First Team 138 Best Guess Recruiting Class

2017. It Seems like a long time away but in the recruiting world, it’s just around the corner. While the staff looks to have their first full recruiting cycle to put together the 2016 class, Harbaugh and company’s first real class will be in 2017 and I believe it will be among the best in school history.

Reminder: it’s extremely early. But here is my 1st Best Guess Team 138 Recruiting Class full of top in-state and out of state targets:

 Michigan’s Chances Key
  • Excellent = Top team, likely to join class
  • Very Good = Top Three, very possible
  • Good = Top Five, possible
  • Low = Outside Top Teams, not very likely at the moment
1. QB Dylan McCaffrey, 6’5″ 200lbs. Littleton, CO (Valor)

– McCaffrey is the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey and was the first 2017 quarterback offered by Harbaugh. He has the size and arm that will draw offers from just about every program in the country (though he only holds two right now). With the early offer and interest, I really like Michigan’s chances here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Tate Martell, Grant Denbow, Jake Allen, Hunter Johnson, Kasim Hill
2. QB Andrew Marty, 6’4″ 205lbs. Wyoming, OH (Wyoming)

– Marty’s an underrated quarterback out of Ohio that visited this fall. He has a very similar playing style as Jim Harbaugh (good arm, mobile and makes plays after a play breaks down) and I think that will resinate with the Michigan head coach. With the staff likely taking two quarterbacks in this class and Marty already interested in the Maize and Blue, I like the Wolverines chances here.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good, if offered
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Tate Martell, Grant Denbow, Jake Allen, Hunter Johnson, Kasim Hill
3. RB Allen Stritzinger, 6’0″ 180lbs. Warren, MI (De La Salle)

– Stritzinger is one of the best players in the midwest and backs in the country. He is a slashing, home run hitter of a back that would be a nice compliment to the multiple power backs on the roster already. He’ll likely be heavily recruited but the proximity and familiarity with the Michigan program should help a lot here.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • Highlights
  • Others: Eno Benjamin, Najee Harris, Todd Sibley, Ty Chandler, Tim Cheatham 
4. RB Antjuan Simmons, 6’1″ 205lbs. Ann Arbor, MI (Pioneer)

– The Pioneer star is quickly becoming one of the most sought after 2017 recruits in the state thanks to his ability to make plays at both tailback and linebacker. He’s an athletic, power back that is being targeted by Coach Wheatley and if an offer is extended, it looks like they’ll be the heavy favorite for the Ann Arbor native.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Others: Eno Benjamin, Najee Harris, Todd Sibley, Ty Chandler, Tim Cheatham 

5. ATH Greg Johnson, 5’10” 185lbs. Los Angeles, CA (Hawkins)

– Johnson is one of the most versatile and talented players in the country, regardless of class, and recently landed an offer he and his teammates (2017 WR Joseph Lewis and 2018 WR Jalen Hall) had been waiting on from the Wolverines. The talented duo want to “start a legacy somewhere else” and have already planned to visit Ann Arbor this spring ($). The staff will likely roll out the red carpet and could become the out of state favorites with a great visit.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Jeff Thomas, Tarik Black, Craig Yeast, Juwan Burgess
6. WR Joseph Lewis, 6’2″ 190lbs. Los Angeles, CA (Hawkins)

See Greg Johnson’s description above. Lewis is another Hawkins high star and has dominated multiple west coast camps. He will be apart of the group visiting Ann Arbor this spring and, just like Johnson, if the staff can impress the three talented recruits, Michigan will have a good shot at landing all three.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Jeff Thomas, Tarik Black, Craig Yeast, Juwan Burgess
7. WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, 6’1″ 175lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)

– DPS is the top player in the state and one of the best receivers in the country. He also happens to be from the top in-state pipeline, Cass Tech, and looks to be high on the Wolverines after landing his offer. It’s still early but with the new staff, things are looking very good for Michigan here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Jeff Thomas, Tarik Black, Craig Yeast, Juwan Burgess
8. WR KJ Hamler, 5’9” 155lbs. Farmington, MI (OLSM) 

– Hamler is an explosive athlete and one of the top players in the state. He has the speed and athleticism to make big plays at receiver or as a return man. Though he has yet to land a Michigan offer, he seems to be very high on the Wolverines. If an offer comes, they’ll likely be the new favorites over MSU.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good, if offered
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Jeff Thomas, Tarik Black, Craig Yeast, Juwan Burgess
9. TE Jimmy Jaggers, 6’3” 237lbs. Roseville, CA (Roseville)

