Team 138 Best Guess Recruiting Class: November 16th

If you are looking for October’s version of the 2017 Best Guess Recruiting Class, you won’t find it. Because of how far out we are from 2017 NSD and how many changes happen each month, I’ll be doing the 2017 BGRC every other month until NSD.

Alright, with that out of the way, here’s my latest 2017 Michigan recruiting class prediction. It is a full class (25 recruits) since the target number is unknown. Yes, that would make it 53+ signees (add in 1-2 grayshirts in 2016) in two seasons but when you look at the scholarship breakdown, there are 51 seniors and juniors at the moment. When you add in very likely attrition via transfers and four year scholarships (5th year not awarded), there’s a possibility this is close to the final number.

We can talk class size later on but for now, check out my latest 2017 Michigan recruiting class prediction:

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

Ray Chen/ArrayPhoto.com

McCaffrey’s name is well known but more because of his father, Ed, from his time in the NFL and his brother, Christian, as he’s become a Heisman hopeful at Stanford in 2015. Well, remember Dylan too. The next McCaffrey could be the best as he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the 2017 class and, luckily for Michigan, he’s high of UM thanks to multiple visits to Ann Arbor. Add in him being the top QB on the board and I think Harbaugh lands his guy.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Davis Mills, Jack Coan

2. RB: Kurt Taylor, 5’9” 200lbs. Covington, GA (Newton) 

via recruitgeorgia.com

The latest addition to the class, Taylor is a stout running back that doesn’t have the elite size or speed needed but he makes up for it with heart, drive and strength. He’s more of a grind you down, run between the tackles kind of back which means the staff will likely look to fill the other running back spot with a speedy, home run threat.

3. RB: Adarius Lemons, 6’1” 185lbs. Clearwater, FL (Clearwater)

Eric Horchy | Suncoast News

via Eric Horchy | Suncoast News

Speaking of a home run hitting running back, Lemons is just that. He is a taller, slashing back with a upright running style and the ability to take any carry to the house. Thanks to Michigan offering early on, he told the Tampa Tribune’s Lynden Ostrander that UM leads for him. If they can get him up to campus early and stay on him, things looks pretty good for Michigan here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: 
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Highlights
  • Others Options: D’Andre Swift, Eno Benjamin, Anthony MacFarland, Chase Hayden, Cordarrian Richardson

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

(via Julian H. Gonzalez, Detroit Free Press)

Peoples-Jones is, arguably, Michigan’s top overall target on the 2017 board and for good reason. He’s a freak of an athlete which is much needed at the receiver position for the staff. Luckily for UM, he is high on them, his father is a UM alum and the improvement on the field is likely to be a huge factor in his decision. It’s still very early and he’s wanted by everyone but I still like Michigan’s chances here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: KJ Hamler, Joseph Lewis, Josh Palmer, Osiris St Brown, Jordan Merrell, Clevan Thomas

5. WR: Tarik Black, 6’3” 203lbs. Cheshire, CT (Cheshire Academy) 

via 247sports.com

As a top receiver in the class and on the staff’s board, Black is a name to watch closely. It also helps that he is very high on Michigan. If they continue to heavily target him and Ohio State doesn’t sway him to Columbus, there’s a pretty good chance he ends up choosing Michigan.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: May 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: KJ Hamler, Joseph Lewis, Josh Palmer, Osiris St Brown, Jordan Merrell, Clevan Thomas

6. WR: Nico Collins, 6’5” 195lbs. Pinson, AL (Clay-Chalkville) 

(via Dennis Victory/preps@al.com)

Collins is new to the list but is a name to remember. While most believe he’ll stay in-state and play for Alabama, he actually has several ties to Michigan and they look like a legit landing spot for the talented wideout. Per Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, his family is from Detroit and is full of “huge Michigan fans” ($). Lorenz also confirmed he’ll be visiting for the OSU game. Look for the staff to make him a top target during the visit and throughout his recruitment.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: KJ Hamler, Joseph Lewis, Josh Palmer, Osiris St Brown, Jordan Merrell, Clevan Thomas

7. TE: Jimmy Jaggers, 6’4” 240lbs. Roseville, CA (Roseville)

Jordan Hales/Auburn Journal

With several top tight ends off the board, Jaggers looks to be the top remaining name for the staff. It’s early and plenty of offers will continue to go out but JJ is the name to watch closest. He’s made multiple trips to Ann Arbor already and has had a great time on each trip. Everyone knows about Michigan’s tight end heavy offense, including Jaggers, which could be the main factor when he makes his decision.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Brian Polenday, Tre McKitty, Brock Wright, Keegan Cossou, Nate Umlor 

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

(via John Lenihan | Courtesy of Dunaway family)

The son of former Michigan tight end Craig Dunaway and brother of freshmen preferred walk-on Jack Dunaway, Carter was meant to end up in Maize and Blue. So, when he landed his offer from Harbaugh himself, it didn’t take long for him to pull the trigger and become the first member of the 2017 class. While he’s expected to be a tight end, some analysts believe he could end up at offensive tackle if he continues to grow.

