Final 2021 Best Guess Recruiting Class

It’s National Signing Day eve which used to mean a lot more than it does these days. The Early Signing Period has its pros and cons but this isn’t an article about that. We’re talking Michigan’s 2021 recruiting class which has added a new name to important position and looks to be set to add some more to the class before it’s all said and done with.

See how it could all come together:

  • Class Size:
    • With 20 signees, one transfer, and one commitment already on board, this class looks to have room for 2-3 more additions to get to about 25 new additions in total. Guessing it’ll be 24 on NSD but could grow with more transfers.
  • Class Attrition:
  • Chances Key:
    • Excellent – Top Team/Favorite to Land
    • Very Good – Top Three/Realistic Possibility
    • Good – Top Five/In the Running
    • Fair – Puncher’s Chance/Questionable Take

Check out my fourth 2021 Best Guess Michigan Football Recruiting Class Prediction:

1. QB JJ McCarthy, 6’3” 190lbs. La Grange Park, IL (IMG Academy)

Photo Credit: IMG Academy/MaxPreps

Signed and enrolled. Michigan has its next hope at the quarterback position. Question is, will he play right away?

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: First Edition
  • Commitment Date: 5/11/19
  • Signing Date: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #44 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #37 overall) – ESPN (4*, #23 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Five-star, #23 Overall, #2 Pro-QB, #6 in Florida

2. RB Donovan Edwards, 5’11” 190lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield)

Photo Credit: GBMWolverine/Getty Images
Photo Credit: GBMWolverine/Getty Images

After signing with Michigan, Edwards broke the state rushing record in the state championship game, was named Mr. Football, and then joined his fellow early enrollees in Ann Arbor.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: First Edition
  • Commitment Date: 12/16/20
  • Signing Date: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #58 overall) – 247Sports (5*, #32 overall) – ESPN (4*, #68 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #40 Overall, #3 RB, #2 in Michigan

3. RB Tavierre Dunlap, 6’0” 195lbs. Del Valle, TX (Del Valle)

Photo Credit: Kyle Boone/PistolsFiringBlog.com
Photo Credit: Kyle Boone/PistolsFiringBlog.com

Dunlap flew under the radar a bit throughout the cycle, signed early, and will be on campus this summer to compete in a loaded running back room. He’s a guy I feel like too many people are sleeping on.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: Fourth Edition
  • Commitment Date: 9/12/20
  • Signing Date: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #29 RB) – 247Sports (4*, #236 overall) – ESPN (3*, #38 RB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #410 Overall, #20 RB, #59 in Texas

4. WR Xavier Worthy, 6’1” 160lbs. Fresno, CA (Central East)

Photo Credit: YourCentralValley.com

Worthy has become the most polarizing figure in this class thanks to all of the noise around his recruitment since the fall. Even after committing to Michigan, it came down to Michigan or Alabama on Early Signing Day. Even after signing with Michigan, there was a mishap with his early enrollment. Things are said to be all settled now and he’ll be wearing the winged helmet this fall.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: Second Edition
  • Commitment Date: 6/10/20
  • Signing Date: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: No?
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #66 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #99 overall) – ESPN (4*, #62 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #75 Overall, #11 WR, #7 in California

5. WR Andrel Anthony, 6’2” 175lbs. East Lansing, MI (East Lansing)

Anthony spurned his hometown Spartans for the hated in-state Wolverines. Though the wide receiver is full of talent, his early enrollment will give him the chance to earn some early playing time.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: First Edition
  • Commitment Date: 7/31/20
  • Signing Date: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #77 WR) – 247Sports (3*, #69 WR) – ESPN (3*, #115 WR)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #526 Overall, #80 WR, #13 in Michigan

6. WR Cristian Dixon, 6’2” 185lbs. Santa Ana, CA (Mater Dei)

Photo Credit: Mark Bausman/OC Sports Zone
Photo Credit: Mark Bausman/OC Sports Zone

