All of Michigan’s Recruiting Targets at The Opening 2016

Next week, 166 of the best high school football recruits in North America will head to the Nike World Headquarters in Oregon to compete in the biggest football camp known as The Opening Finals. From the SPARQ rating championship to the 7 on 7 tournament, the world will get a chance to see the top talent compete against one another. That includes several Michigan commitments and top targets.

Check out where you can find all of Michigan’s recruiting targets and commitments at The Opening 2016:

Team Hyper Cool 

  • QB Dylan McCaffrey
    • Committed to Michigan
  • RB O’Maury Samuels
    • Committed to Michigan
  • RB AJ Dillon
    • Committed to Michigan
  • WR Donovan Peoples-Jones
    • Michigan legacy, top player in the state, UM is excellent shape here thanks to his family ties to the University and his relationships within in the program. His relationship and familiarity with the UM commits, especially McCaffrey, should help Michigan’s chances even more.
    • Other big question is, will he defend his SPARQ ratings crown? He’ll have plenty of competition from some of his own teammates.
  • WR Nico Collins
    • Visited Ann Arbor twice in the last two months, named Michigan leader, UM is great shape here though Alabama can not be counted out with so much time remaining. This event and being teamed with several UM commits will only help the Wolverines chances.
  • TE Josh Falo
    • Camped with Michigan last weekend. May be the top TE target for staff moving forward. If they can get him on campus, he could be the next big pull out of the Golden State.
  • LB Joshua Ross
    • Committed to Michigan
  • LB Drew Singleton
    • Michigan has been the longtime favorite. Clemson is a threat but UM is in excellent shape. With so many UM commits on his team, the Wolverines could be in even better shape by the time he flies back to New Jersey.
  • LB Jordan Anthony
    • My most recent Crystal Ball prediction. Michigan in great shape with a 2nd visit to campus coming soon. That trip, in July or August, could be followed by big news for UM.
  • CB Ambry Thomas
    • Top defensive prospect in the state. Looks to be a UM vs MSU battle with Michigan possibly having the upperhand thanks to his cousin, Jaylen Kelly-Powell favoring the Wolverines.
  • CB Benjamin St-Juste
    • Committed to Michigan
  • CB Donovan Johnson
    • Four star corner out of Cass Tech who has yet to earn an offer from Michigan. If it comes, they could quickly become the favorite.

Team Fly Rush

  • RB Stephen Carr
    • Committed to USC but visited Ann Arbor for the spring game. Michigan may be the best bet to flip the highly ranked running back later on in the process.
  • WR Joseph Lewis
    • Visited Ann Arbor back in April and camped with the staff last weeked. However, he looks very unlikely to end up at Michigan.
  • WR Jeremiah Holloman
    • Former commit who continues to say Michigan is a threat. Let’s just say I don’t believe it. Georgia looks like the most likely landing spot.
  • OLB Baron Browning
    • Five star linebacker whose brother played for Harbaugh at Stanford. He also visited this past weekend. At this point, he’s a longshot to join the class though an official visit and great season could give UM a real chance.
  • LB KJ Britt
    • Staff looks to be high on Britt but he’s very likely to stay down south and play in the SEC.
  • LB Owen Pappoe
    • First ever freshmen to be invited to the event received his offer from Michigan back in May of 2015. He’s new teammates with 2017 commit RB Kurt Taylor, which could help UM’s chances. SEC teams are the safe bet early on.
  • S Jaylen Kelly-Powell
    • Next big thing out of Cass Tech’s defensive backfield. JKP has long been a safe bet to end up in Michigan’s 2017 class.

Team Mach Speed

  • RB Jaelen Gill
    • Gill visited Ann Arbor in the spring and has said all the right things about Michigan. However, according to a source, this is pretty much a done deal to the in-state Buckeyes.
  • TE Matt Dotson
    • At one point, Dotson was said to be favoring UM. However, visits to Penn State in May and June have the Nittany Lions looking like the slight favorite as he’s expected to make his decision at The Opening. Can’t completely count of Michigan State either.
    • UPDATE: I switched my Crystal Ball from PSU to MSU here.
  • LB Will Ignont
    • Ignont is a recruit that has been tied to multiple SEC programs but has yet to commit to anyone publicly. Georgia and Auburn still look like the most likely even though Michigan has hung around on his top list.
  • CB Darnay Holmes
    • Quicky, Holmes has become the most wanted five star target on the board. He’s another elite corner out of California and happens to be childhood friends with 2016 signee David Long. An expected official visit this fall could be gigantic for Michigan’s chances here.
  • CB Alex Perry
    • Perry quietly visited Michigan for the spring game back in April. And from all accounts, it went fantastic and put UM in the running for his commitment. Things have gone quiet but an official this fall and a push from the staff could give the Wolverines a good chance.
  • S Grant Delpit
    • Delpit has told TMI’s Sam Webb that Michigan is more than just in the running for his services but that may have been a bit of lip service. Like Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz has mentioned multiple times, I’d be completely shocked if he picked UM. LSU is the heavy favorite here.
  • ATH Markquese Bell
    • Michigan is still very much in the running for Bell though he’s not a slamdunk commitment by any means. Clemson and Rutgers have a great shot at him. It may come down to how hard UM pushes.

