The 2016 class is officially done and over with, and now the staff will start putting all their efforts towards the 2017 class. Within the 2017 class, Michigan will not be looking to have 29 commits like they did with the 2016 class. The Wolverines are looking to take about 23-27 commits in the 2017 class. In addition, I would expect a lot of decommitments in this class; more than the 2016 class, so no commitment is a lock. Below, I give my very first predicted 2017 class. This prediction will probably not be very close to my final prediction.
QB Dylan McCaffrey. 6’5″ 205lbs. Littleton, CO (Valor)
First off, yes, this is the the McCaffrey we all know. The one that is related to the famous Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey. Furthermore, McCaffrey looks to be the most likely of all the quarterbacks Michigan is pursuing to commit to the Wolverines. I have heard multiple reports saying that Dylan will likely make his commitment in the near future. I talked to Dylan and he said his top three teams as of right now are Northwestern, Michigan, and UCLA. However, he would like to visit LSU and Stanford before he makes a decision. Also, he plans to visit Ann Arbor for the spring game. To make things even better for the Wolverines, Stanford is targeting 2017 4-star QB David Mills and not McCaffrey. I would almost put McCaffrey as a lock to Michigan.
RB Kurt Taylor. 5’9” 200lbs. Covington, GA (Newton)
Taylor was actually one of the first recruits in the 2017 class to commit to the Wolverines. He has took on the role as “the recruiter” for the coaching staff. He has told me he is recruiting many prospects to Michigan, but no one more than, teammate, 2017 UCLA commit LB Jaquan Henderson. In terms of his scouting report: he is a tough, blue-chip and stout running back. He has a low-center of gravity and loves contact and most of the time defenders bounce right off of him. However, he does lack that first-step quickness and great lateral ability. Note: teammate and good friend 2017 WR Jeremiah Holloman has decommited from Michigan after a Ole Miss offer. Taylor and Holloman would like to play college ball together. I don’t think Taylor will decommit, but I do expect him to visit other schools.
RB Bo Melton. 6’0” 180lbs. Egg Harbor City, NJ (Cedar Creek)
Melton is the teammate of Michigan freshman receiver Ahmir Mitchell. He landed his Michigan offer a few weeks ago, after his standout performance at the Army All-American combine. Melton is the type of athletic and explosive player the coaching staff is looking for. With the great relationship with Michigan, the option of early playing time and Ahmir Mitchell at Michigan. The Wolverines look to be in good position; however, Rutgers and Ohio State are also in the mix.
RB Mike Epstein, 6’0” 185lbs. Fort Lauderdale, FL (St. Thomas Aquinas)
Epstein is currently committed to Illinois; however, he received a Michigan offer from the coaching staff a few weeks ago. Now, he has told me he would like to visit Michigan for the spring game. Epstein also told me that he is being recruited heavily by Michigan commit OT JaRaymond Hall. He has been waiting a while for a Michigan offer. At the end of the day, I just find it very hard not to believe that Epstein won’t end up in this class. Unless, Michigan lands highly-rated running backs like Alabama commit Najee Harris, Anthony McFarland or D’Andre Swift.
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, 6’2″ 175lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)
People-Jones is the #1 player in the state of Michigan and is currently rated as a five-star prospect. Not only, but he is arguably the best receiver to come out of the state of Michigan within the last couple of years. Plus, he is one of Michigan’s top targets in the 2017 class. The Wolverines are in great position due to the Michigan connections, relationship with the staff, and the growth of the passing game from the 2015 season. His recruitment will be a uphill battle for the Wolverines; as of right now, Florida and Michigan look to be the two leaders in his recruitment. And let me tell you, it will be a battle and a long recruitment.
WR Tarik Black, 6’3” 203lbs. Cheshire, CT (Cheshire Academy)
Black is also a top target for the staff and so is the receiver position in the 2017 class. Michigan is in good position for Black; however, Alabama is making a run and appears to be head-and-head with the Wolverines. Black has always continued to show a lot of love for Michigan and has visited Ann Arbor a few times already. If the coaching staff keeps pushing for Black, I like Michigan’s chances.
