Team 137 Best Guess Recruiting Class: December 21st

Thanks to an adventurous month of December, Michigan’s 2016 recruiting class saw a big change as LB David Reese and ATH Victor Viramontes decommitted from the class while LB Devin Bush Jr. and RB Kareem Walker jumped on board. Add in QB Brandon Peters, RB Kingston Davis and WR Ahmir Mitchell all signing their LOIs and you’d really think it’s much easier to predict the ending of the class.

That’s what you’d think but it’s not thanks to the questions surrounding the total number of commits, questions surrounding which commits will remain committed, and amount of top targets are still on the board with so few spots remaining. It’s all up in the air but I did my best to break down the numbers here:

So, with the class numbers and scholarship numbers broken down, check out my latest 2016 Best Guess Michigan Football Recruiting Class:

Chances Key

  • Excellent – Expected to Commit
  • Very Good – Definitely Possible/Top 2 Teams
  • Good – Realistic Option
  • Decent – Puncher’s Chance
  • Low – Likely Not Happening

1. QB: Brandon Peters, 6’5” 205lbs. Avon, IN (Avon)

Doug McSchooler/for The Star

via Doug McSchooler/for The Star

After a fantastic visit for the Spring Game, Peters pulled the trigger and became Harbaugh’s first commitment for 2016. He has the size, smarts and arm to be a very good player under Harbaugh, and when you watch his tape, he reminds me a ton of Harbaugh’s #1 pupil, Andrew Luck, in terms of athleticism, accuracy, release and ability to make plays under pressure. He’ll be one of the main players to watch this spring to see if he can fight for the starting position after being an early enrollee.

2. RB: Kingston Davis, 6’1” 225lbs. Prattville, AL (Prattville) 

via Albert Cesare/ Montgomery Advertiser)

via Albert Cesare/ Montgomery Advertiser)

Davis isn’t the highest rated recruit and only held offers from three other Power 5 conference teams when Michigan offered him, but he could be one of the best players in this class. He has that power, size and athleticism combo that fits Harbaugh’s offense really well. Thanks to enrolling early, he’ll have a great chance to see the field in the season opener.

3. RB: Kareem Walker, 6’1” 210lbs. Wayne, NJ (De Paul Catholic)

via John Jones/MaxPreps

via John Jones/MaxPreps

Walker is one of the top running backs and players in the class. He has the size, speed and agility that Michigan is sorely missing in their stable. And thanks to the lack of a big play threat and his early enrollment, there’s a good chance that he sees the field early and often, as long as he develops and picks up the play book.

4. WR: Ahmir Mitchell, 6’3” 206lbs. Egg Harbor City, NJ (Cedar Creek)

via Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger

via Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger

Mitchell is one of the best athletes in the entire class and should be a great fit at wide receiver. While he’s still raw, he has that height, weight, speed combination everyone wants in a receiver. If he continues to develop physically and fundamentally, he could be a very good player in the Maize and Blue at either wide receiver or safety. Add his efforts on the recruiting trail and you can see why he’s such a big part of this class.

5. WR: Brad Hawkins, 6’2” 205lbs. Camden, NJ (Camden)

via David Gard/NJ.com

via David Gard/NJ.com

Hawkins is a big, fast, physical wide receiver that can make the tough catches that should make him a go-to possession receiver in the future. He reminds me a little bit of former Wolverine WR Marquise Walker because of his mix of size and big play ability, both of which are badly needed in UM’s offense.

6. WR: Nate Johnson, 6’0” 180lbs. Thompson’s Station, TN (Independence) 

(via ANDY COLLIGNON/FranklinHomepage)

(via ANDY COLLIGNON/FranklinHomepage)

Johnson is the exact type of receiver that the staff was looking to add along side big, physical receivers Ahmir Mitchell and Brad Hawkins. He is a smaller, quick, home run threat that can play on the outside and in the slot, which is huge since the slot depth is lacking that dynamic playmaker at the moment.

