2017 Recruiting Overview: Defense

Submitted by Brian on February 9th, 2016 at 5:01 PM

Previously: the offense.

Defensive Line


Joshua Kaindoh is a big-timer at DE

The Need. Defensive tackle is a major priority. Going into 2017 Michigan is down to Mone, Hurst, Dwumfour, and Pallante at a spot where four players are more or less starters these days. Gary can of course fold inside; even so Michigan should be hard after two or three DTs.

End is less of a numerical priority with four or five guys in the past two classes if Reuben Jones and Carlo Kemp have long term futures on the line. I expect that is the case; a couple ends should be expected.

The Prospects. Tackles:

  • NJ DTs Fred Hansard and Corey Bolds are from New Jersey and thus obviously high on Michigan's target list. Despite being a Paramus guy, Bolds is reputed to heavily favor Clemson right now; Hansard is a realistic prospect but a guy who is getting a lot of attention from OSU and the like.
  • UT DT Jay Tufele has an offer and is from an area of the country where Michigan has had some recent success. Oregon has a couple picks on the crystal ball that probably don't mean much.
  • M is trying to get in with five-star TX DT Marvin Wilson but he's a major longshot.

Aaaand that's it right now. This is a bit of a worry, insofar as anything can be a worry in a recruiting class almost a year from signing. Michigan needs two or three guys and has limited priority options right now.


  • Instate DE Corey Malone-Hatcher is ranked in the top 200 everywhere and generally expected to end up at M, though ND, OSU, and Alabama are also involved.
  • Five-star FL DE Joshua Kaindoh is originally from Baltimore; he transferred IMG and maintains a top list with a distinctly Midwest flavor. Penn State was an early leader, and these days "Penn State leads" is a big red bullseye for Harbaugh.
  • Five-star FL DE Jarez Parks is actually from Florida and will be a tough pull; Michigan is reruiting him hard all the same.
  • MD DE Chase Young has the full suite of Midwest offers and a few Maryland predictions from the locals. Michigan will be after him; he has given no indication of a leader.

The Projection: Michigan should get Malone-Hatcher; Hansard is an increasingly good bet as OSU has already gotten two DT commits. Past that it's cloudy. Michigan should have a good shot at Kaindoh, especially if Michigan and PSU have the seasons it looks like they will. They'll take two DTs and two DEs.



Singleton seems familiar somehow

The Need. Michigan got plenty of numbers at linebacker a year ago and can take it easy in this class. They lack top-end prospects, however, so finding a couple potentially elite guys is an important goal for 2017.

The Recruits. This position seems pretty easy to peg. Paramus LB Drew Singleton has been on campus repeatedly; Michigan is a heavy favorite. MI LB Josh Ross is James's younger brother. Michigan is also a heavy favorite with him. Pioneer ATH Antjuan Simmons has offers from the world and is probably an OLB at the next level; he seemed a bit miffed that Michigan waited to offer and has been seeking the proverbial love. He released a top 11 without M in it; we'll see whether that holds up.

Michigan is also chasing a couple of big fish. One is five-star Baylor commit Baron Browning, whose brother played for Harbaugh at Stanford. 2017 #1 Dylan Moses, a linebacker out of Louisiana, has a top six that doesn't include M but

The move to IMG could open a door to another top program, Michigan, which recently made headlines for announcing it would hold a portion of its spring practices at IMG Academy over the spring.

"That would be cool,” he said. "I’ve never really seen Michigan up close like that before and I’ve never visited the school either. It’s just a great opportunity and you know, hopefully I can get an offer from them, because I don’t have one yet.”

…will be around for Michigan's practices at IMG.

The Projection. Singleton and Ross and that's it.

Defensive Back

The Need. You can never ever have enough corners; Michigan will pursue at least a couple. Safety is either a critical need or a modest one depending on where guys like Ahmir Mitchell and Brad Hawkins end up. In a large class they'll probably go with five or even six DBs. They are set to lose that many.

The Recruits. Three-star Canadian Benjamin St-Juste was a camp commit who got pushed back a year because of differences between the Canadian and American school systems.

  • FL CB CJ Cotman was very excited about getting a Michigan offer; he immediately hit up every Michigan recruiting site for articles, fulfilling "who you talk to is important."
  • FL CB Stanford Samuels III is another Florida State legacy out of Flanagan who Michigan will try to steal away from the Seminoles.
  • FL CB Trajan Bandy, a high school teammate of Joshua Uche, has an offer and seemed pretty pumped about Michigan on twitter when Uche pulled the trigger. (He in fact jumped the gun with a celebratory tweet.)
  • MI CB Ambry Thomas goes to King and has been hot and cold on Michigan depending on when you get him. Michigan has to repair some of the after-effect of the Swenson situation. After they do
  • MI ATH Allen Stritzinger could be a corner or safety; we talked about him on offense.
  • Michigan's trying to get involved with five-star TX S Jeffrey Okudah and did manage to slip into a top ten.
  • Fantastically-named UT S Chaz Ah You picked up an offer in October. 
  • Instate safeties Jaylen Kelly-Powell and Scott Nelson are possibly the best bets to end up in the class; Kelly-Powell named Michigan his leader a while back and goes to Cass. Nelson is actually a MSU fan; we'll see if the Spartans get involved. Nelson is a Don Brown guy; he had a very early offer from BC.

