2017 Best Guess Recruiting Class: June 27th

For my latest 2017 Michigan football best guess recruiting class prediction, things are starting to take shape more and more as we get closer to the fall. If i’m an amazing tea leaf reader and psychic, the list below would give Michigan one of their best recruiting classes ever. That would include either #1 players in their state, a top wide receiver and running back haul in the class, the best fullback haul in, arguably, recruiting history and easily one of the best offensive line hauls (on paper) in program history.

Here are a couple notes to see how I put the list together:

  • Class Size: I went with 30 once again in this class. That number will be very interesting to see them reach because of the amount of attrition that will be needed but, according to Sam Webb, the class is expected to be between 28-32. Steve Lorenz’s May class prediction was at 29 ($) and recently reported it could be in the “upper 20s” ($).
  • Positional Numbers: These fluctuate on a weekly basis and though multiple reports have UM expecting to take only 6 offensive lineman, I highly doubt they turn down top talent because of set number. That’s also the case at linebacker. As for tight end, this list only features one because of the much higher needs at other positions and the lack of top targets there. If there was one position that could slack on commits in 2016, it’s tight end.
  • Attrition: Like always, it’s expected at this point as it happens with every class. However, I have no idea who it will be and even if I did, I wouldn’t say anything. I do expect at least one current commit to leave the class though.

So, without further adieu, check out/praise/rip my latest 2017 Michigan football recruiting class prediction:

Chances Key

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

1. QB: Dylan McCaffrey, 6’5″ 205lbs. Littleton, CO (Valor)


The five star and #1 overall quarterback in the class is well known for his family (son of former NFL receiver Ed and brother of Stanford star running back, Christian) but looks likely to make a big name for himself at the college level. He not only comes from a family full of elite athletes but he may be the best of the bunch. His size, athleticism, mechanics and pocket presence mixed with the tutelage of Jim Harbaugh gives him a chance to be a star in the Maize and Blue.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 2/16/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • RankingsScout (4*, #47 overall) – Rivals (4*, #45 overall) – 247 (4*, #26 overall) – ESPN (4*, #19 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 5 star, #22 overall, #2 Pro-QB, #1 in Colorado

2. RBKurt Taylor, 5’9” 205lbs. Covington, GA (Grayson) 


The three star is a tough, stout, quicker than fast running back that loves contact. When you look at how built he is for a high school student (or anyone for that matter), you can see why he has no problem looking for defenders. Though he can also beat the defense with a quick first step, he has similar running style to former Wolverine, Mike Hart. With his move to Georgia powerhouse, Grayson, Taylor will have the chance to truly prove his talents to the naysayers this fall.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 10/16/15
  • First on List: August 2015
  • RankingsScout (3*, #48 RB) – Rivals (3*, #26 RB) – 247 (3*, #48 RB) – ESPN (3*, #65 RB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #821 overall, #51 RB, #83 in Georgia
  • Other Options: Stephen Carr, Najee Harris

3. RB: AJ Dillon, 6’1” 239lbs. Groton, MA (Lawrence Academy) 


The four star back is the prototypical Jim Harbaugh recruit. He’s a very smart player both on and off the field, plays and excels at multiple positions and happens to do so with a hard nosed mentality. And that is what jumps off the screen on his highlight tape. At Michigan, he could be a workhorse similar to DeVeon Smith.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 3/28/16
  • First on ListFebruary 2016
  • RankingsScout (3*, #40 RB) – Rivals (4*, #17 RB) – 247 (4*, #211 overall) –ESPN (3*, #40 RB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #354 overall, #24 RB, #1 in Massachusettes
  • Other Options: Stephen Carr, Najee Harris

