ESPN: How Michigan Lands the Top 2016 Recruiting Class

The 4th part of the series to see what it would take for Michigan to land the top recruiting class on each recruiting site, I broke down ESPN’s rankings and where UM’s top targets fall in the ESPN300.

It’s well known that ESPN’s recruiting coverage is a step behind the other top sites but it’s also the one that gets the most coverage around NSD. Because of that, some of the rankings are off compared to 247Sports, Rivals and Scout but it doesn’t change UM’s chances to end up with the #1 class.

Like with the other parts of the series, there are 9 recruits listed below that would help give UM’s 2016 class it’s top ranking possible. But because there’s only 4-5 spots left at the moment, this is going off of the possibility of the 4 rumored current commits leaving via attrition.

As for the names listed, to try and make it as realistic but highly ranked as possible, I only added players that UM at least has a “Good” chance to land on my chance’s scale:

  • Excellent – Expected to Commit
  • Very Good – Top Two/Definitely Possible
  • Good – Real Option
  • Decent – Puncher’s Chance
  • Low – Likely Not happening

Check out who Michigan would need to land to have a good shot at #1:

  1. DT Rashan Gary
    • 5 star, #1 overall, #1 DT, 94 rating
      • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  2. TE Isaac Nauta
    • 5 star, #10 overall, #1 TE, 91 rating
      • Michigan’s Chances: Good to Very Good
  3. OT Jean Delance
    • 4 star, #90 overall, #8 OT, 83 rating
      • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  4. CB David Long
    • 4 star, #107 overall, #5 CB, 83 rating
      • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  5. ATH Jordan Fuller
    • 4 star, #150 overall, #9 ATH, 82 rating
      • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  6. LB Dontavious Jackson
    • 4 star, #159 overall, #7 ILB, 82 rating
      • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  7. WR Dylan Crawford
    • 4 star, #179 overall, #23 WR, 82 rating
      • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  8. TE Jacob Mathis
    • 4 star, #191 overall, #1 TE-H, 82 rating
      • Michigan’s Chances: Good to Very Good
  9. WR Keyshawn Young
    • 4 star, #215 overall, #32 WR, 82 rating
      • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent

Final Score: 2,285 (+761) – 18 ESPN300 Commits

Doing the math, with this score Michigan would have had the #1 class in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011 (and likely every year before that). So, it would very likely give UM the #1 class in 2016 as well and thanks to how big of a difference this score would have with the previous #1 classes, they could miss on Nauta and still likely finish on top (just add Lavert Hill instead).

Chances of the Exact Class Happening: Decent

Photo Credit: NJ.com/Fouad Alsharif