TE Carter Dunaway. 6’6” 225lbs. Bloomfield Hills, MI (Brother Rice)
Dunaway was one of the first 2017 recruits to receive an offer from the Michigan coaching staff. With Dunaway’s brother, Jack Dunaway, a freshman Michigan preferred walk-on. It did not take long at all for him to pull the trigger on his commitment to Michigan and become the first 2017 commit. Very similar to Michigan commit Kurt Taylor, Dunaway has taken on the role as a recruiter for the coaching staff. However, a lot of schools have expressed a lot of interest in Dunaway. Dunaway is a very athletic tight end and has very soft hands, but if he continues to grow he might end up at offensive tackle.
TE Jimmy Jaggers, 6’4” 240lbs. Roseville, CA (Roseville)
Jaggers is a west-coast guy and he really loves Michigan and the coaching staff. I recently had a conversation with him and he said the Wolverines were near the top along with Stanford and Washington. He almost told me that he plans on visiting Michigan for the spring game and a visit over the summer before he makes his decision. Jaggers looks to be the most likely tight end to join the staff.
OT JaRaymond Hall, 6’5″ 265lbs. Oak Park, MI (Oak Park)
Hall committed to Michigan a few months ago, and added depth to a top position target for the 2017 class. He is one of the most top-rated players in the state of Michigan and a very good get for the coaching staff. Hall is extremely athletic and physically impressive offensive tackles in the state of Michigan; however, he is very raw and needs to develop. If he stays committed like many expect, he will have a chance to be coached under one of the best offensive line coaches in the country in Tim Drevno and have time to develop. Fast forward a couple of years, he could be a very nice offensive lineman.
OT Isaiah Wilson, 6’7” 322lbs. Brooklyn, NY (Poly Prep)
Wilson is rated as the #2 best player in the country in the 2017 class and is the #1 OT, according to ESPN. He is a huge target for the staff and he has told me the staff has been in contact with him “daily.” Last summer, he told me Michigan was his leader and a few weeks ago, he made it official on Twitter that the Wolverines were his leader. However, he did tweet out on Twitter that he now has no leader. In addition, Wilson took an unofficial visit to Michigan in early February. 247sports’ Steve Lorenz, has mentioned that his recruitment will be a “roller coaster.” But if the staff keeps the full-court press on Wilson, I really like Michigan’s chances. Note: Wilson is also heavily considering Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State.
OT Robert Hainsey, 6’5” 280lbs. Monroeville, PA (IMG)
Michigan will have a chance to see Hainsey when they head down to Bradenton, Florida for their spring practices. Previously, Hainsey took a visit to Michigan when they played Ohio State and he told me he “really enjoyed the atmosphere.” Even though, Hainsey attends IMG Academy located in Bradenton (FL). He is originally from Monroeville (PA). Within his recruitment, it definitely looks like he is a highly-rated offensive lineman located in Big Ten territory. Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State are the other schools that Michigan is battling with to land Hainsey.
OG Tedarrell Slaton, 6’5” 341lbs. Ft Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage)
Slaton is another huge offensive line target for Michigan Offensive Line Coach Tim Drevno. Michigan has already put the old full-court press on Slaton, which shows how hard they are recruiting him. I say this because according to 247sports’ Steve Lorenz, he has named Michigan his leader several times already in his recruitment. Add in his former teammate Nick Eubanks heading to Ann Arbor. I really like Michigan’s chances with Slaton. However, Florida State is also definitely in the mix for Slaton.
OC Cesar Ruiz, 6’5” 290lbs. Camden, NJ (IMG Academy)
I have heard multiple reports, saying that Ruiz is “heavily favoring the Wolverines.” Which makes sense, Ruiz has been on Michigan’s campus a few times along with his former teammate Brad Hawkins and Michigan signees Rashan Gary, Kareem Walker and Ahmir Mitchell. Last year, Ruiz transferred from his high school Camden (NJ) to IMG Academy. Like Hainsey, the Michigan coaching staff will have a chance to check-in on Ruiz and take more of a lead with Ruiz. With Michigan’s major need for a center and the long-term relationship with the coaching staff; I will take Michigan.
