5 Bold Predictions for Michigan Recruits at The Opening 2016

The Opening 2016 kicked off today in Oregon at the Nike World Headquarters and just so happens to be full of Michigan commitments, leans and top targets. From Dylan McCaffrey to Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan fans will be glued to the coverage of this event.

If you’re unable to follow the event and each rumors that comes out of the coverage, I have you covered. Here are my bold predictions for the Michigan recruits at/during/and after The Opening 2016:

  1. Multiple uncommitted targets are seen rockin’ Michigan gear
    • At the Rivals Five Star Challenge, multiple analysts mentioned how Michigan was the most talked about team at the event. I expect The Opening to be very similar, especially with several the UM commits and top targets in attendance. Talking about their interest in UM will be common but the bold prediction is that multiple uncommitted targets are seen in Maize and Blue t-shirts, hats, socks and/or gloves throughout the event.
  2. Rumors start to fly about a couple silent commitments from top Michigan targets
    • Every big event brings out the reports and rumors. And when you put together top targets with commits who want to build up excitement, silent commitment stories almost always come out. I see at least two rumors start flying around that top targets at the event have silently pledged to the Michigan coaching staff which will have message boards on fire for days, if not weeks.
  3. Samuels knocks off Peoples-Jones for the SPARQ Championship
    • Donovan Peoples-Jones put the world on notice last year when he became the first junior to win the Nike+ SPARQ Championship after recording a 149.49 rating. He returns this year to defend his title and his biggest competition just may possibly be a future teammate. O’Maury Samuels won the regional rankings championship after posting a 138.30 at the Dallas regional camp.
    • Though that’s quite the difference between the two scores, Samuels is at this event to truly prove he’s one of the best running backs in the class. That could push him to make up the difference. It’s a bold statement but if anyone can do it, Samuels looks to be the best bet.
  4. Most, if not all, of Michigan’s attending commits rise up the rankings
    • Samuels is my top candidate to get a ratings bump after he shows off his athleticism and quickness throughout the week. But he’s not the only one.
    • RB AJ Dillon was another top 10 SPARQ rating scorer who will have a good chance to prove his skill as a true running back during the 7v7 tournament.
    • CB Benjamin St-Juste finished with a 44th best rating in the regionals. His length and all around game should fit perfectly in both the ratings championship and 7v7 tournament.
    • OT Kai-Leon Herbert is a big, athletic tackle and have a chance to show off his natural traits during the Final Five Lineman Challenge.
    • McCaffrey has dropped a bit in the rankings as of late. Though people have seemed to have forgotten him as a candidate to win the Elite 11 MVP, he very well could take home the crown if he leads Team Hyper Cool to a 7on championship. That would definitely help solidify him among the elite QBs in this class.
    • LB Josh Ross has the athleticism to cover and should be able to prove that along with his all around game in front of the top national analysts on the 7on field.
  5. Michigan signs seventeen 2017 recruits from the event
    • Sounds like a ton but let’s run down the main possibilities real quick:
      1. QB Dylan McCaffrey (Committed; not going anywhere)
      2. LB Josh Ross (Committed; not going anywhere)
      3. OT Kai-Leon Herbert (Committed; likely not going anywhere)
      4. RB AJ Dillon (Committed; likely not going anywhere)
      5. CB Benjamin St-Juste (Committed; likely not going anywhere)
      6. RB O’Maury Samuels (Committed; taking visits but still looks likely to sign)
      7. DB Jaylen Kelly-Powell (Crystal Ball in for Michigan; just waiting for the commitment)
      8. C Cesar Ruiz (Crystal Ball in for Michigan; seems like a matter of time)
      9. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (Crystal Ball in for Michigan; still feel confident)
      10. LB Drew Singleton (Crystal Ball in for Michigan; still feel confident)
      11. LB Jordan Anthony (Crystal Ball in for Michigan; still feel confident)
      12. WR Nico Collins (close to a Crystal Ball for Michigan)
      13. CB Ambry Thomas (need a little more before a Crystal Ball; JKP could be the difference maker)
      14. ATH Markquese Bell (need a little more before a Crystal Ball; RU and Clemson are real threats)
      15. DT Jay Tufele (top DL target for the staff; looks to be a UM vs OSU battle)
      16. CB Alex Perry (spring game visit put UM at/near top of his list; return visit could be huge)
      17. DE Hunter Echols (committed to UCLA but grew up a fan of UM and visited in June)
      18. CB Darnay Holmes (expected to officially visit this fall; friendship with David Long bigger than some think)
      19. RB Stephen Carr (soft commit to USC and already visited UM in the spring. Official visit should increase chances of a flip)
      20. CB Donovan Johnson (no offer yet but one could change his recruitment)

What do you think? What are some of your biggest and boldest predictions for The Opening 2016? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: 247Sports.com

Garrett Fishaw