With the beginning of football on the door step, it is time to release the names of the youngsters to keep your eye on moving forward. I have put together a list of the top sophomore targets to know and remember going into the 2014 season, including several top 100 players that Michigan has a very good chance with in the 2017 recruiting class:
QB Kyle Wood, 6’0” 185lbs. Rochester, MI (Rochester Adams HS)
One of the most talented quarterbacks in the state and class, Wood is an athletic pocket passer that has visited Ann Arbor in the past. I spoke with him back in the spring and he told me he grew up a Wolverines fan and Shane Morris\’ dad is his trainer. With more growth and film, look for his recruitment to pick up and the Wolverines to be in it for the long haul.
RB Todd Sibley, 5’10” 195lbs. Akron, OH (Archbishop Hoban)
Sibley is one of the best running backs in the class and one of the best players in the Midwest. His size, speed and instincts make him the tough, between the tackle tailback that every coaching staff is looking for. He has visited Ann Arbor before and had glowing reviews. It is likely that he will be a big time battle between Michigan and OSU but expect him to blow up with more game tape and camps.
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, 6’1” 170lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech HS)
Ranked as the #12 overall player in the class (according to 247Sports), Peoples-Jones is already one of the most touted recruits in the country. He has the size and athleticism that coaches are looking for in a receiver, especially the Michigan staff. The staff is looking to see more film on him before offering, but I expect that to happen shortly after the beginning of his sophomore season.
WR Jeff Thomas, 5’10” 170lbs. East Saint Louis, IL (East Saint Louis HS)
Thomas is an electrifying of a recruit that is in the class and happens to have the Wolverines on top early in the process (according to 247Sports\’ Clint Brewster ($). The staff offered him back in February after a big time freshmen season which shows how high on the board he happens to be. Add in his close friendship with top 2016 running back target Kentrail Moran, and things are looking very good for Michigan here.
OL Josh Myers, 6’5” 255lbs. Miamisburg, OH (Miamisburg HS)
There may not be a prospect on this list that has seen more attention than Myers. He is an extremely prospect that is ranked as the #1 offensive tackle in the class and the #3 overall prospect. With the attention and visits, he is a guy to keep a very close eye on moving forward. It will be tough to pull him out of Ohio with the Buckeyes heavily recruiting him and his dad being a former Kentucky Wildcat, but I think Michigan is in good position.
OL Emani Mason, 6’4” 268lbs. Detroit, MI (East English Village Prep)
The top offensive lineman in the state, Mason is a raw lineman that can dominate as a pass or run blocker. He is very talented and has said that Michigan, MSU and OSU are his top 3 at the moment but will likely become a national prospect with Bama and other top programs showing early interest. With natural growth and more game film, look for the staff to extend him an offer and be one of the favorites throughout the entire process.
DE Corey Malone-Hatcher, 6’3” 205lbs. Saint Joseph, MI (St. Joseph HS)
Malone-Hatcher is one of the most physically impressive and highly touted recruits in the entire class. His size, athleticism and tenacity makes him a force on the line that just about every staff in the country is looking to add. Even with big interest from Bama, FSU and an early offer from OSU, it looks like the Wolverines are at or near the top of his list thanks to an amazing BBQ visit. He has yet to earn an offer but that should come in the not-so-distant future.
DE AJ Epenesa, 6’5” 230lbs. Edwardsville, IL (Edwardsville HS)
When the #1 defensive end and #2 overall player in the class is out of the Midwest, they are obviously very high on the staff\’s board. Epenesa passes the look test with flying colors and has the tape to back it up. He has elite quickness which makes him a dominant force on the line, even as an underclassman. He has yet to visit Ann Arbor but Coach Hecklinski visited him back in the spring. With some early sophomore season game film, an offer should be extended and his recruitment will likely pick up. However, the fact that he is an Iowa legacy, he could be a very tough pull.
LB Josh Ross, 6’1” 194lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (St. Mary’s HS)
The most likely target to end up a Wolverine, Ross is the younger brother of current Michigan linebacker James Ross III and has a very similar playing style. He is the #51 overall player in the class (according to 247Sports) and is one of the best players in the state. The staff has already extended an offer and with his multiple visits and relationships with the coaches, it looks like it could just be a matter of time before he\’s a member of the class.
LB Drew Singleton, 6’2” 215lbs. Paramus, NJ (Paramus Catholic HS)
The next big thing out of Paramus Catholic. That is what multiple scouts have said about Singelton because of his physical build and playmaking ability. He has yet to receive his first offer but with more game tape, expect the offers to start pouring in. The Wolverines staff will likely heavily target the PC star, like they did with Peppers and Bushell-Beatty in 2014 and Rashan Gary in 2016.
CB Lamont Wade, 5’10” 185lbs. Clairton, PA (Clairton HS)
Another top 50 recruit in the class, Wade is a game changing talent on both sides of the ball but is being recruited as a corner. Coach Mattison and Coach Funk have visited him several times and he let 247Sports\’ Steve Lorenz ($) know that Michigan is his \”dream school\”. An offer will likely come this fall and should put the Wolverines near or at the top of his list.
It is still extremely early for these recruits, but they are some of the best in the country and near the top of the board for the Michigan coaching staff. So, keep an eye and ear out for them as they continue to grow and let us know, which recruit is the most important for the coaches to land?
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