Dixon signed and enrolled early. He’s a guy I believe will get into the two deep and on the field immediately thanks to his blend of size and athleticism, and his route tree.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: Third Edition
  • Commitment Date: 6/25/20
  • Signing Date: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #201 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #105 WR) – ESPN (4*, #140 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #222 Overall, #38 WR, #21 in California

7. TE Louis Hansen, 6’5” 235lbs. Needham, MA (St. Sebastian’s)

Photo Credit: Rivals

Hansen may be the only tight end signee in this class but that may be all Michigan needs as he’s one of the more talented pass catchers and physically impressive tight ends in this class. He’s another guy that should push for playing time in his first two years.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: First Edition
  • Commitment Date: 4/2/20
  • Signing Date: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #70 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #22 TE) – ESPN (3*, #24 TE)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #257 Overall, #11 TE, #2 in Massachusetts

8. OT Tristan Bounds, 6’8” 285lbs. Wallingford, CT (Choate Rosemary)

Photo Credit: Choate Rosemary Hall

Out of all of the early enrollees, Bounds may benefit the most. Getting on campus, getting on a training and nutrition program can do wonders for a growing prospect. It’ll likely be a couple of years in the program until he can grow into a B1G offensive tackle but once he does, the sky is the limit.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: Second Edition
  • Commitment Date: 6/1/20
  • Signing Day: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #26 OT) – 247Sports (3*, #44 OT) – ESPN (3*, #57 OT)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #416 Overall, #35 OT, #2 in Connecticut

9. OT Willie Allen, 6’7” 340lbs. New Orleans, LA (Lousiana Tech)

Photo Credit: 247Sports.com
Photo Credit: 247Sports.com

Michigan had a big shake up with its offensive line coaching staff but still had the big Louisiana Tech transfer coming to town. Allen should help solidify the right side of the line following Jalen Mayfield’s departure.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • Commitment Date: 10/15/20
  • Enrolled: Yes
  • 2016 RankingsRivals (3*, #37 OT) – 247Sports (4*, #32 OT) – ESPN (4*, #16 overall)
  • 2016 Composite Ranking: Four-star, #183 Overall, #17 OT, #11 in Louisiana

10. OL Giovanni El-Hadi, 6’5” 290lbs. Sterling Heights, MI (Adlai Stevenson)

El-Hadi was the first commitment in the class, received a top 100 ranking right off the bat and never changed a thing to this day. You don’t see that too often, especially from an offensive lineman. Kid’s a beast and thanks to enrolling early, will give himself a chance to climb the depth chart under a new offensive line coach. He’ll play, the question is where? I’m interested in seeing whether he sticks at tackle or slides inside to guard.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: First Edition
  • Commitment Date: 4/19/19
  • Signing Day: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #92 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #87 overall) – ESPN (4*, #136 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #87 Overall, #11 OT, #4 in Michigan

11. C/G Greg Crippen, 6’4” 285lbs. Milton, MA (IMG Academy)

Photo Credit: IMG Academy Photo/Case Brooke Lawson

Crippen is another early enrollee and that’ll really benefit from the early time with the new offensive line staff. The line is going to look pretty different this fall and I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of the three 2021 signees in the two deep, including this IMG standout.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: First Edition
  • Commitment Date: 3/25/20
  • Signing Day: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #162 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #7 OC) – ESPN (4*, #297 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #273 Overall, #6 OC, #39 in Florida

12. C/G Raheem Anderson, 6’3” 300lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)

Photo Credit: Scott Hasse/DetroitSports.org

Like Crippen, Anderson is enrolled and will get his chance to fight for immediate playing time. The center position is up for grabs and he’s a guy that could fight for the two deep this spring and summer.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: Second Edition
  • Commitment Date: 4/12/20
  • Signing Day: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #166 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #4 OC) – ESPN (4*, #241 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #210 Overall, #3 OC, #7 in Michigan

13. DT Ikechukwu Iwunnah, 6’4” 290lbs. Garland, TX (Lakeview Centennial)

Photo Credit: 247Sports

Here’s a new name for a lot of fans. Iwunnah is a rising defensive tackle out of Texas that recently committed to Colorado but was offered by Michigan’s new coaching staff just days after. That offer clearly has given him something to think about as 247Sports’ Colorado affiliate, BuffStampede’s Adam Munsterteiger told his readers not to be surprised if Iwunnah flips to the Wolverines on National Signing Day ($).

