There are only a handful of big fish in each recruiting class and like with any trophy fish, the good ones normally take some time to reel in. Well, it took quite a while but Michigan finally reeled in the biggest name left on its 2021 recruiting board as top50 West Bloomfield (MI) RB Donovan Edwards committed to and signed with the Wolverines on Early Signing Day.
Arguably the best running back in this class. He’s received comparisons to Alvin Kamara and they’re justified. Edwards is a do-it-all work horse running back that has elite balance and playmaking ability. He’s an explosive runner with speed and shake that makes him a threat out of the backfield and in the passing game. Not a guy that is scared to run between the tackles or take on the blitz. His hard nosed, hard work mentality sets him apart from the rest of the talented backs in this class.
Michigan currently has a deep running back stable but without a for-sure #1 back in there, Edwards should play early on. He’s a guy that should get plenty of run and be a multi-year starter throughout his time in Ann Arbor.
Edwards has been a priority for the Michigan coaching staff throughout this recruiting cycle. A fringe five-star talent in their backyard that is coached by a former Michigan player, it wasn’t hard to identify but that didn’t take anything away from the relationships built between the two parties.
Though Michigan always had its in with Edwards, this recruitment has been a battle throughout. Ohio State looked moments away from adding him to its top-ranked class earlier in the year. Georgia, Oklahoma, and Alabama were all true threats as well as the four-star back was looking to play for one of the big boys.
But Michigan held steady and as the pandemic rolled along, canceling all recruiting visits, the Wolverines staff were able to make a move. Thanks to the connections to the school, and the opportunities in Ann Arbor on and off the field, Michigan moved to the top of the list as the clear favorite by the end of spring.
Another underlying helper for Michigan was how familiar Edwards is with the campus and coaching staff thanks to numerous visits early in his recruitment. With the pandemic ridden year canceling all visits, that familiarity with Ann Arbor, the campus and staff gave Michigan an upperhand over the main competition.
All of those factors, familiarities, and opportunities in Ann Arbor kept Michigan out front during a rough 2020 season. Though Georgia and Notre Dame made a late push, Edwards announced his commitment on Early Signing Day and signed with the Wolverines.
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 190lbs
- Hometown (School): West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield)
- Notable Offers: Alabama, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Georgia, Notre Dame
- Rankings: Rivals (4*, #74 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #29 overall) – ESPN (4*, #66 overall)
- Composite Ranking: Four-star, #44 Overall, #4 RB, #2 in Michigan
As for the Rest of the Class
Edwards is the 20th overall commit, the 2nd running back commit, and the 5th in-state get. His addition will be one of the last of the Early Signing Period but the staff will turn its attention to leftover prospects between now and National Signing Day in Februray. One name to watch closely will be Oak Park (MI) DT Rayshaun Benny, who did not sign with Michigan State today.
Photo Credit: GBMWolverine/Getty Images
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