Team 135 Best Guess Recruiting Class: May 4th

The 2014 Class is off and running with four top recruits and are high on the lists of many of the top players in the country, including #1 and #2 on Rivals Top100 (Hand and Peppers) and the #5 recruit on Scout (Smith). With the class looking like it will end up between 16 and 20 (seeing they always have players leave the program), they will be very selective in their acceptance of commitments.

Check it:

1. QB: 3* Wilton Speight, 6\’6\’\’ 225lbs. Richmond, VA (Collegiate School)

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Wilton Speight #19, QB

-One of the best pocket passers in the 2014 class, Speight was the only QB to land an offer in this class and accepted it immediately on National Signing Day. He is a strong armed, mobile quarterback that has a uncanny delivery and can make all the throws. Scouts and coaches compare him favorably to 2013\’s #1 QB and VA native, Christian Hackenberg. After summer camps, he should be a 4 star prospect.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: COMMITTED

2. RB: 3* Kalen Ballege, 6\’2\’\’ 215lbs. Falcon, CO (Falcon HS)

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Kalen Ballege #7, RB

– A big, strong, athletic back that could be a perfect depth player in his first couple years before really becoming a househeld name. He can run and catch, and has the size that Borges loves in his backs.

Highlights

Visit: No (June 2013)

Michigan\’s Chances: Good, one of the top teams

Other option: Jonathan Hillman 

3. WR: 3* Maurice Ways, 6\’4\’\’ 190lbs. Beverly Hills, MI (Country Day HS)

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Maurice Ways #9, WR

– One of the hottest recruits in Michigan and a big time talent, Ways is a big, physical receiver that can stretch the field and make the big catch. He has been getting a ton of attention from Michigan coaches and has visited several times lately. If offered, he could be a possibly commit on the spot.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: COMMITTED

Other option: Corey Holmes

4. WR: 4* Drake Harris, 6\’4\’\’ 180lbs. Grand Rapids, MI (GR Christian HS)

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Drake Harris #1, WR (via MLive.com)

-The best offensive player in Michigan and one of the best WRs in the country, Harris is the latest and, possibly, most important commit. He is the big, fast, athletic receiver that can stretch the field and be a go-to target that Michigan coaches and fans have been craving for years. Stealing him from MSU and O$U makes it even sweeter.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: COMMITTED

5. WR. 4* Artavis Scott, 5\’11\’\’ 180lbs. Tarpon Springs, FL (East Lake)

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Artavis Scott #7, WR

-The quick twitch slot receiver could be a package deal with his teammate, 4* OT and Michigan commit, Mason Cole. They are both offered and looking to play together, and they both have shown big interest in Michigan. With Cole committed, the Wolverines have a consistant recruiter around Scott.

Army All-American

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: Good, even better with Cole committed

Other option: Corey Holmes

6. TE: 4* Ian Bunting, 6\’6\’\’ 210lbs. Hinsdale, IL (Hinsdale Central HS)

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Ian Bunting, TE

– In a bit of a surprise, Michigan landed it\’s 6th commitment of the 2014 class, when Hinsdale 4* TE Ian Bunting chose the Wolverines over offers from some of the biggest programs in the country. He will be a Devin Funchess/miss-match type for his entire career.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: COMMITTED

7. OT/OG: 4* Juwann Bushell-Beatty, 6\’5\’\’ 295lbs. Paramus, NJ (Paramus Catholic)

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JBB #73, OT (via Rivals.com)

– Teammates with 5* DB Jabrill Peppers, JBB is a big offensive lineman that could play anywhere on the line but projects to be a guard. This monster lineman visited with Peppers recently and had a phenomenal time. So good that he ended up committing to Michigan in late April.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: COMMITTED

8. OG: 4* Alex Bars, 6\’6\’\’ 286lbs. Nashville, TN (Montgomery Bell Academy)

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Alex Bars #70, OT

– Brother of RS Freshmen lineman, Blake, Alex is a big, physical offensive lineman that projects all over the line. He could play with tackle or guard spot but I picture him as a right tackle. With his brother already in Maize and Blue, there is a good chance he could join him. Rumor is, he is looking to make his decision soon.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: Very Good, final group

Other option: Jamarco Jones

9. OT/OG: 4* Mason Cole, 6\’4\’\’ 260lbs. Tarpon Springs, FL (East Lake HS)

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Mason Cole #61, OG

-Said that Michigan \”felt like home\” when he visited for the MSU game. Cole is one of the best offensive lineman in the country and has decided to become the 4th commit of Team 135. He is teammates and  great friends with high profile WR\’s Artavis Scott and 2015 WR George Campbell.

