Michigan’s 2018 Early Signing Day Preview: Who to Watch

For the first time, college football will have an early signing period in December to allow the solid commitments the chance to sign and the coaches to focus their time on uncommitted recruits they’d like to land on National Signing Day in February. Not a fan of it but that’s not the point of this article. Michigan’s gonna have a busy first day of the three day spectacle as the staff is expected to send and receive several letters of intent. There’s also a chance of some fireworks going off as there’s at least one offered prospect that looks like he could flip his commitment prior to the opening bell and send his LOI to Ann Arbor.

Here’s what to expect from Michigan’s 12th ranked recruiting class during the 2018 Early Signing Day:

Commits Expected to Sign

Commits Expected to Wait

  • OLB Otis Reese
    • Committed Since: 6/20/16
    • Early Enrollee: No
    • Reese isn’t expected to sign early and remains, arguably, the top target for the coaching staff from now until February 1st. While he’s committed to Michigan on paper, it’s clearly an open race between UM and in-state Georgia. It may come down to whether or not the Michigan coaching staff can get him back to Ann Arbor prior to him signing an LOI. This is one that looks to be 50/50. Stay tuned.
  • QB Kevin Doyle
    • Committed Since: 9/24/17
    • Early Enrollee: No
    • According to Freep’s Nick Baumgardner, Doyle will wait until February to sign so he can sign with his teammates. He says he’s still firmly committed to Michigan but this is probably a smart move either way. He can enjoy the experience with friends and teammates while also waiting out to see if another top program extends him an offer to be the only quarterback in its class. Doubt it will happen but waiting until NSD at least leaves a chance.

Who to Keep an Eye On 

  • DE Julius Welschof
    • Welschof is a familiar name for recruiting fans thanks to coming over from Germany and making a name for himself on the camp circuit, including his eye-catching performance at Michigan’s camp over the summer. Though he’s been committed to Georgia Tech since October, finally receiving an offer from Michigan just a couple days ago looks like it has him thinking. 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong already put his Crystal Ball in for the flip and TMI’s Steve Lorenz has heard positive things as well ($). It wouldn’t shock me at all to see him commit to and sign with Michigan on Wednesday.
  • ATH Michael Barrett
    • Thanks to an official visit to Ann Arbor on December 8th and reports of him being a for sure take, all signs point to Michigan for Barrett. While it looked possible he could drop just days after leaving town, he held off. Will he announce his decision and sign tomorrow? There aren’t any announced announcements but it’s another one that wouldn’t shock me to see come through. And for it to be for Michigan, where my Crystal Ball lies.
  • CB Vincent Gray
    • Gray is another late offer from the staff and another in-state recruit that is starting to receive a lot of attention with the finish line in sight. The staff extended their offer to the Rochester Adams (MI) standout, Missouri commit and West Virginia lean on December 18th. Was there enough time to convince him to stay in-state? According to 247Sports’ Allen Trieu, thanks to that offer, he’ll hold off on signing on Wednesday so he can visit Ann Arbor ($). We’ll see if he waits to make that decision or surprises everyone.

Early Signing Day 2018 (December 20th-22nd) won’t have the same amount of craziness as the normal National Signing Day but it will still be one to watch. Michigan fans will have plenty to, especially with a couple targets out there possibly making their final decisions. Who do you think will drop? Will there be any craziness for UM? Let us know in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: Bryan Fuller/MGoBlog