Michigan Recruiting Preview: 20 Names to Know in 2020

After signing a top ten class in 2019 full of instant and long-term impact players, the Michigan coaching staff is turning its full focus on the 2020 class with a strong foundation already built. The biggest question will be the effect the coaching changes have on the targets. New offensive coordinator Josh Gattis is an excellent recruiter that will make a big impact with the offensive weapons, wide receivers especially. While defensive assistant (S or LB coach) Anthony Campanile having some of the strongest ties and ‘ins” to New Jersey in the country. But the departures of Al Washington and Greg Mattison will also play a big factor with some of the current targets, especially in the Midwest.

With a defensive line coach also expected to be announced in the near future, that’ll change things up a bit too, especially if its as good of a hire as the previous two look to be. Either way, Michigan is set to put together another really nice group of commitments in this cycle, even though it may not be a very large class.

There will be a lot of ups and downs with the recruiting board during the cycle but to get you ready, check out 20 of Michigan’s top 2020 recruiting targets to watch over the next year:

1. OG/DT Justin Rogers

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 311lbs
  • Hometown (School): Oak Park, MI (Oak Park)
  • Composite Ranking: Five-star, #14 Overall, #1 OG, #1 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Ohio State

Rogers may not be favoring Michigan at the moment (Georgia and Ohio State look to be at the top of his list) but he’s still very much a top target. He is the #1 player in Michigan and easily one of the top players in the 2020 class. Whether he plays on offense or defense, this should be a roller coaster of a recruitment.

2. WR Rashawn Williams

  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 185lbs
  • Hometown (School): Detroit, MI (Martin Luther King)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #156 Overall, #29 WR, #3 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan

The top receiver in the state and one of the best in the class, Williams is not only a top target for the staff but looks to be favoring the Wolverines thanks to his familiarity with the program and close friendship with current commit CB Andre Seldon.

3. RB Bijan Robinson

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 200lbs
  • Hometown (School): Tucson, AZ (Salpointe Catholic)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #39 Overall, #6 RB, #3 in Arizona
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: UCLA

Robinson is one of the best running backs in this class and looks to be a top of the board target for Michigan. He’s already visited Ann Arbor for the SMU game this past season, which has pushed UM up his list. This will be a national recruitment and one that Michigan looks like it can win, especially with early playing time available for this class.

4. APB Michael Drennen III

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 190lbs
  • Hometown (School): Dublin, OH (Coffman)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #183 Overall, #3 APB, #3 in Ohio
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Ohio State

Drennen may be the biggest Michigan-Ohio State battle in this class. The four-star all-purpose back is a dynamic talent in both the running and passing game that has been a top target for both staff’s since 2020 recruiting began. Michigan looked to have the edge early on but with Al Washington now in Columbus, does Michigan have the same pull as before?

5. RB Daniyel Ngata

  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 180lbs
  • Hometown (School): Folsom, CA (Folsom)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #107 Overall, #9 ATH, #15 in California
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Washington

Ngata is another all-purpose back that looks to be at the top of Michigan’s board. The staff was able to pluck two offensive dynamos out of California in the 2019 class and looks to be in prime position to add another in Ngata. Though a who’s who list of premier programs have already thrown their hat in the ring, he hasn’t hidden his love for Michigan.

6. OT Andrew Gentry

  • Height: 6’8”
  • Weight: 290lbs
  • Hometown (School): Littleton, CO (Columbine)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #116 Overall, #15 OT, #1 in Colorado
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: BYU/Notre Dame

Gentry is another highly ranked early target for the staff and could now end up being even more of a priority for Michigan following Myles Hinton’s commitment to Stanford. This looks to be another Michigan-Notre Dame battle this cycle.

7. OL Andrew Raym

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 300lbs
  • Hometown (School): Broken Arrow, OK (Broken Arrow)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #56 Overall, #3 OG, #1 in Oklahoma
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Oklahoma

The former Sooners commit and current top 100 recruit has been a main target for Michigan early on in this recruitment. Oklahoma, Georgia and LSU look to be the main competition here but the mix of Sherrone Moore and Ed Warriner has the Wolverines in good shape. Raym is another name to watch really closely during the spring, especially if the staff can get him and his teammate(s) on campus.

8. CB Myles Slusher

  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 180lbs
  • Hometown (School): Broken Arrow, OK (Broken Arrow)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #212 Overall, #17 CB, #3 in Oklahoma
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Oklahoma/Oklahoma State

Speaking of Raym’s teammates, Slusher looks to be one of the staff’s top cornerback targets in a class in need of building more depth at the position. He’s another highly ranked player that has been showing Michigan a lot of love early on during the recruiting cycle. It’ll be a tough one to win but UM has put itself in good position to do so.

9. S Jordan Morant

  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 195lbs
  • Hometown (School): Oradell, NJ (Bergen Catholic)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #178 Overall, #8 S, #5 in New Jersey
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Penn State

Morant quickly became a top target for the staff with the new additions to the coaching staff as both Josh Gattis and Anthony Campanile were his primary recruiters at Alabama and Boston College respectively. And it’s clearly paying off already as The Michigan Insider has reported ($). Having Campanile’s brother as his head coach is huge here. Getting him on campus this winter/spring will be as well. Things are definitely trending positively for Michigan here.

10. DE/TE Braiden McGregor

  • Height: 6’6”
  • Weight: 250lbs
  • Hometown (School): Port Huron, MI (Northern)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #323 Overall, #18 SDE, #6 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Notre Dame

McGregor is a big time target in this class, in my opinion. He’s a versatile defensive end that could possibly end up at tight end. Either way, Michigan is clearly interested as both positions are big needs in this class. Notre Dame is the biggest threat as they made a huge impression during his trip to South Bend. We’ll see how big the Greg Mattison departure and new DL coach hiring plays a factor here but Michigan has been in really good shape early on.