4. RB: O’Maury Samuels, 5’10” 190lbs. Los Lunas, NM (Los Lunas) 


The three star back (but rising) is one of the best athletes in the entire class. He proved his all around athleticism at The Opening Regional camp at JerryWorld, posting a 138.30 rating (which is the best in the class so far) against some of the top players in the nation. That speed, strength, agility and physical build is what the staff wants and needs out of another running back in the 2017 class as he’s the true home run threat the depth chart needs. If he takes to the coaching, he could be a star for the Wolverines.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 4/4/16
  • First on List: Now
  • RankingsScout (4*, #23 RB) – Rivals (4*, #18 RB) – 247 (3*, #27 RB) – ESPN (4*, #236 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #276 overall, #20 RB, #1 in New Mexico
  • Other Options: Stephen Carr, Najee Harris

5. FB: Chase Lasater, 6’2” 235lbs. Jacksonville, FL (Trinity Christian)

The unranked Floridian is the first full back commit of the Harbaugh era and looks to be a perfect fit in UM’s pro-style, ground and pound offense. He is a physical, hard nosed, athletic player that plays both fullback and linebacker for his high school but is expected to be used primarily on offense in the Maize and Blue.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 4/1/16
  • First on List: Now
  • RankingsScout (2*) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (NR) – ESPN (3*, #2 FB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #1327 overall, #1 FB, #190 in Florida
  • Other Options: Sione Lund, Tory Carter

6. WR: Donovan Peoples-Jones, 6’2″ 175lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)

Peoples-Jones has been atop the staff’s board throughout the cycle. Thanks to that prioritization, his fit in the offense and his connections to the program (father graduated from UM, interning at UM hospital), Michigan is starting to look better and better in this race. As long as the staff stays on him (like expected) and UM has a good on-field performance this fall, the staff should be adding the top wide receiver in the state and class this winter.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #30 overall) – Rivals (5*, #11 overall) – 247 (5*, #8 overall) – ESPN (4*, #12 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 5 star, #6 overall, #1 WR, #1 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: Yes
  • Other Options: Tarik Black, Kenedy Snell

7. WR: Nico Collins, 6’5” 200lbs. Pinson, AL (Clay-Chalkville)

Collins is another big, physical, prototypical receiver that is among the staff’s top priorities in the class, and they’re in great shape. After his first visit in May, he spoke with SEC Country’s Chris Kirschner about how Michigan is his leader after his first visit to Ann Arbor thanks to how the staff cares about their players. Thanks to that visit, he made a return trip to UM for one of their on-campus summer camps and looked to build an even stronger rapport with McCaffrey and the staff. Add in his addition to the team #Hypercool at the Opening, which is mostly made up of Michigan commits and top targets, UM is in as good of shape as they’ve ever been.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • First on List: November 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #112 overall) – Rivals (5*, #21 overall) – 247 (4*, #106 overall) – ESPN (4*, #152 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #76 overall, #13 WR, #1 in Alabama
  • Crystal Ball: No
  • Other Options: Tarik Black, Kenedy Snell 

8. TE: Carter Dunaway, 6’6” 225lbs. Bloomfield Hills, MI (Brother Rice)

The three star is a legacy recruit as his father Craig played for Bo from 1980-82 and his brother Jack will be joining Michigan this summer as a preferred walk-on. Add in his lifelong affinity for the Maize and Blue, and this was a quick and easy decision that only took two weeks after landing his offer. He’s a player that has plenty of room to grow and has been starting to show flashes of his potential throughout the camp circuit this offseason.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 4/18/15
  • First on List: April 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (2*) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #45 TE) – ESPN (3*, #16 TE)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #1283 overall, #59 TE, #33 in Michigan
  • Other Options: Major Tennison, Josh Falo

9. OT: JaRaymond Hall, 6’5″ 285lbs. Oak Park, MI (Oak Park)

While the four star was not the most offered recruit in the state (at the time of his UM offer), he is a player that was expected to blow up on the scene throughout his recruitment. Though I don’t believe it would change his decision to Michigan as he’s looked like a near lock to end up in the Maize and Blue since the day they offered. Add in how high the staff is on him and something huge would have to happen for him not to sign with the Wolverines on NSD.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 12/5/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • RankingsScout (4*, #214 Overall) – Rivals (3*, #68 OT) – 247 (4*, #138 overall) – ESPN (4*, #166 Overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #208 overall, #27 OT, #3 in Michigan