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • First BGRC: Now
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent (Committed to Colorado)
  • Signing Day: 2/3/21
  • Rankings: Rivals (3*) – 247Sports (3*, #55 DT) – ESPN (3*, #78 DT)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #1102 Overall, #62 DT, #167 in Texas

14. DT George Rooks, 6’4” 275lbs. Jersey City, NJ (St. Peters Prep)

Photo Credit: Scott Faytok/NJ.com

Rooks is the latest member of the class and came at the most needed position left in this class. He was a longtime recruit that had a bit of a roller coaster of a recruitment in terms of who his leader was and when he would commit. But it was Shaun Nua and Michigan who beat out Penn State and Boston College for the four-star defensive lineman right before NSD.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: Second Edition
  • Commitment Date: 1/27/21
  • Signing Day: 2/3/21
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #227 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #30 DT) – ESPN (4*, #205 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #264 Overall, #19 DT, #4 in New Jersey

15. DT Dominick Giudice, 6’4” 275lbs. Freehold, NJ (Mater Dei)

Photo Credit: Dominick Giudice/Twitter
Photo Credit: Dominick Giudice/Twitter

Giudice signed but won’t be enrolling until this summer. He’s already well on his way to adding the necessary weight to play on the interior. It may take a couple of years to climb the depth chart but he could slide into a rotational role and eventually starter role with a good connection to the new coaching staff.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: Second Edition
  • Commitment Date: 3/25/20
  • Signing Day: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • RankingsRivals (2*) – 247Sports (3*, #83 WDE) – ESPN (3*, #199 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #1772 Overall, #94 WDE, #33 in New Jersey

16. SDE TJ Guy, 6’4” 240lbs. Mansfield, MA (Mansfield)

Photo Credit: Kara Colby/MLive

Guy never rose up the rankings like most thought he would. Everything I’ve seen from him screams four-star but the pandemic year didn’t help him get the necessary exposure. Luckily that won’t matter much now that he’s signed.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: First Edition
  • Commitment Date: 4/17/20
  • Signing Date: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • RankingsRivals (3*) – 247Sports (3*, #36 WDE) – ESPN (3*, #106 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #926 Overall, #51 WDE, #6 in Massachusetts

17. WDE Kechaun Bennett, 6’4” 220lbs. Suffield, CT (Suffield Academy)

Photo Credit: Kechaun Bennett/Twitter

Another east coast defensive lineman in this class. Bennett is a versatile rush lineman that could potentially standup as an outside 3-4 linebacker in Mike Macdonald’s defense.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: Third Edition
  • Commitment Date: 5/27/20
  • Signing Day: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #13 WDE) – 247Sports (3*, #24 SDE) – ESPN (4*, #41 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #347 Overall, #22 SDE, #1 in Connecticut

18. LB Tyler McLaurin, 6’2” 215lbs. Bolingbrook, IL (Bolingbrook)

Photo Credit: The Wolverine/YouTube

Another defensive signee that can play multiple positions, McLaurin has the size and athleticism to play the MIKE, WILL, or SAM positions. It could all depend on how much size he puts on once he gets into the program this summer.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: First Edition
  • Commitment Date: 5/9/20
  • Signing Day: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • RankingsRivals (3* #39 OLB) – 247Sports (3* #37 OLB) – ESPN (3* #51 OLB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #502 Overall, #31 OLB, #12 in Illinois

19. LB Junior Colson, 6’2” 225lbs. Brentwood, TN (Ravenwood)

Colson is one of the gems of this class. Not only is he an early enrollee at a position of need but he’s also a great athlete and playmaker that should get on the field one way or another this fall.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: First Edition
  • Commitment Date: 5/24/20
  • Signing Day: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: Yes
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #82 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #101 overall) – ESPN (4*, #144 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #89 Overall, #5 OLB, #2 in Tennessee

