Landing the top two prospects in the country has never been done in the Rivals recruiting era. The closest one school has come to pulling off the impossible feat was in 2003 when USC landed Reggie Bush (#2 overall) and Whitney Lewis (#3 overall). It also was very close in 2010, when Florida landed Ronald Powell (#1 overall) and Shariff Floyd (#4 overall).
The closest the Wolverines have come to bringing in the top two prospects was in 2003 when Coach Lloyd Carr landed Prescott Burgess (#6 overall) and Lamarr Woodley (#14 overall). But now Head Coach Brady Hoke has already landed the #2 overall player, Peppers, and is rumored to be the leader for the #1 overall player, Hand.
Where They Rank
|Hand looks good in Maize and Blue.
Peppers is the highest ranked prospect in Michigan recruiting history. He is the #2 overall prospect according to Rivals and ESPN, 7th overall according to Scout, and 8th overall according to 247Sports. He is the highest Michigan commit since the Wolverines landed Ryan Mallet in 2007 (#4 overall).
Hand is the top overall recruit according to Rivals and 247Sports, 2nd overall according to Scout, and 4th overall according to ESPN. The closest Michigan has ever come to landing the top overall recruit was in 2008 when they came up just short for Terrelle Pryor.
What They Bring
Peppers is one of the most electrifying, dominant, and highly skilled recruits and athletes that I have ever seen. His highlight tape was ranked the best in the 2014 class by analysts and other recruits, he has led his schools (two different New Jersey schools) to three state championships, and he was also named a \”Future Game Changer\” by Sports Illustrated. He is that good.
At Michigan, Peppers is expected to star from day one. He will come in as a cornerback but should impact all three phases of the game. Not only is he a lockdown defensive back, but he is a superstar running back, receiver, and return man. Expect him to be an impact player as long as he\’s in Ann Arbor.
As for Hand, he is one of the most dominant defensive lineman I have seen on tape. Mike Farrell (@RivalsMike) said that he thinks Hand is the best prospect since Jadeveon Clowney. I\’m pretty sure all Michigan fans, especially Vincent Smith, remember that guy.
Hand has the physical and mental ability to be an absolute star, on and off the field. He is a force to be reckoned with as he was literally unblockable during his junior year in which he had 110 tackles, 16 sacks, 40 tackles for loss, 2 pass deflections, 4 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries.
At Michigan, Hand should be able to step in at strong side defensive end and play right away. If he starts from day one, would be amazing, but doubtful. But with his size and athleticism, he should definitely make an impact as a role player in his first year or two. Either way, if he picks the Maize and Blue, he will be, at the least, a very impactful player.
What It Could Mean
Landing the #2 player in the country has ripple effects. As soon as Peppers committed, the rest of the country took notice. Especially the top prospects in the country. They are now looking at Michigan as a real option and possibility.
Now imagine the Wolverines also adding the #1 player in the country……..Yeah, Wow.
|This is just a nice picture of Jabrill. (via TeamJReall)|
It could not only give Michigan the top 2014 recruiting class in the country and more top end talent to add to the roster, but it could also set off a fire storm of recruiting success for the Maize and Blue. Recruits talk, and Peppers has already been recruiting, and getting a ton of interest back from, the top players in both the 2014 and 2015 class, including Adoree Jackson and Leonard Fournette.
Outside of recruiting, bringing in the top talent in the country normally means great success on the field. However, some may not agree (cough, Sparty, cough). But all you have to do is look at Alabama. The Crimson Tide have had the #1 class (according to Rivals.com) for 5 of the last 6 classes and they have won 3 of the last 4 National Championships.
So, id say recruiting has a very large impact on the team success, especially when you have some of the top position coaches in the country to develop the talent like there are in Ann Arbor.
Landing the top two recruits in the country will do wonders for the Michigan program for many years to come.
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