The 2016 recruiting cycle is coming to an end in just over a month which means things are starting to get very interesting. Early enrollees are making their decisions each and every day while others are waiting until their All-American Games or National Signing Day to let their college choice be known.
But with few spots remaining, which top recruits will end up committing to Michigan before/on NSD? Since it’s Christmas, here is a list of (what I believe is) the staff’s wish list for the remaining 2016 class:
- DT Rashan Gary
- The nation’s top player, Gary has a chance to be a Ndamukong Suh-like defensive tackle (without the ego and penalties) throughout his career and every program would love to have him. Luckily for Michigan, they look to be locked into the driver’s seat.
- TE Isaac Nauta
- Nauta looks to be the top offensive target on the board for the staff and (IMO) the most college ready prospect in the class. With Harbaugh’s offense relying heavily on the tight end position, landing a talent like this could be a game changer. However, at this point, the staff looks to be fighting a bit of an uphill battle to overthrow in-state Georgia.
- OT Jean Delance
- The staff seems to have a very high need for another offensive tackle in this class and there aren’t many as good as Delance. He has the look of a future 1st round pick and with Drevno’s coaching and Harbaugh’s system, the Longhorn State talent would have the opportunity to fulfill that in Ann Arbor. And it looks like the staff’s wish may come true as UM looks to be sitting pretty as his announcement date approaches (January 2nd).
- CB David Long
- Cornerback is the position of need that isn’t getting a lot of attention from fans. But luckily, Michigan looks to be in great shape with two of the top corners in the class, including Long. It’ll be a battle to beat out Washington for his pledge but there aren’t many players the staff seems to be targeting more aggressively than the Loyola standout.
- LB Dontavious Jackson
- There are a lot of needs in the 2016 class for Michigan but there’s not debate on which position is in need the most and that’s at linebacker. With only two current pure LB commits (one of those may not end up signing) and a couple hybrid options, the need for more immediate impact players is important. And Jackson is the biggest attainable game changer at the position IMO. It’s unknown exactly where he’s leaning but UM has put their best foot forward and the almost guarantee of early PT could end up winning out in the end.
- WR Dylan Crawford
- Though the 2016 commitment list already features at least three wide receivers, there isn’t a more polished and elite receiver than Crawford. He has that mix of speed, athleticism, catching radius and big play ability that Michigan has been known for in the past. And it looks like UM may end up getting their wish and landing him when he (possibly) decides at the Army All-American game.
- ATH Jordan Fuller
- Fuller may be the biggest question mark on this wish list but he’s definitely a top priority for the staff up until NSD. Not only is he one of the top players in their new pipeline state (New Jersey) and friends with several of their commits but he also happens to have a real chance to be a star on either side of the ball at the next level. If the staff can lock in an official visit before NSD, they’ll have as good of a chance as anyone to land his signature on February 3rd.
- DE Levi Onwuzurike
- This may be a bit of a surprise addition to the wish list but, from all reports, Onwuzurike is a top target for the staff in 2016. Defensive end may not be a priority at the moment but things could be shaken up before NSD and the Allen star could be a big time get before/on NSD.
Landing all 8 of these top targets would obviously mean there will be some decommitments from the current class but that’s more than expected.
If you were putting together a wish list to finish out the 2016 class, who would you include? Let us know in the comment section below.
Photo Credit: Leon Halip/Getty Images
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