Hello: Aidan Hutchinson

Hello: Aidan Hutchinson

Submitted by Ace on February 21st, 2017 at 9:21 PM


The word "lanky" comes to mind. [Isaiah Hole/247]

Michigan added a legacy to the 2018 class this evening when four-star Dearborn (MI) Divine Child DE Aidan Hutchinson, son of All-American defensive lineman Chris Hutchinson, committed to the Wolverines over the likes of Louisville, LSU, and Michigan State.

Hutchinson is Michigan's third commit in the class, joining IN OG Emil Ekiyor and GA S/OLB Otis Reese.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #16 DE,
#202 Ovr
3* WDE 4*, 83, #11 DE,
#94 Ovr
4*, 93, #5 SDE,
#97 Ovr
4*, #9 SDE,
#205 Ovr

It's still early in the 2018 evaluation process and Hutchinson is a prospect who requires quite a bit of projecting from a physical standpoint, so it's not a big surprise to see a significant split in his rankings. ESPN and 247 both consider him a fringe top-100 prospect; Scout has him as an early four-star; Rivals considers him the #14 prospect in the state—in a down year compared to 2017, at that. Rivals' Josh Helmholdt had a positive evaluation of Hutchinson after yesterday's Best of the Midwest Combine, so we could see these rankings tighten up before long.

Hutchinson is listed anywhere between 6'4", 227 (Rivals) and 6'6", 245 (Scout). He told The Wolverine's Brandon Brown this week that he's at the high end of that range and may still be growing. When he fills out, he should land at strongside defensive end, though if he gets much taller he may merit a look at offensive tackle.

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2018 Recruiting Overview: Offense

2018 Recruiting Overview: Offense

Submitted by Brian on February 6th, 2017 at 12:13 PM

Class size

As you might imagine after back to back classes in the high 20s, the 2018 class projects to be small. There are only nine seniors on the roster going into 2017. There are a number of guys who might not be brought back for a fifth year and there will always be losses to injury, the NFL draft and playing time transfers. The rise of early enrollment also creates a class of Derrick Green sorts who can grad transfer after three or three and a half years; there are another few guys who will end up seeing no path to playing time and take that route.

It would still be a surprise to see Michigan crack 20 recruits. 16-20 is a reasonable range.

Quarterback

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Thompson-Robinson would be the most dynamic QB Harbaugh has brought in

The Roster. Michigan has Dylan McCaffrey and Brandon Peters in the last two classes. Both are tall, lanky pocket passers ranked just outside the top 100 on the composite. Nonetheless, Michigan will take one because you always take one.

The Recruits. Top target and NV QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson says UCLA is his leader—Jedd Fisch moving to the Bruins doesn't help there—but mom is a Michigan grad and Jim Mora is on the hotseat after a 4-8 year. Various other early targets have fallen by the wayside. Seven of the top ten pro-style QBs in the country are already committed; Michigan isn't involved with any of the remaining unless they pick it back up with IMG QB Arthur Sitkowski.

Instater Theo Day hasn't gotten much attention from Michigan yet, but he could draw more interest if DTR continues to trend towards UCLA. 24/7 bumped him to high four star status recently.

The Projection. 40% Thompson-Robinson, 30% Day, 30% a three star sort nobody's talking about right now.

Running back

The Roster. Despite a couple of late misses in the 2017 cycle, Michigan enters this year with a loaded backfield. Karan Higdon and Chris Evans were rotation pieces last year, with Evans emerging into the clear #2, and both will still be around when the 2018 class matriculates. Michigan also has Kingston Davis and Kareem Walker coming off redshirts along with incoming freshmen Kurt Taylor and O'Maury Samuels.

In a class that looks to be small this is a spot where Michigan can skimp. They'll probably grab one. Anything more would be a surprise.

The Recruits. IMG RB TJ Pledger is an all-purpose sort who Michigan has been pursuing heavily. He's originally from California. The other guys 247 lists as targets in their top two categories are 1) a guy from Ohio everyone expects to pick OSU, 2) a guy from Mississippi, next, and 3) a guy from Atlanta who currently seems to favor the Gators.

