2020 Best Guess Recruiting Class: Early Signing Period

The Early Signing Period is just about here and though it’s pretty much completely killed the excitement of National Signing Day is February, it’s better for the staffs and players to get the process wrapped up earlier on.

Michigan’s class is pretty close to filled up but there are a couple of current commits that don’t look like they’ll be signing with the Wolverines in December and a couple of names that are expected to join the class.

This won’t be the greatest class of the Harbaugh era but it’s far from a bad class. It’s lacking one or two elite ranked prospects but this class is extremely deep and has plenty of players that should make immediate impacts on the program.

Check out how the class got put together

  • Class Predictions:
  • Class Size:
    • With the heavy amount of attrition on the roster since the end of the 2018 season, this class looks like it may be another full one. 24-26 looks to be the sweet spot.
  • Class Attrition:
    • Decommits: DT Denver Warren, RB Tim Baldwin, and WR Kalil Branham
    • Medical Retirement: QB JD Johnson
    • From the current commitment list, there are two names that are not expected to sign with Michigan during the Early Signing Period.

Check out my third attempt at predicting the 2020 Michigan football recruiting class:

1. QB Dan Villari, 6’4” 215lbs. Massapequa, NY (Plainedge)

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Probably didn’t see this one coming a couple of a weeks ago. Villari officially visited Michigan last weekend for the Oregon basketball game, which was a big sign that Michigan was clearly interested in the athletic quarterback. With CJ Stroud looking likely to end up signing with Ohio State, the staff has offered Villari, according to multiple reports. The three-star signal caller was a standout in New York as he flashed a strong arm, good pocket presence and plenty of pure athleticism throughout his senior film. He has all of the natural talents to be a legit quarterback, but if there’s a log jam at that position, he has the athleticism and size to take the Zach Gentry route.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • RankingsRivals (NR) – 247Sports (3*, #40 Pro-QB) – ESPN (N/A)
  • Composite Ranking: N/A
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: CJ Stroud

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

Photo Credit: Blake Corum/Twitter

The early enrollee will have a chance to make an early impact even with a stocked running back room that returns its top two rushes in Zach Charbonnet and Hassan Haskins to go along with the return of Chris Evans. But I won’t count out the Baltimore freshmen to see his fair share of snaps next fall.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 6/27/19
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #136 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #237 overall) – ESPN (4*, #116 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #144 Overall, #14 RB, #8 in Maryland

3. ATH Eamonn Dennis, 5’10” 175lbs. Worchester, MA (St. John’s)

Photo Credit: Eamonn Dennis/Twitter
Photo Credit: Eamonn Dennis/Twitter

Dennis is one of the many “Speed in Space” guys in this class though he’s a little different from all the rest as he can play both running back and wide receiver for the Wolverines. He’s an electric talent that can be used all over the place as a matchup nightmare. He may take a year or two to make a big impact with Mike Sainristil and Giles Jackson heading into their sophomore seasons.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 6/24/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #75 WR) – 247Sports (3*, #32 ATH) – ESPN (3*, #43 ATH)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-Star, #495 Overall, #25 ATH, #5 in Massachusetts

4. WR AJ Henning, 5’10” 185lbs. Frankfort, IL (Lincoln-Way East)

Photo Credit: AJ Henning/Twitter
Photo Credit: AJ Henning/Twitter

Henning is a guy I believe will make a big impact the moment he steps on campus. He’s an elite talent that should add a dynamic playmaker to the offense and a threat to score whenever he’s on the field. Look for him to contribute early on in his career on at wide receiver and special teams, if he gets the opportunity.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 6/26/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #87 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #139 overall) – ESPN (4*, #105 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #89 Overall, #18 WR #1 in Illinois

5. WR Roman Wilson, 6’0” 175lbs. Honolulu, HI (St. Louis)

The flyin’ Hawaiian committed to Michigan at the beginning of July, giving Josh Gattis another top receiver target in this class. He’s one of the fastest players in the country which should help him see the field early, especially if there are multiple departures from the wide receiver room this offseason.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 7/2/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #77 WR) – 247Sports (4*, #227 overall) – ESPN (4*, #55 WR)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #349 Overall, #63 WR, #3 in Hawaii

