2020 Best Guess Recruiting Class: Take Two

This took much longer than I thought it would. Lots of stuff going on in my life this year and it didn’t help that Michigan pretty much filled up their class before the end of July.

22 full scholarship commitments on board with the possibility of attrition coming before this class is complete. But there will also be a couple of big pickups heading into the Early Signing Period starting December 18th.

The staff still has plenty of work to do on the trail and on the field for this class to reach its full potential. With the undefeated Buckeyes coming to Ann Arbor to end the season, Michigan will be hosting another big group of visitors. An upset win could do wonders for this program in so many different ways but especially on the recruiting trail.

We’ll see if they can pull it off.

As for pulling off some big recruiting wins, I have four new additions to the class in my prediction below. Two I feel really good about Michigan winning out for and the other two, while I believe UM can win out, are the best bets at this point at two important positions of needs.

That’s how the new additions were chosen, here’s how I put together the rest of my second attempt at the 2020 Best Guess Michigan Recruiting Class:

  • Class Predictions:
  • Class Size:
    • With the heavy amount of attrition on the roster since the end of the 2018 season, this class looks like it may be another full one. 24-26 looks to be the sweet spot.
  • Class Attrition:
    • Decommits: DT Denver Warren, RB Tim Baldwin, and WR Kalil Branham
    • Medical Retirement: QB JD Johnson
    • From the current commitment list, it looks like there could potentially be more before National Signing Day.
  • Chances Key:
    • Excellent – Top Team/Favorite to Land
    • Very Good – Top Three/Realistic Possibility
    • Good – Top Five/Hanging Around 
    • Fair – Puncher’s Chance/Questionable Take

Check out my second attempt at predicting the 2020 Michigan football recruiting class:

1. QB CJ Stroud, 6’3” 195lbs. Rancho Cucamonga, CA (Rancho Cucamonga)

Coleridge “CJ” Stroud. Might wanna get used to that name because he’s become the new top target on the board following JD Johnson’s medical retirement. The four-star quarterback has flown up the rankings following an Elite 11 MVP this summer. Ohio State is the Crystal Ball favorite but with a quarterback already in its class, Stroud may look to a spot where he’d be “the guy”. And Michigan may be that spot. Oregon, Georgia, UCLA and (if they get a homerun hire) USC are other big threats but also all have a quarterback commits already in their respective classes. The Ducks are expected to have him on campus for an official on November 30th. But following that is an official to Ann Arbor on December 7th and then a scheduled official to Columbus in mid-December. There’s still plenty of work to do but with the staff not offering any other QBs during the bye week, and Stroud expected to sign during the Early Signing Period, that early December official could be a gamechanger. Without any legit scholarship targets on the board, I’ll be the optimist and put him on the list.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: December 7th
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good to Very Good
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #221 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #93 overall) – ESPN (4*, #176 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #137 Overall, #4 Pro-QB, #14 in California
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Ohio State
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Jayden de Laura, Jeff Sims, Jack Miller, Dan Villari, Jake Wilcox

2. RB Blake Corum, 5’9” 180lbs. Baltimore, MD (St. Frances Academy)

Photo Credit: Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun

For some reason, Corum is being overlooked a bit as an addition to this class. I believe he’s a top 100 recruit and one of the top 10 running backs in this class, and he showed it with his four-touchdown performance in his senior season opener against nationally-ranked Central Miami. He’ll be an early enrollee, according to TMI’s Steve Lorenz, which makes me believe even more that he will be a guy who plays early and often.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 6/27/19
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #136 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #237 overall) – ESPN (4*, #116 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #144 Overall, #14 RB, #8 in Maryland

3. ATH Eamonn Dennis, 5’10” 175lbs. Worchester, MA (St. John’s)

Dennis is one of the many “Speed in Space” guys in this class though he’s a little different from all the rest as he can play both running back and wide receiver for the Wolverines. He’s an electric talent that can be used all over the place as a matchup nightmare, which will always help him see the field earlier on in his career.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 6/24/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #75 WR) – 247Sports (3*, #32 ATH) – ESPN (3*, #43 ATH)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-Star, #495 Overall, #25 ATH, #5 in Massachusetts

