First 2020 Best Guess Recruiting Class

Photo Credit: Patrick Barron/MGoBlog

It’s been a minute and a little longer than expected but I’ve finally put the finishing touches on my first 2020 Michigan Football Best Guess Recruiting Class prediction.

This class hasn’t really started off with a huge bang. Though Michigan already has a really good group of commits, missing out on what looked like a damn near sure-thing in OT Myles Hinton to Stanford and not yet landing a player in the top 200 has put a bit of a damper on the recruiting excitement front. But that could change as things could start to heat up heading into the summer.

With big changes in the coaching staff, the list of targets has changed dramatically from 2018 to 2019. Offensive Coordinator Josh Gattis, LB Coach Anthony Campanile, and DL Coach Shaun Nua have made big impacts early on and have several new names to the 2020 target board that I have on my first class prediction.

Here’s how I put together my first 2020 BGRC:

  • Class Size:
    • This is always a really difficult thing to predict at this point in the cycle. Harbaugh has consistently shown the willingness to push the class to as large as possible. With all of the top targets that Michigan looks to be in good to great shape with, this class could be another big one even though there aren’t a ton of scholarships on track to be open. But with the transfer portal and immediate eligibility approvals bringing free agency to college football, get used to several transfers every year.
    • With all that being said, I went with 26 spots on this list. It’ll take a lot of movement on the current roster to get there but Michigan has shown the ability to do that in nearly every class of the Harbaugh era.
  • Class Attrition:
    • DT Denver Warren, RB Tim Baldwin were early decommits from the class with WR Kalil Branham joining them last weekend. Don’t be surprised if there are 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

Here’s my first attempt at predicting the 2020 Michigan football recruiting class:

1. QB JD Johnson, 6’4” 185lbs. Phoenix, AZ (Pinnacle)

Photo Credit: Billy Hardiman/Arizona Republic

Johnson joined the class right after the 2019 Early Signing Period and all within the same month of receiving his offer and visiting Ann Arbor for the first time. He’s in a similar mold as current Michigan quarterback, Dylan McCaffrey, as he uses his height, arm talent and accuracy to pick apart defenses. But can Michigan keep him? 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong has heard it’s unlikely for him to stick with the Wolverines ($). Michigan will have to fight here to keep him in this class.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 12/21/18
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #138 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #26 Pro-QB) – ESPN (3*, #290 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #305 Overall, #11 Pro-QB, #10 in Arizona
  • Other Options: Garrett Greene, Jay Butterfield

2. RB Miyan Williams, 5’10” 210lbs. Cincinnati, OH (Winton Woods)

Photo Credit: Alex Vehr/Cincinnati Enquirer

Williams is a name that’s been getting more and more attention since the end of his junior year. Michigan offered back in December and looks to be in good shape here along with Kentucky. But it’s Ohio State that will be the team to watch. They haven’t jumped in just yet but if they miss on some of their top targets, the in-state standout could become a battle between the two Big Ten East powers. Michigan needs multiple running backs in this class and Williams could fit the power back role.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (3*, #45 RB) – 247Sports (3*, #41 RB) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #620 Overall, #49 RB, #22 in Ohio
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Ohio State
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Daniyel Ngata, Lawrance Toafili, Deamonte Trayanum, Caziah Holmes, Peny Boone, Marvin Scott, Jabari Small

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

Photo Credit: Blake Corum/Twitter

Corum is a name to watch closely in the coming days. Another star out of St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, the Darren Sproles-like back is a perfect fit for an uptempo, spread it out offense but he’s far from just a scat back. He visited Ann Arbor in mid- February and things clearly went extremely well as TMI’s Steve Lorenz heard more than enough to put in his Crystal Ball for Corum to Michigan. The need for more dynamic athletes and depth at running back are critical in this class, and Corum could definitely add some #SpeedinSpace. He could be one of the next commitments in the class.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #135 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #32 RB) – ESPN (4*, #150 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #205 Overall, #17 RB, #9 in Maryland
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Virginia Tech
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Daniyel Ngata, Lawrance Toafili, Deamonte Trayanum, Caziah Holmes, Peny Boone, Jabari Small