6. TE Matthew Hibner, 6’4” 230lbs. Burke, VA (Lake Braddock)

Photo Credit: Matthew Hibner/Twitter

Hibner is one of the forgotten members of Michigan’s 2020 class but a guy that could make an instant impact in Ann Arbor. With the open playing time available in 2020 and his mix of size and athleticism could help him find the field his freshmen year.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 6/9/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*) – 247Sports (4*, #258 overall) – ESPN (3*, #20 TE)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #710 Overall, #27 TE, #18 in Virginia

7. OT James Pogorelc, 6’7” 270lbs. Chantilly, VA (Chantilly)

Photo via: James Pogorelc/Hudl

Michigan is looking to add at least one more tackle to this class and they look to have their sights fully set on Pogorelc. The big Virginian made two trips to Ann Arbor in less than a month and while Stanford and Virginia are definite possibilities, the staff having until February to recruit him should really help the Wolverines.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (3*, #59 OT) – 247Sports (4*, #272 overall) – ESPN (4*, #38 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #376 Overall, #31 OT, #9 in Virginia
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Stanford
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: None
  • Other Options: Jonah Monheim, Micah Mazzccua

8. OT Jeffrey Persi, 6’7” 265lbs. San Juan Capistrano, CA (J Serra Catholic)

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Persi/Twitter
Photo Credit: Jeffrey Persi/Twitter

The converted tight end is a big get out of California. He has an elite level frame and the natural talent that excites any offensive line coach. Add in him playing in one of the best leagues in the country, going up against the likes of Mater Dei, Servite, and St. John Bosco on a week-to-week basis, he’s a guy who won’t be overwhelmed when he gets to Ann Arbor. Give him a year or two to put on the right size and he could be fighting for starting time.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 6/24/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #33 OT) – 247Sports (3*, #32 OT) – ESPN (4*, #33 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-Star, #341 Overall, #27 OT, #28 in California

9. OG Zak Zinter, 6’6” 300lbs. Cambridge, MA (Buckingham Browne & Nichols)

Photo Credit: Zak Zinter/Twitter

Zinter has long been a name to know on the recruiting trail for Michigan thanks to Don Brown’s connections to the Northeast. If you like old school style, ground and pound, domination, play until the second whistle type of offensive lineman, Zinter is your kind of guy. The O-Line room is deep but the two starting OGs are moving onto the NFL. Zinter being an early enrollee will give him a chance to get some meaningful offseason reps and try to get into the two-deep.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 5/16/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #158 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #325 overall) – ESPN (4*, #14 OG)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #263 Overall, #10 OG, #2 in Massachusetts

10. OC Reece Atteberry, 6’5” 295lbs. Centennial, CO (Eaglecrest)

Photo Credit: Reece Atteberry/Twitter

Atteberry is an athletic lineman that plays all over the offensive line for his high school team but with his strong hands, technique, and smarts, he fits in really well on the inside. With the depth chart looking pretty open by the time he gets to campus, he’ll have a chance to contribute early on.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 6/23/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #51 OT) – 247Sports (3*, #385 overall) – ESPN (3*, #48 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-Star, #430 Overall, #8 OC, #6 in Colorado

11. DL Kris Jenkins, 6’4” 240lbs. Olney, MD (Our Lady Good Counsel)

Photo Credit: Kris Jenkins/Twitter
Photo Credit: Kris Jenkins/Twitter

Jenkins is the son of 10-year NFL veteran, Kris Jenkins Sr., and the nephew of 13-year NFL veteran, Cullen Jenkins. Those genetics have clearly rubbed off on Kris Jr., as he looks like a guy that could play multiple positions up and down the line for Don Brown. He’s not quite the size of his dad and uncle but he’s got the quickness and frame to be a productive strong-side end before possibly move inside later in his career.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 7/3/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #25 SDE) – 247Sports (3*, #30 SDE) – ESPN (3*, #50 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-Star, #502 Overall, #25 SDE, #18 in Maryland

12. DL Aaron Lewis, 6’5” 240lbs. Williamstown, NJ (Williamstown)

Photo Credit: Aaron Lewis/Twitter
Photo Credit: Aaron Lewis/Twitter

Lewis is a big, versatile lineman that can dominate with a mix of speed and power on the edge or inside. While he may start his college career at strongside defensive end, he looks to have the frame to put on weight and not lose a step if they choose to slide him inside. Being an early enrollee should help with that.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 6/23/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #41 SDE) – 247Sports (4*, #247 Overall) – ESPN (4*, #32 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #451 Overall, #23 SDE, #14 in New Jersey

