The 2023 Best Guess Recruiting Class

Been a minute but I had some time and wanted to get this out there before we hit the final stretch for the 2023 Michigan recruiting class.

There has been a lot of groans about this class this year. And I get it. But let’s go glass half full. This class is a lot like the 22-person 2018 class that featured the likes of #112 overall Aidan Hutchinson, #335 overall Ryan Hayes, #796 overall Luke Schoonmaker, #975 overall Hassan Haskins, and the unranked Ronnie Bell and Jake Moody. Remember how much fanfare that class had? Yeah, not a lot. But it was the core of the Jim Harbaugh-era and the class that brought the program back to the championship level.

Star gaze all you want but Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff have proven they can evaluate and develop talent. So, maybe don’t sleep on this class. That’s not saying this class shouldn’t have been better, the off-season NFL flirtation and coaching staff overhaul clearly have had an effect. But looking past all that, this class will have its studs, its longterm contributors, its late-bloomers, and its transfers, just like every Harbaugh class.

This class has plenty of room to grow but barring some big changes in top targets or new additions to the target board, under 25 looks more likely than not at the moment.

So, without further adieu…

Check out the 2023 Best Guess Michigan Football Recruiting Class prediction:

1. 3* ATH Kendrick Bell, 6’3” 175lbs. Kansas City, MO (Park Hill)

Bell is the younger brother of Ronnie Bell and one hell of an athlete. But he’s even bigger and plays quarterback, though he may end up playing receiver or maybe even safety at the next level. He’s reportedly taking his official visit for the Penn State game in mid-October and that should tell if he’s a 100% take. With offers from only Massachusetts and Northern Iowa, if the staff pushes, it’s hard to see him not ending up at Michigan.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Official Visit: October 14th vs Penn State
  • Rankings: 247 (2*, #139 QB) – On3 (NR) – Rivals (NR) – ESPN (N/A)
  • Consensus Ranking: NR
  • Rivals FutureCast: Michigan
  • 247Sports Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • On3 Prediction: Michigan (99.9%)
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Other Options: Jalen Hamilton

2. 4* RB Cole Cabana, 6’0′ 180lbs. Dexter, MI (Dexter)

Some were skeptical of Michigan going after Cabana early in the process but he’s shown to be a very talented prospect and one of the better gets in the class so far. His ability as a runner and pass catcher should make him a dynamic addition to an already talented running back room.

  • Commitment Date: 2/5/22
  • Rankings: 247 (4*, #18 RB) – On3 (4*, #256 overall) – Rivals (4*, #213 overall) – ESPN (4*, #112 overall)
  • Consensus Ranking: Four-star, #179 Overall, #8 RB, #2 in Michigan

3. 3* RB Ben Hall, 5’10” 225lbs. Kennesaw, GA (North Cobb)

The thunder to Cabana’s lightning. Hall is one of the lowest rated commits on the list but one that could end up being a big contributor as a short yardage specialist thanks to his fire hydrant build. He’s hit a snag his senior year after an early season fumble so it’ll be interesting to see how the coaching staff evaluates his limited tape. Mike Hart trusts his eyes more than national recruiting rankings so if he thinks he’s a Michigan-level player, he’ll sign with the Wolverines.

  • Commitment Date: 3/29/22
  • Rankings: 247 (3*, #62 RB) – On3 (3*, #75 RB) – Rivals (4*, #18 RB) – ESPN (3*, #46 RB)
  • Consensus Ranking: Three-star, #704 Overall, #48 RB, #65 in Georgia

4. 3* WR Semaj Morgan, 5’10” 175lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield)

Morgan was one of the first gets of the class and has flown under the radar since. He may not be the biggest but he’s got speed and the technical skills needed to make an impact. He’s had a hell of a senior season, scoring touchdowns in just about every way imaginable. Could slide right into that AJ Henning/Swiss Army Knife role on the depth chart.

  • Commitment Date: 12/1/21
  • Rankings: 247 (3*, #63 WR) – On3 (3*, #113 WR) – Rivals (4*, #46 WR) – ESPN (3*, #86 WR)
  • Consensus Ranking: Three-star, #518 Overall, #77 WR, #11 in Michigan

5. 3* WR Fredrick Moore, 6’0” 175lbs. Saint Louis, MO (Cardinal Ritter)

Moore is a little more of a downfield threat than Morgan but both have a similar skillset as receivers. Not the biggest or the fastest but they both run great routes and have that dawg in them that you need at the position. Should be a productive player in the maize and blue.