4. SR AJ Henning, 5’10” 180lbs. Frankfort, IL (Lincoln-Way East)

Photo Credit: Allen Cunningham / Daily Southtown

If you’re looking for playmakers in this class, there aren’t many that are as good or better than Henning. And thanks to the Josh Gattis addition, Michigan looks to have a shot here. Since Gattis’ arrival, Michigan has picked up a lot of momentum in this race but there’s a ton of time to go and no one has seen Gattis’ UM offense just yet. Notre Dame is still the heavy Crystal Ball favorite but thanks to a visit to campus at the end of January, UM is firmly in this one. Both TMI’s Steve Lorenz and 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong heard positive things about UM’s chances following the visit ($). And he continued to have good things to say about Michigan at The Opening regional this past weekend ($). Honestly, I wasn’t going to put him on this list until I saw the spring scrimmage and saw what Gattis has planned for his Wolverines offense. Michigan will have to beat out Notre Dame and other top programs here but this is one that I see UM pulling off in the end.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #110 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #126 overall) – ESPN (4*, #92 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #76 Overall, #15 WR #1 in Illinois
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Notre Dame
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Daniyel Ngata, Marcellus Moore, Lawrance Toafili, Deamonte Trayanum, Jabari Small

5. ATH Cameron Martinez, 5’10” 185lbs. Muskegon, MI (Muskegon)

Photo Credit: Mike Krebs/MLive.com

Martinez will be a fan favorite in this class throughout the cycle. He’s one of the most dynamic and versatile prospects in the entire class and happens to be in the Great Lakes State. His ability to go from zero to sixty is unreal, which makes me think his future will be on the offensive side of the ball (most likely wide receiver). The early offer from Michigan was clearly a big factor in this recruitment and while plenty of other big-time programs have thrown their hat in the ring, it looks like the in-state Wolverines are in prime position to win out for the versatile in-state superstar.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (3*, #29 ATH) – 247Sports (4*, #330 overall) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #399 Overall, #28 ATH, #9 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Marcellus Moore, Javon Baker, Rashawn Williams, Jabari Small

6. WR Xavier Watts, 6’1” 170lbs. Omaha, NE (Burke)

Photo Credit: BRENDAN SULLIVAN/THE WORLD-HERALD

Watts quickly shot up the Michigan staff’s board over the last couple of months. TMI’s Steve Lorenz has mentioned him several times as a top target for awhile now and how his two scheduled visits for later this month could be huge for Michigan’s chances ($). Notre Dame is firmly in the mix here as are the in-state Cornhuskers. But a big push from Josh Gattis, Sherrone Moore, and the Wolverines during his upcoming visits could be a gamechanger.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good to Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (3*, #88 WR) – 247Sports (3*, #388 overall) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #551 Overall, #92 WR, #2 in Nebraska
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Nebraska
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Rashawn Williams, Javon Baker, Javian Hester, Traeshon Holden

7. WR Jaden Dottin, 6’3” 180lbs. Suffield, CT (Suffield Academy)

Photo Credit: Jaden Dottin/Hudl

Dottin is a top target that may be flying a bit under the radar at the moment. He’s a tall, lanky receiver with strong hands and a knack for making the big catch out of Connecticut, the same state that produced Tarik Black. And like Black and Brad Hawkins (who played his senior season at Suffield Academy), Dottin could end up playing his college ball in Ann Arbor. He’s already visited Michigan this year and could be back before the summer. Though Penn State and others are prioritizing him as well, he looks to be high on the Wolverines.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #52 WR) – 247Sports (4*, #260 overall) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #320 Overall, #61 WR, #3 in Connecticut
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Penn State
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Rashawn Williams, Javon Baker, Javian Hester, Traeshon Holden

8. WR Maliq Carr, 6’4” 230lbs. Oak Park, MI (Oak Park)

Photo Credit: Tanya Moutzalias | MLive.com

The jumbo receiver in a similar mold of Devin Funchess has went from a “will the staff prioritize him?” to “will he be the next commit?”. With Gattis taking over the offense, Michigan has caught the eye of Carr and is the heavy favorite moving forward. He tweeted out plans to announce his commitment in October. It’s a ways away in the recruiting world but being an in-state prospect will help Michigan stay in the limelight here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #49 WR) – 247Sports (4*, #331 overall) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #328 Overall, #8 TE, #7 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Javon Baker, Javian Hester, Traeshon Holden, Kole Taylor