10. OT: Isaiah Wilson, 6’7” 322lbs. Brooklyn, NY (Poly Prep) 

Wilson is another priority recruit in this class and a player Michigan looks to be in great shape with and has been for awhile. He’s previously named UM his leader on multiple occasions though it looks like they are in a neck to neck race alongside Alabama and Georgia though I believe the Wolverines continue to have the upper hand. This is far from over and the official visits this fall will likely be huge. If UM keeps him atop their board and continues to impress, they have a great shot at landing the top ranked tackle.
  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: August 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #62 overall) – Rivals (5*, #5 overall) – 247 (4*, #51 overall) – ESPN (5*, #2 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 5 star, #19 overall, #4 OT, #1 in New York
  • Crystal Ball: No
  • Other Options: Toryque Bateman, Jordan Reid, Alex Leatherwood, Joel Honigford, Aaron Banks, Robert Hainsey

11. OT: Andrew Stueber, 6’6” 290lbs. Darien, CT (Darien) 

Stueber isn’t the highest rated recruit in the class but he showed the staff what he can do with his size and strength during the Big Man camp in Ann Arbor in mid-June. That performance earned him an offer which quickly pushed Michigan to the top of his list as a “dream offer”. He wasn’t expected to make his decision until August at the BBQ but he wanted to guarantee his spot in the class and committed to Michigan in late June.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 6/25/16
  • First on List: Now
  • RankingsScout (3*, #43 OT) – Rivals (3*, #64 OT) – 247 (3*, #78 OT) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #774 overall, #80 OT, #4 in Connecticut 

12. OL: Henry Bainivalu, 6’6” 302lbs. Sammamish, WA (Skyline) 

I included Bainivalu in my May BGRC on whim. He looks to be a top target for the staff thanks to versatility to play either tackle or guard position. And he clearly is taking a liking to what Michigan has to offer. He took an unofficial visit to UM during the spring and that visit along with the opportunities in Ann Arbor have the Wolverines in great shape. He spoke with Scout’s Scott Eklund about his recruitment in which he quickly named “Michigan and the Cali schools” as schools standing out to him ($). He also said he’d “definitely” take an official to UM which could be huge for their chances. If the staff pushes for him throughout and has another successful visit, there’s a very real chance they sway the Northwest talent away from the coast.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: May 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #173 overall) – Rivals (4*, #29 OT) – 247 (4*, #100 overall) – ESPN (4*, #155 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #155 overall, #20 OT, #2 in Washington
  • Crystal Ball: No
  • Other Options: Toryque Bateman, Jordan Reid, Alex Leatherwood, Joel Honigford, Aaron Banks, Robert Hainsey

13. OL: Kai-Leon Herbert, 6’5” 285lbs. Ft Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage)

Herbert is finally on the list. He’s a player that I’m not certain will be a part of this class (Florida has been a favorite for almost too long) but, at this point, momentum is definitely in favor of the Wolverines. That is mainly thanks to his recent trip to Ann Arbor for the Big Man camp in mid-June alongside his teammate and good friend Tedarrell Slaton. Because of how well the trip went and how strongly the staff is pursuing both American Heritage prospects, I’ll predict Herbert chooses the Wolverines when he decides later this summer.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #183 overall) – Rivals (4*, #61 overall) – 247 (3*, #72 OT) – ESPN (4*, #106 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #166 overall, #22 OT, #31 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: No
  • Other Options: Toryque Bateman, Jordan Reid, Alex Leatherwood, Joel Honigford, Aaron Banks, Robert Hainsey