Army All-American 

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: COMMITTED

10. DT: 4* Bryan Mone, 6\’4\’\’ 316lbs. Salt Lake City, UT (Highland HS)

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Bryan Mone #52, DT

-Teammate of 2012 signee and FB, Sione Houma. Mone has been hearing about and from Michigan for awhile now and finally decided to pull the trigger in February, making him the 3rd commit for the class.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: COMMITTED

11. DT/DE: 4* Malik McDowell, 6\’6\’\’ 300lbs. Detroit, MI (Loyola HS)

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Malik McDowell #67, DE

-The best defensive player in Michigan, #1 DE in the midwest and one of the top 50 prospects in the country, McDowell is a must get for Hoke. He has visited many times and it seems like Michigan is in front with Notre Dame.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: Very Good

Other option: Andrew Brown

12. SSDE: 5* Da\’Shawn Hand, 6\’5\’\’ 250lbs. Woodbridge, VA (Woodbridge HS)

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Da\’Shawn Hand #54, SSDE

-The #1 overall player in the 2014 class according to just about every recruiting site, Hand is a freak athlete that is in the mold of the former #1 recruits, Jadaveon Clowney and Robert Nkemdiche. Michigan is in his top 5 and has a great chance to land a commitment.

Highlights

Visit: Planned Spring, Summer and Fall Official

Michigan\’s Chances: Top 5, rumored top 2 with VaTech

Other option: Andrew WilliamsGarrett Dickerson

13. WSDE: 4* Lawrence Marshall, 6\’3\’\’ 215lbs. Southfield, MI (Southfield HS)

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– The local product is one of the best players in the state and region. Marshall has had a wild ride so far in recruiting. He committed and de-committed from Ohio $tate, and has been a regular at both Michigan and Michigan State. Rumor has it that he was favoring the Spartans but recently Michigan has made up a ton of ground, and now he has committed to the Wolverines on a mid-May visit.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: COMMITTED

14. MLB: 4* Michael Ferns, 6\’3\’\’ 235lbs. St. Clairsville, OH (St. Clairsville HS)

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Michael Ferns #10, LB

– The first commit of the 2014 class, Ferns is a stud linebacker that could be an All-American in the Mattison/Hoke defense. He is already one of the main leaders of the 2014 class, trying to bring in the top talent in the country.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: COMMITTED

15. SSLB: 3* Chase Winovich, 6\’4\’\’ 218lbs. Clairton, PA (Thomas Jefferson HS)

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Chase Winovich #15

– The Keystone State linebacker was just offered by Michigan, most likely because Kyle Berger committed to Ohio. Winovich is a long, athletic, and instinctive linebacker that would fit in great at the SAM in Mattison\’s defense. He could be a steal from his childhood favorite, O$U. He is visiting May 10th and very well could commit.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: Very Good, Top 3

Other option: Kyron WatsonNoah FurbushJared Wangler

16. CB: 4* Parrker Westphal, 6\’1\’\’ 175lbs. Bolingbrook, IL (Bolingbook HS)

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Parrker Westphal #21, CB

-Another player who the coaching staff seems to be targeting very heavily, Westphal has the perfect size and skill set to fit what Mattison wants in his corners. He has visited several times and, even though he does not have a top list, that Michigan very well could be the leader.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: Very High

Other options: Nick Watkins, Adoree Jackson

17. DB: 5* Jabrill Peppers, 6\’1\’\’ 210lbs. Paramus, NJ (Paramus Catholic)

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– The #2 player in the country, according to Rivals, Peppers grew up a Michigan fan and partially lived out his childhood dream of doning the maize and blue, and getting onto the field at the Big House when he recently visited. After the visit, which he said was \”mind blowing\”, it is rumored that Michigan is at the top of his list, and that he has moved up his decision date to June.

Highlights

Visit: Yes

Michigan\’s Chances: Very Good, Top 5 and childhood favorite

Other options: Nick Watkins, Adoree Jackson

18. S: 4* Montae Nicholson, 6\’3\’\’ 200lbs. Monroeville, PA (Gateway HS)

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Montae Nicholson #6

-One of the first offers in the 2014 class, Nicholson camped at Michigan and really proved himself to the Michigan coaches. News around him has been pretty quite as of late but I think the Wolverines want to bring in multiple safeties and he is a top target.

Highlights

Visit: Yes, Camped

Michigan\’s Chances: Very Good

Other Options: Erick SmithMattrell McGraw

19. S: 5* John \”Juju\” Smith, 6\’2\’\’ 185lbs. Long Beach, CA (Polytechnic HS)

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Juju Smith #9, ATH

– One of the best players in the country, Juju Smith is the best safety in the country and possibly the best wide receiver, as well. Likely to play safety in college, he is big, physical, fast, athletic, and just makes plays all over the field. He has gotten a lot of love from Michigan coaches and commits, and it looks like he is loving Michigan as well with them in his top 5. Smith should be visiting soon and will decide late. I could only see them landing him if they land Peppers and/or Hand.

Highlights

Visit: No

Michigan\’s Chances: Good, Top 5 but will be tough

Other options: Erick SmithMattrell McGraw

And that is another Top 5 class for Brady Hoke and staff.