4. WR AJ Henning, 5’10” 185lbs. Frankfort, IL (Lincoln-Way East)

Henning is one of the gems of the class and one of the biggest wins for the recruiting staff. He’s an elite talent that should add a dynamic playmaker to the offense and a threat to score whenever he’s on the field. Look for him to contribute early on in his career on offense and special teams.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 6/26/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #87 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #139 overall) – ESPN (4*, #105 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #89 Overall, #18 WR #1 in Illinois

5. WR Roman Wilson, 6’0” 175lbs. Honolulu, HI (St. Louis)

The flyin’ Hawaiian committed to Michigan at the beginning of July, giving Josh Gattis another top receiver target in this class. He’s one of the fastest players in the country which should help him see the field early, especially if there are multiple early NFL departures from the wide receiver room this offseason.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 7/2/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #77 WR) – 247Sports (4*, #227 overall) – ESPN (4*, #55 WR)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #349 Overall, #63 WR, #3 in Hawaii

6. TE Theo Johnson, 6’6” 240lbs. Windsor, ON (Holy Names)

Photo credit: 247Sports.com

The big Canadian is another top target on the staff’s board but he happens to be at the top of multiple team’s boards including Penn State, Georgia, and Iowa. The Nittany Lions are the perceived leader and Crystal ball leader, though Johnson’s said multiple times that he doesn’t have a leader. The four-star tight end officially visited for the MSU blowout and following that visit along with him delaying his decision ahead of the trip, it looks like it may have changed things up a bit. There are growing rumors of James Franklin to Florida State or USC and it’s well documented how close his home in Windsor is to Ann Arbor (especially compared to the other contenders). That close proximity is a big feather in UM’s hat and a selling point for his mom. Will mom get herself an early present this year? Like TMI’s Steve Lorenz said following his MSU visit, if Johnson returns for the Ohio State game, it would be a very good sign for Michigan ($).

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #155 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #70 overall) – ESPN (4*, #131 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #95 Overall, #3 TE, #1 in Ontario
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Penn State
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: None

7. TE Matthew Hibner, 6’4” 230lbs. Burke, VA (Lake Braddock)

Hibner is one of the forgotten members of Michigan’s 2020 class but a guy that could make an instant impact in Ann Arbor. With the open playing time available in 2020 and his mix of size and athleticism could help him find the field his freshmen year.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 6/9/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*) – 247Sports (4*, #258 overall) – ESPN (3*, #20 TE)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #710 Overall, #27 TE, #18 in Virginia

8. TE Nick Patterson, 6’3” 220lbs. San Antonio, TX (SA Christian)

Nick is the younger brother of Shea Patterson and has been publicly committed to Michigan for a long time but I’ve heard and read plenty of rumors of him eventually signing elsewhere. But until that happens, he’ll be on this list. Though it’s no secret that this is a recruitment to watch over the next month or so.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 9/10/18
  • Rankings: Rivals (3*, #20 TE) – 247Sports (3*, #45 TE) – ESPN (3*, #24 TE)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #843 Overall, #38 TE, #110 in Texas

9. OT Andrew Gentry, 6’8” 310lbs. Littleton, CO (Columbine)

I originally referred to Gentry as this year’s Trevor Keegan and it’s starting to come to fruition. Michigan has been on him forever and after an up and down recruitment, looks to be following a similar path to the 2019 signee. Though, this one’s a little bit different. Following high school, Gentry will be going on a 2-year mission trip with his Morman church. That is a big reason why BYU is the Crystal Ball leader and the projected landing spot for a lot of analysts. But if that were the case, why isn’t he already committed? He’s a been a pretty regular visitor to Ann Arbor over the last six months for a Colorado recruit and he’s seemed to come away more and more impressed with each visit. This is far from a sure thing but I think Michigan may pull this one off.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #59 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #86 overall) – ESPN (4*, #79 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #60 Overall, #6 OT, #1 in Colorado
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: BYU
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: James Pogoreic, Ozzie Trapilo, Chris Washington, Jonah Monheim