11. WR Josh Downs

  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 165lbs
  • Hometown (School): Suwanee, GA (North Gwinnett)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #342 Overall, #69 WR, #33 in Georgia
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan/North Carolina State

The son of a former NC State player, Downs has been a long time target for both the Michigan staff and the commitments. With the addition of Josh Gattis, Michigan is clearly about to open things up on offense. Downs would be a really nice addition to the current depth chart that could always use more play makers.

12. ATH Cameron Martinez

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 175lbs
  • Hometown (School): Muskegon, MI (Muskegon)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #494 Overall, #39 ATH, #17 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan

In-state targets are clearly a trend on this list as the 2020 class is one of the best high school players in the country. He was named the state’s Gatorade POY as dual-threat junior quarterback but looks to be a wide receiver or safety at the next level. Whichever position it is, he’s a guy that has big play potential written all over him. Though Greg Mattison was his primary recruiter, I like where Michigan stands early on.

13. WR Julian Fleming

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 210lbs
  • Hometown (School): Catawissa, PA (Southern Columbia)
  • Composite Ranking: Five-star, #5 Overall, #1 WR, #1 in Pennsylvania
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Penn State

There aren’t many high school players, regardless of class, that are as physically mature as Fleming. Dude looks like a pro against high school kids. Though he looked like he’d end up either playing against Michigan in the Big Ten East (Penn State or Ohio State) or at Alabama, the hiring of Josh Gattis clearly changed things for him, as he told TMI’s Steve Lorenz ($). Getting him on campus this spring should be priority #1 for Michigan. And we’ve all seen how those visits can sway things for top-ranked targets.

14. OL Michael Carmody

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 285lbs
  • Hometown (School): Mars, PA (Mars Area)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #196 Overall, #25 OT, #2 in Pennsylvania
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Penn State

The high school basketball standout and pass catching tight end looks to be in almost the exact same mold as 2018 Michigan signee OT Ryan Hayes. Ed Warriner is a big fan of athletic, versatile lineman and there aren’t many in this class that fit that description as much as Carmody. This looks like a Penn State-Michigan battle that could go either way.

15. OL Zak Zinter

  • Height: 6’6”
  • Weight: 300lbs
  • Hometown (School): North Andover, MA (Buckingham Brown & Nichols)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #137 Overall, #19 OT, #3 in Massachusetts
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: None

Zinter is a player I see ending up at Michigan. He’s been on campus three times already and looks to be building a really strong relationship with the staff. Being by far his biggest offer at the moment, Michigan is in striking distance here.

16. S Makari Paige

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 185lbs
  • Hometown (School): West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #200 Overall, #11 S, #4 in Michigan
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan

Paige is another highly ranked in-state player that the staff has targeted early on and put itself in prime position for. Ohio State and Notre Dame have been pushing for him as well but with Andre Seldon helping the Michigan staff’s efforts and the need for a rangy safety in this class, I like UM here.

17. LB/RB Kalel Mullings

  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 215lbs
  • Hometown (School): Boston, MA (Milton Academy)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #102 Overall, #3 OLB, #1 in Massachusetts
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan

Mullings has been a priority recruit and has visited Ann Arbor five times already. He’s a guy that could play linebacker or running back at the next level and with both positions being two of the biggest needs, it’s hard to see Don Brown and the rest of the staff’s pursuit fall off much. Notre Dame, Clemson and Boston College are all early contenders but at the moment my Crystal Ball is still on Michigan.

18. LB Ethan West

  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 225lbs
  • Hometown (School): Midlothian, VA (Cosby)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #262 Overall, #9 ILB, #6 in Virginia
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Michigan

West looked like he was very close to committing to Michigan following his Wisconsin game visit. But he held off and this now looks like it may be a Michigan-Clemson battle, as he visited Death Valley twice over the fall. Will Al Washington’s departure change things here? With a big need at linebacker in 2020, it’s hard to see whoever moves into the LB role (Chris Partridge or Anthony Campanile) moving the oversized linebacker down the board.

19. DT Cole Brevard

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 280lbs
  • Hometown (School): Carmel, IN (Carmel)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #157 Overall, #13 DT, #1 in Indiana
  • Crystal Ball Favorite: Oregon

Brevard is another defensive line target that could be affected by the Greg Mattison departure. He built a strong relationship with the former DL coach and without a replacement in Ann Arbor just yet, it’ll be interesting to see where he stands on the board. But being one of the best tackles in the class and in the Midwest, it’s hard to see the new DL coach and the rest of the staff deciding not to keep him atop the board.

20. OT Myles Hinton

  • Height: 6’6”
  • Weight: 310lbs
  • Hometown (School): Norcross, GA (Greater Atlanta Christian)
  • Composite Ranking: Five-star, #12 Overall, #2 OT, #2 in Georgia
  • Committed to Stanford

Hinton shocked a lot of people when he committed to Stanford last week even though the Cardinal had been a serious threat throughout his recruitment. TMI’s Steve Lorenz is hearing Michigan will continue to recruit him ($) but will he back off his pledge? Hard to see it happening but there’s plenty of time remaining.

Other Names to Watch (there’s a lot of them):

There will be plenty of movement throughout the 2020 cycle with current commits and targets. Who are some of the biggest names you’re hoping Michigan can land in the upcoming class? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: Steve Martarano/Sacremento Press

Garrett Fishaw