14. OL: Tedarrell Slaton, 6’5” 325lbs. Ft Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage) 

The five star lineman is an elite level player that named Michigan his leader multiple times throughout the cycle. Though Clemson and others have started to make their move on Slaton, his 2nd unofficial visit to Ann Arbor for the Big Man camp this past weekend may have put the Wolverines back on top. Being a top ranked player, he’s likely to take all of his official visits, though, as long as the UM staff stays on him and keeps pitching the early playing time, I believe he ends up choosing Michigan. If Herbert chooses UM, it will increase my confidence in Slaton immensely.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: August 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (5*, #19 overall) – Rivals (4*, #50 overall) – 247 (4*, #77 overall) – ESPN (4*, #43 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #35 overall, #2 OG, #8 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: No
  • Other Options: Toryque Bateman, Jordan Reid, Alex Leatherwood, Joel Honigford, Aaron Banks, Robert Hainsey

15. OC: Cesar Ruiz, 6’4” 290lbs. Camden, NJ (IMG Academy)

Ruiz has been a part of the list for awhile now and isn’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future. He named Michigan his leader in the spring and, though he’s gone back on having a leader, he’s not hiding his love for the maize and blue very well. According to 2017 DT Greg Rogers (per The Wolverine), Ruiz spent a lot of his time at the Rivals Five Star Challenge talking to other recruits about Michigan ($). Unless something drastic happens, it looks like it may just be a matter of time before he commits to UM.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: June 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #158 overall) – Rivals (4*, #119 overall) – 247 (4*, #249 overall) – ESPN (4*, #89 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #134 overall, #1 C, #27 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: Yes
  • Other Options: Jordan Reid, Robert Hainsey, Drew Dalman 

16. DT: Phillip Paea, 6’4” 280lbs. Berrien Springs, MI (Berrien Springs)

The rising three star is a big, physical and versatile athlete that could play multiple positions at the next level. In high school, he plays both offensive guard and defensive tackle but thanks to his wrestling background, it looks like he’ll be a run stuffing big man in the middle of the Wolverines defense for years to come.

  • Commitment Date: 4/2/16
  • Story
  • First on List: March 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #26 DT) – Rivals (3*, #16 OG) – 247 (3*, #27 DT) – ESPN (4*, #30 DT)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #484 overall, #38 DT, #14 in Michigan

17. DT: Aubrey Solomon, 6’4” 285lbs. Leesburg, GA (Leesburg County) 

As a top player in the country and coming from the heart of SEC country, Solomon was a priority recruit for all. Most believed he was going to stay down south and play for Nick Saban at Alabama or Kirby Smart at Georgia, however, one trip to Ann Arbor for the on-campus Big Man camp was all he needed to see. His quickly built relationship with the staff and the opportunities available at Michigan were the main factors here in one of Jim Harbaugh’s biggest wins on the recruiting front. Now, he just has to get that signature.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 6/18/16
  • First on List: Now
  • RankingsScout (4*, #127 overall) – Rivals (4*, #91 overall) – 247 (4* #207 overall) –ESPN (4*, #61 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #94 overall, #6 DT, #10 in Georgia

18. SSDE: James Hudson, 6’5” 280lbs. Toledo, OH (Central Catholic) 

Hudson has had an eventful month and some change. He decommitted from Kentucky in the middle of May, visited Ann Arbor 3 days later and received his offer from the staff. Thanks to that visit and the offer, UM looked to jump to the top of the list. And he showed it by visiting Michigan again this past weekend for the Big Man camp. With UM already having 4 defensive lineman committed to the class, it wouldn’t shock me to see Hudson make a decision in the near future in favor of the Wolverines. My CB is already in.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: May 2016
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #30 DE) – Rivals (4*, #229 overall) – 247 (4*, #217 overall) – ESPN (4*, #30 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #337 overall, #11 SDE, #16 in Ohio
  • Crystal Ball: Yes
  • Other Options: Jay Tufele, Hunter Echols, DJ Johnson, Greg Rogers, Darnell Ewell, Deron Irving-Bey,