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

Photo Credit: 247Sports.com

Patterson is the younger brother of Shea and was one of the first additions to this class. Much bigger than his brother, Nick is a versatile h-back/tight end prospect with a good frame and athleticism to go along with some reliable hands. He has a ways to go physically like most junior recruits but with natural maturing and time in the weight room could make him a nice addition to the tight end depth chart.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 9/9/18
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #211 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #44 TE) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #513 Overall, #16 TE, #66 in Texas

10. TE Theo Johnson, 6’5” 235lbs. Windsor, ON (Holy Names)

Photo Credit: Front Office News

The Windsor native has burst onto the recruiting scene following his 2018 season and quickly become a top tight end target for Michigan. Thanks to two trips to Ann Arbor following his offer from the staff looks to have the Wolverines sitting pretty. Plenty of other big name programs are pushing for him as well, including Ohio State, Penn State and Georgia, but with the fit in the offense and the need for a big, pass catching tight end in this class, I really like where Michigan sits right now for the Ontario native.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #181 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #233 overall) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #241 Overall, #5 TE, #1 in Ontario
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Penn State
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Kole Taylor, Jalin Conyers, DJ Rogers

11. OT Andrew Gentry, 6’8” 290lbs. Littelton, CO (Columbine) 

Photo Credit: Andrew Gentry/Twitter

Gentry just may be the Trevor Keegan of this class, as a top tackle target from start to finish. He’s a massive four-star offensive tackle out of Colorado (a state that Michigan has done pretty well in recently) that is one of the top names on the staff’s board. He told TMI’s Steve Lorenz that he heard from Jim Harbaugh immediately when the contact period began on September 1st ($) and now has two visits to Ann Arbor coming up for late spring and early summer ($). While he’s a national recruit that keeps racking up offers, Michigan was in early and has clearly made a strong impression on the top 100 tackle. There’s a lot of time left here and both BYU and Notre Dame are threats but this is a recruitment that has all the early signs of Michigan being able to win out in the end.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #40 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #81 overall) – ESPN (4*, #142 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #57 Overall, #7 OT, #1 in Colorado
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: BYU
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Roger Rosengarten, Tosh Baker, Miles Murao, Josh Priebe, John Young, Jonah Monheim, Jeffrey Persi

12. OT Noah Nelson, 6’7” 290lbs. Gilbert, AZ (Williams Field)

Photo Credit: Noah Nelson/Rivals

Nelson was offered by the staff back in November but he didn’t make much noise on the recruiting front until the last couple of months. A visit to Ann Arbor in March looked to put the Wolverines out front ($). With him making a quick return trip on his own dime again in mid-April says a ton about where things are at this point. There aren’t many names on this list that Michigan is in better shape for than Nelson.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #232 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #57 OT) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #554 Overall, #48 OT, #13 in Arizona
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Roger Rosengarten, Tosh Baker, Miles Murao, Josh Priebe, John Young, Jonah Monheim, Jeffrey Persi

13. OT Zak Zinter, 6’6” 300lbs. North Andover, MA (Buckingham) 

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Zinter has become a familiar visitor over the last half year. He camped at Michigan in June, went to the BBQ at the Big House in July, and visited again for the Penn State game during the 2018 season. It’s safe to say he’s extremely interested in UM and has been for a while. It looks to be a Michigan-Notre Dame battle with both sides feeling good about their chances ($). This one could go either way but Don Brown’s Northeast connections could sway things towards the Wolverines.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #147 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #323 overall) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #224 Overall, #22 OT, #3 in Massachusetts
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Notre Dame
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Roger Rosengarten, Justin Rogers, Tosh Baker, Andrew Raym, Olu Fashanu, John Young

