Herbert Makes it 18: What’s Next for Michigan’s 2017 Class?

In a surprising move for Florida fans, American Heritage (FL) OT Kai-Leon Herbert has committed to Michigan after favoring the Gators for basically the entire recruiting cycle. It was easily one of the biggest wins of the class for Harbaugh and the staff thanks to stealing a top recruit from a powerhouse program in Florida from the in-state school and the fact that it’s at the biggest position of need in the class.

Herbert is the 18th overall commitment and 4th offensive lineman to join the 2017 class for Michigan. The staff is expected to sign a class around 28 (give or take a few depending on options and attrition). And there are plenty of candidates for the next commitment in the class, including:

  • DB Jaylen Kelly-Powell
    • JKP has been a “just a matter of time” commit for  months. He hasn’t hid any of his love for Michigan and with his senior season coming up, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a commitment prior to the start of fall camp.
  • ATH Anthony Payne
    • Payne landed his offer in June after being one of the top performers on the summer camp circuit, including at the UM satellite camp tour. It’s possible the staff may hold off on him a bit but I doubt it at this point. If he remains a take and visits this summer (like expected), #CommitWatch will very likely go into order.
  • LB Jordan Anthony
    • Anthony has been very high on Michigan for quite awhile now and with a visit expected to happen later this summer, he’s a guy that could drop out of the blue. That could come from the staff pushing during a great visit as well as numbers starting to become thin at the linebacker position.
  • DL James Hudson
    • After taking multiple trips to Ann Arbor after decommitting from Kentucky, most, including me, believe Michigan is the favorite here. He looked like he could drop at any moment but may have slowed things down a bit. It’ll be interesting to see if a BBQ visit can push his timeline up once again.
  • C Cesar Ruiz
    • Ruiz is another player that Michigan has looked likely to land for a long time. He, like Hudson, slowed things down a bit though most still believe this is UM’s recruitment to lose. If the staff can get him on campus again for the BBQ, things could escalate.
  • OL Tedarrell Slaton
    • Slaton is the teammate and good friend of Michigan’s newest commitment. He’s also named UM his leader in the past. Though he’s expected to take his time, could a summer push from Herbert and the staff speed things up? I wouldn’t completely rule anything out. Recruiting can get crazy quickly.
  • CB Ambry Thomas
    • Thomas is another player in this article with strong ties to another player. His cousin and good friend is Kelly-Powell. If JKP drops for Michigan, could he help speed things up for the Detroit King star? He’s my least likely to drop on this specific list but he’s definitely moving up the board of “next up” candidates.

Obviously, there could be another prospect that drops from Michigan that’s not on this list. But these are the most likely candidates at this point, especially with most of them expected to be at the BBQ on August 6th.

So, who do you think will be the 19th commitment in the class? Let us know in the comment section below! 

Photo Credit: Patrick Semansky, Associated Press