Team Alpha Pro

  • WR Jalen Hall
    • Arguably the top player in the 2018 class, Hall is a five star talent that every program is gunning for. Luckily for Michigan, he camped with them at the LA satellite camp and took to the coaching staff. USC is the prohibitive favorite but UM has put themselves in solid shape early on.
  • LB Leonard Warner
    • Warner looked to be a top target for the staff early on. At this point, he looks to be far down the board as other linebackers look more likely for the class. SEC country will likely get another good one.
  • CB Christopher Henderson
    • The Miami commit has been rumored to flirt with the idea of a decommitment but has held strong to the Hurricanes. If he opens things up or visits UM this fall, he could be a backup plan to Thomas, Holmes and/or Perry.

Team Vapor Speed

  • RB Najee Harris
    • The top player in the 2017 class has been committed to Alabama for a long time. But that hasn’t stopped him from flirting with other programs, UM, USC and OSU specifically. At this point, he looks like a real option for a flip but the official visits this fall could say who could hold the spatula.
  • WR KJ Hamler
    • Michigan never really had a great chance with Hamler and now that he’s moved on to IMG Academy, UM’s odds are basically zero.

Team Lunar Beast

  • CB Shaun Wade
    • The Ohio State commit has been looking around at other programs as of late, including Alabama and Michigan. He’s expected to visit both schools though it’ll still be a bit of a surprise if he flips. Best bet if he did so would be to the Crimson Tide.
  • ATH CJ Holmes
    • Michigan looked interested in Holmes and may still be moving forward. However, he looks destined to Notre Dame after a recent visit. The Fighting Irish may also land his teammate, 2017 WR Tarik Black, in somewhat of a package deal.

Defensive Lineman

  • DT Jay Tufele
    • The top defensive lineman remaining on the board, Tufele worked with the staff at the All-Poly Pride camp in Utah two weeks ago. Ohio State is the main contender here. Look for both staffs to throw the kitchen sink at him up until NSD.
  • DE Hunter Echols
    • Committed to UCLA since February but has flirted with several other programs, including Michigan for the on-campus camps last week. He grew up a fan of the Wolverines but it’s unknown where he sits on the board with numbers beginning to get a little tighter and two defensive ends already committed.
  • DT Greg Rogers
    • The big man out of Nevada has been all over the Wolverines since landing his offer this spring. He could be plan B if Michigan misses out on Tufele. If the staff pushes for him during his expected official visit, they should have a pretty good shot up until NSD.
  • DT Marlon Tuipulotu
    • Tuipulotu committed to Washington out of the blue in April as Michigan looked to be pushing for him. He looks set in his commitment for now but UM could definitely push for an official and try for the flip during the fall and winter.

Offensive Lineman

  • OC Cesar Ruiz
    • Possibly one of the best uncommitted bets to end up at Michigan that will be in attendance. He has plenty of connections to the program, is familiar with the campus and has named UM his leader on multiple occasions. He’s expected to take his time but that shouldn’t stop the committed recruits from pitching him.
  • OL Kai-Leon Herbert
    • Herbert is, no doubt, a top target for the staff and a top candidate to join the class this summer. He’s expected to announce his decision prior to the start of his senior season and UM is in great shape. Florida has long been the favorite so it’ll be interesting to see how the Gators push for him prior to his decision.
    • UPDATE: He’ll decide on Wednesday at The Opening. My CB is on Michigan.
  • OL Jordan Reid
    • The Cass Tech big man looks to be a battle between the in-state programs and Florida. Could UM trade Reid to UF for Herbert? That very well could be the case. This will be a recruitment to watch as the offensive line recruiting should tighten up moving forward.
    • UPDATE: After doing some digging, all signs point to Reid staying in-state. My Crystal Ball is on MSU.
  • OL Jedrick Wills
    • Wills is one of the top lineman in the class and shown a decent amount of interest in Michigan. He moved his unofficial visit plans from this past week to the BBQ in August, which should be a huge event in itself. WIth so many other lineman high on UM, it’ll be interesting to see how hard the staff pushes for this big man.
  • OL Robert Hainsey
    • After once looking like a very good bet to end up at Michigan, odds are he chooses Notre Dame or Michigan State this summer (possibly at the event). UM’s best chances will likely be pushing for him later in the cycle if his chosen team begins to struggle.
  • OT Alex Leatherwood
    • The Alabama commit is easily one of the best lineman in the class and is expected to officially visit Ann Arbor this fall. At this point, a flip looks unlikely but I won’t rule anything out if he makes it to campus.
  • OT Obinna Eze
    • Eze is one of the most intriguing prospects on the board. This event should really help him rise in the rankings and possibly up some team’s boards. That could include Michigan’s board. He visited Ann Arbor for the camps last week and things looked to go well. Now it’s just knowing how hard the staff will push for the raw tackle.
  • OT Foster Sarell
    • Sarell looked like a top target early on, and for good reason. However, things have definitely cooled on both sides and he now looks likely to stay out west.
  • OT Walker Little
    • Little is another top tackle that UM looked to have a good shot at early on. But the odds of him choosing the Wolverines looks unlikely at best.
  • OG Jamaree Salyer
    • The five star junior prospect holds a Michigan offer and will likely be a top target for the staff in 2018. It’s too early to really know where things stand with him but the safe bet is for him to stay in SEC country.

The Opening will be an event to watch closely for Michigan fans. Who will you be watching closest? Who do you think Michigan lands out of the 166 recruits at the event? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo Credit:247Sports.com

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.