Superlatives are a fun way to break down any group of people, including a recruiting class. It’s been made famous by yearbooks and Jimmy Fallon, and now me. So, check out the superlatives for the 2016 Michigan football recruiting class:
Immediate Offensive Impact Player: TE Devin Asiasi
There will be plenty of players that could play during their true freshmen seasons but there aren’t many as physically capable as Asiasi. At 6’4” 270lbs, he has the frame and athleticism to really contribute in Michigan’s multiple tight end sets. It also helps that no one has secured the backup tight end spot behind Jake Butt.
Immediate Defensive Impact Player: DL Rashan Gary
Here’s an easy one. Gary is the highest rated recruit in program history and one of the best defensive lineman in high school football history. So, I’m really going out on a limb to say he’ll make an immediate impact on defense. Add in Willie Henry’s departure and the opening is there for him to potentially start by the beginning of the Big Ten season.
Best Highlight Tape: ATH Khaleke Hudson
From his long runs to big hits, his film is a true highlight film from start to finish. Just take a look:
Best Hair: LB Devin Gil
There were plenty of candidates for this award but no one has devoted their time into their hair than Gil (and teammate Devin Bush Jr. and Kareem Walker). The long dreads are not very easy to maintain either. Not only is a good look but it’s a longterm commitment. Props, Devin.
Best Name: WR Eddie McDoom
Unlike the majority of these awards, this one was a no brainer. McDoom is not only the best name in Michigan’s class, but it’s one of the best in the country. It sounds like a dangerous McDonalds sandwich.
Best Announcement: ATH Ahmir Mitchell
Most of Michigan’s commits announced via Twitter while a couple announced live on National Signing Day. However, no one did a video to commit to UM better than Mitchell’s Jersey Shore/airplane sign commitment via Bleacher Report.
Best Recruiting Win: RB Kareem Walker
Michigan had a lot of recruiting wins over the other elite programs around the country, including landing Gary over everyone, Bush Jr. over Florida State and Asiasi over UCLA and USC. However, flipping Walker from Ohio State is the biggest win on the 2016 recruiting trail for Jim Harbaugh. Now, I have heard that OSU and Walker were possibly separating either way but that all started to happen after he officially visited Ann Arbor. So, count that commitment and the foul. Point, Michigan.
Most Likely to Earn the #1 Jersey: WR Dylan Crawford
Though Ahmir Mitchell looks like the prototypical elite receiver and #1 jersey holder, I believe Crawford is the most polished receiver in the class and has the highest ceiling of the talented bunch. If he continues to develop on and off the field, he could be a great player for the Wolverines.
Most Likely to Succeed Off the Field: CB David Long & TE Sean McKeon
Jim Harbaugh made it a priority to bring in great kids to represent the Block M but when you watched the Signing of the Stars, there weren’t two players he spoke more highly of about their off the field potential than Long and McKeon.
Long is a very well spoken, smart player and student that Harbaugh said he’ll someday be “Senator Long”. That is a bold thing to say about a senior in high school but after talking with him for the last couple months, I agree that he is destined for big things on and off the field.
As for McKeon, he’s an engineering major and happens to boast the highest high school GPA of Michigan’s class. If he continues to keep his grades up and graduates from UM with an engineering degree, the sky is the limit for his professional career.
Most Likely to Switch Positions: WR Brad Hawkins
There are a lot of 2016 signees that could end up switching/playing multiple positions during their career but I think Hawkins is a guy that has the potential to be a game changer at either wide receiver or safety. Though he’ll come in as a receiver, if the playing time is there in the secondary, he seems like the type of person and player that will do whatever it takes to help the team.
Most Under Appreciated: OL Ben Bredeson and DE Ron Johnson
When a program puts together a top 5 recruiting class, there’s always a couple of “forgotten” members of the class. Everyone has their eyes on Gary and Peters but Bredeson and Ron Johnson are two guys to watch very closely.
Bredeson was one of the longest committed players in the class, the top player out of Wisconsin and one of the elite offensive lineman in the entire class. With the high need of lineman and talented lineman at that, his addition is a key to this class.
As for Johnson, he’s also been committed for awhile and has flown under the radar for most UM fans. There aren’t many players that have the motor and tenacity that he has on the defensive side of the ball and though he’s a bit of a tweener, he could become a pass rushing specialist in Don Brown’s blitz happy defense.
Most Underrated: RB Kingston Davis
Michigan signed a couple players that were candidates for this award but Davis is by far the most underrated to me. Not only is he one of the lowest rated players in the class but he’s so underrated (how underrated is he?!), he’s so underrated that Rivals still has him listed as a fullback. That’s just disrespectful.
Davis’ running style, size and early enrollment will give him every opportunity to play early and often for the Wolverines. If he turns out to be a great player for UM, it’ll be great to see his home state schools (Alabama and Auburn) apologize for not offering him.