7. WR: Dylan Crawford, 6’1” 175lbs. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (SMC) 

via YouTube.com

via YouTube.com

After his official visit to Michigan for the MSU game, Crawford was said to be favoring the Wolverines. However, he received an offer from childhood favorite Oregon soon after and they quickly became the team to beat. Oh but how things have once again changed. According to TMI’s Sam Webb, Eddie McDoom’s commitment to the Ducks has “squeezed” Crawford out of a spot in Eugene ($). With that news, UM quickly becomes the heavy favorites and could end up landing the talented west coast star before/during the Army All-American game.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Decision Date: Possibly at the Army All-American Game
  • First on List: August 2014
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Keyshawn Young, Eddie McDoom, Donnie Corley, Donald Stewart, Jordan Fuller

8. TE: Sean McKeon, 6’5” 230lbs. Dudley, MA (Shepherd Hill)

via Linda Flibbert/ESPN

via Linda Flibbert/ESPN

McKeon is an old school tight end that can make plays as both a pass catcher and run blocker. He has the size and skill that should fit perfectly in Harbaugh’s offense and remind a bit of former Stanford standout Colby Fleener coming out of high school.

9. OT: Erik Swenson, 6’7” 295lbs. Downers Grove, IL (South)

via GBMWolverine

via GBMWolverine

The first commitment of the class is a life long Michigan fan and will have the chance to not only don the Maize and Blue, but become a star on the offensive line. Swenson has several of the same characteristics of the elite offensive tackles Michigan has produced over the last 20+ years.

  • Commitment Date: 11/25/2013
  • Story
  • First on List: January 2014
  • Highlights

10. OT: Devery Hamilton, 6’6” 290lbs. Baltimore, MD (Gilman)

via Scout.com

via Scout.com

Hamilton is a big time get for the staff. Though he’s a big raw (thanks to playing both defensive end and tackle in high school), he has that size and athleticism combo that gives him the look of a future standout. As for his exact position, he could play either end of the line but I like him at left tackle.

11. OT: Jean Delance, 6’5” 285lbs. Mesquite, TX (North Mesquite)

via BleacherReport

via BleacherReport

Delance has been known as the top offensive line target for the staff for quite sometime and that pursuit is paying off. The top tackle target officially visited December 11th and looks to have had a fantastic time. With his latest Twitter activity and expected announcement coming at the Under Armour All-American game (January 2nd), things are looking very good for Michigan here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Decision Date: UA All-American Game
  • First on List: Now
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Terrance Davis, Will Fries 

12. OL: Ben Bredeson, 6’5” 295lbs. Hartland, WI (Arrowhead)

via Scout.com

via Scout.com

Bredeson is a big, physical, versatile offensive lineman that has the chance to star at any position along the line at the next level. With Coach Drevno teaching him and Harbaugh’s pro-style, power offense, he has the chance to be a very, very good lineman for the Maize and Blue.

13. OG: Michael Onwenu, 6’3” 365lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)

via MaizeAndBlueNews.com

via MaizeAndBlueNews.com

Onwenu is a monster lineman that has the size and athleticism to be a dominant player on either side of the ball. However, Michigan looks to be targeting him at offensive guard though his senior tape does show big time potential as a nose tackle. Either way, the staff has one of the top lineman in the class to develop.

14. DT: Jordan Elliott, 6’4” 305lbs. Houston, TX (Westside) 

via OregonLive

via OregonLive

Elliott is one of the top defensive lineman in the country and was near the top of the staff’s board for months thanks to his versatility. He has the size to play the one technique and the athleticism to play the three technique, which should make him a player that can contribute early on in his career as long as he develops in the weight room.