The Projection. One guy we haven't heard of yet.

Wide receiver

amon-ra_stbrown_II16_57_1280

St Brown will probably end up at ND, but if they go 4-8 again...

The Roster. Michigan's coming off an epic five-man recruiting class and reportedly likes the three survivors from the 2016 class, so they can swing for the fences here. If they don't hit on a big timer or two they can settle for a couple lower-ranked types and nobody's going to panic.

The Recruits. Big timers on the radar:

  • CA WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, who has an older brother at ND.
  • TX WR Al'vonte Woodard. Woodard's father was a reserve WR for Gary Moeller in the early 90s.
  • CA WR Jalen Hall. Hall is the #1 receiver in the country at this point in the cycle. He's from one of those LA high schools which virtually guarantee the player in question will end up at USC, but Donovan Warren and all that.
  • NJ WR Jahan Dotson. From New Jersey.

That's not a long list and nobody on it seems particularly likely to end up at Michigan. There's a dearth of top receiving prospects in the Midwest this year. The composite currently has just two four-star WRs in the traditional Big Ten footprint: a kid out of Ohio who is committed to MSU (for now, anyway) and a low four star in PA. It's a good thing they loaded up this year.

Instate options are limited. The only WR currently on the composite is Southfield's Brandon Gray. At 6'5" he's intriguing. To date he's mostly fielded MSU interest.

The Projection. One or two guys nobody's talking about yet. If Michigan's lucky they'll be Oliver Martin types. If not they'll be three stars.

Tight end

The Roster. Probably the only spot where need could be considered dire after a taking a pass on the position in 2016. Michigan will definitely take two and probably three. Holding onto Devin Asiasi, who transfer rumors are flying about, is obviously a key inflection point.

The Recruits. You can pencil in FL TE Will Mallory, who is one of those Mallorys. Other options:

  • NV TE Brevin Jordan, a teammate of Thompson-Robinson's at Bishop Gorman.
  • NY TE Jeremy Ruckert, who looks set to be a Michigan-OSU battle.
  • FL TE JUDGE CULPEPPER, who is the law. Also from Tampa, where Frey does work.
  • TX TE Mustapha Muhammad. Michigan was after him heavily but Lorenz recently reported that he was leaning towards schools closer to home.

Nobody other than Mallory seems like a slam dunk.

The Projection. Mallory, Ruckert, and an unknown name.

Offensive line

The Roster. Michigan got five in the previous class but wanted up to eight; OL will again be a priority. They have 14 OL now, will lose Mason Cole and Patrick Kugler after the season, and likely want to get up to 16 or 17. Expect another four or five guys.

The Recruits. One of those guys is already committed, IN OL Emil Ekiyor. At 6'3" Ekiyor is an interior OL only, but he's a highly regarded one: top 100 in the composite and the #4 guard in the country. Michigan has three OL recruits who are early four-stars on the composite: guard Marquan McCall, a teammate of JaRaymond Hall, center Tyrone Sampson Jr, and tackle Ryan Hayes. Michigan is the early crystal ball leader for McCall; MSU is the favorite for the other two. A fourth will arrive this fall, with FL OL Antwan Reed transferring back to Muskegon from IMG.

National names include Richard Gouraige and Nicholas Petit-Frere, who are both from the Tampa Bay area that has been a Greg Frey specialty. Oh and this guy:

d-faalele-0125

Hell yes, 6'9" 390 pound Daniel Faalele is worth a flier.

The Projection. Ekiyor, Faalele, one of the Tampa kids, and McCall.

Hello From The Future: Leonard Taylor (Updated)

Hello From The Future: Leonard Taylor (Updated)

Submitted by Ace on April 4th, 2016 at 2:26 PM

Moments after the dramatic conclusion of the Spring Game, potential five-star 2018 jumbo athlete Leonard Taylor committed to Michigan, becoming the second touted rising junior from Springfield (OH) High School to join the class. Instead of working from behind for 2016 and 2017 prospects, Jim Harbaugh and Co. have made a concerted effort to hit the 2018 class in Ohio hard, and it's paid off with early commitments from Taylor and his four-star linebacker teammate, Antwuan Johnson.