19. DE/SAM: Luiji Vilain, 6’4” 235lbs. Alexandria, VA (Episcopal) 

Vilain had visited Ann Arbor multiple times in the past after his trips to Detroit for the Sound Mind Sound Body camps throughout his high school career. This had him very high on the Maize and Blue. But it wasn’t until earlier this spring that he finally received his offer. Once that was in hand, Michigan looked to be in great position and he proved that when he made an unofficial visit in the middle of May. He committed less than a month later.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 6/12/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #138 overall) – Rivals (4*, #180 overall) – 247 (4*, #94 overall) – ESPN (4*, #97 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #101 overall, #8 WDE, #3 in Virginia

20. DE/SAM: Corey Malone-Hatcher, 6’4” 240lbs. Saint Joseph, MI (St. Joe’s)

As a top recruit, CMH was a top target for the nation’s elite programs, including Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame. However, Michigan held an advantage from the get-go. Thanks to the staff picking up where the previous staff left off (especially Coach Mattison staying on him) and continuing to make him a priority, he decided to wrap up his recruitment by pledging to the Wolverines at the beginning of June.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 6/2/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #287 overall) – Rivals (4*, #13 SDE) – 247 (4*, #17 WSDE) – ESPN (4*, #254 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #257 overall, #17 WDE, #5 in Michigan

21. OLB: Drew Singleton, 6’3″ 215lbs. Paramus, NJ (Paramus Catholic)

 

Singleton is easily one of the top overall targets for the staff and that prioritization of him, the familiarity with the staff, university and roster, as well as the fit in the defense have Michigan sitting pretty. Clemson is a definite threat to land him but I believe Chris Partridge, Jabrill Peppers and Rashan Gary close this one out for the Maize and Blue.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #82 overall) – Rivals (4*, #39 overall) – 247 (4*, #65 overall) – ESPN (4*, #128 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #63 overall, #3 OLB, #1 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball: Yes
  • Other Options: Ellis Brooks, Baron Browning, Shanon Reid

22. OLB: Jordan Anthony, 6’1” 230lbs. Olney, MD (IMG Academy) 

Anthony is a player that has long been on the staff’s board and looks to be a very real option to be a part of this class. Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz called him a “pretty safe bet” to end up at Michigan ($) and with a need for more athleticism at the linebacker position, the staff will likely continue to push for him. He visited Ann Arbor for the Spring Game and is trying to make it back for a July visit (if not, he said he’ll focus on making it to the BBQ in August). A summer visit plus an official this fall could put UM out front for good.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #152 overall) – Rivals (4*, #93 overall) – 247 (4*, #186 overall) – ESPN (4*, #122 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #116 overall, #8 OLB, #23 in Florida
  • Crystal Ball: Yes
  • Other Options: Ellis Brooks, Baron Browning, Shanon Reid

23. ILB: Josh Ross, 6’2″ 225lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (OLSM)

The four star is one of the top 2017 linebackers and players in the state. While he was a top target for the previous coaching staff, he became a true priority when Harbaugh took over. And for good reason. There aren’t many linebackers that are better pure tacklers in the class which should make him a great fit at the SAM or MIKE spot in Brown’s defense.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 3/22/16
  • First on List: March 2015
  • RankingsScout (4*, #229 overall) – Rivals (4*, #206 overall) – 247 (4*, #177 overall) – ESPN (4*, #231 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #216 overall, #8 ILB, #4 in Michigan

24. ILB: Ben Mason, 6’3” 245lbs. Newtown, CT (Sandy Hook)

Mason is the prototypical “Harbaugh player”. Similar to 2017 LB Joshua Ross, Mason is a physical, smart, instinctive player that just loves to play the game. He shows signs of being a productive MIKE or WILL linebacker but thanks to his ability to block, catch and make plays with the ball in his hands, fullback is a definite looks to be a possibility for his future position.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 5/3/16
  • First on List: May 2016
  • RankingsScout (3*, #62 DE) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #33 ILB) – ESPN (4*, #28 OLB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #720 overall, #27 ILB, #3 in Connecticut