15. DL: Rashan Gary, 6’4” 310lbs. Paramus, NJ (Paramus Catholic)

via MaxPreps

via MaxPreps

Gary is the #1 player on the board and player in the country. That means he has his spot sewn up in this class no matter what. Thanks to recent history between UM and the #1 player in the country, a lot of fans will remain very nervous until the ink is dry but this situation is different than the Da’Shawn Hand scenario from a couple years ago. Michigan’s program is on a different trajectory, they have the longer, stronger relationships, the education factor and there hasn’t been a team that has stuck around as a true #2 contender throughout. Barring any crazy changes, I’d be pretty shocked to see him commit/sign anywhere else.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Decision Date: Under Armour All American Game or NSD
  • First on List: August 2014
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Levi Onwuzurike, Connor Murphy 

16. DL: Rashad Weaver, 6’5” 245lbs. Ft Lauderdale, FL (Cooper City) 

via SFHSSports

via SFHSSports

Weaver is a big, athletic end that has the size and ability to play either tight end or defensive end at the next level. However, he’ll very likely end up along the defensive line and could end up being a really nice fit. He has that length and frame to be a matchup nightmare after he puts in more time in the weight room.

  • Commitment Date: 6/14/2015
  • Story
  • First on List: June 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Levi Onwuzurike, Connor Murphy 

17. DE: Ron Johnson, 6’4” 240lbs. Camden, NJ (Camden)

via Lori M. Nichols/NJ.com

via Lori M. Nichols/NJ.com

Johnson is a big, physical lineman that has the size and power to play the strong side or even on the inside during passing plays and the athleticism to play the weakside. That versatility was a question mark for awhile but it’s why he is a nice fit in Michigan’s defense as the staff can move him all over to create matchup problems.

18. BUCK: Carlo Kemp, 6’4” 250lbs. Boulder, CO (Fairview) 

via Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

via Karl Gehring/The Denver Post

In UM’s defense, the BUCK linebacker position is known to be the most important. And that is where Kemp is projected to play. He has the size, athleticism and instincts that should fit that position perfectly. Whether he starts off there or starts at defensive end or another linebacker position, there’s a good chance he sees the field early on in his career.

19. LB: Jonathan Jones, 6’0” 225lbs. Orlando, FL (Oak Ridge)

via CHRIS HAYS / ORLANDO SENTINEL

via CHRIS HAYS / ORLANDO SENTINEL

Jones recently officially visited Ann Arbor and it looks like Michigan jumped right back to the top of his list. While they have to fight off Notre Dame to land his (silent) commitment and signature on NSD, I believe the opportunity he has to see the field from day one will be the biggest difference maker here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Decision Date: NSD
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Dontavious Jackson, Caleb Kelly, Victor Viramontes

20. LB: Devin Bush Jr, 6’0” 228lbs. Pembroke Pines, FL (Flanagan)

via Greg Oyster/247Sports

via Greg Oyster/247Sports

Though some believe he’s undersized, Bush is a versatile linebacker that has the size, speed and tenacity to be a game changer at the next level. He has the athleticism to make plays all over the field and should fit in Michigan’s defense perfectly. And thanks to the future depth chart, he has a very good shot at playing early and often.

21. LB: Dytarious Johnson, 6’1” 220lbs. Prattville, AL (Prattville)

via Lloyd Gallman Montgomery Advertiser

via Lloyd Gallman Montgomery Advertiser

Johnson is a hard nosed inside linebacker that has the athleticism and speed to make plays from sideline to sideline. Along with LB commit Devin Bush Jr, Michigan has two stout inside backers that have a chance to be vey good in UM’s defense. There are some questions out there about whether or not he’ll remain in this class so this will be a situation to watch up until NSD.

  • Commitment Date: 6/7/2015
  • Story
  • First on List: June 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Dontavious Jackson, Caleb Kelly, Victor Viramontes

22. DB/LB: Devin Gil, 6’1” 205lbs. Hollywood, FL (Flanagan)

via Hudl.com

via Hudl.com

Gil is physical, athletic hybrid safety that looks to be a great fit in UM’s defense. He has the size and range to be a difference maker early on in his career in Brown’s blitz heavy defense, especially with the depth chart starting to open up with the graduations of multiple safeties and linebackers in the next two years.

23. CB: Antwaine Richardson, 6’0” 165lbs. Delray Beach, FL (Atlantic)  

via Freep.com

via Freep.com

Richardson is a long, athletic, play making corner that has the ability to match up with top receivers on opposing teams and win the jump ball. That is a big reason why the staff felt like he was needed in this class. The cornerback depth chart will be in shambles after 2016 thanks to multiple starters graduating.

