First 2018 Best Guess Recruiting Class

Welp, here it is. My first shot at predicting the 2018 Michigan football recruiting class.

Now, before thinking, “isn’t it a little early to do this?”. Yes, yes it is. But people have been asking for one and I had some free time so here ya go.

First off, with the amount of available scholarships likely to change drastically over the next 21 months, I just put a full haul on this first list (25 players). Also, with it being just under two years before NSD 2018, this list is more of a “names to remember”/players looking good for Michigan going into their junior years.

So, enough with the explanation, check out my first 2018 Best Guess Recruiting Class prediction:

  • Excellent – Top Team
  • Very Good – Top Three
  • Good – Top Five
  • Fair – Puncher’s Chance
  • Poor – Likely Not Happening

1. QB: Artur Sitkowski, 6’4” 205lbs. Matawan, NJ (Old Bridge)

– Sitkowski made a huge jump in the 247Sports rankings after receiving his offer from Michigan and showing out at the New Jersey Opening camp. And that UM offer was one he wanted for awhile. Steve Wiltfong quickly put in a Crystal Ball to Michigan and after doing some digging, I followed suit with a CB of my own. With his first visit to Ann Arbor coming up on June 18th for the A4 camp, UM could take a big lead in his recruitment with a successful trip.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Allan Walters, Jack West, Jacob Sirmon, Cameron Rising

2. RB: Iverson Clement, 5’11” 190lbs. Mt. Holly, NJ (Rancocas Valley)  


-Clement is a complete shot in the dark since he doesn’t even hold an offer from the staff but is one of the more dynamic running backs in the class and is a name to watch moving forward. Coming out of New Jersey and already starting to put his name out there on the camp circuit, I wouldn’t be shocked to see an offer come his way in the not-so-distant future.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Fair
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Jaelen Gill, Fabian Franklin, Brian Snead, Markese Stepp, Travis Dye

3. RB/FB: Toa Taua, 5’9” 200lbs. Lompoc, CA (Lompoc) 

-Taua is another shot in the dark running back that doesn’t hold an offer just yet but looks like a great fit for the program. He’s a tough, hard nosed runner that looks to have the ability to play both running back and full back at the next level. Keep an eye on him moving forward.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Fair
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Jaelen Gill, Fabian Franklin, Brian Snead, Markese Stepp, Travis Dye

4. WR: Austin Osborne, 6’3” 175lbs. Mission Viejo, CA (Mission Viejo)

-Osborne received his offer from Michigan and told 247Sports’ Steve Lorenz that Jedd Fisch compared him to Eric Decker. Pretty good, eh? With the early offer and high interest in UM, Michigan could steal one of the top receivers in the class out of California.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Jalen Hall, L’Christian Smith, Jahan Dotson, Justyn Ross, Brandon Gray 

5. WR: Justin Shorter, 6’4” 205lbs. Monmouth Junction, NJ (South Brunswick)

At 6’4”, Shorter is one of the taller names on the board. With that horrible joke out of the way, he’s also a name to keep an eye on as a top receiver out of New Jersey and a player that could blow up on the trail. Jersey connections and an early offer (which could be coming, per Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz) could give Michigan a great chance at the up and comer.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Jalen Hall, L’Christian Smith, Jahan Dotson, Justyn Ross, Brandon Gray 

6. WR/TE: Will Mallory, 6’5” 200lbs. Jacksonville, FL (Providence)

-Mallory is one of the best bets to be in this class as he’s not only a big, versatile receiver but he also happens to be the son of former Michigan linebacker Mike Mallory. Add in the very early offer and his fit as a receiving tight end and it doesn’t look like his recruitment will last too long. As long as he remains a take for the staff, he should be a Wolverine.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Zack Kuntz, Judge Culpepper, Mustapha Muhammad, Trenton Gillison 

7. TE: Thomas Booker, 6’4” 250lbs. Baltimore, MD (Gilman) 

-Booker’s first offer came from Michigan and it should be the first of many. As a big, physical tight end, he has the ability to be a game changer as both a receiver and blocker. And with Michigan’s ties to Gilman with Biff Poggi, they should have as good of a shot as anyone to land Booker.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Zack Kuntz, Judge Culpepper, Mustapha Muhammad, Trenton Gillison 