25. CB: Benjamin St-Juste, 6’3” 190lbs. Montreal, Quebec (Cegep du Vieux) 

The three star Canadian committed to the 2016 recruiting class over the summer after putting on a standout performance at the UM camp. But because of the Canadian high school system, he reclassified to the 2017 class. This is actually a good move for both St-Juste and Michigan as it will allow him to continue to grow as a player which should help him be ready for college ball.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 6/23/2015
  • First on List: August 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #34 CB) – Rivals (4*, #209 overall) – 247 (3*) – ESPN (3*, #52 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #519 overall, #47 CB, #1 in Quebec

26. CB: Ambry Thomas, 5’10” 170lbs. Detroit, MI (King)

Thomas may be the biggest question mark among the players I feel confident about in this class (if that makes any sense). Michigan looks to have the most momentum at the moment but MSU is and will remain a threat throughout. It will likely come down to an in-state battle but thanks to Thomas and, his cousin, Jaylen Kelly-Powell looking to play together, UM is the safest bet.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #77 overall) – Rivals (4*, #174 overall) – 247 (4*, #113 overall) – ESPN (4*, #257 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #140 overall, #16 CB, #2 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: No
  • Other Options: Shaun Wade, Chris Henderson, Donovan Johnson

27. CB: Darnay Holmes, 5’10” 185lbs. Calabasas, CA (Calabasas) 

Yeah, I did it. I put Holmes, easily the biggest reach here, on the list. Why? Michigan’s momentum with Holmes has been increasing steadily over the last couple months as the staff and his good friend/freshmen CB David Long push for him. He originally was supposed to commit in June (which looked good for UCLA or Nebraska) but held off. Michigan could have been a main reason why. He’s expected to bring a large group of California targets to Ann Arbor this fall for an official visit. If that visit goes as expected and the Wolverines and Long have a successful season on the field, the staff could pull another elite cornerback out of the Golden State for the 2nd straight year. UCLA and Nebraska remain top candidates as well.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (5*, #8 overall) – Rivals (5*, #15 overall) – 247 (5*, #15 overall) – ESPN (4*, #39 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 5 star, #10 overall, #1 CB, #3 in California
  • Crystal Ball: No
  • Other Options: Shaun Wade, Chris Henderson, Ameer Speed, Donovan Johnson

28. DBJaylen Kelly-Powell, 6’0” 183lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)

Kelly-Powell may be the safest bet non-committed name on the list at this point. He’s long favored the Wolverines thanks to family ties and comfortability with the program and staff. Throughout the offseason, he’s a been a constant visitor to Ann Arbor and it looks like just a matter of time before he makes it official.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: May 2015
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #26 S) – Rivals (3*, #27 S) – 247 (4*, #134 overall) – ESPN (4*, #262 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: 4 star, #261 overall, #21 S, #6 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball: Yes
  • Other Options: Brelin Faison-Walden, AJ Harris, RJ Potts, Grant Delpit, CJ Holmes

29. S: J’Marick Woods, 6’3” 205lbs. Florence, AL (Florence)

Woods is one of the biggest safeties in the class. At 6’3″+, he has the size, length and athleticism to be a real game changer on the backend of the defense. Though he’s still a bit raw as a cover man, he can play the centerfield position with the best of them thanks to that length and ball hawking ability. Something every defensive coordinator wants and needs.