  • Commitment Date: April 18th, 2015
  • Story
  • First on List: April 2015
  • Highlights

9. OT: JaRaymond Hall, 6’5″ 255lbs. Oak Park, MI (Oak Park)

(via scout.com)

Hall is the best 2017 offensive lineman in the state and one of the best in the Midwest though he’s still very raw. He has the elite size, strength and athleticism but could really use the coaching that Drevno would be able to offer.As for Michigan’s chances, he’s extremely high on UM though other programs seem to be catching up a bit. It’ll be interesting to see how high he is on the staff’s board moving forward.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Micah Clark, Wyatt Davis, Kai-Leon Herbert, Austin Jackson

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

(via 247sports.com)

Wilson is one of the top offensive lineman in the class and is very high on the staff’s board. Luckily for Michigan, they look to be the leaders for Wilson at this moment. It’s still very early in his recruitment, which should be full of elite offers, but UM is in great position and a visit to campus could give the Wolverines a really nice lead moving forward.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: August 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Micah Clark, Wyatt Davis, Kai-Leon Herbert, Austin Jackson

11. OT: Foster Sarell, 6’6” 300lbs. Graham, WA (Graham) 

LouAnn Crook/MaxPreps

Sarell is, arguably, the top offensive lineman on the board for Michigan and clearly likes what UM is selling him. He told Scout’s Brandon Huffman that he’s planning on making a spring visit to Ann Arbor ($) and if things go as well as expected, UM could be in great position to pull him out of the west coast.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Spring
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Micah Clark, Wyatt Davis, Kai-Leon Herbert, Austin Jackson, Joshua Fedd-Jackson

12. OL: Tedarrell Slaton, 6’5” 341lbs. Ft Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage) 

(via 247sports.com)

– Slaton is one of the top players in the class (#32 overall via 247sports) and clearly a top target for the staff, especially after he named the Wolverines his leader in an interview with 247’s Ryan Bartow back in August ($). The reason: Michigan’s NFL coaching staff. So, with that being the one thing that will not change any time soon, I really like their chance of landing the versatile lineman.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: August 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Joshua Fedd-Jackson, Micah Clark, Wyatt Davis, Kai-Leon Herbert, Robert Hainsey 

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

(via 247sports.com)

Ruiz has been a part of the BGRC since the start of the summer thanks to him already making a trip to Ann Arbor, adding an offer and being ex-teammates and good friends with two 2016 commits (Brad Hawkins and Ron Johnson). Though his move to IMG Academy in Florida may make things tougher for UM to land him, I still believe they can land him at the end of the day. Especially with the need at center.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: June 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Joshua Fedd-Jackson, Micah Clark, Wyatt Davis, Kai-Leon Herbert, Robert Hainsey

14. DT: Fred Hansard, 6’4” 305lbs. Princeton, NJ (Hun)

(via Scout.com)

Michigan looks to be in great shape in both the 2016 and 2017 class in terms of defensive tackles so predicting who they will land out of the junior class is tough. At this point though, I believe they go back to the Garden State and land Hansard. He’s a big, quick tackle that can play the 1 or 3 technique and looks to be very interested in Michigan. According to his interview with The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb, Hansard will be visiting Ann Arbor after his season ($). Thanks to the early visit, the positional need and the NJ connections, UM should have a very good chance here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Kedonis Haslem, Marvin Wilson, Dalyn Wade-Perry, Jay Tufele 

15. DL: Corey Bolds, 6’3” 280lbs. Paramus, NJ (Paramus Catholic)

(via 247sports.com)

(via 247sports.com)

Everyone and their mother knows about Michigan’s ties to Paramus Catholic by now so it’s very likely that they pull the biggest players out of PC once again. And one of the biggest and best in 2017 is versatile defensive lineman Corey Bolds. He looks to be one of the top DL targets on the board for the staff and with his good friend and teammate Rashan Gary looking likely to end up at UM in 2016, things look good for Bolds to follow in his footsteps.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: April 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Kedonis Haslem, Marvin Wilson, Dalyn Wade-Perry, Jay Tufele 

16. DE: Chase Young, 6’5” 220lbs. Hyattsville, MD (DeMatha) 

(via sentelevision.com/)

Defensive end is a big time position of need in this class but figuring out who Michigan will land is extremely difficult at this time. They have several offers out there but most of their top targets look likely to end up elsewhere at this point. However, Young is a name to watch closely. He’s a long, athletic end who can rush the passer and happens to be teammates with top 2016 target OG Terrance Davis. If the staff can get him on campus early on and land Davis, they could be the favorites here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Decent
  • First on List: Now
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Joshua Kaindoh, Jarez Parks, AJ Epenesa, Drew Jordan 