8. OT: Nicholas Petit-Frere, 6’6” 250lbs. Tampa, FL (Berkley Prep)

-Petit-Frere was one of the first 2018 recruits to receive an offer from the Michigan staff and happened to be his first offer. And it’s definitely helping UM out early on. Though he’s not a top ranked player early on, his ceiling is very high thanks to his height and athleticism. If he remains a top target for the staff throughout, things look good for Michigan.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Richard Gouraige, Will Lawrence, Jackson Carman, Michael Thompson Jr, Jimmy Bell

9. OT: Antwan Reed, 6’7” 286lbs. Muskegon, MI (Muskegon)

-Reed is a name that’s been known around the Michigan recruiting world for sometime. His size and athleticism has stood out since he was a freshmen and looked like an eventual national recruit. Well, now that he’s going into his junior year and holding a UM offer, that prediction is looking pretty good. Thanks to that early offer and the UM connections, he’s a pretty good bet to be in this class though Michigan State is definitely a threat.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Richard Gouraige, Will Lawrence, Jackson Carman, Michael Thompson Jr, Jimmy Bell

10. OL: Finn Dirstine, 6’5” 320lbs. Groton, MA (Lawrence Academy)

-Dirstine is a bit of a reach (like most names on this list) especially since he has yet to receive an offer from Michigan. But he’s a name to watch moving forward. He’s a big, talented, versatile lineman that UM should have a great shot at thanks to landing his teammate in 2017, RB AJ Dillon.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Jalil Irvin, Richard Gouraige, Jackson Carman, Jamaree Salyer, Emil Ekiyor

11. OG/NT: Marquan McCall, 6’3” 315lbs. Oak Park, MI (Oak Park)

-McCall is another very good bet to be a part of this class as he’s visited Michigan several times already, holds an offer and is best friends with 2017 commit and high school teammate JaRaymond Hall. If the staff keeps pushing for him, he could potentially be the next 2018 commit for UM.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Jalil Irvin, Marcus Tank Jenkins, PJ Mustipher, Shabazz Dotson, Emil Ekiyor, Jamaree Salyer

12. DT/OG: Tyler Friday, 6’3” 250lbs. Ramsey, NJ (Don Bosco)

-Friday holds an early offer from Michigan and is from New Jersey so he’ll obviously commit to Michigan, right? While I have him on the list and think UM has a good shot at landing another top talent out of NJ, he’s a national recruit and will be a very tough pull.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Marcus Tank Jenkins, PJ Mustipher, Shabazz Dotson, Emil Ekiyor, Jalil Irvin

13. DT: Taron Vincent, 6’3” 285lbs. Baltimore, MD (IMG Academy) 

-Vincent is the top defensive player in the class, in my opinion, and should fight for the #1 overall spot throughout the cycle. Though his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions are all in favor of Ohio State, Michigan’s connections to high former high school, Gilman (especially former head coach Biff Poggi) and their new connections to IMG should give UM a good chance though this will be a national recruitment.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Fair
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: PJ Mustipher, Marcus Tank Jenkins, Shabazz Dotson

14. DL: Leonard Taylor, 6’6” 245lbs. Springfield, OH (Springfield)

-Taylor is one of the elite players in the 2018 class thanks to his size, strength and instincts. He also happens to be a Michigan commit. But will he sign with UM? Ohio State is a huge threat and he’s admitted that he’ll look around up until NSD. While landing his commitment early is great, I’ll be impressed if Michigan holds on to him throughout the entire cycle.

  • Commitment Date: 4/2/2016
  • Story
  • First on List: Now

15. DL: Jayson Ademilola, 6’3” 270lbs. Jersey City, NJ (St. Peter’s Prep)

-Ademilola landed his offer early on from Michigan and has visited multiple times already. He and his twin brother, Justin, are two more names on the list that look like safe bets to choose the Wolverines. And it wouldn’t shock me to see that decision come sooner rather than later.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: PJ Mustipher, Marcus Tank Jenkins, Shabazz Dotson

16. DE: Dorian Hardy, 6’4” 245lbs. Montvale, NJ (St. Joseph)

-Hardy has quickly become one of the top defensive ends in the class after his spring camp performances. Luckily, Michigan offered very early and looks to be among his favorites as he’ll visit next week. Though Alabama is a true threat, UM should be in this race throughout and could end up landing another top lineman out of Jersey.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: May 20th-21st
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Nik Bonitto, Salua Masina, Andre Carter, Samson Reed