14. OL Michael Carmody, 6’5” 285lbs. Mars, PA (Mars Area) 

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Carmody reminds me a bit of 2018 signee OT/TE Ryan Hayes. He’s a high school basketball standout that is a problem as a tight end on Friday nights but projects to the offensive line in college. And Ann Arbor just may be the place he ends up doing that. The staff got him on campus for the first time for the BBQ at the Big House and looked to put themselves in great shape early on as TMI’s Steve Lorenz believed Michigan was leading for Carmody follow that trip ($). He made a return trip to town for the Nebraska blowout to help things out even more. Penn State will be a big factor here and holds the Crystal Ball lead at the moment, while Ohio State is always a threat as well. But this looks like one Michigan can definitely win.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #35 OT) – 247Sports (4*, #91 overall) – ESPN (4*, #166 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #130 Overall, #11 OT, #2 in Pennsylvania
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Penn State
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Roger Rosengarten, Justin Rogers, Tosh Baker, Andrew Raym, Olu Fashanu, John Young

15. OL Micah Mazzccua, 6’5” 290lbs. Baltimore, MD (St. Frances Academy)

Photo Credit: Micah Mazzccua/Twitter
Photo Credit: Micah Mazzccua/Twitter

The latest addition to the commitment list and second get out of St. Frances Academy. Michigan looks to have gotten in at the right time as he’s just starting to really gain steam on the recruiting trail. He has all the physical traits necessary to be a standout lineman and comes from one of the best high school programs in the country. Another nice prospect for Ed Warriner to work with.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 2/25/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*) – 247Sports (3*, #86 OT) – ESPN (N/A)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #817 Overall, #71 OT, #25 in Maryland

16. DL Van Fillinger, 6’3” 250lbs. Draper, UT (Corner Canyon)

Photo Credit: Brandon Huffman/247Sports

Fillinger is a really nice defensive line prospect that may start his career at strongside defensive end but could grow into a defensive tackle after some time within a program. The rising recruit quickly burst onto the Michigan scene after receiving his offer from the staff in mid-March, which was followed up by a run of Crystal Ball selections from analysts all over the country. Big time offers have come in since then but all signs continue to point towards Michigan here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (3*) – 247Sports (4*, #333 overall) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #474 Overall, #22 SDE, #3 in Utah
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Jacolbe Cowan, Kobe Pepe, Bryce Austin, Jayson Jones, Rylie Mills, Ty Hamilton

17. DL Aaron Lewis, 6’5” 235lbs. Williamstown, NJ (Williamstown)

Photo Credit: Hudl

There are a lot of defensive line targets that could be in this spot but the addition of Anthony Campanile to the coaching staff puts Michigan in fantastic shape for several New Jersey targets, one, in particular, is Lewis. The up and coming defensive end looks like a great fit in Don Brown’s defense and even though West Virginia may be the team to beat at the moment, a visit to Ann Arbor could be a gamechanger. This is another one to watch closely through the spring and summer.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (3*, #34 SDE) – 247Sports (4*, #230 overall) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #427 Overall, #21 SDE, #12 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: West Virginia
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Ty Hamilton, Kobe Pepe, Jacolbe Cowan, Bryce Austin, Jayson Jones

18. DE Braiden McGregor, 6’6” 245lbs. Port Huron, MI (Northern)

Photo Credit: Brandon Brown/TheWolverine

McGregor is that dude in this class. He’s the top player in the state and one of the best prospects in the country. With his size and athleticism he shows on the football field and basketball court, it’s easy to see why every program is after him. But the in-state Wolverines have had the advantage for a while now and though Clemson and Notre Dame are big-time threats to land him, the relationships with the staff and family pull may push him to Ann Arbor.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (3*, #27 OLB) – 247Sports (4*, #27 overall) – ESPN (3*, #258 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #199 Overall, #11 SDE, #4 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Ty Hamilton, Jacolbe Cowan, Kenny Mestidor, Nikhai Hill-Green