13. DL Braiden McGregor, 6’6” 260lbs. Port Huron, MI (Port Huron)

Photo Credit: Braiden McGregor/Twitter

McGregor is one of the defensive jewels of the class and though he suffered a senior season-ending knee injury, he’s a guy that looks like he could have a big career in Ann Arbor. He has the size to play all along the defensive line. Look for him to be Aidan Hutchinson’s shadow as soon as he gets on campus in January.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 5/25/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #22 SDE) – 247Sports (4*, #106 overall) – ESPN (4*, #26 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #107 Overall, #3 SDE, #2 in Michigan

14. SLB/WDE Jaylen Harrell, 6’4” 235lbs. Tampa, FL (Berkley Prep)

Photo Credit: 247Sports

Harrell was Michigan’s first commitment since the end of July and it was a big get. He looks to be a perfect fit for the SAM/WDE position Josh Uche moved between during his career, and a spot that is lacking a bit on the roster. He has the size needed to contribute early on. If he can take to the coaching, he may be able to contribute next fall.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 12/11/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #33 OLB) – 247Sports (3*, #20 WDE) – ESPN (4*, #172 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #303 Overall, #13 WDE, #52 in Florida

15. LB Nikhai Hill-Green, 6’1” 230lbs. Pittsburgh, PA (St. Frances Academy)

Photo Credit: Hudl.com

Hill-Green is another St. Frances addition to this class and another good one. As a long, aggressive, athletic linebacker that flies all over the field. He has quick reactions and is instinctive as hell. He may need to put a little more size on but once he does, he could be a TFL machine for Don Brown.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 5/23/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #21 OLB) – 247Sports (4*, #274 overall) – ESPN (4*, #25 OLB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #373 Overall, #28 OLB, #14 in Maryland

16. LB Osman Savage, 6’1” 215lbs. Baltimore, MD (St. Frances Academy)

Photo Credit: TheWolverine.com

The first St. Frances commit of the class and another really nice prospect that will be able to compete with top talent from day one. Savage is a physical, athletic linebacker that plays with a chip on his shoulder and can close in a hurry. He could be a really nice fit at WILL linebacker in this defense.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 1/25/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #174 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #33 OLB) – ESPN (3*, #35 OLB)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #310 Overall, #22 OLB, #12 in Maryland

17. LB Cornell Wheeler, 6’0” 225lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield)

Photo Credit: Cornell Wheeler/Twitter

Wheeler was an early in-state commit that was kind of looked over but his senior season should have everyone excited. He’s helped lead the West Bloomfield team to the state quarterfinals as a force from the linebacker position. He’s a stout, instinctive linebacker that will add another enforcer to the middle of the defense.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 9/25/18
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #236 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #31 ILB) – ESPN (3*, #10 ILB
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #441 Overall, #19 ILB, #11 in Michigan

18. LB Kalel Mullings, 6’2” 225lbs. Milton, MA (Milton Academy)

Photo Credit: Kalel Mullings/Twitter

Mullings is one of the most well-known names on the list after being a longtime Michigan target. After leaning towards Stanford earlier in the year, it all came back to the Wolverines. Michigan has been producing instant impact middle linebackers since Don Brown’s arrival and Mullings may be the next guy on that list. But let’s say that doesn’t work out or there’s a long jam at the position. I believe he could make the Hassan Haskins move to running back at some point and be a real contributor. He’s one of the best athletes in this class.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 6/27/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #108 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #246 overall) – ESPN (4*, #208 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #169 Overall, #13 OLB, #1 in Massachusetts

19. VLB William Mohan, 6’1” 195lbs. Brooklyn, NY (Erasmus Hall)

Another favorite in the class for me. Mohan is another long, physical defensive standout that could play multiple positions. And that normally means he’ll play the pure hybrid position of Viper linebacker. He’s a guy I think will have a very nice career in the winged helmet.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 7/23/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #21 OLB) – 247Sports (3*, #44 ATH) – ESPN (3*, #48 ATH)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #445 Overall, #24 ATH, #3 in New York

