggest reach on the list but also far from impossible. The #2 defensive tackle in the class is said to be a heavy lean to hometown Missouri  while Michigan looks like it just may be sitting in the 2nd position. But could they steal the top player in Missouri from the Tigers? Thompson just visited UM for the first time for the BBQ at the Big House and, though not much has come out just yet, it’s likely Michigan cemented its place among his top teams. Most interesting things to watch here will be when he decides to announce and how Mizzou does this season. A bad season and a later decision, likely after an official to Ann Arbor, could be huge for Michigan’s chances.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #114 overall) – Rivals (4*, #37 overall) – 247 (4*, #67 overall) – ESPN (
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #55 overall, #2 DT, #1 in Missouri
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Missouri
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Rick Sandidge

11. DL: 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, but things have pretty much gone completely quiet on that front. The top100 target is one of the more quiet recruits on the staff’s board, so it’s hard to get an exact judge on where things stand. However, it is known that both Ohio State and Penn State are making waves. Can Michigan regain its early lead it looked to one have? I’m keeping my Crystal Ball on Michigan for now.

  • 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*, #133 overall) – ESPN (4*, #125 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #64 overall, #3 DT, #2 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Rick Sandidge, Ronnie Perkins, Eyabi Anoma

12. DE: Aidan Hutchinson, 6’6” 260lbs. 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 and continues to look like a perfect fit for Greg Mattison’s defensive line.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 2/22/17
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #222 overall) – Rivals (4*, #18 SSDE) – 247 (4*, #94 overall) – ESPN (4*, #283 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #204 overall, #8 SDE, #3 in Michigan

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

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Reese was the first commitment for this class and may end up being the best player in this class, when everything is said and done. His mix of length, athleticism, speed and tenacity should make him a terror in Don Brown’s blitz heavy defense. And though he’s a highly rated player out of SEC country and has been getting love from several schools around him, he doesn’t look to be going anywhere.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 6/20/16
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #181 overall) – Rivals (4*, #132 overall) – 247 (4*, #155 overall) – ESPN (4*, #220 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #147 overall, #8 OLB, #17 in Georgia

14. ILB: Cameron McGrone, 6’1” 215lbs. Indianapolis, IN (Lawrence Central)

Photo Credit: Kenneth Moreland / VictoryViews

Photo Credit: Kenneth Moreland / VictoryViews

McGrone was a bit of an unknown on the Michigan recruiting front for quite sometime in the 2018 cycle. As he didn’t even receive his offer from the staff until his first visit to campus on June 22nd, which also happened to be his birthday. But once that offer came through, he quickly vaulted to the top of the recruiting board and to the top of the potential commitment list. Though there was plenty of love for in-state Notre Dame prior to Michigan extending its offer, it was all Maize and Blue. He committed to the Wolverines and now becomes one of the best gets in the class for the staff.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 7/31/17
  • First on List: June 2017
  • RankingsScout (4*, #25 OLB) – Rivals (4*, #16 OLB) – 247 (4*, #40 overall) – ESPN (4*, #14 OLB)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #217 overall, #14 OLB, #2 in Indiana

15. S: 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*, #71 CB) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #91 CB) – ESPN (3*, #65 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #1175 overall, #104 CB, #164 in Texas

16. DB: Sammy Faustin, 6’2” 170lbs. Naples, FL (Naples) 

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Of course, after I said in the post-Shayne Simon commitment to Notre Dame article that I doubt Faustin would end up being a part of this class, he now looks like he could be one of the next players to drop for Michigan. Though his “take” status has been in question for sometime, Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz was hearing positive things about the staff’s view on the long defensive back. And after talking with Faustin about his trip to Ann Arbor for the BBQ and his plans to “probably” commit before his senior season, I’ve not only added him to this list but have put in my Crystal Ball prediction as well.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #76 CB) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #75 CB) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #869 overall, #79 CB, #135 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Shayne Simon, Josh Jobe, CJ Smith, Bryan Addison, Talanoa Hufanga, Isaac Taylor-Stuart

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

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. Another visit to town for the BBQ this past weekend only solidifies their commitment even more.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 4/20/17
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #176 overall) – Rivals (4*, #32 CB) – 247 (3*, #370 overall) – ESPN (4*, #44 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #333 overall, #32 CB, #44 in Texas

18. CB: Myles Sims, 6’3.5” 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. He’s remained one of the most solid commits in the class.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 4/7/2017
  • First on List: March 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #95 overall) – Rivals (4*, #56 overall) – 247 (3*, #39 CB) – ESPN (4*, #133 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #128 overall, #17 CB, #14 in Georgia

Projected Class Score: 253.38 (per 247Sports)

If Michigan were to have finished with this score in 2017, it would have had the #9 class in the country, per 247Sports. Not too bad for a smaller class that is full of players with much higher ceilings than recruiting rankings.

Just Missed

  • VIPER/SS Shayne Simon
    • Though he committed to Notre Dame, he remained one of the last players taken off of the list. It’ll be interesting to see what happens from now until NSD as Notre Dame could be in for another tough season, which could see the end of the Brian Kelly era in South Bend. But, until the season starts going sour, i’ll keep Simon off of the main list.
  • TE Luke Ford
    • Ford just recently visited Michigan for the first time since receiving his offer from the staff. Though it wasn’t for the BBQ, it looks to have gone off extremely well. Because of the visit, offer and fit, he was a player I had set on this list. That was until Schoonmaker’s commitment. Though I think there’s a very realistic chance the staff takes three tight ends in this class, with Ford being one of them, I just couldn’t find space in this 18-person class.
  • DB Josh Jobe
    • Another name that sticks around and will continue to stick around until NSD. His commitment to Miami (FL) is said to be solid but there isn’t a person that believes that, at the moment. He’s been strongly linked to both Michigan and Alabama, with both powerhouses having a good chance. His move to Cheshire Academy is huge for UM but it’s too close to call at this point.
  • S Bryan Addison
    • The biggest subtraction from the BBQ, Addison was unable to make it all the way across the country to see Ann Arbor. Instead, going to UCLA and then Washington State for visits. But that doesn’t mean this recruitment is over. He still looks to be a top target for the staff and is a prime candidate to officially visit this summer. It doesn’t look to be impossible to pull off but it’s hard to see, at this point.
  • ATH James Graham
    • Graham is a subtraction from June’s list. He’s a player that looks to be higher on UM than UM is on him, at this point. Though he holds an offer from the staff, it’s not known if it’s a committable offer. If so, I think he’s a Wolverine. But that’s a big “if”. For now, I’ll keep him on the Just Missed list.
  • DT Rick Sandidge
    • Sandidge was another close call as he’s moved his way up the staff’s defensive lineman board and become a legit option for this class. However, the hometown South Carolina Gamecocks may be too tough to beat here for the extremely family oriented prospect.
  • OT Nicholas Petit-Frere
    • Petit-Frere may be Michigan’s top target on the offensive line board but there’s just not enough there to add him to the class prediction. There’s still plenty of time to go and the fact that UM was his first offer looks to be holding water. It’ll be interesting to see how things could change with an official visit this fall, which I expect to happen.

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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