Early Predictions for Michigan’s 2017 Recruiting Class

After a great 2016 cycle, the Michigan football staff and fanbase are looking at the 2017 class like a fat kid looks at cake. Just drooling at the possibilities that are in front of them. But what should you expect as a fan? It’s still very early but here are six predictions for Michigan’s 2017 football recruiting class:

  1. Michigan has the Best Offensive Line Haul in the Class

    • After only signing three offensive lineman in 2016, the staff will go all out in this cycle to bring several big uglies into the fold in 2017. And luckily for Drevno and Harbaugh, they are already in on plenty of the top ranked ranked players in the class, including:
      • OT Isaiah Wilson
      • OL Tedarrell Slaton
      • OT Foster Sarell
      • OG Wyatt Davis
      • OT Micah Clark
      • OG Netori Johnson
      • OC Cesar Ruiz
      • OG Aaron Banks
      • OT Austin Deculus
    • If the staff ends up signing 5-6 offensive lineman alongside current commit OT JaRaymond Hall, they should beat out Ohio State for the top OL haul. Though it’ll be a tight race after OSU is off to a great head start with OT Josh Myers and OL Jake Moretti already committed.
  2. Once Again, there will be Several Decommitments

    • In the last two recruiting cycles, Michigan has had a ton of decommitments. Whether it was from players looking elsewhere, like in 2015, or the staff moving on from commits, like in 2016, expect to see plenty of it in 2017.
    • Just looking at the early commitments, there’s a real chance the majority do not remain with the class through NSD 2017.
      • Not only are a couple of the current commits lower rated/project guys but the staff is in on several top level recruits and has shown that they’re willing to do whatever possible to bring in the best class possible. It’s not ideal but it is realistic with elite level recruiting.
    • On top of the current commits, it’s just common place that summer and fall commitments will end up finding a better fit elsewhere.
  3. The IMG Spring Break Trip is a Big Hit

    • After talking with Cesar Ruiz about Michigan’s spring break visit to his high school campus, I expect this trip to have a nice ROI for the Wolverines.
      • IMG Academy may not be the best high school “team” in the country but it has by far the most talent. Here are just the top rated 2017 recruits on the roster right now:
        • C Cesar Ruiz
        • LB Dylan Moses
        • DE Joshua Kaindoh
        • LB Will Ignont
        • LB Jordan Anthony
        • OL Robert Hainsey
        • TE Tre McKitty
        • DT Camaron Spence
        • WR Emmanuel Greene
        • LB Santiono Marchiol
        • DB Isaiah Pryor – Ohio State commit
        • DB Marcus Williamson – Ohio State commit
        • QB Kellen Mond – Baylor commit
        • WR Jhamon Ausbon – Baylor commit
    • If the practices go as well as expected, the Michigan coaches should be able to create a nice bond with the IMG coaching staff, land a couple commits in 2017 and set themselves up nicely moving forward with the elite football academy.
  4. Michigan Signs 6-7 In-State Recruits

    • The staff received a little bit of flack from fans and coaches after only targeting a couple in-state recruits in 2016, so they came out and let it be known they were going after a ton of Michiganders in 2017 with the “Pipeline 9”.
    • Though that group has extended to 12 with recent offers, I believe the staff ends up only truly targeting a portion of those recruits and signing around half of them thanks to the high interest from top talent around the country.
    • Michigan State and Ohio State should also have a nice 2017 cycle in the Great Lakes State.
  5. 2016’s Class is a Big Factor in 2017

    • Thanks to a coast-to-coast recruiting style and targeting the top high school programs in the country in 2016, Michigan will likely land several teammates between the two classes.
      • Here are the 2016 commits and their 2017 teammates who Michigan is a big factor for:
        • Paramus Catholic (NJ): DT Rashan Gary and LB Drew Singleton, DL Corey Bolds
        • Cass Tech (MI): OG Michael Onwenu and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, DB Jaylen Kelly-Powell
        • Detroit King (MI): CB Lavert Hill and CB Ambry Thomas
        • American Heritage (FL): TE Nick Eubanks and OL Tedarrell Slaton, OL Kai-Leon Herbert
        • Camden (NJ): DE Ron Johnson, WR Brad Hawkins and C Cesar Ruiz (at IMG now)
        • Cedar Creek (NJ): WR Ahmir Mitchell and RB Bo Melton
        • Flanagan (FL): LB Devin Bush Jr, S Josh Metellus, LB Devin Gil and CB Stanford Samuels III
        • Columbus (FL): OLB Josh Uche and ATH Trajon Bandy
        • Cedar Grove (GA): LB Elysse Mbem-Bosse and OG Netori Johnson, QB Jelani Woods
        • Santa Margarita Catholic (CA): WR Dylan Crawford and OL Brett Neilon
  6.  Jim Harbaugh Signs a Top 3 Class

What are some of your 2017 class predictions? Add them in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images

Garrett Fishaw