Early Predictions for Michigan’s 2018 Recruiting Class

Jim Harbaugh just finished up signing his 2nd straight top 10 class and has a ton of momentum heading into the 2018 class. But after taking 56 players in those two classes, fans shouldn’t be expecting a very big class from the Wolverines.

So, what will Harbaugh and the Wolverines coaching staff pull off with less scholarships? Will they be able to put together a class full of five stars like Ohio State did in 2017 or will the limited amount of available scholarships mean a lower ranked class? I’m leaning towards something special.

Check out my early predictions for Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class:

1. Michigan signs 18 in 2018 and has a catchy nickname for it

Like mentioned above, this class is going to more in the mid-to-late teens than the giant classes from the last two years. There only looks to be 16 spots open at the moment, and that’s with every senior, besides Speight, not coming back for their 5th year of eligibility. Add in the normal attrition from the lower classman and 18 looks like a solid target number.

If i’m right on that target number, it won’t be long before Aaron Bills and the Michigan recruiting staff has a catchy ass slogan/hashtag for the class.

2. The West coast is a big contributor to the class

The staff already has a nice group of the nation’s elite making up its top targets list and there’s a good amount of names from the West coast. This includes the staff’s top quarterback target, top wide receiver target, and one of the top running back targets, among several others.

Here’s a list of the top West coast targets that Michigan should be in play for:

  • Bishop Gorman (NV) QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
  • Hawkins (CA) WR Jalen Hall
  • IMG Academy (FL) RB TJ Pledger – from California
  • Desert Hills (UT) OT Penei Sewell
  • Bishop Gorman (NV) TE Brevin Jordan
  • Mater Dei (CA) WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
  • IMG Academy (FL) CB Brendan Radley-Hiles – from California
  • Mission Viejo (CA) CB Olaijah Griffin
  • Claremont (CA) LB Solomon Tuliaupupu
  • MIssion Viejo (CA) WR Austin Osborne
  • Murrieta Valley (CA) WR Marquis Spiker

3. Only 4 in-state signings

The 2018 in-state class for the state of Michigan doesn’t look to have close to the star power of 2017 class, at this point. Oak Park (MI) OL Marquan McCall is the top ranked player in the state at the moment but after but I doubt he ends up there and, either way, all signs point to him ending up elsewhere, both Michigan State and Tennessee have been mentioned as favorites.

After McCall, the four in-state names that look like they’ll be the top contenders for the class are Divine Child (MI) DE Aidan Hutchinson, Cass Tech (MI) CB Kalon Gervin, Country Day (MI) OLB Kolin Demens and Muskegon (MI) OT Antwan Reed.

Other names to watch closely that could become legit targets down the line includes:

  • Carlson (MI) OLB Jaylan Franklin
  • Traverse City West (MI) OT Ryan Hayes
  • Belleville (MI) CB Patrick Lupro
  • Milan (MI) OT Michael Furtney

4. 3 Five Star Signees 

Being selective in this class will give Michigan the chance to pitch the nation’s elite on being “that dude”. The staff will be able to target the top players in the class and give them the chance to, not only play together, but to also be one of, if not the only, player at their position in the class. That’s a big selling point to a lot of recruits.

Here are some of the nation’s five star players (and potential five star players) that UM will likely push for throughout the cycle:

  • Bishop Gorman (NV) QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson
  • IMG Academy (FL) RB TJ Pledger
  • Hawkins (CA) WR Jalen Hall
  • Bishop Sullivan (VA) LB Teradja Mitchell
  • Hylton (VA) RB Ricky Slade
  • IMG Academy (FL) DT Taron Vincent
  • Pace Academy (GA) OG Jamaree Salyer
  • Harrisburg (PA) DE Micah Parsons
  • Bishop Gorman (NV) Palaie Gaoteote
  • Mater Dei (CA) WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
  • Parkway North (MO) DT Michael Thompson 

5. Multiple Tight Ends Sign 

After taking three tight ends in 2016 and then zero in 2017, Michigan will bounce back and sign at least two tight ends in this upcoming class. And its already set up for a really nice haul at the position as UM is in the thick of the race for several of the top tight ends in the class, including:

  • Lindhurst (NY) TE Jeremy Ruckert
  • Providence (FL) TE Will Mallory
  • Bishop Gorman (NV) TE Brevin Jordan 
  • Ridge Point (TX) TE Mustapha Muhammad 
  • Dekaney (TX) TE Malcolm Epps 
  • Nease (FL) TE Zach Sheffer 
  • Plant (FL) TE Judge Culpepper

6. Harbaugh signs his 3rd straight top 6 class

Even with a smaller class, Jim Harbaugh should have a very real shot at signing another top 5-6 class in 2018. That’s especially the case since the rankings can go off of both average rankings for the top signees and the overall points from the class. Michigan shouldn’t have too much of a problem signing enough talent to fight for a top class ranking on NSD.

What are your predictions for Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class? Let us know in the comment section below! 

Photo Credit: 247Sports.com

Garrett Fishaw