The finish line is in sight and the craziness is at an all time high on the recruiting trail. National Signing Day is next Wednesday and Michigan has anywhere between 6-9 spots available in the 2016 class (depending on further attrition) with at least 15 targets on the board that could fill out the class. But who will it be?
Here is a breakdown of who is on the board and where Michigan stands with them going into the final week of the 2016 recruiting cycle:
ATH Khaleke Hudson
Hudson quickly became a priority for the staff after receiving his offer in early November. Thanks to that pursuit, the fit in UM’s roster and his official visit, Michigan looks likely to beat out Penn State and land his commitment on Wednesday when he announces his final decision.
WR Eddie McDoom
Oregon and McDoom parted ways when he decided to take an official visit to Ann Arbor last weekend. He let 247Sports Ryan Bartow know that if he loved his trip, a commitment was likely. Well, from all reports, the trip went as well a possible and now a final decision is expected this week, possibly on Wednesday.
Stewart also made his official visit to Michigan this past weekend and things went as well as possible. From everything he told me and everything I’ve gathered, he looks very likely to end up in this class when he announces his decision. Though he let me know he originally planned to announce right after his visit, he told 247Sports Steve Wiltfong that his mid-terms pushed the date back ($).
Though it could come at anytime between this weekend and NSD, he looks like a prime candidate to hold off until February 3rd to announce along side his very good friend, teammate and next name on the list.
DT Rashan Gary
Gary joined his friends from New Jersey on the visit to Ann Arbor this past weekend. Though it was an unofficial, it was his 5th time on campus over the last year. If that wasn’t enough to see where he may be leaning, his best friend and former teammate DT Michael Dwumfour committed to the Wolverines on Monday.
He will be announcing his commitment and signing on NSD and all signs point to Michigan, though Alabama will do all they can this weekend to change his mind.
Murphy was another official visitor this weekend but, unlike the others, this was his first trip to Ann Arbor. And it couldn’t have gone any better. He let MGoFish know that Michigan is one of his favorites though didn’t tip his hand where he’ll commit to and sign on NSD.
Just reading the tea leaves, I believe the Wolverines are the clear cut favorite though USC is a definite threat.
CB Lavert Hill
Like Gary, Hill made an unofficial visit to Ann Arbor this past weekend but his was a little different. He officially visited Michigan State for the majority of the weekend and then stopped by UM on his way home. There are still some questions on exactly what the visit was meant for but I was able to confirm that he hung out with the New Jersey recruits who were still in town, which I believe is a positive sign.
This is still a very close one to call and could end up going either way on NSD, but I am leaning back towards Michigan at this point.
ATH Jordan Fuller
Fuller was another official visitor this past weekend that left Ann Arbor with Michigan making a big move up his list. With UM, OSU and ND said to be his top teams, he plans on announcing his final decision on February 1st and it looks like it could go either way at this point.
The Wolverines have made up a lot of ground but my OSU source believes the Buckeyes were the heavy favorite going into the visit. But who leads now? We’ll see next Monday.
Nordin has looked like a near lock to flip from Penn State to Michigan for what seems like forever but it still hasn’t happened. It’s very possible he’s also waiting to announce on NSD but with USC coming through with an offer and receiving an official visit this weekend, the Trojans look like a real candidate to sign the nation’s top kicker.
At this point, I still believe he ends up choosing Michigan though I’m not as sure as I was before.
ATH Keyshawn Young
Young is another player that looked like a near lock to join the class but that was before Michigan added a couple wide receiver commits and look to add more. The staff clearly isn’t giving up on Pie, per Scout’s Allen Trieu ($), and still look like the favorite to sign him on NSD though the question still remains, will a spot be available? At this point, it’s hard to see that happening but I definitely wouldn’t rule it out.
TE Devin Asiasi
Asiasi made his way across the country this past weekend for his official visit and from talking to his teammate and fellow visitor, LS Biagio Capp, things went extremely well. Thanks to that visit, his familiarity with Coach Harbaugh and Michigan’s tight end usage, Asiasi went from a pipe dream to a legit option for this class quickly.
If the staff continues to push for him and show him and his teammate below that UM is a better fit than UCLA, Harbaugh could pull off one of the biggest steals of the class.
DT Boss Tagaloa
Speaking of Asiasi’s teammate, Tagaloa also thoroughly enjoyed his first and official trip to Ann Arbor. According to Scout’s Greg Biggins, the De La Salle tackle had always had Michigan as a close 2nd to UCLA and with this visit, he believes the Wolverines could very well land the teammates.
With the duo wanting to play together in college, it’ll be a fight between the Bruins and Wolverines from now until NSD. And yes, I went out on a limb and put both in my latest BGRC.
TE Nick Eubanks
Eubanks quickly jumped back onto the Michigan recruiting scene this week and will now be joining Simmons for an official visit this Wednesday, per 247Sports Luke Stampini ($). Add in Jay and Jim Harbaugh taking him out bowling on Monday night and he could jump into a top candidate to join the class later this week.
He let me know he’ll be announcing his decision on February 1st and it looks like Michigan will at least be a finalist on the table. Going off pure gut feeling (instincts/tea leaves, not Sam Webb like), I feel like UM is in this more than most believe.
TE Chase Allen
Allen was a target most, including myself, were expecting to see commit during his official visit two weekends ago. However, he held off and now could be on the outside looking in. It’s not known exactly where he sits on the “take board” but with the staff now targeting Nick Eubanks and Allen showing a lot of love to Nebraska, it’s possible he signs with another B1G program.
I left Allen off of my latest BGRC because of the chances with Asiasi increasing though this recruitment is definitely not over just yet.
According to Wolverine247, Simmons will make a mid-week official visit to Michigan this week ($). Though UM looks to be playing catch up to Clemson, this visit could be a game changer for his recruitment with only days remaining.
At this point, I believe Michigan fills out their defensive back class without Simmons though I will never rule out Harbaugh completely with a visit on tap.
The former commit listed Michigan in his final three and gave some hope to Wolverines fans that he could join the fray again. However, with the class filling up quickly and his desire to play QB in college, the safe bet is for him to stay on the west coast.
Jones went from a very likely member of this class to now looking like a future member of the Fighting Irish. Though the staff looks to be continuing to target him after landing LB Elysee Mbem-Bosse on Sunday night, all signs point to him choosing Notre Dame on February 1st.
OT EJ Price
Price has quickly become the “swing for the fences” recruit as the staff enters crunch time as Michigan has made two trips to see the Peach State star over the last week. But it may be all for nothing as most believe he ends up staying in SEC territory and signing with either Georgia or Auburn.
If the staff can set up a visit before NSD, that will raise some eyebrows and give Michigan a puncher’s chance. But at the end of the day, it’s very unlikely he ends up in this class.
So, out of the names listed above, who do you think Michigan closes out the 2016 recruiting class with? Add your guesses below in the comment section.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Droke/Post-Gazette