2018 Best Guess Recruiting Class: Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween. Pretty scary start to the season for Michigan, huh? Some would even call Michigan’s 2018 class “scary” because of the lack of top100 gets. However, I believe this class shouldn’t be slept on. There’s a lot of talent, size and athleticism that fits what Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown want to do. And though there are already 15 commitments in a class that won’t be getting too much bigger, there are still several big name targets on the board, including a few Michigan has a good chance at signing.

As for those recruits, here’s a little background on how I put my latest Best Guess Recruiting Class 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 20 in this prediction. It’s still hard to see that much attrition take place after this season.
  • Position Numbers: With a limited amount of space in this class and 15 scholarships already accounted for, Michigan will have to be pretty selective with it’s final 5-7 spots.
    • With Ekiyor’s decommitment, there are only two offensive line commitments. The staff has been said to be looking to sign at least four in this class throughout the cycle.
    • It looks like there could be anywhere from 2-3 more defensive lineman added.
    • Otis Reese isn’t a lock to sign with Michigan. So, I won’t be surprised to see the staff keep a couple lanes open on the outside linebacker board.
    • With two running backs and two tight ends committed, the staff may only bring in 1-2 more offensive weapons (wide receiver may be the most likely).
  • Class Attrition: Ekiyor became the 4th overall decommitment of the class. Reese is the name to watch closest but he may be it, depending on something changing on the staff’s board before National Signing Day.

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) 

Joe Milton. Photo Credit: 247Sports.com

Photo Credit: 247Sports.com

Even with the Doyle commitment, Milton looks to be one of the firmest commitments in the class. He’s also the player with, arguably, the highest ceiling in the class. His natural size, athleticism and passing abilities, mixed with Jim Harbaugh’s ability to develop quarterbacks, gives him the chance to be a star in the winged helmet.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 5/7/17
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #268 overall) – Rivals (4*, #105 overall) – 247 (4*, #270 overall) – ESPN (4*, #111 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #167 overall, #8 Pro QB, #30 in Florida

2. QB: Kevin Doyle, 6’4” 210lbs. Washington, DC (St. John’s College)

Kevin Doyle. Photo Credit: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group

Photo Credit: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group

Doyle was one of the rare surprise commitments earlier in the month but that doesn’t take away from his impact on the class. Not only is he a solid prospect but he’s also been a vocal leader for the class to try and bring some of the top names with him to Ann Arbor. We’ll see if his hustle pays off.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitments Date: 9/24/17
  • First on List: Now
  • RankingsScout (3*, #22 Pro-QB) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #399 overall) – ESPN (4*, #18 Pro-QB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #553 overall, #21 Pro-QB, #4 in DC

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 remains solid to Michigan and is a player that’s flying under the radar in this class. Though he’s a three star prospect, he competed at The Opening and is a star player at one of the top programs in Georgia. Don’t just watch the stars, look at Turner’s senior tape to see exactly why both Michigan and Notre Dame wanted him badly.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 4/10/17
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #39 RB) – Rivals (3*, #15 RB) – 247 (3*, #24 RB) – ESPN (4*, #275 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #451 overall, #23 RB, #47 in Georgia

4. RB: Hassan Haskins, 6’2” 205lbs. Eureke, MO (Eureka) 

Photo Credit: Ben Loewnau/STLhighschoolsports.com

Photo Credit: Ben Loewnau/STLhighschoolsports.com

Haskins is another lower ranked running back recruit that shouldn’t be overlooked. He’s actually even less known and lower ranked than Turner but he’s a guy who I believe has a Luke Schoonmaker-like ceiling. Watching his senior tape, you see a big, physical, agile back that grinds out every run to get every inch possible. And thanks to the staff’s offer and his official visit for the Rutgers game, he’s the newest of Michigan’s 2018 class.