Most Versatile: ATH Chris Evans
Versatility is one thing Harbaugh focused on in this class and he signed several players that can play multiple positions at the collegiate level. Mitchell, Hudson, Long, Asiasi and Onwenu are all great two way players but Evans is the guy who could end up being a game changer at multiple positions in all three facets of the game. That includes running back, wide receiver, cornerback and return man.
Most Surprising Commitment: TE Nick Eubanks & OL Stephen Spanellis
Another award with multiple candidates but two clear winners.
Eubanks went from being completely off my recruiting board to visiting and committing all within a week. But that’s not that only surprising thing. Landing a top rated player out of SEC country that was being highly recruited by the regional powerhouses is a great and unexpected win for Michigan.
As for Spanellis, Michigan offered him late in the process after the Erik Swenson saga and then he became a legit need once they lost his teammate, Devery Hamilton, to Stanford. It seemed like the staff would hold off on accepting his commitment while they went after EJ Price but soon after he visited Ann Arbor, Spanellis flipped from Virginia to UM.
Least Surprising Commitment: CB Lavert Hill
Hill was on my first 2016 BGRC and was one of the most consistent players on the list, even after committing to Penn State. Since early on in the season, a flip from the Nittany Lions looked more than likely and though he scared some UM fans with his late interest in MSU, he was a player that looked destined for the Maize and Blue for the majority of the cycle.
Biggest Steal: LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse
Stealing is bad, unless your favorite football team steals a recruit away from another program before National Signing Day. And that’s exactly what Michigan did here. Like Eubanks, Mbem-Bosse was a forgotten offer from the Wolverines for the majority of the cycle but once he visited in January, he quickly joined the class. Add in him being one of the highest ceiling guys in the class, right in the thick of SEC country and looking likely to pick Auburn before his UM visit, this one is a nice steal for the Wolverines.
Biggest Sleepers: OLB Joshua Uche and WR Nate Johnson
Similar to the biggest steal, most underrated and most under appreciated, the biggest sleepers are the players who are lower rated players to watch closely throughout their careers. Though both Uche and Johnson are three star recruits, their highlight tapes and raw talent show that they are two players to keep an eye on once they get to campus.
Biggest Hitter: S Josh Metellus
Having a physical enforcer on the backend of the defense will take Michigan’s defense to another level and Metellus brings that to the table. Whether he’s lining up down in the box or in centerfield, he shows multiple times in his highlights that he’s willing and able to lay the wood:
Most Likely to Win the Heisman: QB Brandon Peters
Though Gary has the highest ceiling in the class, Peters is the most likely to win College Football’s biggest individual award. Not only does it help being a quarterback but when you look at what Harbaugh was able to do for Jake Rudock in 6 months of work, the sky is the limit for the early enrollee.
Must Get Commit: OG Michael Onwenu
Each recruiting class has in-state/high priority recruits that the staff just cannot miss on and, in 2016, Onwenu was that guy. He is the top ranked player in the state, per 247Sports, and at a position of need. If he would have flipped his commitment to MSU right before NSD, it would have been a devastating loss for the Wolverines.
Pipeline Starter: LB Devin Bush Jr
Michigan’s coaching staff built several pipelines into prime recruiting states, including New Jersey, Alabama and Florida. But if there was one recruit that opens things up more than any other, it was Bush Jr. Landing their top linebacker on the board is huge but UM also added two of his teammates in Metellus and Gil, may end up adding his father (Devin Bush Sr.) to the coaching staff and now has an in with one of the best high school programs in the Sunshine State.
Future Dynamic Duo: DL Rashan Gary and Michael Dwumfour
Dwumfour and Gary have been a dynamic duo for awhile now as best friends and former high school teammates. And now they’ll have the opportunity to become a tandem that will give opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators nightmares.
— 〽️ichael DwumFour (@mike_dwumfour) February 1, 2016
The speed, power and pass rushing skills of Gary mixed with the raw power and run stuffing ability of Dwumfour should mean big things for UM’s defensive.
Future Fan Favorite: LB Carlo Kemp
Once again, this award could go to several signees on the list but thanks to his elite size, instincts and position, Kemp should be able to step onto the field from the first day of spring practices and make an impact.
Day One Starter: K Quinn Nordin
Michigan will return the majority of their starters on offense and defense in 2016 but special teams is a different story. Punter Blake O’Neill is gone and though K Kenny Allen was able to handle the punting duties in the Citrus Bowl quite well, the position is up for grabs. Enter the nation’s top kicker, Quinn Nordin. With him on the roster, the kicking, punting and kick off competition will be one to watch this fall. And I fully expect Nordin to handle at least one of the those jobs in the season opener.
Strongest Positional Haul: Secondary
This was a tough one to call after Michigan hauled in a lot of talented position groups. The wide receivers, defensive line and linebackers were all top candidates but thanks to signing two elite cornerbacks (Long and Hill) along with two talented safeties (Hudson and Metellus), the honor goes to the secondary.
Who do you think should have won some of the 2016 recruiting class superlatives? Add your award winners and superlatives below in the comment section!
Photo Credit: ANDY SHIPPY/TodaysU.com