19. EDGE Antwuan Powell, 6’3” 235lbs. Portsmouth, VA (IC Norcom)

Photo Credit: Antwuan Powell/Twitter

Pass rushers are all the craze in football and Michigan is looking to stock up in 2020. Powell is one of the top targets for the staff and that was known to the pass rush specialist during his first visit to Ann Arbor in March. The visit went so well that Powell immediately set up his official visit to Michigan for June ($). He’s a wanted recruit by several big time programs but Michigan looks to be sitting pretty here heading into the summer.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (3*, #15 WDE) – 247Sports (4*, #116 overall) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star. #247 Overall, #12 WDE, #4 in Virginia
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: None
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Kalel Mullings, Antonio Doyle, Bengally Kamara, Nikhai Hill-Green

20. SLB Mitchell Melton, 6’3” 230lbs. Olney, MD (Good Counse

Photo Credit: NDInsider.con

Melton is another top target out of Good Counsel in Maryland, same school as junior LB Jordan Anthony (prior to him transferring to IMG Academy). After visiting Ann Arbor in late March and quickly setting up his official for June, TMI’s Steve Lorenz is hearing very good things about Michigan’s chances here ($). Maryland had the slight Crystal Ball lead and Notre Dame is a threat here but as long as he stays a wanted recruit by the staff, I like Michigan to win out her for the hybrid linebacker.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (3*, #43 OLB) – 247Sports (3*, #47 OLB) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #640 Overall, #52 OLB, #20 in Maryland
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Maryland
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Kalel Mullings, Antonio Doyle, Bengally Kamara

21. WLB Osman Savage, 6’2” 225lbs. Baltimore, MD (St. Frances Academy)

Photo Credit: Osman Savage/Twitter

Savage committed to the Wolverines back in late January, giving Michigan its first break into St Frances Academy in Baltimore. The four-star linebacker can play all over the place thanks to his mix of size and speed. With linebacker being a need in this class, this was a big get to add alongside Cornell Wheeler.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 1/25/19
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #152 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #33 OLB) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #270 Overall, #20 OLB, #14 in Maryland

22. ILB Cornell Wheeler, 6’1” 215lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield)

Photo Credit: Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press

Wheeler is a local product whose addition has flown under the radar a bit. But it’s a good one. The state is packed with talent in this class and the next, and both Wheeler and Andre Selden are close with a lot of those players. Add in the big hitting, tone setter being a great fit for the inside of Don Brown’s defense and the need for high-quality linebackers in this class, and he’s a really nice get and fit.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 9/25/18
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #247 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #25 ILB) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #475 Overall, #14 ILB, #14 in Michigan

23. VLB William Mohan, 6’1” 190lbs. Brooklyn, NY (Erasmus Hall0

Photo Credit: Rivals.com

Hard working, hard hitting, speedy undersized linebacker but not a true safety. Sounds like the perfect fit for the Viper position, huh? That’s what Mohan is which makes it easy to see why Don Brown wants him in this class. He visited Ann Arbor at the start of April and quickly received a Crystal Ball prediction from 247Sports’ Brian Dohn ($). That was followed up by a CB from TMI’s Steve Lorenz which is normally a very good sign ($). He’s one of the handful of guys on this list that Michigan looks to be within striking distance with.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #20 OLB) – 247Sports (3*, #47 ATH) – ESPN (3*)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #417 Overall, #31 ATH, #4 in New York
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Devin Hightower, Kalel Mullings, Bengally Kamara, Antonio Doyle

24. FS Makari Paige, 6’3” 185lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield)

Photo Credit: Tanya Moutzalias/MLive.com

Paige is another in-state standout that Michigan has been in on for awhile now. Question is, how high is he on the staff’s board? And at what position? Paige has the size and athleticism to play either free safety or add some weight and play the Viper position. Ohio State and Penn State are competition here but the longtime love for the Wolverines, the familiarity with the program, players and current commits, I like Michigan here but it’s far from a slamdunk.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #240 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #200 overall) – ESPN (4*, #185 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #223 Overall, #17 S, #5 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Bengally Kamara, Myles Slusher, Malcolm Greene, Brian Branch, Enzo Jennings, Darion Green-Warren