24. CB: Lavert Hill, 5’11” 175lbs. Detroit, MI (King)

Image via Mike Mulholland | MLive.com

via Mike Mulholland | MLive.com

The Detroit MLK star recently didn’t shock the recruiting world in the least bit and decommitted from Penn State. However, he may not be the slam dunk for Michigan that most expected. UM may have some more work to do as TMI’s Sam Webb has heard that Hill was a big fan of former defensive coordinator DJ Durkin ($) but when news broke of Don Brown’s hire, Hill was quick to retweet Brown’s national assistant of the year award tweet. I’d guess that’s a pretty good sign. Though MSU looks to be making up plenty of ground and will get one of his last official visits, I believe UM holds them off and lands his commitment on NSD.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Decision Date: National Signing Day
  • First on List: January 2014
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Jordan Fuller, Keyshawn Young, Chris Brown, KJ Sails

25. CB: David Long, 6’0” 175lbs. Los Angeles, CA (Loyola) 

(via David Long)

(via David Long)

Long recently decommitted from Stanford and named both Michigan and Washington as his co-leaders. However, if you read anything from the UW analysts, he might as well announce his decision for the Huskies right now. But from what I’ve read, those analysts are quite the homers and a lot of what they report has to be taken with a grain of salt. Now, I’m not ruling out him signing with UW at all. That’s extremely possible and maybe even likely but until he takes his official visit to Seattle, I’m sticking with Michigan on this one (because I’m also considered a homer by some). The UM staff has made him a priority from the start, have built a great relationship, offer the top notch education he’s looking for (UW is very good as well) and have shown their ability to grind out these recruiting wins with top targets all year.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Decision Date: Mid-Late January
  • First on List: February 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Jordan Fuller, Keyshawn Young, Chris Brown, KJ Sails

26. DB: Sir Patrick Scott, 6’2” 190lbs. Upper Marlboro, MD (Riverdale Baptist)

via Scout.com

via Scout.com

Scott not only has arguably the best name in the class and in program history, but also happens to be a great fit in UM’s defense. He is a big, long athlete that has the perfect build and length to play press corner. Though there are some questions about whether he ends up signing with UM, if he does, he has the chance to be a very good player for the Wolverines.

  • Commitment Date: 8/2/2015
  • Story
  • First on List: July 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Jordan Fuller, Keyshawn Young, Chris Brown, KJ Sails

27. S: Josh Metellus, 6’0” 195lbs. Hollywood, FL (Flanagan)

via @SleeperAthletes

via @SleeperAthletes

Metellus is a hard hitting, physical safety that reminds me a bit of Detroit Lions strong safety James Ihedigbo thanks to his ability to make plays in the box as well as in coverage. Something that Michigan has been missing for years until Jabrill Peppers came along. Both should be really nice fits in Brown’s defense.

28. ATH: Kiante Enis, 6’1” 200lbs. Winchester, IN (Winchester)

via Pal-Item/USA Today HSS

via Pal-Item/USA Today HSS

Enis is one of the more athletic and versatile players in the country and it’s exactly what the Michigan coaching staff is looking to add to the fold. He has the size, length and athleticism to be an impact player at multiple positions but I see him ending up at hybrid safety if he remains in the class and signs with UM.

  • Commitment Date: 6/4/2015
  • Story
  • First on List: May 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Isaac Nauta, Keyshawn Young, Jordan Fuller, Dontavious Jackson, Caleb Kelly

29. ATH: Chris Evans, 5’11” 186lbs. Indianapolis, IN (Ben Davis)

via Doug McSchooler/Indy Star

via Doug McSchooler/Indy Star

Evans is that home run hitting threat that the offense and special teams has been missing. At this point, it remains to be seen where exactly the staff sees his future but I imagine him seeing time in all three facets of the game while in the Maize and Blue, including slot WR, KR/PR and possibly at CB.