  • Commitment Date: 7/1/22
  • Rankings: 247 (3*, #47 WR) – On3 (3*, #99 WR) – Rivals (4*, #44 WR) – ESPN (3*, #115 WR)
  • Consensus Ranking: Three-star, #509 Overall, #74 WR, #12 in Missouri

6. 5* ATH Nyckoles Harbor, 6’5” 225lbs. Washington, DC (Archbishop Carroll)

Harbor is arguably the best pure athlete to come out of high school in years. No joke. He’s a five-star football prospect that could play at least 4 different positions at the highest level and is an Olympic-level track star with a 10.28 100-yard dash at 6’5” 225lbs. Are you kidding me? His track videos look fake because of how much bigger he is than his opponents. It’s like if Jadaveon Clowney had Tyreek Hill’s speed. But let’s get past how good of an athlete he is. It’s no secret anymore that Michigan is in prime position here thanks to several connections to the school and area, as well as the perfect fit at the University.

Harbor’s mom grew up in the Detroit area and his grandfather still lives in the area, his longtime track coach, Pam Crockett, is a Michigan grad and has reportedly been very open about her affinity for the Wolverines, he’s very close with All-American Michigan sprinter Ziyah Holman, he has a 4.5 gpa and sees a future in the medical field, and he has built up strong connections with the coaching staff as they’re offering him the opportunity to play wide receiver at the next level. This one isn’t over yet as South Carolina and LSU are favorites too but when you put all the cards on the table, Michigan just looks like the perfect fit for the five star freak athlete.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Official Visit: September 24th vs Maryland
  • Rankings: 247 (5*, #9 overall) – On3 (5*, #13 overall) – Rivals (5*, #9 overall) – ESPN (4*, #29 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Five-star, #10 Overall, #1 ATH, #1 in DC
  • Rivals FutureCast: South Carolina
  • 247Sports Crystal Ball: South Carolina
  • On3 Prediction: Michigan (36.7%)
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Other Options: Jalen Hamilton

7. 3* TE Zack Marshall, 6’4” 220lbs. Carlsbad, CA (Carlsbad)

The latest addition to the class, Marshall is a very intriguing prospect. While WR/TE Kenyon Saddiq was leaning towards Iowa State, the staff offered the three-star tight end during his visit for the BBQ and immediately became the team to beat. He should add another dynamic pass catching athlete to the already stacked tight end room.

  • Commitment Date: 8/12/22
  • Rankings: 247 (3*, #79 ATH) – On3 (3*, #24 TE) – Rivals (3*, #45 TE) – ESPN (3* #22 TE-H)
  • Consensus Ranking: Three-star, #683 Overall, #37 TE, #50 in California

8. 3* TE Deakon Tonielli, 6’6” 215lbs. Oswego, IL (Oswego)

Tonielli is a guy that staff targeted back in August of 2021. He’s a talented pass catcher with a long frame and plenty of athleticism, and there’s still room to grow. High school tight ends can be hard to evaluate depending on the offense they’re in but it’s not hard to see the upside in Tonielli’s game.

  • Commitment Date: 6/19/22
  • Rankings: 247 (4*, #17 TE) – On3 (4*, #18 TE) – Rivals (3*, #42 TE) – ESPN (3*, #13 TE-Y)
  • Consensus Ranking: Four-star, #369 Overall, #22 TE, #6 in Illinois

9. 4* OT Evan Link, 6’6” 290lbs. Washington, DC (Gonzaga)

Link looked like he’d end up at Penn State but after the staff turned up the heat and got him to quietly visit Ann Arbor for the BBQ at the Big House, it was more than enough to get the four-star tackle to join the class. A big, big (and much needed) win for Sherrone Moore.

  • Commitment Date: 8/1/22
  • Rankings: 247 (3*, #42 OT) – On3 (4*, #126 overall) – Rivals (3*, #50 OT) – ESPN (4*, #33 OT)
  • Consensus Ranking: Four-star, #302 Overall, #22 OT, #3 in DC

10. 4* OL DJ Chester, 6’5” 300lbs. McDonough, GA (ELC Academy)

Arguably the biggest reach on the list but Chester is my choice for that one signee every class that the staff is all over for months but always seemed like a bit of a long shot, and then boom, ends up signing with Michigan at the end of the day. Think Trevor Keegan, George Rooks, Keon Sabb, etc. Chester’s last official will be to Ann Arbor and the Wolverines look to be fighting LSU for the top spot. If the staff can pull it off (he won’t announce until the All-American Bowl) this would be a monster get in a year Michigan just seemed to miss on most of their original offensive line targets.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Official Visit: Oct. 29th
  • Rankings: 247 (4*, #51 overall) – On3 (4*, #130 overall) – Rivals (4*, #13 OG) – ESPN (4*, #25 OT)
  • Consensus Ranking: Four-star, #162 Overall, #11 IOL, #13 in Georgia
  • Rivals FutureCast: LSU
  • 247Sports Crystal Ball: LSU
  • On3 Prediction: LSU (90%)
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good
  • Other Options: Spencer Fano, Caleb Lomu, Taliafi Taala

