Inside the Fish Bowl Predicts Michigan’s 2016 NSD

It’s almost here. Stay calm and everyone keep their composure. National Signing Day kicks off tomorrow morning and it’s expected to be a day to remember for Michigan football. Not only will the staff be hosting an all-star event known as the Signing of the Stars but they’ll also be signing their next batch of Wolverines which their hoping includes their top targets left on the board.

While it looks like Michigan should expect a good day, anything could happen and UM fans know that from recent experience. So, to help calm the nerves a bit, I’ve broke down my prediction of how the day may go for Michigan and their targets that will announce (in EST).

Enjoy and don’t shoot the predictor:

7:00 am 

Michigan starts announcing the signings of multiple commitments, including OL Ben Bredeson and DT Michael Dwumfour.

8:10 am

This is when the fun is really expected to begin as Independence (TN) WR Nate Johnson will be making his “final” decision.

Though most of the excitement looks to be gone as everyone, including myself, is expecting him to reaffirm his commitment and sign with Michigan.

8:30am

Just about every Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama and Georgia fan will be tuned into Elbert County (GA) ATH Mecole Hardman‘s announcement after he let it be known that he had silently committed to his school of choice on Monday:

Scout’s Chad Simmons was also told by Hardman that his decision “could surprise some people” ($).

On top of that and some fun rumors circulating around message boards, including one where Hardman’s cousin called into a Detroit radio station and said Mecole was committing to Michigan. Let’s just say, I don’t believe it. And while I will happily be wrong, I’ll predict the top athlete in the class commits to Georgia.

9 am

While Hardman was a reach, Michigan is the favorite for their next guy on the schedule: Detroit King (MI) CB Lavert Hill.

Though this one is not a slam dunk after questions arose after he officially visited Michigan State a couple weeks before NSD. It’ll be an interesting one but along with myself, The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb, 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong and The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown are all predicting Hill to join his brother in Ann Arbor and sign with the Wolverines.

Hill’s announcement will be streamed live on MLive.com.

Michigan will look to add a double in-state dip at this time as Renaissance (MI) OT Alaric Jackson will be announcing his decision as well and ooks like a good bet to join the class after landing his offer on Monday.

Thanks to that offer and the possibility he now has to play in-state for the Wolverines, I believe Michigan will add Jackson to the class whenever he announces.

10 am 

Alief Elsik (TX) LB Dontavious Jackson and DB Chris Brown will be announcing their decisions on ESPNU and this should be a good time to grab a snack as neither are expected to choose Michigan, though the block M hat may be on the table.

While Jackson looks like a toss up between Florida State and Texas, I’ll predict that the teammates both choose the Longhorns though it’s extremely close. 

10:30 am

Once looked like a sure-thing for this class, Oak Ridge (FL) LB Jonathan Jones is now fully expected to commit to Notre Dame after Michigan landed LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse. And that’s where I believe he’ll sign. 

11 am

Hopefully your popcorn is done popping (for the perfect pop, 2 minutes and 15 seconds) because Michigan should be receiving very good news out of Rockford (MI) as K Quinn Nordin will finally end his recruitment.

And all signs point to Michigan, especially after the other top contender, USC, picked up a kicker commit on Monday. Baylor also looks like a threat but I’ll stick with the Wolverines here.

11:30am

Along with Gary and Young, Brophy Prep (AZ) DE Connor Murphy will be an intriguing decision to watch for Michigan fans. He looked very likely to choose the Wolverines after Jim Harbaugh put the full court press on him during his in-home sleepover visit and official visit two weekends ago. However. every analyst is starting to hear that Murphy will stay on the left coast and choose the Trojans.

While I put him in my final Best Guess Recruiting Class, I’m now predicting he signs with the Trojans.

12pm

Enjoy the Signing of the Stars event on The Players’ Tribune site while eating your lunch:

1 pm

I hope your lunch was good because the party is about to begin as the #1 player in the class, Paramus Catholic (NJ) DL Rashan Gary, will officially announce his commitment on ESPN.