25. SS Jordan Morant, 6’1” 195lbs. Oradell, NJ (Bergen Catholic)

Photo Credit: Kevin R. Wexler/NorthJersey.com

Morant is one of the staff’s top overall targets in this class and thanks to that pursuit, the addition of Anthony Camponile, and the fit within the program, Michigan is sitting on top of his list, per himself in his interview with Rivals’ Adam Friedman ($). He’s expected to visit Ann Arbor for the first time this spring but Ohio State and Notre Dame are also right there. But as long as things continue going the way they have been in this recruitment, all signs point to Michigan landing 247Sports’ #1 safety in the 2020 class.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #17 S) – 247Sports (4*, #43 overall) – ESPN (4*, #134 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #112 Overall, #8 S, #3 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Penn State
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Myles Slusher, Malcolm Greene, Brian Branch, Kindel Richardson, Enzo Jennings, Miles Brooks, Darien Green-Warren

26. CB Andre Seldon, 5’9” 160lbs. Belleville, MI (Belleville) 

Photo Credit: Junfu Han/Detroit Free Press

Seldon is a player that will get overlooked because of his size but there may not be a better cover man in this class than the Belleville star. He’s all about Michigan and will be a big reason why the staff signs a big in-state class in 2020 and even in 2021. He receieved a good ratings boost in the winter and should continue to climb the rankings as more film and camp performances come out.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 6/20/18
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #24 CB) – 247Sports (3*, #31 CB) – ESPN (N/A)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #260 Overall, #19 CB, #6 in Michigan

Projected Class Score: 264.46 (per 247Sports)

It’s hard to really take anything from the projected class score at this point since there should be a good amount of movement for a lot of names on the list above. But if we’re comparing, that score would’ve given Michigan the #14 class in 2019 (right ahead of Ohio State) and the #12 class in 2018.