11. 3* OL Nick Fattig, 6’4” 275lbs. League City, TX (Clear Springs)

Fattig has never been to Michigan and just recently received his offer but just looks like a guy that will be in this class. He was an Ivy League recruit that blew up on the recruiting trail this summer, received his first P5 offer from Texas Tech during a visit and committed two weeks later. And then three weeks later, Michigan extended an offer and though he’s continued to say he’s committed to the Red Raiders, he’s left it pretty open for his expected official visit to Ann Arbor this September ($). As long as he remains a top target and the staff gets him on campus and pushes for the commitment, it’s hard to not see this flip happening.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Official Visit: TBD
  • Rankings: 247 (4*, #16 IOL) – On3 (3*, #29 IOL) – Rivals (3*, #54 OG) – ESPN (3*, #65 OG)
  • Consensus Ranking: Three-star, #478 Overall, #39 IOL, #79 in Texas
  • Rivals FutureCast: Texas Tech
  • 247Sports Crystal Ball: Texas Tech
  • On3 Prediction: Texas Tech
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good (Committed to Texas Tech)
  • Other Options: Spencer Fano, Caleb Lomu, Taliafi Taala

12. 3* OG Nathan Efobi, 6’4” 285lbs. Cumming, GA (South Forsyth)

Efobi has catapulted up the most wanted list for the Michigan staff and looks prime to join the class. He’ll officially visit for the Maryland game and has been trending towards the Wolverines for a minute now. The uber athletic interior lineman is a bit raw in his game but has all the makings of a multiple-year starter. Not sure what’s going on with his wide range of rankings among the recruiting sites. He has some work to do but if the ranking is based on NFL potential, you can see why On3 evaluates him as a top 150 recruit.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Official Visit: September 24th vs Maryland
  • Rankings: 247 (3*, #90 IOL) – On3 (4*, #128 overall) – Rivals (3*, #40 DT) – ESPN (3*, #33 OG)
  • Consensus Ranking: Three-star, #572 Overall, #52 IOL, #55 in Georgia
  • Rivals FutureCast: None
  • 247Sports Crystal Ball: None
  • On3 Prediction: Michigan
  • Michigan’s Chances: Excellent
  • Other Options: Spencer Fano, Caleb Lomu, Taliafi Taala

13. 4* G/C Amir Herring, 6’3” 300lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (West Bloomfield)

Herring went from a questionable take to “why aren’t they prioritizing him again?”. There are questions about how high his ceiling is but there’s no questioning his skillset. Easily one of the most versatile interior lineman prospects in the class, keeping the four-star in-state was a must-do for Michigan.

  • Commitment Date: 7/7/22
  • Rankings: 247 (4*, #13 IOL) – On3 (3*, #54 IOL) – Rivals (4*, #14 OG) – ESPN (4*, #157 overall)
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #296 Overall, #19 OL, #4 in Michigan

14. 4* NT Kayden McDonald, 6’3” 310lbs. Suwanee, GA (North Gwinnett)

Michigan needed some more meat up front in this class and McDonald would provide that. He has great athleticism at his size and offers positional versatility in an already strong defensive line room. But the staff will have to beat out Clemson, Florida, Oklahoma and Ohio State for the four-star lineman. Mike Elston has built a strong relationship and looked on the verge of McDonald’s commitment this summer. It may go down to the wire with Dabo’s Tigers holding the predictions at the moment.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Official Visit: September 10th vs Hawaii
  • Rankings: 247 (4*, #243 overall) – On3 (3*, #60 DL) – Rivals (4*, #193 overall) – ESPN (
  • Composite Ranking: Four-star, #313 Overall, #43 DL, #28 in Georgia
  • Rivals FutureCast: Clemson
  • 247Sports Crystal Ball: Clemson
  • On3 Prediction: Clemson
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good to Very Good
  • Other Options: Unnamed Senior Evaluation, Jordan Hall,

15. 3* DL Brooks Bahr, 6’6” 270lbs. Wilmette, IL (Loyola Academy)

Bahr joined the class back in March during the recruiting slow period. He’s a big bodied prospect that should slide into that 3-5 Tech on the defensive line and be a versatile depth piece for the Michigan defense.