20. S/VLB Makari Paige, 6’3” 190lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield)

Photo Credit: Makari Paige/Twitter
Photo Credit: Makari Paige/Twitter

Paige is a long, lean safety that has the frame to bulk up and fit in well at the Viper or Rover positions for Don Brown’s defense. He may need a little time to put on the right size but with his length and athleticism, he could be a playmaker in the secondary in a Kam Chancellor kind of way.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 7/30/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #21 S) – 247Sports (4*, #210 overall) – ESPN (4*, #235 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-Star, #242 Overall, #24 Safety, #6 in Michigan

21. SS Jordan Morant, 5’11” 210lbs. Oradell, NJ (Bergen Catholic)

Photo Credit: Jordan Morant/Twitter
Photo Credit: Jordan Morant/Twitter

Morant flirted with a couple visits but is firmly locked into his Michigan commitment. He’s one of the top safeties in the class and should get a chance to see the field early and often.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 6/23/19
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #22 S) – 247Sports (4*, #114 overall) – ESPN (4*, #192 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #168 Overall, #14 S, #5 in New Jersey

22. FS RJ Moten, 6’0” 200lbs. Delran, NJ (Delran)

Photo Credit: RJ Moten/Twitter
Photo Credit: RJ Moten/Twitter

Moten may be the best player in this class when it’s all said and done. That’s how good of a prospect he is. He’s a pure athlete that will be playing both football and baseball for the Wolverines. The four-star was recruited as a safety but when you watch his offensive highlights, it’ll be tough not to get him some touches each game. If not on offense, at least as a kick returner.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • Commitment Date: 7/27/19
  • RankingsRivals (3*) – 247Sports (4*, #93 overall) – ESPN (4*, #247 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #287 Overall, #26 Safety, #8 in New Jersey

23. CB Darion Green-Warren, 6’0” 185lbs. Harbor City, CA (Narbonne)

I wasn’t completely sold on having him on my 2020 BGRC 2.0 but I’m firmly in on him choosing the Wolverines. His official visit earlier this month went off about as well as possible. Though USC is always a threat, Michigan is in the driver’s seat. But will he sign during the Early Signing Period? Doubtful as he’s expected to announce at the All-American game. However, crazier things have happened.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Rankings: Rivals (4*, #191 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #236 overall) – ESPN (4*, #212 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #209 Overall, #13 CB, #20 in California
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan
  • Fish’s Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • Other Options: Duece Mayberry

24. CB Andre Seldon, 5’8” 155lbs. Belleville, MI (Belleville)

Photo Credit: Andre Seldon/Twitter

Seldon has been locked into his commitment since the moment he gave it and has continued to be a leader for this class. He’s also a guy that, despite his smaller frame, will fight his way onto the field early in his career, with special teams the likely first landing spot.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Early Signee: Yes
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • Commitment Date: 6/20/18
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #209 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #355 overall) – ESPN (4*, #161 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #221 Overall, #15 CB, #5 in Michigan

Projected Class Score: 258.78 (per 247Sports)

With this score, Michigan would be fighting with Texas for the 10th ranked class in the country. Though there could be more additions before NSD if the staff finds the right target.

Just Missed

  • QB CJ Stroud
    • Michigan threw the kitchen sink at the top 100 QB but it was just too little too late. Ohio State had the inside track and with their staff willing to take a second quarterback, it’s expected to be the Buckeyes for Stroud.
  • DL Van Fillinger
    • After decommitting from Texas, the staff took a swing at Fillinger again. However, the in-state Utes coming off a good season are too much to overcome. He’s expected to sign with Utah during the ESP.
  • OG Micah Mazzccua
    • Sources have mentioned it to me and multiple reports are out there that Mazzccua has some academic issues to clear up. It’ll be interesting to see if he can get those all cleared up and be able to sign with Michigan in February.
  • TE Nick Patterson
    • Another current commit that isn’t expected to sign with Michigan during the Early Signing Period. However, Patterson is expected to end up at another school. According to The Wolverine’s EJ Holland, Memphis may be that team ($).
  • OT Ozzy Trapilo
    • Michigan is looking to add at least one more lineman to this class and after missing on Andrew Gentry and still having James Pogorelc out there, the staff made a little push for the Boston College commit prior to the Early Signing Period. Not a lot of noise has come out of the in-home visit but if he decides not to sign in December, this will be a recruitment to watch closely.
  • OG Jonah Monheim
    • The USC commit continues to be a name to watch following the season. If he passes on signing early, it could be a very good sign for Michigan heading into National Signing Day in February.
  • CB Duece Bailey

Off the Board

Photo Credit: Patrick Barron/MGoBlog

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