Pursuit of Playmakers: Top Offensive Targets on the 2016 Board

When anyone watches the 2015 Michigan football team, they see one big issue: The offense. It lacks big plays and big playmakers. And Jim Harbaugh knows it. The staff is desperately looking for speed and playmakers to fill out the rest of the offensive positions in the class and, luckily, they have a fantastic shot at some of the best in the country.

Here is the list of top offensive targets remaining on the board that could end up in the 2016 Michigan recruiting class:

Running Back

  1. Kareem Walker
    • Walker is the only true running back left on the board that looks like a possibility for this class. And when I say possibility, he looks likely to be a part of it. Though he has multiple official visits in the near future, it would take a big change to sway him away from Michigan.

Wide Receiver

  1. Dylan Crawford
    • Crawford quickly jumped back to the top of the receiver board after showing his interest in Michigan and taking his official visit for the Michigan State game in the middle of October. Thanks to that visit going over better than most expected and the staff selling his mom on the program, UM looks to be the favorite moving forward, even with Oregon offering after the visit.
  2. Keyshawn Young
    • Soon after landing his offer from Michigan, Young became one of the most likely additions to the 2016 class. He has the speed and athleticism the staff desperately needs at the receiver position and will be officially visiting UM for the OSU game at the end of the month. If things go as well as expected, he may leave Ann Arbor as a member of the class.
  3. Eddie McDoom
    • The most terrifying cheeseburger in McDonalds’ history also happens to be one of the most sought after receivers in the class. And even though Michigan was the latest to offer, they look like one of the real threats to land him. If/when he visits, things could escalate quickly though the amount of receiver spots remaining are up for question.
  4. Donnie Corley
    • While things are definitely trending away from Michigan here, it’s not completely over just yet. Though it’s close, a flip/commitment from teammate and good friend CB Lavert Hill could be a last second attempt to sway the in-state star. But if I were putting money on it, Corley ends up committing to MSU or ND on December 8th.

Tight End

  1. Isaac Nauta
    • The top offensive player on the board, Nauta is a familiar and wanted name by the coaches and fans. Though some still believe he’ll stay close to home and sign with Georgia, I believe Michigan is not only at the top of his list but could very likely sign him as long as things continue to sway in that direction. Mark Richt’s future is heavily in doubt at UGA and Michigan not only has several family members/fans nearby but they also have the top tight end offense in the country (two things he’s prioritized during his recruitment). Unless another visit knocks his socks off, he decides he wants to stay close to home, or UGA hires a more tight end happy coach than Harbaugh, I think UM will be the choice.
  2. Jacob Mathis
    • Mathis officially visited for the Northwestern game and was blown away so much that Michigan looks to be the heavy favorites. However, according to The Wolverine’s ITF ($), the staff may have to slow play his recruitment a bit because of their positive feeling of landing Nauta. This will be an interesting recruitment to watch as Florida still remains a very real option as well.

Offensive Line

  1. Jean Delance
    • With the staff looking to bring in another offensive tackle in 2016, Delance is the clear option at the top of the board. Not only is he one of the best tackles in the class but he also happens to be very high on the Wolverines. According to Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, this is a Michigan/Texas battle ($). However, if Charlie Strong’s future remains in doubt and/or the Longhorns continue to struggle, UM may be in perfect position to pull Delance out of Texas after his official visit at the end of the month.
  2. Terrance Davis
    • For months, Michigan fans have been waiting for Davis to commit to the Wolverines. He’s continued to name UM his leader since the spring but has yet to pull the trigger. Could that cost him his spot in the class? I believe it’s very possible. The staff may not have room for another guard or a 2nd offensive lineman with all of the other needs and top targets remaining. But analysts still believe he’ll end up at UM. It would be a great get but with the space available, I’m starting to feel like it’s unlikely to happen.

Kicker

  1. Quinn Nordin
    • Like Davis, the chances of Nordin ending up in this class are very high as long as the staff has a spot for him. Back in the spring, they didn’t so he committed to Penn State. But now, it looks like they want to sign a kicker in this class. Will that remain the same? There are a ton of top targets at other positions and spots are running out. As for now, I think he’ll be in there but it’s not a foregone conclusion just yet.

Out of the group, Michigan has a very good shot at almost everyone. But like the issue has been since the summer, will the staff have enough spots to bring in all of the players that want to be Wolverines? That is a question that the staff doesn’t even know yet which makes these final months very interesting.

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Photo Credit: The Miami Herald/Fansided