  • Commitment Date: 3/15/22
  • Rankings: 247 (3*, #86 DL) – On3 (3*, #62 DL) – Rivals (3*, #47 SDE) – ESPN (3*, #91 DE)
  • Consensus Ranking: Three-star, #586 Overall, #62 DL, #11 in Illinois

16. 4* EDGE Enow Etta, 6’5” 260lbs. Colleyville, TX (CCA)

Etta was one of the most productive high school pass rushers in the country in 2021 as he racked up 22.5 sacks, 41 TFLs, and 124 tackles. This race went from Michigan to Michigan State back to the Wolverines as Mike Elston made his first big impact on the recruiting trail.

  • Commitment Date: 7/13/22
  • Rankings: 247 (4*, #71 overall) – On3 (4*, #116 overall) – Rivals (4*, #239 overall) – ESPN (4*, #191 overall)
  • Consensus Ranking: Four-star, #133 Overall, #14 DL, #25 in Texas

17. 4* EDGE Collins Acheampong, 6’7” 255lbs. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (Santa Margarita Catholic)

Acheampong was one of the best wins of the class so far as Michigan beat out some heavy NIL hitters in Miami and LSU. However, the opportunity and fit in Ann Arbor was too good to pass up for the pass rusher. He’s extremely raw with just a few years of football under his belt. If he puts it all together, look out.

  • Commitment Date: 7/8/22
  • Rankings: 247 (4*, #20 ATH) – On3 (4*, #121 overall) – Rivals (4*, #20 WDE) – ESPN (4*, #165 overall)
  • Consensus Ranking: Four-star, #200 Overall, #28 EDGE, #13 in California

18. 3* EDGE Koumba Aymeric, 6’4” 230lbs. Paris, France (Pionniers de Touraine)

The French freak caught the coaching staff’s attention at an early summer visit with the PPI DreamChasers Tour. His physical build, including a 7-foot wingspan, and athleticism is more than enough to earn an offer. With two four-star EDGEs in the class, I love the staff taking a chance on Aymeric.

  • Commitment Date: 7/15/22
  • Rankings: 247 (3*, #38 EDGE) – On3 (3*, #52 EDGE) – Rivals (3*, 5.5 Rating) – ESPN (3*, #75 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #884 Overall, #74 EDGE, #1 in France

19. 4* LB Semaj Bridgeman, 6’2” 230lbs. Philadelphia, PA (Imhotep Institute)

Bridgeman is the lone linebacker commit in this class and a good one at that. The four-star backer will spend his senior season at one of the best football factories in Philadelphia and should get a chance to rise in the rankings. He fills a big need in this class and will add to a talented linebacker room in Ann Arbor.

  • Commitment Date: 7/1/22
  • Rankings: 247 (4*, #32 LB) – On3 (4*, #298 overall) – Rivals (4*, #12 ILB) – ESPN (4*, #246 overall)
  • Consensus Ranking: Four-star, #276 Overall, #23 LB, #5 in Pennsylvania

20. 3* LB Arion Carter, 6’1” 210lbs. Smyrna, TN (Smyrna)

The fastest rising recruit in the country (and it’s easy to see why on his senior tape), Carter has received offers from a who’s who list over the last couple of weeks, including Michigan, Alabama, USC, LSU and Florida. That Bama offer may be tough to overcome especially since he’s already made a visit to Tuscaloosa. However, if Michigan can get him on campus, they’ll have a shot as he’s a legit high academics prospect. There’s a lot of offers coming his way so this is a bit of a shot in the dark but the fit in the program and the need at the position are enough for me to be optimistic here in a similar situation as last year’s class with LB Jimmy Rolder. Plus, there’s really not any other legit options at the moment.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Official Visit: September 17th vs UConn
  • Rankings: 247 (3*, #38 ATH) – On3 (4*, #27 LB) – Rivals (NR) – ESPN (3*, #60 ATH)
  • Consensus Ranking: Three-star, #1178 Overall, #106 LB, #31 in Tennessee
  • Rivals FutureCast: None
  • 247Sports Crystal Ball: None
  • On3 Prediction: Memphis
  • Michigan’s Chances: Good (Committed to Memphis)
  • Other Options: Hayden Moore, Kofi Taylor-Barrocks, Miles McGee

21. 4* CB Chris Peal, 6’0” 175lbs. Charlotte, NC (Providence Day School)