Though there have been rumblings that Clemson made up a ton of ground during his official visit last weekend to Death Valley, outside of a couple late Crystal Ball predictions, there hasn’t been very much concrete evidence suggesting the Tigers will get his signature. However, you can never count out an unexpected decision from a top recruit at the last moment (Hello, Da’Shawn Hand) so this is in no way a lock.

While I’ll be remaining cautious, I still believe Gary will don the Maize and Blue when he announces. Which could be the ultimate capper on the Signing of the Stars event (expected to end between 1-1:30pm).

On top of my prediction:

Extra Predictions:

  • If Gary chooses Michigan, the day is a win and UM fans will treat it like they just won the National Championship.
  • If Gary chooses Clemson, the day takes a big shot and UM fans will treat it like the end of the world. We’ll also be pretty bummed here MGoFish after featuring him in our 2016 NSD Trailer.

Gary won’t be the only target announcing his decision at 1pm as Miami Senior (FL) ATH Keyshawn “Pie” Young will also be signing his LOI.

For months, it looked like Pie was destined to end up in this class. However, with Michigan landing several wide receivers, the staff doesn’t look to have a spot for Young. Because of this, USC and Louisville have become the favorites to land his signature. I’ll go with Louisville here since USC may not have a spot.

2:45pm

Another announcement that looks unlikely to end up in a Michigan win will take place in my neck of the woods as Archer (GA) OT EJ Price will sign his LOI.

Michigan tried to make a last minute run at him and stopped by to see him twice right before NSD but it won’t be enough to bring Price back to the Great Lakes State. Like Mecole Hardman, I’m predicting Georgia keeps another top in-state talent at home as Price re-commits to the Bulldogs.

3-3:25pm

After possibly missing on Murphy and Price, the staff may be in for a big victory as De La Salle (CA) TE Devin Asiasi and DT/OL Boss Tagaloa will make their decisions public.

While both were more than long shots back in December, the staff’s consistent pursuit has given the Wolverines more than a good chance to pull at least one of them out of California. And Asiasi is that guy.

According to The Wolverine’s Chris Balas, Asiasi may have given out some negative news to some of the rumored favorites ($). If true, this is obviously a good sign for Michigan.

On top of that, 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong is feeling confident the talented tight end chooses UM ($) and this has helped start a tidal wave of Crystal Ball predictions in favor of the Wolverines. That include CBs from National Analyst Ryan Bartow, National Analyst JC Shurburtt and Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz.

You can add Scout’s Greg Biggins to the list of analysts feeling Michigan for Asiasi ($).

I added Asiasi to my last two class predictions and will continue to predict him to sign with Michigan on ESPN2.

As for his teammate and best friend, Tagaloa looks much more likely to stay in the Pac12.

Though I won’t believe this one is completely over for UM until he signs his LOI, especially if Asiasi joins the fray, at this point, I’ll stick with the Crystal Ball predictions and say Tagaloa commits to UCLA to stay and play closer to home.

4pm

The last expected decision to watch for Michigan fans will take place in Norco (CA) as former commit ATH Victor Viramontes will make his final decision.

Like the other California targets announcing on NSD, Viramontes looked like a long shot to be a part of the final class. But thanks to Michigan re-ramping up the pressure, things are looking good for the Wolverines here.

According to TMI’s Sam Webb, this has become a personal recruitment for Jim Harbaugh ($) and, if that’s indeed the case, it’s hard to see Viramontes choosing Cal, Utah or Arizona over Michigan.

I added Viramontes to my final BGRC and will continue to predict he signs with the Wolverines tomorrow.

So, if things finish out the way I predicted above, on top of everyone on their commitment board, Michigan will sign WR Nate Johnson, OT Alaric Jackson, CB Lavert Hill, K Quinn Nordin, DL Rashan Gary and TE Devin Asiasi.

Photo Credit: John T. Greilick, Detroit News