10. OT Jeffrey Persi, 6’7” 265lbs. San Juan Capistrano, CA (J Serra Catholic)

Persi is a big get out of California for the Wolverines. He’s a converted tight end that has an elite level frame and the natural talent that excites any offensive line coach. Add in him playing in one of the best leagues in the country, going up against the likes of Mater Dei, Servite, and St. John Bosco on a week-to-week basis, he’s a guy who won’t be overwhelmed when he gets to Ann Arbor. Give him a year or two to put on the right size and he could be fighting for starting time.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 6/24/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #33 OT) – 247Sports (3*, #32 OT) – ESPN (4*, #33 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-Star, #341 Overall, #27 OT, #28 in California

11. OG Micah Mazzccua, 6’5” 335lbs. Baltimore, MD (St. Frances Academy)

Mazzccua was the second get out of the Baltimore powerhouse. He’s a big-bodied lineman that looks bound to play on the inside in college. With Michigan being in on several offensive line recruits heading into the Early Signing Period, this is another spot to keep an eye on.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 2/5/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #68 OT) – 247Sports (3*, #67 OG) – ESPN (3*, #29 OG)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #774 Overall, #48 OG, #25 in Maryland

12. OG Zak Zinter, 6’6” 300lbs. Cambridge, MA (Buckingham Browne & Nichols)

Photo Credit: NorthOfBoston.com

Zinter has long been a name to know on the recruiting trail for Michigan thanks to Don Brown’s connections to the Northeast. If you like old school style, ground and pound, domination, play until the second whistle type of offensive lineman, Zinter is your kind of guy. The O-Line room is deep but the two starting OGs are moving onto the NFL. Zinter being an early enrollee will give him a chance to get some meaningful offseason reps and try to get into the two-deep.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 5/16/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #158 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #325 overall) – ESPN (4*, #14 OG)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #263 Overall, #10 OG, #2 in Massachusetts

13. G/C Reece Atteberry, 6’5” 295lbs. Centennial, CO (Eaglecrest)

Atteberry is an athletic lineman that plays all over the offensive line for his high school team but with his strong hands, technique, and smarts, he fits in really well on the inside. With the depth chart looking pretty open by the time he gets to campus, he’ll have a chance to contribute early on.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 6/23/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #51 OT) – 247Sports (3*, #385 overall) – ESPN (3*, #48 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-Star, #430 Overall, #8 OC, #6 in Colorado

14. DL Aaron Lewis, 6’5” 240lbs. Williamstown, NJ (Williamstown)

Lewis is a big, versatile lineman that can dominate with a mix of speed and power on the edge or inside. While he may start his college career at strongside defensive end, he looks to have the frame to put on weight and not lose a step if they choose to slide him inside. Good thing he’s enrolling early, per TMI’s Steve Lorenz.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 6/23/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #41 SDE) – 247Sports (4*, #247 Overall) – ESPN (4*, #32 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #451 Overall, #23 SDE, #14 in New Jersey

15. DL Braiden McGregor, 6’6” 260lbs. Port Huron, MI (Port Huron)

McGregor is one of the defensive jewels of the class and though he suffered a senior season-ending knee injury, he’s a guy that looks like he could have a big career in Ann Arbor. He has the size to play all along the defensive line. Look for him to be Aidan Hutchinson’s shadow as soon as he gets on campus in January.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 5/25/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #22 SDE) – 247Sports (4*, #106 overall) – ESPN (4*, #26 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #107 Overall, #3 SDE, #2 in Michigan

16. SDE Kris Jenkins, 6’4” 240lbs. Olney, MD (Our Lady Good Counsel)

Jenkins is the son of 10-year NFL veteran, Kris Jenkins Sr., and the nephew of 13-year NFL veteran, Cullen Jenkins. Those genetics have clearly rubbed off on Kris Jr., as he looks like a guy that could play multiple positions up and down the line for Don Brown. He’s not close to the size of his dad and uncle but he’s got the quickness and frame to be a productive strong-side end.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 7/3/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #25 SDE) – 247Sports (3*, #30 SDE) – ESPN (3*, #50 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-Star, #502 Overall, #25 SDE, #18 in Maryland