DT Corey Bolds, 6’3” 280lbs. Paramus, NJ (Paramus Catholic)
Yes, Bolds is another Michigan target from Paramus Catholic. Michigan has build a pipeline in the state of New Jersey, especially with Paramus Catholic High School. The Wolverines have two players from Paramus Catholic currently on the roster, and Rashan Gary coming in this season. In the 2016 class, alone Michigan has six New Jersey commits. So, the connection is there for the Wolverines. Michigan landed Rashan Gary in the 2016 class, like we all know. But, what you may not have known is Bolds and Gary are very good friends, which can only help Michigan’s chances. As of right now, Clemson looks to be a major threat for Michigan; however, with the need at defensive tackle and connections to Michigan. I like the Wolverines.
DT Fred Hansard, 6’3” 305lbs. Princeton, NJ (Hun School)
I was going back and forth between who would be the second defensive tackle in the class. I went back and forth between Fred Hansard and Jay Tufele, but I decided to go with Hansard; even though Hansard may look like more of a shot in the dark. Hansard has already been on campus a few times and really likes the coaching staff. However, Clemson, Ohio State, Rutgers and Penn State all seem to be legit threats to land Hansard. You add in the New Jersey connection, need for defensive tackles and the great relationship with the coaching staff. Michigan looks to be in good position for Hansard.
DE Joshua Kaindoh, 6’6” 235lbs. Baltimore, MD (IMG Academy)
This is somewhat of another shot in the dark in my predicted 2017 recruiting class. Kaindoh will also see the Michigan coaching staff in the near future when the Wolverines come down for some spring practices. In addition, with Biff Poggi potentially joining the staff, Kaindoh is from the Baltimore area, Michigan could have a shot. Even though, Michigan is high on his list of schools, he is currently being recruited by just about every major college football program. However, Michigan has a good shot, but so does Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State and others.
LB Drew Singleton, 6’2″ 215lbs. Paramus, NJ (Paramus Catholic)
Singleton is Michigan’s #1 defensive target in the 2017 class, in my opinion. When Paramus Catholic and IMG Academy played a few months ago, Singleton stood out the most in the game. Singleton is a perfect linebacker to play against the spread and simply any offense. He is very athletic, fast, covers sideline-to-sideline and can drop back into coverage. Well, Michigan looks to be the leader for Singleton after a few recent visits and most of Singleton’s New Jersey friends in Ann Arbor. As of right now, the Wolverines are in the driver’s seat for Singleton’s recruitment. If the coaching staff can hold off Clemson, I fully expect the Wolverines to land one heck of a player.
LB Josh Ross, 6’2″ 220lbs. West Bloomfield, MI (Saint Mary’s)
Ross has been rumored to commit to Michigan for a while now. His recruitment is very similar to Quinn Nordin’s: a commitment to Michigan is expected, but the question is when. Ross is one of the best linebackers in the 2017 class and his brother is James Ross the former Michigan linebacker. I expect Ross to make his commitment sometime over the summer and he look to be a lock to Michigan.
Buck/LB Corey Malone-Hatcher, 6’4” 240lbs. Saint Joseph, MI (St. Joseph’s)
Malone-Hatcher has been another one of those players to be favoring Michigan. However, Notre Dame has started to gain some ground on Malone-Hatcher. But, the Wolverines still look to be the favorite and a commitment from Malone-Hatcher to Michigan is expected to come anytime now.
CB Benjamin St-Juste, 6’3” 175lbs. Montreal, Quebec (Cegep du Vieux)
St-Juste is a very interesting recruit. He originally committed to Michigan last summer to the 2016 recruiting class, but because of how his high school in Canada works and NCAA rules he had to reclassify to the 2017 recruiting class. Which, he informed me that he was actually “more comfortable with how things played out.” This was just a smart move for both parties; St-Juste will get more time to develop and put on muscle, as the Michigan coaching staff will have more time to evaluate him.