17. BUCK: Corey Malone-Hatcher, 6’4” 240lbs. Saint Joseph, MI (St. Joseph’s)

Though he was playing his entire junior season on an injured ankle, CMH put together an impressive season and showed again why he’s a top priority for the staff. Notre Dame is a real threat in his recruitment but with thanks to the staff, his fit in the defense and his familiarity with the program, I believe Michigan wins out in the end.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Joshua Kaindoh, Jarez Parks, Jordan Anthony, Bruce Jordan-Swilling

18. LB: Drew Singleton, 6’2″ 215lbs. Paramus, NJ (Paramus Catholic)

via Twitter.com)

If you were able to catch the IMG vs Paramus Catholic game on ESPN a couple weeks ago, though it was full of five star 2016 recruits, there wasn’t a player that stood out more than Singleton. He’s an instinctive, athletic linebacker that just makes plays. And luckily for Michigan, their ties to the program and his early visits have put them in the drivers seat for his commitment. If they continue to make him a top priority, it looks like he’ll be a part of this class.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Jordan Anthony, Kyle Bolden, Nate McBride, David Adams 

19. LB: Josh Ross, 6’1″ 220lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (OLSM)

(via @Joshua_Ross05/Twitter)

Ross has been on the list of “most likely to commit” for what seems like years now. As the younger brother of LB James Ross III and one of the top linebackers in the 2017 class, it’s obvious to see why he’s a top target for the staff. As for when he’ll make his decision, that could come at anytime and it should be for Michigan.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Jordan Anthony, Kyle Bolden, Nate McBride, David Adams

20. CB: Benjamin St-Juste, 6’3” 170lbs. Montreal, Quebec (Cegep du Vieux) 

http://www.hudl.com/athlete/1385857/benjamin-st-juste

St-Juste 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 and will give the staff even more time to evaluate his play.

21. S: Jaylen Kelly-Powell, 6’0” 183lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)

(via Twitter)

Kelly-Powell is another member of the Pipeline 9 that is very likely to be a Wolverine. He’s one of the smartest players in the class and state, as well as one of the most versatile defensive backs. He also happens to be coming out of one of Michigan’s top pipeline schools in Cass Tech and has a ton of ties to UM. As for his decision, he let me know it could come at anytime but most expect it after his season is over. All signs point to Michigan.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: May 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: J’Marick Woods, Markquese Bell, Jeffrey Okudah, Devon Hunter

22. ATH: Antjuan Simmons, 6’1” 205lbs. Ann Arbor, MI (Pioneer)

(via TOM HAWLEY/Monroe News)

(via TOM HAWLEY/Monroe News)

Simmons had one of the best junior seasons in the state of Michigan in 2015 and finally earned an offer from the UM staff after just about every other top program extended their offers. But luckily for the Wolverines, this was an offer he was waiting on the most. It’s his hometown team and he literally plays right across the street from the Big House. A decision date is not set but with UM’s hat in the ring, it would shock me if he committed elsewhere (as long as the staff continues to make him a top target).

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Markquese Bell, Jordan Anthony, Kyle Bolden, Nate McBride, David Adams

23. ATH: Ambry Thomas, 5’10” 160lbs. Detroit, MI (King)

via YouTube.com

Thomas is one of the top two-way players in the class and a top priority for the staff in 2017. While he’s out of Detroit King, who hasn’t sent many players to Michigan recently, the UM staff looks to have mended the issues there and that steak should end in 2016. With that, UM will have an even better chance at Thomas and it looks like they’re already in great shape with him. According to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz’s sources, Thomas and Jaylen Kelly-Powell are very close and want to play together in college ($). Because of that, things are looking good for UM.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Highlights 
  • Other Options: Markquese Bell, Lamont Wade, Stanford Samuels III, Donovan Johnson

24. ATHAllen Stritzinger, 6’0″ 180lbs. Warren, MI (De La Salle)

(Mike Mulholland | MLive.com)

Out of every name on this list, there may not be a player that is more likely to end up committing to Michigan than Stritzinger. He’s been extremely high on UM since the get-go and with all of the visits and the need for more dynamic athletes on the roster, it just looks like a matter of time before he pulls the trigger.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • First on List: March 2015
  • Highlights
  • Others Options: Eno Benjamin, Anthony MacFarland, Trey Sermon, Cordarrian Richardson

25. ATH: Collin Smith, 6’0” 196lbs. Ligonier, PA (Valley) 

Jamie Empfield/Gazette)

(via Jamie Empfield/Gazette)

Smith holds only one offer, which is surprising, and it’s from Michigan. The two way Keystone State star reminds me a ton of 2016 commit QB/ATH Victor Viramontes. He has good skills at the quarterback position but looks likely to end up as a force on the defensive end (at safety). It’s not known if his offer is committable at this time but if so, I like Michigan’s chances at landing him.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • First on List: Now
  • Highlights
  • Others Options: J’Marick Woods, Markquese Bell, Jeffrey Okudah, Devon Hunter

Projected Class Ranking: 296.70 (per 247Sports)

  • In 2015, this would have given Michigan the #3 overall recruiting class on 247Sports.

Photo Credit: ESPN.com