– The tight end position is very difficult to predict since there aren’t too many guys on the national radar, let alone Michigan’s radar. However, if there was one guy that has impressive tape and looks to fit the Harbaugh tight end, it’s Jaggers. He is a big bodied, tough, strong blocking tight end that can also make plays in the passing game. Add in being from the staff’s favorite state to recruit and I believe he’ll be a target moving forward.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good, if offered
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Matt Dotson, Shea Rogers, Ethan Bradds, Hunter Bryant
10. OT JaRaymond Hall, 6’5″ 255lbs. Oak Park, MI (Oak Park)

– The in-state star is starting to make a name for himself in the recruiting world after a bit of a breakout season for Oak Park. Though he’s very raw at the moment, he looks to be a national recruit moving forward. Add in the proximity to Ann Arbor and he should be a consistent visitor and legit target for the staff.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good, if offered
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Calvin Ashley, Josh Myers, Wyatt Davis, Cam Spence, Jordan McNair
11. OT Jake Moretti, 6’5” 265lbs. Arvada, CO (Pomona) 

– Moretti is another top target out of Colorado and looks to be very high on the Wolverines after recently landing an offer. He’s already hoping to visit Ann Arbor this summer and admitted he’s “very high” on Michigan ($). If things go well on his visit, there’s a good chance the Wolverines cement their place near/at the top of his list.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Calvin Ashley, Josh Myers, Wyatt Davis, Cam Spence, Jordan McNair
12. OL Emani Mason, 6’4″ 268lbs. Detroit, MI (EEVP)

– Mason is another top ranked Detroit prospect and will be a national recruit (ranked #33 overall per 247Sports). He has the size, power and athleticism to play all over the line though he’s listed as a tackle. If Michigan extends an offer early on, their chances go up even more.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Darnell Ewell, Kayden Lyles, Nick Steele, Calvin Ashley, Josh Myers, Wyatt Davis
13. OC Jack Anderson, 6’4.5” 280lbs. Frisco, TX (Frisco) 

– Anderson is the top center in the class and has already started to be targeted by the coaching staff. While it will be tough to pull him out of Texas, the staff is looking for the best of the best and will likely heavily target him until NSD 2017. If an offer is extended, they will likely make a move on his list.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good, if offered
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Robert Hainsey, Darnell Ewell, Kayden Lyles, Nick Steele 
14. NT Juan Harris, 6’4” 356+lbs. West Union, IA (North Fayette)

– The two time Iowa decommit picked up his Michigan offer while visiting Ann Arbor this past weekend and looks to be one of the top targets on the 2017 board. Harris may be the biggest top prospect in the country but that doesn’t mean he’s non-athletic. His explosiveness and athleticism makes him a dominant force on the inside and would be a perfect fit for Michigan’s defense. After his visit, he told me he “loved” everything about the visit and is high on the coaching staff. If they keep pursuing him as a top target, things look pretty good here.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Corey Bolds, Tyrone Chambers, Marvin Wilson, Greg Rogers, Cole Bentley, Chuck Filiaga
15. DT Bryce Brand, 6’2″ 267lbs. Detroit, MI (Walled Lake Western)

– Brand is an in-state product that has already visited and caught the eye of the coaching staff. His athleticism at his size has them very intrigued about where he could play if he joins the Wolverines. In an interview with Scout’s Allen Trieu, he discussed his latest visit to Ann Arbor and his conversation with Harbaugh where he told him he thinks he could play both sides of the ball as a defensive tackle and full back ($). If/when an offer is extended, it looks like Michigan would be the heavy favorites.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good, if offered
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Corey Bolds, Marvin Wilson, Greg Rogers, Cole Bentley, Chuck Filiaga
16. DE Luiji Vilain, 6’3″ 230lbs. Ontario, Canada (Episcopal)

– One of the top prospects to come out of Canada in years, Vilain was teammates and is still good friends with 2016 CB Patrice Rene and 2017 DB Jonathan Sutherland, and all three could possibly end up at the same school. They have visited in the past, and while Rene has yet to receive interest from the new staff, Vilain and Sutherland may visit again this summer. Both are top prospects and I like the chances of staff offering both if they get on campus.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Willie Rodgers, Johnathan Berghorst, Carter Dunaway, Ben Sherwin
17. DE/OLB Corey Malone-Hatcher, 6’3″ 235lbs. Saint Joseph, MI (St. Joseph’s)

– CMH has been one of the top recruits in the state since his freshmen year and has been high on every fan’s list for awhile now. He has the size, athleticism and versatility to be a star as a pass rusher at the next level, and with an offer from the Wolverines, he looks to be leaning towards joining the Maize and Blue. It’s not a sure thing, but he’s a “must get” recruit in this class IMO.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Willie Rodgers, Johnathan Berghorst, Carter Dunaway, Ben Sherwin
18. LB Drew Singleton, 6’2″ 215lbs. Paramus, NJ (Paramus Catholic)