30. ATH: Khaleke Hudson, 6’0” 205lbs. McKeesport, PA (McKeesport)

via Ken Reabe Jr./Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

via Ken Reabe Jr./Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Hudson is a new name to the list and it’s a bit of a reach. At this point, there isn’t a ton of smoke to suggest he’s going to commit to Michigan but there is definitely some. His recent Twitter activity/follows, which includes just about every Michigan commit, is a solid indicator that things are going in a positive direction here. And when you look at his game and what he could possibly bring to the roster at multiple positions (S/LB/RB), you can see why the staff has him so high on their board. If his official visit goes as planned and a spot is still available, I believe there’s a good chance he ends up in this class.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Official set for January 15th
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Decision Date: NSD
  • First on List: Now
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Dontavious Jackson, Keyshawn Young, Jordan Fuller, Caleb Kelly, Victor Viramontes 

31. K/P: Quinn Nordin, 6’1” 200lbs. Rockford, MI (Rockford)

via Bruce Nordin/SI.com

via Bruce Nordin/SI.com

Nordin remains a Penn State commit but looks to be destined to flip to the Wolverines. The question is when and why has it not happened yet? That’s unknown but from all reports and from keeping up with his recruitment over the last 3 months, it just looks like a matter of time before he’s a UM pledge. But the other question is, will he be a full scholarship player or will he take a greyshirt like The Wolverine crew was saying is possible? For this month’s projection, I’m including him on the list as a greyshirt because of the amount of top targets remaining at other positions.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Decision Date: TBD
  • First on List: April 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Keyshawn Young, Terrance Davis, Jordan Fuller, Dontavious Jackson, Isaac Nauta

Projected Class Score: 290.57 (per 247Sports

Though this is the projection with all 31 names above, when you take out 3-4 of the current commits, the score hardly moves. So, if it were to stay at/around this, Michigan would have had the #3 overall class in 2015 and the #4 overall class in 2014. Either way, it would be a very nice finish for Jim Harbaugh and company.

Just Missed the List

  • WR Keyshawn Young
    • It was very tough to take Young off of the list but I just don’t see that spot remaining open until NSD. While he was planning on committing this past weekend, those plans changed and he’s now expected to hold off on making his decision until early February. And even though TMI’s Sam Webb is reporting (with an amazing quote) that Michigan could take both Crawford and Young to end the class ($), it’s just too difficult to fit him in the class at this time. This is obviously a situation to monitor closely but if Crawford ends up committing in the near future, odds are looking slim for Pie to have a spot available.
  • ATH Jordan Fuller
    • With Walker now on board, Fuller looks like an even better option thanks to all of the New Jersey ties. However, he’s yet to set up his official visit to Michigan and until that happens, it’s hard to put/keep him on the list.
  • OG Terrance Davis
    • It looks like there may only be one spot left for the offensive line and from all reports and signs, that’s going to Jean Delance since the tackle depth is in question. He’s still a name to watch if a spot is available mid/late in January.
  • TE Isaac Nauta
    • Nauta looks to remain the top offensive target for the staff but all signs continue to point to Georgia. It definitely didn’t help when QB Jacob Eason reaffirmed his commitment there and they hired a tight end friendly offensive coordinator. This thing isn’t completely over yet but it looks like it’ll take an amazing pitch to sway him up north.
  • LB Dontavious Jackson 
    • I believe Jackson is a top priority to the staff but I just can’t put him on the list at the moment. There are too many questions about where he’ll end up and though I think UM has as good of a shot as anyone, it looks more likely that he stays down south.
  • DE Levi Onwuzurike 
    • By far the hardest recruit to read or predict, Onwuzurike could very well end up in this class. I almost put him in there but there’s not nearly enough evidence to back that feeling up. He’s a name to watch closely as Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz is reporting he’s a definite want from by the coaching staff ($).
  • DE Connor Murphy
    • If relationships were the only thing that mattered, Murphy would be in the class projection. However, he has yet to visit UM and though it’s expected to take place this January, I can’t put him on the list until that happens and a spot is definitely available.
  • TE Chase Allen
    • Allen is the latest tight end offer and looks to be a legit option for this class. However, with UM offering in came a couple other big time offers. If the staff makes him a priority, there’s a very good chance he ends up in the class but until he visits in January, I’ll have him on the outside looking in.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Carlos Osorio