20. LB Jaydon Hood, 6’1” 215lbs. Fort Lauderdale, FL (St Thomas Aquinas)

Hood was on the decommit watch list on Early Signing Day but ended up sticking with and signing with Michigan. Though the defensive staff is changed up quite a bit, he’s the stout kinda downhill linebacker that can fit any system.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: Second Edition
  • Commitment Date: 5/25/20
  • Signing Day: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • RankingsRivals (4*, #225 overall) – 247Sports (3*, #23 ILB) – ESPN (4*, #191 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #250 Overall, #15 ILB, #37 in Florida

21. LB Lance Dixon, 6’2” 215lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (Penn State)

Dixon is a former five star recruit that left Penn State after his redshirt freshmen year this past fall and oh whataya know, his former high school head coach just so happens to now work at Michigan. Though it’s reportedly not a slam dunk (per TMI’s Sam Webb) because it’s never that easy with UofM. It still would be pretty surprising to see him end up elsewhere but at the same time, it wouldn’t because of UofM.

  • Eligibility: RS Freshmen
  • Highlights
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • 2019 Recruiting Rankings: Rivals (4*, #22 overall) – 247Sports (5*, #13 overall) – ESPN (4*, #26 S)
  • 2019 Composite Ranking: Four-star, #179 Overall, #9 OLB, #5 in Michigan

22. FS Rod Moore, 5’11” 180lbs. Clayton, OH (Northmont)

Moore is a very nice and underrated win out of Ohio that the staff had to hold onto up until the Early Signing Day. There’s plenty of prospects at the safety position but with a new defensive coaching staff, he’ll get a chance to make a good first impression this summer.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: Second Edition
  • Commitment Date: 5/10/20
  • Signing Day: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #50 S) – 247Sports (4*, #26 S) – ESPN (3*, #33 S)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #501 Overall, #37 S, #17 in Ohio

23. CB Ja’Den McBurrows, 5’10” 165lbs. Fort Lauderdale, FL (St Thomas Aquinas)

Photo Credit: CBSSports

The staff holding onto McBurrows was one of the biggest wins of this cycle. Not only was he the only cornerback in this class but he’s also a stud defensive back out of one of the best high school programs in the country. He’s a guy to keep an eye on this summer to see him make some noise in camp.

  • Story
  • Highlights
  • First BGRC: Second Edition
  • Commitment Date: 4/24/20
  • Signing Day: 12/16/20
  • Early Enrollee: No
  • RankingsRivals (3*, #36 CB) – 247Sports (3*, #36 CB) – ESPN (3*, #81 CB)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #552 Overall, #43 CB, #79 in Florida

24. K/Tommy Doman, 6’3” 170lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (St. Mary’s)

Photo Credit: Tommy Doman/Kohl's Kicking
Photo Credit: Tommy Doman/Kohl’s Kicking

Doman signed and won’t enroll until the summer. But that shouldn’t affect him too much in his chance to start right away with Quinn Nordin heading to the pros and questions surrounding both the kicking and punting starter.

Class Ranking: 264.59 (per 247Sports)

With the addition of Rooks and the potential addition of Iwunnah mixed with the changes in the final player rankings, Michigan’s class didn’t raise too much in the final school rankings as it’ll stay just outside the top 10 without a big time Signing Day surprise.

Just Missed

  • DT Rayshaun Benny
    • With Benny deciding to hold off on signing in December, Michigan looked to be in good shape to flip him from Michigan State. However, the noise has died down quite a bit and Benny has let it be known he’s planning on signing with the Spartans. Unless he’s ready to break some Spartan hearts, this ship looks to have sailed.
  • SDE Aristotle Taylor
    • Not actually a guy that would sign tomorrow but a name to watch possibly join this class. The 6’8” raw lineman out of Brother Rice (MI) recently received a PWO offer from the staff and though he has full scholarship offers from P5 programs, the in-state school could have an edge.

Photo Credit: Patrick Barron/MGoBlog

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