  • Story 
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 10/29/17
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (N/A) – Rivals (2*) – 247 (3*, #82 RB) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #1553 overall, #94 RB, #15 in Missouri

5. WR: Dillon Spalding, 6’2” 215lbs. Lorton, VA (South County) 

Dillon Spalding. Photo Credit: John McDonnell/The Washington Post

Photo Credit: John McDonnell/The Washington Post

Spalding is back on the list but it’s not with a ton of confidence. Michigan looks likely to take one receiver in this class but out of the top options, the best bets may be the newly offered targets. But thanks to one of Michigan’s analysts who actually coached Spalding in high school ($), the Virginian is a name to watch. There’s a ways to go here but, if he’s a take, I could see him choosing Michigan at the end of the day.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: September 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #251 overall) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #373 overall) – ESPN (3*, #151 WR)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #350 overall, #62 WR, #8 in Virginia
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: None
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kamryn Babb, Shocky Jacques-Louis, Jamarr Chase, Chris Olave

6. 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. He has Underrated Pickup of the Class written all over him.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 7/25/17
  • First on List: July 2017
  • RankingsScout (3*, #74 TE) – Rivals (3*, #48 TE) – 247 (3*, #33 TE) – ESPN (3*, #20 TE)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #729 overall, #35 TE, #2 in Connecticut

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

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

After months of speculation and visits, Muhammad decided to wrap things up a couple months before National Signing Day by publicly committing to Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines during his Under Armour All-American game jersey presentation. He’s easily one of the best gets in this class for the staff.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #66 overall) – Rivals (4*, #19 TE) – 247 (4*, #144 overall) – ESPN (4*, #47 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #113 overall, #6 TE, #14 in Texas

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

Photo Credit: Josh Newkirk/Scout

Photo Credit: Josh Newkirk/Scout

Hayes is expected to come to Ann Arbor as a tight end but his future is at left tackle. He’s a guy who Greg Frey targeted right away after taking over the Offensive Tackle Coaching job and, when you look at his tape, you can see why. He’s a long, athletic player that has the frame to put on more than enough size to play tackle. Once he puts on the size, he’ll have the chance to be a very nice player for Michigan.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 5/27/17
  • First on List: March 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #270 overall) – Rivals (3*, #51 OT) – 247 (4*, #122 overall) – ESPN (4*, #30 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #300 overall, #24 OT, #5 in Michigan

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

Photo Credit: MLive.com

Photo Credit: MLive.com

Like Hayes, Mayfield is another four star in-state offensive tackle commit that is raw but has immense potential. Though, out of the two, he’s a guy I believe could see the field early in his career. He’ll need to tighten some things up technically and add the necessary size but I believe he could challenge for a position as early as 2019.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 5/23/17
  • First on List: March 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #206 overall) – Rivals (3* OT) – 247 (4*, #100 overall) – ESPN (3*, #71 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #283 overall, #22 OT, #4 in Michigan

10. OT: Jalen Goss, 6’7” 265lbs. Valdosta, GA (Lowndes) 

From the same school as 2018 ATH Michael Barrett, Goss is a name to watch closely moving forward. Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz has been mentioning him for awhile now and reported the news of him taking an official to Ann Arbor for the Ohio State game ($). With Ekiyor flipped and more tackles needed in the class, he looks like the best bet on the board to end up choosing Michigan at the moment.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Official vs OSU
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #106 OT) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #67 OT) – ESPN (3*, #60 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #824 overall, #65 OT, #84 in Georgia
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Missouri
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Nicholas Petit-Frere, Jarrett Patterson 

11. OG/C: Tyrone Sampson, 6’3” 295lbs. Detroit, MI (EEVP) 

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Sampson is a bit of a shot in the dark thanks to him not holding an offer yet but he’s been a guy every Michigan recruiting analyst knows about. He’s one of the top players in the state but the staff never offered him. With Ekiyor already on board and Cesar Ruiz expected to hold down the center position for years to come, the push from the staff never happened and Sampson committed to Syracuse. Now that Ekiyor’s gone, Sampson may be a guy to watch. It’ll be interesting to see how hard the staff pushes here. But, without many other options at this point, I’ll go out a limb a bit.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Committed to Syracuse
  • Highlights
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #165 overall) – Rivals (4*, #4 OC) – 247 (4*, #250 overall) – ESPN (3*, #4 OC)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #317 overall, #6 OC, #6 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: None
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Chris Murray, Marquan McCall 