One can never be too careful this time of year; so TomVH asked Taylor about the legitimacy of the commitment:

That is the correct answer.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4* DE NR TE NR TE-Y 4*, 95, #3 DT,
#22 Ovr
5*, #3 DT,
#22 Ovr

It's still early on in the process for 2018 recruits. Only 247 has complete rankings and they're being (understandably) stingy about handing out a fifth star—Taylor is ranked in what would easily be five-star range by Signing Day, to the point that he's given that extra star in the composite rankings even though they're just a replication of 247's rankings right now. Scout hasn't released full rankings yet but they still felt compelled to list Taylor as an early four-star recruit.

Taylor is a big athlete who could land at a number of positions; he's listed as a tight end, strongside DE, or defensive tackle depending on where you look. At either 6'5" or 6'6" and 240-250 pounds, he has a huge frame capable of holding a lot more weight. How he develops physically over the next couple years will go a long way towards determining his future position.

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Hello From The Future: Antwuan Johnson

Hello From The Future: Antwuan Johnson

Submitted by Ace on March 22nd, 2016 at 1:31 PM

This post has been informatively updated.

Michigan may not have added any prospects from Ohio in their 2016 class, but that's clearly not a trend we should expect to continue. Springfield (OH) ILB Antwuan Johnson, the #82 overall prospect on 247's early class of 2018 rankings, announced his commitment to Michigan yesterday after visiting campus last weekend with a couple fellow Ohio players, including potential five-star DE and Springfield teammate Leonard Taylor.

Johnson is the program's first 2018 commit. While a highly rated Ohio prospect committing early before receiving an Ohio State offer is often reason for trepidation, Johnson assured The Wolverine's Brandon Brown that Michigan's offer was the only one he needed to make this decision:

It's no secret that big-time prospects from Ohio usually go to Ohio State. Johnson is well aware of that but says that no matter what happens, he's 100% content with his decision.

"There’s really not a lot to say about that to be honest," he said. "It’s not a touchy situation with me. There isn’t any offer that would’ve changed my mind. When I went up to Michigan I had my mind set on it. No Ohio State offer or anything could’ve changed my mind.

Johnson added that he wants to lead the charge in recruiting several other Buckeye State prospects to Ann Arbor. It's early yet, but his commitment sounds quite firm.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
NR MLB NR ILB NR ILB 4*, 91, #3 ILB,
#82 Ovr
NR ILB

247 is the only scouting service that's released 2018 rankings so far. They regard Johnson as the #3 inside linebacker in the country and the #4 prospect in the state of Ohio.

Scout, Rivals, and 247 all list Johnson at 6'1", 210 pounds; ESPN has him at 6'0", 213. That's impressively stout for a rising junior and recent reports suggest he's a good deal bigger than his listings—possibly in the 6'2", 230-pound range. Johnson has more than enough size to play inside linebacker in Don Brown's system.

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Monday Recruitin' Goes For A Ride

Monday Recruitin' Goes For A Ride

Submitted by Ace on July 13th, 2015 at 4:01 PM

Closing The Opening: Michigan Commits


"Keep it up and I might return the hug." — Tim Drevno

The Elite11/The Opening camp bonanza finally wrapped up, and both Michigan commits to participate fared well. Despite not being able to show off arguably his greatest strength, Michael Onwenu made 247's top performer list again at the end of the week:

The Michigan commit is almost immovable at 371 pounds. On a rep-by-rep basis, very few offensive linemen have had the success Onwenu has had in the pass-rush one-on-ones. Because his state's high school athletic association doesn't allow him to wear pads, Onwenu didn't compete in the run-blocking drills but that would seem to be an even better setting for his skill set.

In one of the highlights of the camp, he faced off against Ohio State commit Jonathan Cooper in one-on-ones and won a rep with authority:

A 371-pound guard facing the top edge-rushers in the country should not be able to do that. The counselors agreed; they selected Onwenu for the all-tournament team.