CB Ambry Thomas, 5’11” 160lbs. Detroit, MI (King)
Thomas is one of the most explosive and athletic recruits in the state of Michigan, and that’s why he is one of the staff’s major targets for the 2017 class. Michigan signed one of his good friends and teammate, Lavert Hill, in the 2016 class. Plus, he will be playing for Cass Tech for his senior season, which means he will be playing alongside presumed Michigan lean Jaylen Kelly-Powell. The Wolverines are the only school that are recruiting him very heavily and I like Michigan’s chances.
S Jaylen Kelly-Powell, 6’0” 183lbs. Detroit, MI (Cass Tech)
Kelly-Powell has a few connections to the Michigan program. He told me that he was named after former Michigan basketball player Jalen Rose. In addition, his family is reportedly favoring the Wolverines early in the recruiting process. This looks like to be a classic Michigan-Ohio State recruiting battle; the Buckeyes look to be in good position with a few visits from Kelly-Powell during the fall. He plans on making his commitment sometime in December and I expect him to be rocking the Michigan hat.
S Scott Nelson, 6’2” 180lbs. Detroit, MI (University Of Detroit Jesuit H)
Nelson recently received a Michigan offer a few weeks ago. Nelson told me after he received his Michigan offer that he is seriously considering Michigan and Michigan State. Normally, when you have a top in-state prospect like Nelson Michigan and Michigan State are always the two schools that are being considered. Well, nothing is different with Nelson. He has taken two recent visits to Michigan State; however, Nelson told me he wants to visit Michigan for the spring game. This will be a battle for the coaching staff, but I expect the Wolverines to land Nelson.
ATH Allen Stritzinger, 6’0″ 180lbs. Warren, MI (De La Salle)
Stritzinger recently told Scout.com, that Michigan is his leader in his recruitment after his recent visit to Ann Arbor. Due to his athletic ability and his ability to play both running back or safety the coaching staff will be pursuing Stritzinger heavy. I fully expect the Wolverines to land him.
ATH Antjuan Simmons, 6’1” 205lbs. Ann Arbor, MI (Pioneer)
Simmons is by far my favorite Michigan target in the 2017 class. I just love the way he plays and the potential he brings as a outside linebacker or running back. He is fast, athletic and has great ball instincts. Furthermore, Simmons released a top eleven a few weeks ago on Twitter that did not include the Wolverines. Well, Simmons now has Michigan in his list of his top eleven schools. One of the big reasons, Michigan did not make his original top eleven schools was because the coaching staff had not reached out to him and had not been recruiting him very hard. However, if Michigan continues to recruit him and show him he is a priority, the Wolverines will likely end up with Simmons. Note: Simmons informed me he will be visiting Michigan before the spring practices at IMG: Article.
Total: 25 commits. ( This could easily be a top five recruiting class )
Other Names To Watch:
S A.J. Harris
OG Aaron Banks
DT Jay Tufele
WR K.J. Hamler
LB Jaquan Henderson (UCLA)
OG Netori Johnson
TE Logan Rudolph
ATH Greg Johnson
ATH Nico Collins
WR Joseph Lewis
Michigan could very likely end up with a even better class than the 2016 class. The Wolverines will also likely have a ridiculously good offensive line and linebacker class. This class will be full of very talented recruits who can play multiple positions. In addition, Michigan will also end up with 6-7 in-state players due to the top-rated and talented players in the state of Michigan in the 2017 class. Finally, former Michigan signees out of highly regarded high schools could play major roles. Examples: Paramus Catholic: LB Drew Singleton and DL Corey Bolds — Cass Tech: S Jaylen Kelly-Powell and WR Donovan Peoples-Jones — Cedar Creek (NJ): ATH Bo Melton — American Hertiage: OL Tedarrell Slaton, OL Kai-Leon Herbert. There are a few more high schools. This is looking to end up like a top five recruiting class, maybe even the #1 overall.