Summer Snowball Effect?: 6 Bold Recruiting Predictions

Several Michigan fans are starting to question the coaching staff’s recruiting abilities after the (somewhat) slow start to the 2016 class (6 commitments in total, 5 for the new staff). Here’s my quick advice: be patient.

Most recruits are still building a relationship with the coaching staff and several top targets are yet to make their first visit to Ann Arbor. However, this summer is expected to be a very busy one for the coaches and targets. With so many visits and camps planned, I could see a snowball effect take place with so many top targets having Michigan at/near the top.

This is all a somewhat calculated gut feeling, but here are my six bold summer recruiting predictions for Harbaugh and the Michigan football program (between mid-May to the end of August):

  1. Fitzpatrick Holds off on Flipping, for Now

    • After speaking to a source close to his recruitment, Dez Fitzpatrick has been focusing on his upcoming season and his transfer to Waterford Mott. As for his recruitment, he’s going to wait a bit to feel things out but I still believe he could end up in the Maize and Blue at the end of the day. Especially after a big time senior season.
  2. At Least Ten 2016 commitments take place before August 31st (top candidates:)

    1. Donald Stewart
    2. Jonathan Jones
    3. Brad Hawkins 
    4. Ron Johnson
    5. Devery Hamilton
    6. Ahmir Mitchell 
    7. Quinn Nordin 
    8. Terrance Davis 
    9. Ben Bredeson
    10. Naseir Upshur
    11. Tony Butler
    12. Michael Onwenu
    13. Austin Mack 
    14. Auston Roberson 
  3. Four offensive lineman commit (my predictions:)

    • OL Ben Bredeson
      • The top offensive lineman on the board will be in Ann Arbor at the end of May and is looking to make a decision soon. He was already extremely high on the Wolverines before and this visit will only help the new staff try to seal the deal. If everything goes as planned, a pledge to the Maize and Blue could really kick off the summer for the staff.
    • OG Terrance Davis
      • Davis has had the Wolverines out front since he left Ann Arbor after his spring game visit. And from his Twitter activity and attire at camps, it looks like that remains to be the case. While he’s looking to take his time, if Bredeson or another lineman commits, he may speed up his process and jump on board quickly.
    • OG Michael Onwenu
      • Onwenu may have played his way into a five star ranking with his camp performances lately and it looks like there’s a good shot he’s showing off elite talent in the Maize and Blue. He is said to possibly be down to Michigan and Ohio State as his final two and could make a decision in the not-so-distant future. And with OSU landing their 3rd lineman, it may have increased the Wolverines chances to land the top lineman in the state.
    • OT Devery Hamilton
      • I have him as the 4th lineman on the list because I am not sure when he may pull the trigger. However, Hamilton is very high on the Wolverines and is said to be heavily leaning towards the Maize and Blue, per 247’s Lorenz. This means he could possibly end up being one of the next commitments for the class or, like in this scenario, he pledges to Michigan when the spots quickly start to fill up.
  4. Four commitments from New Jersey (my predictions:)

    • WR Donald Stewart
      • Stewart landed his offer from the coaches back in April and quickly became one of the best bets to be the next to join the class. He is out of Paramus Catholic (Jabrill Peppers and Coach Singleton’s school) and is expected to visit later this month. With his close relationships with Peppers and Singleton, as well as Michigan being his biggest offer, things look extremely good for the Wolverines here.
    • WR Brad Hawkins
      • Hawkins has the size and skill that the coaches are looking for on the outside, and he’s rumored to be favoring the Wolverines (via 247’s Lorenz). With him and his teammate, Ron Johnson, having Michigan out front, a duel commitment is very possible this summer.
    • DE Ron Johnson
    • ATH Ahmir Mitchell
      • Mitchell may be a bit of a surprise to some on the list but, according to TMI’s Sam Webb’s sources, it’s down to Michigan and Ohio State for the New Jersey star ($). While OSU looks to be the favorite, Webb also said that they may only take WR Austin Mack OR Mitchell. Both are very high on Michigan as well, so I like their odds more with Mitchell than Mack since his decision date is set for early June.
  5. Multiple Visitors Pull the Trigger (my predictions:)

    • K/P Quinn Nordin 
      • The nation’s top kicker and punter landed his offer from Michigan during the Spring Game and quickly looked to be the next commitment. However, he’s been taking his time and continues to land offers. But I still believe Michigan is the team to beat and if they push a little for a visit/decision, a commitment could be possible.
    • TE Naseir Upshur
      • Upshur has been a known top target for awhile now and from multiple interviews and reports, it’s paying off. He has a great relationship with Jay Harbaugh and that could be the deciding factor in his recruitment. He’s expected to visit again this summer and I wouldn’t rule out a commitment on that trip.
    • LB Jonathan Jones
      • Jones is another top target that (definitely) Michigan leads for that will visit this summer. He’d likely already be a member of the class if he were able to make it up this spring, so a quick decision while in Ann Arbor is a very real possibility.
  6. At Least Two Commitments at the 2017 In-State Great Eight (top candidates:)

    • ATH Allen Stritzinger
      • The top in-state running back in the class is extremely high on Michigan and looks to be a very good candidate to end up in Maize and Blue. If the staff pushes for him to be a leader in the class, I wouldn’t be shocked to see a decision made.
    • OT JaRaymond Hall 
      • Hall is another offered target that looks to have Wolverines out front. And like Stritzinger, I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see him end his recruitment early and join the 2017 class.
    • OLB Corey Malone-Hatcher
      • Arguably the top player in the state for 2017, CMH is an elite talent and is being heavily targeted at the Buck linebacker position. After speaking with sources very close to his recruitment, I believe it’s just a matter of time before he pledges to Michigan.  The “In State Great 8” event could be the perfect time to do so.
    • LB Josh Ross
      • The younger Ross is another top target on the linebacker board for the staff and is said to be a near lock to join the class sooner or later. If the staff pushes him to join, his recruitment could be over quickly.
    • S Jaylen Kelly-Powell
      • JKP is another top in-state defensive target that looks to be heavily favoring Michigan. Hell, his entire family is full of Wolverine fans and he was named after former Fab 5 star, Jaylen Rose. Landing him could be monstrous for the staff’s chances at bringing in the other top Detroit players, like Donovan Peoples-Jones, Ambry Thomas and Donovan Johnson.