After moving in and out of the offical list throughout the week, Brandon Peters ended up finishing 10th in the Elite 11. [EDIT: Because the Elite 11 tries to be as useless as possible, apparently, they put players in alphabetical order after winner Shea Patterson, so Peters finished somewhere between 2nd and 11th.] As was the case early last week, Peters impressed onlookers even more than the counselors (maybe?), finishing seventh on 247's Barton Simmons' list:

Peters is one of the best quarterbacks in the Elite 11 from release to completion. The ball is always on target with spin and velocity. If he picks up the pace in his drops and delivery, adds some more urgency, he has a chance to be one of the best quarterbacks in this group.

The word on Peters is pretty consistent these days: strong, accurate arm; good athleticism for a "pro-style" QB; excellent potential if he corrects some technical flaws.

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Thursday Recruitin' Gets In Early

Thursday Recruitin' Gets In Early

Submitted by Ace on April 30th, 2015 at 1:00 PM

Peters Camps In Cinci

Camp season is underway, which means we're getting our first round of fresh information on the members of the 2016 class since they made their initial commitment. Quarterback commit Brandon Peters participated in last weekend's Rivals Quarterback Challenge in Cincinnati, and The Wolverine's Tim Sullivan provided an in-depth scouting report ($):

Peters showed off one of the strongest arms in attendance. In the long-throw drill, he was one of just a few who were able to get the distance on their passes to hit the target 50 yards away. That drill was into a heavy wind, and while his passes weren't quite accurate enough to land in the basket, most couldn't even get it to the goal line (40 yards away), much less all the way to the target.

Peters has solid arm mechanics, as well. He gets his shoulder around on rollouts in either direction, and sets his feet. He can revert to a bit of a long windup - or go in the other direction, slinging the ball rather than passing it - but has the kinetics down, and will be more consistent with additional reps.

On a windy day, Sullivan said Peters was one of the more accurate quarterbacks, especially among those who were actually throwing with something close to college-level velocity. His areas for improvement are fixable mechanical issues.

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Thursday Recruitin' Gets Comfortable

Thursday Recruitin' Gets Comfortable

Submitted by Ace on March 19th, 2015 at 2:26 PM

The Best Players In Michigan Visit Michigan

While much of the early recruiting focus from the new staff has been on elite prospects in California, Texas, and SEC country, Jim Harbaugh has also made a concerted effort to lock down his home territory. This week, that continues with some of the top in-state prospects making their way through Ann Arbor.

Four-star Plymouth OT Michael Jordan stopped by for Tuesday's practice, and his father told 247's Steve Wiltfong that he's developing a rapport with the new staff ($):

The Wolverines are strongly in the mix for the No. 3 prospect in the state according to the 247Sports Composite, as are schools like Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

“It’s getting more and more comfortable with them,” the elder Jordan said. “He’s still trying to get to know everyone at this point. They’re definitely one of his top choices of schools to go to.”

Four-star Detroit King WR Donnie Corley also visited practice Tuesday and connected with recent staff addition Soup Campbell, per Wiltfong ($):

"Great visit today," Corley's father told 247Sports. "Learned a lot from the staff and the legend (Erik) Campbell."

Asked if the visit helped Michigan in his son's eyes, Corley's father responded, "Yes."

Steve Lorenz reports that four-star Cass Tech OG/DT Michael Onwenu will visit on Saturday ($). Onwenu's been a consistent presence on campus of late to the extent that Michigan has passed Ohio State as the favorite on his Crystal Ball; Onwenu has also mentioned that the Mike Weber situation affected his view of OSU. Three-star Canton OLB Jalen Cochran, who holds an Iowa offer, is also expected to be on campus Saturday.

Three-star Saline dual-threat QB Josh Jackson, son of Fred, was among last weekend's visitors. He told Scout's Allen Trieu that the coaches informed him he's "in the mix" for a potential offer, and they're planning to watch him throw this spring ($). With Harbaugh's preference for taking two quarterbacks per class, Jackson could be one to watch.

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