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

Photo Credit: Gordon Radford/STLHighSchoolSports

Photo Credit: Gordon Radford/STLHighSchoolSports

Thompson would be one of the best overall gets in the entire class, if Michigan is able to sway him away from the likes of Alabama, USC and in-state Missouri. He’s consistently mentioned the Wolverines among his top teams and Greg Mattison as one of his favorite coaches. He’s also already visited Ann Arbor for the BBQ in late July and is expected to take an official this fall. But this will still be a tough pull. He may be one of the biggest reaches on the list.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #115 overall) – Rivals (4*, #55 overall) – 247 (4*, #70 overall) – ESPN (4*, #116 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #58 overall, #2 DT, #2 in Missouri
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Missouri
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Rick Sandidge, Alim McNeill

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

Photo Credit: Scout.com

Photo Credit: Scout.com

I’ve kept my Crystal Ball on Michigan for the top defensive lineman out of New Jersey since August 2016 and I’m still not close to changing it. He’s long been a top target for the staff and has had a connection with both Michigan’s coaching staff and the New Jersey players on the roster. And though things have been extremely quiet on his front, I’m sticking with him choosing the Wolverines.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #62 overall) – Rivals (4*, #60 overall) – 247 (4*, #137 overall) – ESPN (4*, #126 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, Alim McNeill, Eyabi Anoma, Jayson Oweh

14. DE: Aidan Hutchinson, 6’6” 260lbs. Dearborn, MI (Divine Child) 

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

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. As soon as he puts on the size and strength needed to contribute at the collegiate level, look out. There also looks to be a chance he could see time at tight end, as he excels at the position for Divine Child.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 2/22/17
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (4*, #223 overall) – Rivals (4*, #18 SSDE) – 247 (4*, #105 overall) – ESPN (4*, #284 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #211 overall, #10 SDE, #2 in Michigan

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

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

Georgia has been pushing hard here and it just may be working, if you look at the latest Crystal Ball predictions. However, Michigan still looks to have a solid hold on him at this point. This will be a recruitment to watch closely up until NSD but, for now, I see him sticking it out with the Wolverines.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 6/20/16
  • First on List: August 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #186 overall) – Rivals (4*, #116 overall) – 247 (4*, #140 overall) – ESPN (4*, #221 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #137 overall, #8 OLB, #17 in Georgia

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

Photo Credit: Kenneth Moreland / VictoryViews

Photo Credit: Kenneth Moreland / VictoryViews

McGrone is one of the surest things in this class as he’s been a big recruiter for the class since committing over the summer. He’s also a guy that could end up being the jewel of this class when everything is said and done. I believe he has the chance to be that good.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 7/31/17
  • First on List: June 2017
  • RankingsScout (4*, #203 overall) – Rivals (4*, #238 overall) – 247 (4*, #42 overall) – ESPN (4*, #15 OLB)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #203 overall, #16 OLB, #1 in Indiana

17. S: German Green, 6’2” 170lbs. DeSoto, TX (DeSoto) 

Though he’s not as highly ranked as his twin brother, Gemon, he’s a guy that has been said to be one to watch. He was injured during his junior season but looked to be getting his game back throughout his senior campaign. He’s a raw defensive back but, with size and the right coaching, he could be a very nice player.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 4/20/17
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #71 CB) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #93 S) – ESPN (3*, #90 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #1166 overall, #93 S, #161 in Texas

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

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Though there were plenty of questions surrounding whether or not he’d be a take for the staff, if/when he wanted to commit, all of that was figured out when the staff saw him in person for the 2017 BBQ at the Big House. Everything Faustin saw and felt during his trip was more than enough to push him over the edge. He let MGoFish know that he’d be announcing his decision prior to his senior season. And he followed up with that by publicly committing to Michigan just days after his visit.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First on List: August 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #81 CB) – Rivals (3*, #53 CB) – 247 (3*, #77 CB) – ESPN (3*, #50 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #668 overall, #56 CB, #105 in Florida