Peal is one of the top 3 names on the board for Michigan in this class but is in a heated battle with Georgia as South Carolina is hanging around as well. But the momentum looks to be with the Wolverines following his official visit to Ann Arbor in mid-September.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Official Visit: September 17th vs UConn
  • Rankings: 247 (4*, #214 overall) – On3 (4*, #75 overall) – Rivals (3*, #46 S) – ESPN (4*, #218 overall)
  • Consensus Ranking: Four-star, #178 Overall, #21 CB, #5 in North Carolina
  • Rivals FutureCast: Georgia
  • 247Sports Crystal Ball: Georgia
  • On3 Prediction: Georgia
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Other Options: Jeremiyah Love, Rodrick Pleasant

22. 4* CB Jyaire Hill, 6’1” 170lbs. Kankakee, IL (Kankakee)

Out of all of the uncommitted names on this list, Hill is one of the longest recruitments the staff has been in on. This battle is between Michigan and Illinois, which seems like it should be an easy win for the Wolverines but with the Illini staff prioritizing the in-stater, the Michigan staff has been unable to close. There’s a reason there aren’t many predictions in for Hill. This is a battle that could go on until the ink is dry but the opportunities in Ann Arbor should win out in the end.

  • Offer: Yes
  • Official Visit: June 10th
  • Rankings: 247 (4*, #147 overall) – On3 (4*, #200 overall) – Rivals (4*, #53 CB) – ESPN (4*, #35 CB)
  • Consensus Ranking: Four-star, #235 Overall, #27 CB, #3 in Illinois
  • Rivals FutureCast: Illinois
  • 247Sports Crystal Ball: Michigan
  • On3 Prediction: Illinois
  • Michigan’s Chances: Very Good to Excellent
  • Other Options: Jeremiyah Love, Rodrick Pleasant

23. 5* K Adam Samaha, 6’0” 170lbs. Ann Arbor, MI (Huron)

Michigan got lucky to have Jake Moody return for the 2022 season but after that, it may be on Tommy Doman’s shoulders to handle the punting and kicking duties. Landing another in-state stud like Samaha is an extremely underrated addition in this class.

  • Commitment Date: 11/25/21
  • Rankings: 247 (2*, #7 K) – On3 (3*) – Rivals (2*, 5.4) – Kornblue (5*, #1 K)
  • Composite Ranking: Three-star, #1601 Overall, #1 K, #24 in Michigan

Class Ranking: 254.73

If I’m a fortune teller and this is how the class ends, it would rank as the lowest ranked class since the aforementioned 2018 class (22nd overall: 230.56). As for nationally, this class would’ve finished 12th in 2022, 15th in 2021, and 18th in 2020. Expect a similar 10-20 finish for Michigan in 2023.

Just Missed

  • 4* OT Caleb Lomu
    • Lomu has jumped to the top of Sherrone Moore’s wish list at tackle after missing on a handful of top targets. Getting him up for the BBQ at the end of July was a win in itself but the staff was also able to impress Lomu with their first opportunity. He’s still very much a possibility as Arizona is currently the prediction leader but others are pushing hard as well, including Florida, UCLA, Utah, and more recently, USC.
  • 4* OT Spencer Fano
    • Fano is a top target for the staff but with most Utah recruits, the staff will have to beat out in-state BYU and Utah for a top target. Oregon is another team that’s making moves here as well. Michigan got him on campus in the spring and is set to host him on his last official visit at the end of October. However, his brother being at BYU and the familiarity with the program has me leaning towards the Cougars.
  • 4* CB Aaron GatesCommitted to Florida
    • Gates looked prime to flip from Florida earlier this summer but when he skipped out on the BBQ at the Big House at the end of July, it was the first real sign he was sticking with the Gators. That continues to look to be the case.
  • 4* CB/RB Jeremiyah Love
    • Michigan has pushed for Love but this has long seemed like another recruitment that will end in South Bend. Even with the Fighting Irish’s struggles, all signs continue to point to Notre Dame for the four-star athlete.
  • 4* WR Jaren Hamilton
    • Hamilton has quietly been a legit target for the staff for quite sometime. Rising up the rankings a bit, he’s a guy who the staff has kept tabs on. But with Florida reportedly getting more involved and other top SEC programs involved, it may be tough to pull him out of the south.
  • 5* CB Javien Toviano
    • The swing for the fences defensive back target for the staff that made some waves but doesn’t look like it’ll work out in the end. Toviano is an elite prospect out of the south which means it would take something special to win out. LSU looks to be in the best shape here with the in-state programs hanging around.

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Photo Credit: Patrick Barron/MGoBlog

Garrett Fishaw