  • Story
  • Commitment Date: 3/28/16
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (4*, #25 S) – Rivals (3*, #36 S) – 247 (3*, #32 S) – ESPN (4*, #21 S)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #334 overall, #26 S, #17 in Alabama

30. ATH: Anthony Payne, 6’3” 250lbs. Peculiar, MO (Raymore-Peculiar)

Payne was one of the top satellite camp performers and his performance earned an offer from the staff, his first FBS offer. Obviously, Michigan jumped to the top of his list but an immediate decision is not expected as he plans to stay patient. He let me know that he’s planning to visit soon and it wouldn’t shock me in the least to see a commitment take place. As a prospect, the staff is targeting him as a linebacker but he has the ability to play fullback or possibly even grow into a strong side defensive end or defensive tackle as well. He’s that athletic.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: Now
  • Rankings: Scout (3*) – Rivals (3*) – 247 (3*, #27 SSDE) – ESPN (NR)
  • Composite Ranking: N/A
  • Crystal Ball: Yes
  • Other Options: Ellis Brooks, Baron Browning, Shanon Reid, Dennis Bell

Projected Class Score: 305.05 (per 247Sports)

If Michigan were to sign these 30 recruits, it would give them their best rated class of the recruiting website era and one of the best classes in 247Sports history. However, it would still be tough for the class to be ranked #1 overall as Ohio State’s class is beyond ridiculous on paper. This would easily be a top 5 class, probably even a top 3 class.

Just Missed

  • ATH Markquese Bell
    • Bell was the last name taken off the list. While I feel like he’s a very real option for the class, he looks to be trending towards Clemson and Rutgers more than Michigan. If the staff prioritizes him, they should have as good of a chance as anyone to sign the New Jersey standout.
  • TE Major Tennison
    • Tennison has been on the staff’s radar for awhile even though he’s been committed to Texas since October. He visited for the Spring Game and is expected to sign with someone besides the Longhorns. This may end up being a Michigan-Alabama battle and with Tennison possibly visiting Ann Arbor again this summer (per Steve Lorenz) and Jimmy Jaggers looking like a better bet for Bama, the Longhorn state star could end up flipping to UM. However, Im not ready to add him to the class just yet
  • DT Jay Tufele
    • Tufele is a player who has been on my BGRCs multiple times. And though he’s not on this list this month, he’s a player to keep a close eye on. He camped with UM at the Poly Camp in Utah earlier in the month and seemed to love the staff as they told him he was at the top of the list. OSU looks to be the biggest threat here but an official visit to Ann Arbor could be huge for the Wolverines chances this fall as the staff pushes for more Polynesian players.
  • DE Hunter Echols
    • Echols is committed to UCLA but has admitted that Michigan is not only a family favorite but they’re also a very real threat in his recruitment. He visited for the team camp in Ann Arbor and looked to have a fantastic time. Only hangup is how many defensive ends the staff will take and whether the two already on board sway him away from UM or not.
  • RB Stephen Carr
    • Though he remains committed to USC and Michigan already has three running back commits, Carr’s still a legit option for this class. He hasn’t hid his interest in UM and possibility of leaving the Trojans. But with the numbers (expected) and not enough concrete evidence, I couldn’t add him to the list just yet.
  • WR Tarik Black
    • Black is another name that has been on the list multiple times before and was one of the last names removed. That’s thanks to his fit in the offense, his familiarity with UM and the fact that he and his family showed up to the UM satellite camp at his high school decked out in Wolverines gear, makes him a real option. However, Notre Dame and Stanford are at the top of his list at this point with the Fighting Irish trending with a decision expected in the near future.
  • DT Neil Farrell
    • Farrell had been a part of the list for the past two months and was a close addition in this month’s. He put Michigan #2 on his list behind in-state Alabama but with the Crimson Tide having plenty of other DT options still out there, UM could make a move on another Bama DT target. This is more of a wait-and-see recruitment as UM, Bama and LSU could land him, if they ramp up the pressure.
  • OT Toryque Bateman
    • Bateman is another player out of Alabama that Michigan is sitting pretty with. He visited Ann Arbor for the Big Man camp and tweeted out that Michigan, along with Tennessee, were his top two teams. Only question is where he sits on the staff’s board because of the other elite options high on UM. If they push for him, they should have as good of a chance as anyone to land him.

What do you think of the latest BGRC? Who are the players included that you think won’t sign with Michigan? Who’s missing from the list? Let us know in the comment section below! 

Photo Credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images