– While Singleton has yet to receive a scholarship or public interest from the Michigan staff, his former coach is now on the staff and he is said to be the next big thing out of Paramus Catholic. A source close to the situation told me he is expected to be at the spring game and with a big junior year, I could see him become a main target at the linebacker position for the Wolverines.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good, if offered
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Anthony Hines III, Ellis Brooks, Thomas Johnston, David Adams, Nate McBride
19. LB Josh Ross, 6’1″ 210lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (OLSM)

– The younger brother of current Wolverine linebacker James Ross III, Josh may be even better than his older sibling. He is one of the most coveted recruits in the state and is extremely high on Michigan, especially with Harbaugh keeping Greg Mattison on staff. There’s a good shot he’s the first member of this class if the 2015 season goes well IMO.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Anthony Hines III, Ellis Brooks, Thomas Johnston, David Adams, Nate McBride
20. LB Kyle Bolden, 6’1″ 205lbs. Cincinnati, OH (Colerain)

– Another younger brother of a current standout linebacker, Kyle is the younger sibling of starting MLB Joe Bolden and has a very similar game as his at the same age. Both are aggressive and smart, which will draw the staff. There hasn’t been too much contact yet but I believe that will come when they start to target 2017 recruits. With an offer, I believe Michigan will be the clear cut leader.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Anthony Hines III, Ellis Brooks, Thomas Johnston, David Adams, Nate McBride
21. CB Lamont Wade, 5’10” 185lbs. Clairton, PA (Clairton)

– Wade is one of the best players in the country and a top cornerback on the board. He has the ability to be a game changer and happens to consider Michigan his “dream school”, even after the coaching change. Once an offer is extended and a visit takes place, I feel like the Wolverines could be his favorite going forward.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Marcus Williamson, Stanford Samuels III, Jamyest Williams
22. CB Darnay Holmes, 5’11” 180lbs. Newbury Park, CA (Newbury Park)

– Holmes is another elite corner in the class and a top target for the coaching staff. He landed his offer from the new staff quickly and looks to be high on the Wolverines.  He’s planning on visiting before his junior season starts and if things go as well as planned, I believe Michigan may become the favorites moving forward.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Marcus Williamson, Stanford Samuels III, Jamyest Williams
23. CB Donovan Johnson, 5’9″ 165lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)

– Johnson is the next big thing at defensive back for Cass Tech and, even though it’s early and he has yet to land an offer, I believe Michigan will be very high on his list once the recruitment begins. He has size to gain but his coverage skills are top notch and would be a nice fit in Ann Arbor with the high need for corners.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Marcus Williamson, Stanford Samuels III, Jamyest Williams
24. CB Ambry Thomas, 5’10” 160lbs. Detroit, MI (King)

– Thomas is another Detroit defensive back that will likely be a top in-state target for the Michigan coaching staff moving forward. He is one of the most explosive players in the class and with some more seasoning will likely shoot up the class rankings. If/when the staff offers, the Wolverines should be the favorites since he grew up rooting for the Maize and Blue ($).

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Marcus Williamson, Stanford Samuels III, Jamyest Williams
25. DB Jonathan Sutherland, 5’11” 175lbs. Ontario, CA (Episcopal)

– Sutherland is an old school style defensive back that isn’t afraid to come up and make strong tackles. He is a great fit for the aggressive defense that Harbaugh and Durkin plan to run, and with the staff likely trying to get both him and DE Luiji Vilain on campus this summer, I like their chances at impressing the Ontario duo even more than the previous staff did.

  • Offer: No
  • Visit: Yes
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Isaiah Pryor, Jeffrey Okudah, RJ Potts, Jaylen Kelly-Powell
26. S Paris Ford, 6’2″ 175lbs. Pittsburgh, PA (Seton La Salle)

– Ford was one of the first 2017 offers from the new staff, and for good reason. He’s a top talent in the class and has close proximity to the state (Western PA). After landing his offer, he told Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz he was at a loss for words ($). He also spoke with The Wolverine’s Tim Sullivan and let him know he grew up a fan of the program and he plans to be at Michigan a lot ($).

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Isaiah Pryor, Jeffrey Okudah, RJ Potts, Jaylen Kelly-Powell
27. S Devon Hunter, 6’3″ 210lbs. Chesapeake, VA (Indian River)

– Hunter is the top player on the list according to 247Sports (#1 athlete and #7 overall player), and has already landed his offer from the new staff. He is planning on visiting this summer with 2016 teammate and elite linebacker Jaquan Yulee and adding in him wanting energetic coaches with experience, I love Michigan’s chances to impress here. It’ll be a very tough pull but the Wolverines should be in it until the end.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Visit: No
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good
  • Highlights
  • Other Options: Isaiah Pryor, Jeffrey Okudah, RJ Potts, Jaylen Kelly-Powell