Just Missed

  • APB Daniyel Ngata
    • Ngata has been a known name on the Michigan recruiting front for a while now after he called Michigan his “dream school” when he first received his offer from the staff back in May of 2018. And he continues to call it his dream school. He told 247Sports in December that Michigan is recruiting him hard and is one of his top schools ($) and continues to name the Wolverines as a main contender. And before you ask, distance shouldn’t be a factor here as his brother, Joe, went across the country to Clemson for his college ball. With an unofficial visit on his own dime already in the books (2018 Penn State game) and very possibly an official this summer or fall, Michigan will have a real shot here. Just not enough there yet to add him to the list.
  • OG Justin Rogers
    • Tennessee is the favorite at the moment but until he signs his LOI, Rogers will be a name to watch. He became a regular visitor to Ann Arbor since Josh Gattis has been on the staff and clearly likes what he sees. Keeping him in state will be tough but I doubt the staff will give up on him until he’s officially off the board.
  • VLB Kalel Mullings
    • Though Michigan was his first offer, has Don Brown’s strong ties to the northeast, and Mulling’s has already logged five unofficial visits already to Ann Arbor, the chance to attend Stanford looks like it’ll end up winning out here. Though my CB is on Stanford, I wouldn’t be surprised to see momentum sway back to Michigan at one point or another.
  • WR Javon Baker
    • Baker is a name to remember in this class. He was high on Michigan prior to committing to Alabama in November. And now that his main recruiter and position coach is in Ann Arbor (Josh Gattis), Michigan looks to have a chance here.
  • WR Rashawn Williams
    • After looking like a sure-thing to commit to Michigan, all signs point to Williams choosing a Big Ten West program now. Looks like another wide receiver target that the staff cooled on and moved down its board.
  • CB Elijah Gaines
    • If I had to put another cornerback commit on the list it would’ve been Gaines. He’s pretty raw but has the measurables and the ball-hawking skills to be a really nice prospect. This may end up being all about how hard Michigan’s coaching staff pushes. If they push for him and he’s a take, I like their chances for another Episcopal prospect (same school as DE Luiji Vilain). We’ll see if that happens.
  • RB Deamonte Trayanum
    • I don’t see Ohio State taking both Trayanum and Miyan Williams, with Trayanum looking like the more likely of the two to end up in Columbus, he’s on this list instead. But don’t sleep on him moving up the board and potentially being part of this class.
  • SR Marcellus Moore
    • Arguably the fastest player in this class, Moore has already registered a 4.3 forty and a 10.3 100m. As an All-Purpose Back, he could be a star in Gattis’ offense. He has a recent offer in hand after his performance at The Opening. It’s a little early to put him on the list but he’s a player to watch closely if the staff is looking to add as much speed to the offense as possible.
  • RB Jabari Small
    • After a recent offer and visit this past weekend, Small told TMI’s Brice Marich that Michigan was his new leader ($). Question is, will he be a take? It’s the question for a lot of names on this part of the list. Keep an eye on this one.
  • VLB Bengally Kamara
    • Kamara is another name to remember in this class. He’s an uber-athletic outside linebacker that could be a perfect fit at the Viper position. He recently visited for the spring scrimmage and looks to be feeling the maize and blue. If the staff pushes here, they may be able to get him as his other top offers include Cincinnati, Kentucky and Penn State.
  • RB Lawrance Toafili
    • Putting Toafili on the list at the moment would be a bit of a reach. Though TMI’s Steve Lorenz has been mentioning Toafili for a while as a top target for the staff and has heard there’s a possibility for an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor this offseason ($), can Jay Harbaugh and company beat out the heavily favorited in-state Seminoles? This is one to watch closely throughout.
  • LB Devin Hightower
    • Hightower has an offer from the staff and an early Crystal Ball to Michigan in his profile. But it looks like he may be a little lower on the staff’s board than some of the other linebacker targets.
  • DL Jacolbe Cowan
    • Don’t sleep on him as being a real option to join this class. Cowan is a big, physical interior lineman that Michigan has been involved with for a minute now. An official visit will be big here.
  • CB Ryan Watts
  • RB Mike Drennen
    • Drennen II may be the best pass-catching running back in this class and, even with the departure of Al Washington, still happens to be a top target for the staff in this cycle. He landed his offer from the staff during his mid-June visit to Ann Arbor and it clearly went about as well as possible. TMI’s Steve Lorenz put in his Crystal Ball to the Wolverines a while bck ($) but nothing is known for sure in this recruitment. Ohio State is pushing hard but so is Michigan. According to The Wolverine’s Chris Balas, Drennen has a fan of the Wolverines for a while ($), but without the same Ohio connection within the staff and OSU pushing, it’s hard to put him on the list.
  • OT Tosh Baker
    • Baker is one of the top tackles in this class and just so happens to be from the same school as JD Johnson. That helped the staff get in early before his huge rise up the rankings, which helps UM a bit. An official visit will be big here for Michigan’s chances.
  • OG Andrew Raym
    • Like his teammate Myles Slusher, Raym has been a top target for the staff for a while now. He consistently mentions Michigan when talking about recruiting but there isn’t enough there to put him on this list. If the staff can get him back on campus this summer or fall for an official, they may be able to make some noise.
  • CB Miles Brooks
    • Brooks may seem like a longshot as a highly ranked cornerback out of Florida. However, his father is from Detroit and is a lifelong Wolverines fan, which helped Michigan get Brooks up to Ann Arbor in November for a visit. That was huge for Michigan’s chances as it reportedly went about as well as possible and moved UM up Brooks’ board ($). But this may be a battle against the Buckeyes, who’ve established a nice pipeline from Trinity Christian Academy.
  • RB Peny Boone
    • He may need to be more on the next level of potential additions to the list but Boone is one to remember throughout the cycle. Big, bruising back from Martin Luther King HS in Detroit. The staff needs to build more running back depth. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him become an option for the staff later on down the line, even if he’s committed to another program.

Don’t Forget About Us

  • OL Olu Fashanu
  • DT Ty Hamilton
  • RB Jabari Small
  • DT Jayson Jones
  • WR Javian Hester
  • DT Kobe Pepe
  • OT Myles Hinton
  • WR Traeshon Holden
  • TE Kole Taylor
  • CB Kindel Richardson
  • S Malcolm Greene
  • S Xavien Alford
  • OG Miles Murao
  • CB Luke Hill
  • DL Bryce Mostella
  • WR LV Bunkley-Shelton
  • ATH Anthony Romphf
  • WR David Baker
  • DE Kenny Mestidor
  • QB Jay Butterfield
  • CB Enzo Jennings
  • DE Bryan Bresee

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.