17. DE: Aidan Hutchinson, 6’5” 235lbs. Dearborn, MI (Divine Child) 

-Hutchinson is yet another player that is a safe bet to choose Michigan. With an early offer and the fact that his dad is a former Michigan player (Chris Hutchinson), UM is in fantastic shape. Though he’s said he wants to wait and see more schools, it will likely be the Wolverines when he decides.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Nik Bonitto, Salua Masina, Andre Carter, Samson Reed

18. DE/OLB: Justin Ademilola, 6’3” 245lbs. Jersey City, NJ (St. Peter’s Prep)

-Like his twin brother Jayson, Justin is a good bet to join Michigan in the not-so-distant future. He’s another versatile player that could end up at linebacker, defensive end or even tight end which would make him a really nice addition to the class/roster.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Jacquez Jones, Teradja Mitchell, Quin Williams, Jack Genova, Bartek Rybka

19. LB: Antwuan Johnson, 6’2” 225lbs. Springfield, OH (Springfield)

-Johnson was the first commitment of the class for Michigan and was a big time steal out of the Buckeye state. He’s a prototypical MIKE linebacker and should be a nice fit inside Don Brown’s defense. Unlike his teammate and fellow commit Leonard Taylor, he looks much more likely to stick with his commitment throughout the cycle.

  • Commitment Date: 3/21/2016
  • Story
  • First on List: Now

20. LB: Kolin Demens, 6’2” 200lbs. Beverly Hills, MI (Country Day)

-Demens is the younger brother of former Michigan linebacker Kenny Demens and with the offer already on the table from UM, things are looking good for the Wolverines. If they continue to push for him throughout, they should have as good of a chance as anyone to sign the athletic linebacker.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Jacquez Jones, Teradja Mitchell, Quin Williams, Jack Genova, Bartek Rybka

21. LB: Solomon Tuliaupupu, 6’3” 220lbs. Claremont, CA (Claremont)

-Tuliaupupu is a southern California recruit that some believe will stay in state and play for USC however Michigan’s early offer and his connection with Tony Tuioti has UM in a favorable position. If Michigan continues to make him a priority throughout the cycle, they could steal one of the top linebackers off of the West Coast.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Jacquez Jones, Teradja Mitchell, Quin Williams, Jack Genova, Bartek Rybka

22. LB: Dallas Gant, 6’3” 208lbs. Toledo, OH (St. John’s Jesuit)

-Gant is another younger brother of a former Michigan linebacker, Allen, whose dad, Tony, was a former Michigan safety. Add that in with him being a top player in the class and an offer from UM should be coming in the not-so-distant future. However, they’ll have some ground to make up as he told 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong that Michigan State is his early leader thanks to their offer ($).

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Jacquez Jones, Teradja Mitchell, Quin Williams, Jack Genova, Bartek Rybka

23. CB: Kalon Gervin, 5’11” 180lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech) 

-Gervin is the next big thing out of the Cass Tech defensive backfield and Michigan has taken notice. He’s visited Ann Arbor several times and holds an early offer from the staff. As a likely top player in the state and corner in the class, he should be a top target for the staff throughout.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Xavier Henderson, Christian Tutt, Tyson Campbell, Reggie Pearson, Aashari Crosswell

24. CB: Kyler McMichael, 6’1” 187lbs. Duluth, GA (Northview) 

-McMichael is one of the top corners in the class and just so happens to have family in Detroit which makes Michigan a solid option. Thanks to that early offer and his fit in the defense, UM should have a real shot at pulling him out of the Peach State.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Xavier Henderson, Christian Tutt, Tyson Campbell, Reggie Pearson, Aashari Crosswell

25. ATH: Cam Taylor, 5’11” 195lbs. Prattville, AL (Prattville)

-Taylor received his offer from the staff early on and coming out of Prattville, Michigan is the heavy favorite. However, it’ll be interesting to see how the staff plays out his recruitment. UM is his only offer at this point and it’s unknown if he’s a take this early. If so, he’ll likely be a Wolverine.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: Now
  • Other Options: Isheem Young, Otis Reese, Cajuan Smith, Jaiden Woodbey, Tyreke Johnson

Just Missed

  • CB Patrick Lupro
  • LB Jacquez Jones
  • OT Richard Gouraige
  • OG Emil Ekiyor
  • OG Jalil Irvin
  • CB Xavier Henderson
  • OT Jackson Carman
  • TE Judge Culpepper
  • QB Allen Walters
  • WR Jahan Dotson
  • TE Zack Kuntz
  • WR Jalen Hall
  • S Isheem Young

Photo Credit: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

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

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