17. LB Nikhai Hill-Green, 6’1” 230lbs. Pittsburgh, PA (St. Frances Academy)

Hill-Green is another St. Frances addition to this class and another good one. As a long, aggressive, athletic linebacker that flies all over the field. He has quick reactions and is instinctive as hell. He may need to put a little more size on but once he does, he should be a TFL machine for Don Brown.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 5/23/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #21 OLB) – 247Sports (4*, #274 overall) – ESPN (4*, #25 OLB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #373 Overall, #28 OLB, #14 in Maryland

18. LB Osman Savage, 6’1” 215lbs. Baltimore, MD (St. Frances Academy)

Photo Credit: 247sports.com
Photo Credit: 247sports.com

The first St. Frances commit of the class and another really nice prospect that will be able to compete with top talent from day one. Savage is a physical, athletic linebacker that plays with a chip on his shoulder and can close in a hurry. He could be a really nice fit at WILL linebacker in this defense.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 1/25/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #174 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #33 OLB) – ESPN (3*, #35 OLB)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #310 Overall, #22 OLB, #12 in Maryland

19. ILB Cornell Wheeler, 6’0” 225lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield)

Wheeler was an early in-state commit that was kind of looked over but his senior season should have everyone excited. He’s helped lead the West Bloomfield team to the state quarterfinals as a force from the linebacker position. He’s a stout, instinctive linebacker that will add another enforcer to the middle of the defense.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 9/25/18
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #236 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #31 ILB) – ESPN (3*, #10 ILB
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #441 Overall, #19 ILB, #11 in Michigan

20. ILB Kalel Mullings, 6’2” 225lbs. Milton, MA (Milton Academy)

Photo Credit: Kalel Mullings/Twitter
Photo Credit: Kalel Mullings/Twitter

Mullings is one of the most well-known names on the list after being a longtime Michigan target. After leaning towards Stanford earlier in the year, it all came back to the Wolverines. Michigan has been producing instant impact middle linebackers since Don Brown’s arrival and Mullings may be the next guy on that list.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 6/27/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #108 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #246 overall) – ESPN (4*, #208 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #169 Overall, #13 OLB, #1 in Massachusetts

21. VLB William Mohan, 6’1” 195lbs. Brooklyn, NY (Erasmus Hall)

Another favorite in the class for me. Mohan is another long, physical defensive standout that could play multiple positions. And that normally means he’ll play the pure hybrid position of Viper linebacker. He’s a guy I think will have a very nice career in the winged helmet.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 7/23/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #21 OLB) – 247Sports (3*, #44 ATH) – ESPN (3*, #48 ATH)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #445 Overall, #24 ATH, #3 in New York

22. S Makari Paige, 6’3” 190lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield)

Paige is a long, lean safety that has the frame to bulk up and fit in well at the Viper or Rover positions for Don Brown’s defense. He may need a little time to put on the right size but with his length and athleticism, he could be a ball hawk in the secondary.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 7/30/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #21 S) – 247Sports (4*, #210 overall) – ESPN (4*, #235 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-Star, #242 Overall, #24 Safety, #6 in Michigan

23. S Jordan Morant, 5’11” 210lbs. Oradell, NJ (Bergen Catholic)

Morant flirted with Texas A&M and landed an official visit earlier in the season but looks to be locked into his Michigan commitment. He’s one of the top safeties in the class and should get a chance to see the field early on in his career.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 6/23/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #22 S) – 247Sports (4*, #114 overall) – ESPN (4*, #192 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #168 Overall, #14 S, #5 in New Jersey

24. S/ATH RJ Moten, 6’0” 200lbs. Delran, NJ (Delran)

Moten may be the best player in this class when it’s all said and done. That’s how good of a prospect he is. He’s a pure athlete that will be playing both football and baseball for the Wolverines. The four-star was recruited as a safety but when you watch his offensive highlights, it’ll be tough not to get him some touches each game. If not on offense, at least as a kick returner.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: TBD
  • Commitment Date: 7/27/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*) – 247Sports (4*, #93 overall) – ESPN (4*, #247 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #287 Overall, #26 Safety, #8 in New Jersey