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

There other Green brother is a player that looks like he could have a very bright future in the maize and blue. He’s a long, rangy corner with speed and instincts. With work on the practice field and in the weight room, he’s a guy who could play early thanks to his natural abilities and experience against top level high school football talent.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 4/20/17
  • First on List: April 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #178 overall) – Rivals (4*, #36 CB) – 247 (3*, #389 overall) – ESPN (4*, #45 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three star, #345 overall, #34 CB, #45 in Texas

20. CB: Myles Sims, 6’3.5” 160lbs. Atlanta, GA (Westlake) 

Sims is another player that has a ceiling up around superstar level. His mix of length and athleticism is not seen in many places and that could help him see the field early. He’s another guy that is firmly committed to the staff, even though he’s a top level player from out-of-state.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 4/7/2017
  • First on List: March 2017
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #96 overall) – Rivals (4*, #68 overall) – 247 (3*, #39 CB) – ESPN (4*, #132 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four star, #127 overall, #17 CB, #15 in Georgia

Projected Class Score: 251.71 (per 247Sports)

With that score, Michigan would have the #7 class in the country, at the moment. But with so much time still to go and plenty of other teams picking up more commits, there’s a chance this class ends up fighting for a top 10 spot when everything is said and done (sits at #14 right now). Notre Dame finished 10th in 2017 with a 251.32.

Just Missed

  • RB Michael Barrett 
    • Barrett has long been a member of my class prediction and still may end up at Michigan. However, with the commitment of Haskins, it may be tough for the staff to find a spot for another running back.
  • DB Josh Jobe
    • Still committed to Miami and still one of the staff’s top targets, Jobe is a guy who is hard to pinpoint right now. All three of his top schools look to have a very real chance but it’s Alabama who I believe may pull this one off when it’s all said and done.
  • S Bryan Addison
    • There have been mixed reviews of Addison’s official visit to Michigan earlier in the month. But, one thing is for sure, Michigan is still in this race. UCLA and Nebraska look to be top options (with USC waiting in the wings). It will take a great piece of recruiting for UM to end up signing the west coast standout, which is definitely still a possibility.
  • DE Jayson Oweh
    • One of the newest names on the board, Oweh is one to watch. Every report after he received his offer was very positive for Michigan, even though he has Ohio State and Penn State right at the top of his board. His official for the OSU game should be huge. Depending on how that goes, we’ll see if he makes an appearance in my next class prediction.
  • WR Shocky Jacques-Louis
    • Shocky remains a real possibility to join the class, especially with the mayhem going on in Knoxville. But even with his official to Michigan, it’s just hard to see him picking the Wolverines here when he sends in his LOI.
  • OG Chris Murray
    • Another offensive line recruit to watch, Murray is one of the best guards in the country and a name that Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz has mentioned in the past. With Ekiyor off the board and the interior OL spot needed to be filled, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the staff push hard for the west coaster.
  • OT Jarrett Patterson
    • Patterson received his offer from the staff yesterday and, according to all reports, he’s very high on Michigan. He’s still committed to Arizona State, who’s having a nice year, but the chance to come to the Midwest and play for Michigan is something that may sway him. Look out for him moving forward.
  • WR Chris Olave
    • Another new offer, Olave is a receiver who’s blowing up on the recruiting trail. Ohio State was in earlier than Michigan and looks to have a very good chance at landing him. But this offer from Michigan is intriguing, especially when looking at the staff’s current WR board. An official visit and the pitch to be the only receiver in the class could be huge here.
  • DE Eyabi Anoma 
    • It would’ve been huge for Michigan to sign another five star defensive lineman but it looks like it won’t come true. Though his coach, Biff Poggi, is all about Michigan, Alabama looks to be in control of this recruitment.

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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