25. CB Darion Green-Warren, 6’0” 185lbs. Harbor City, CA (Narbonne)

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

This is a choice I’m not 100% sold on. First of all, Michigan has a really good chance at Green-Warren and looks to be right there with Penn State near the top of his list. While USC and Oklahoma have the Crystal Ball predictions, the Nittany Lions are the favorite at the moment but the Wolverines will get their chance to sway him during his official visit for the Ohio State game (or on December 7th; conflicting reports). PSU is a threat but if they lose James Franklin or USC makes a homerun hire (or hires James Franklin), Green-Warren could end up staying in Cali with the Trojans.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: November 30th*
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #191 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #236 overall) – ESPN (4*, #212 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #209 Overall, #13 CB, #20 in California
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: USC
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Jordan Addison, Luke Hill, Jacob Covington

26. CB Andre Seldon, 5’8” 155lbs. Belleville, MI (Belleville)

Seldon has been locked into his commitment since the moment he gave it and has continued to be a leader for this class. He’s also a guy that, despite his smaller frame, will fight his way onto the field early in his career, with special teams the likely first landing spot. Look for him to turn heads this spring as, according to TMI’s Steve Lorenz, he’ll be another early enrollee.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 6/20/18
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #209 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #355 overall) – ESPN (4*, #161 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #221 Overall, #15 CB, #5 in Michigan

Projected Class Score: 270.93 (per 247Sports)

If Michigan were to end the class with the four additions I had on my list above, it would give them a very real chance to finish in the top 10 for 2020. 270.93 would land them at #7 right now. Final player rankings could give them a boost as well.

Just Missed

  • OT Myles Hinton
  • OL James Pogorelc
    • A later offered target that immediately became a legit target as the season went on. He visited for the Michigan State game and looks to have Michigan among his top two options. Only thing is the other team is Stanford and we all know how that normally goes once a player is accepted. He is reportedly supposed to be making an official visit to see Ann Arbor again in early December. Like with Hinton, Stanford’s struggles this year could open the door for Michigan to win out here.
  • CB/WR Jordan Addison
    • Post-senior season offer and one that I’m a big fan of. Addison is currently committed to Pitt but with a late Michigan offer now on the table, this immediately becomes a recruitment to watch. Not enough to put him on the list but as an athlete that could play receiver or cornerback, he could be a perfect fit for this class.
  • RB Lawrance Toafili
    • The Florida State commit was a top target that looked to have Michigan among his top teams when he chose the Seminoles over the summer. But with Willie Taggart now out of Tallahassee (and potentially working in Ann Arbor), Michigan seems like it would have a great chance at a flip. However, there’s pretty much nothing there since the coaching change. We’ll see if the staff makes a push for him late.
  • RB Isaiah Jacobs
    • The younger brother of former Alabama standout and 1st round pick, Josh Jacobs, in this spot. Isaiah brings a similar blend of balance, explosiveness, and tenacity as his brother to go along with the three-star rating. The top contenders are Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Maryland, and Arkansas, who already fired their head coach. It all depends on how hard Michigan pushes. According to TMI’s Steve Lorenz, there’s a real chance UM sticks with just one pure running back in this class ($).
  • OG Jonah Monheim
    • The USC commit is a name to watch following the season. According to a source, if a coaching change is made and it’s not a homerun hire, the opportunity in Ann Arbor may be able to sway him away from the west coast. Could be a late name to watch in this cycle.
  • DE Jaylen Harrell
    • The Sunshine State standout is a dynamic pass rusher the staff has been keeping an eye on for awhile. With the issues at Miami and Florida State, Michigan could be in line to steal another talent out of Florida.

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Garrett Fishaw

Marketing Manager and Communications Director by day, Owner and Managing Editor of MGoFish.com by night. Detroit resident. Played soccer and graduated from Seton Hill University.