The Projection. Nobody other than Kelly-Powell seems 50%+ to be in the class at this instant save St-Juste. They will take a pile of DBs, though.


Michigan is unlikely to spend a scholarship on a specialist this year. They picked up Quinn Nordin, the country's top kicker, and Camaron Cheeseman, the #2 long snapper, in the last class. They also added punter Will Hart. A Zoltan-level punter would be the only player Michigan goes after with a precious slot.

This instant's ridiculous class projection you should absolutely ignore

I mean do not pay attention to this at all. A confidence level of "high" means approximately a 50/50 shot they end up in the class. "Low" means this is more or less a placeholder.

State Position Player Approx. Stars Confidence Level
CO QB Dylan McCaffrey 4.5 Very High
GA RB Kurt Taylor 3 Commit
MI RB Allen Stritzinger 3.5 Very High
GA WR Jeremiah Holloman 4 Commit
MI WR Donovan Peoples-Jones 5 Moderate
CA WR Joseph Lewis 4.5 Low
MI TE Carter Dunaway 3 Commit
CA TE Jimmy Jaggers 4 Moderate
MI OL JaRaymond Hall 4 Commit
NY OL Isaiah Wilson 5 High
FL OL Tedarrell Slaton 4.5 Moderate
FL OL Cesar Ruiz 4 Moderate
WI OL Tyler Beach 3.5 Moderate
NJ DT Fred Hansard 4 Low
UT DT Jay Tufele 4.5 Low
MI DE Corey Malone-Hatcher 4 High
FL DE Joshua Kaindoh 5 Moderate
NJ LB Drew Singleton 4.5 Very High
MI LB Josh Ross 4 High
CN CB Benjamin St Juste 3 Commit
FL CB Trajan Brandy 4 Low
FL CB CJ Cotman 4 Moderate
MI S Jaylen Kelly-Powell 4 Very High
MI S Scott Nelson 3 Moderate


E.L. blue fan

February 9th, 2016 at 5:22 PM ^

I will go ahead and take that as Brian Cook Rabacks a triple 5 star class for Michigan. Seriously though these primers were great to read, sometimes following recruiting can be overwhelming but this was informative without being confusing. 


February 9th, 2016 at 8:47 PM ^

Don't lose a game, win the natty or get in the natty and you've got a class equally as good as Alabama's next year. Lose a game or two, probably come in the same level as we did this year.

But, O'Korn is not losing games, he puts his pants on one leg at a time but he does so and wins the heisman trophy.


February 9th, 2016 at 5:27 PM ^

I mentioned it in the 2017 Offensive Preview, but Stritzinger -- as of right now -- as very little interest playing RB in college. He wants to play CB. Michigan may be a leader for him now, but if Miami (Florida) offers, he likely commits there. 

Also, I have very little recruiting knowledge, but will offer up this as I've heared it from people close to him. 


February 10th, 2016 at 10:46 AM ^

Could not care less if people believe my post or not. Other than positions of absolute need -- RB and LB in 2016 -- or once in a Blue Moon recruits -- Rashan Gary -- I don't care about recruiting at all. But as Magnus said, I have no need to share information on here unless it is coming from people that know. I come to this website daily to get pertinent Michigan information. Not going to screw over other Michigan fans wanting the same.


February 9th, 2016 at 6:00 PM ^

Some of our committs are lower-stars that were offered a while ago.  They are the faint echo of Harbaugh's recruiting before he realized he could really recruit. 

What are the chances their offers stick as committable offers until NSD?  Are we really going to see St Juste, Taylor, and Dunaway in a Michgan uniform some day?



February 9th, 2016 at 6:19 PM ^

In order of most likely to least likely to end up in the class (based on my inferences and guesses and no concrete evidence): Taylor, Dunaway, St. Juste.

Harbaugh seems to love Taylor and Holloman also goes to his high school, as does a linebacker recruit who M might flip from UCLA (can't remember his name).

Dunaway is an instate guy who is a part of the Pipeline 9, and I can't imagine Harbaugh would want to piss off any of those guys, but you never know.

St. Juste is a lower rated guy from Canada... can't imagine a broken relationship with that high school would mean anything long term. Harbaugh may like him, but I could definitely see him being pushed out by NSD


February 10th, 2016 at 9:23 AM ^

2 Comments for UMClassof2018

  1. As mentioned in the other thread, don't speculate with names on the board. People read the board, and it just is bad form.
  2. While people have been bemoaning what happened with Swenson and other decommits, it does have a clear benefit going forward. All "commits" have been put on notice that their "commitment" is conditional. They need to attack every day with enthusiasm, get better every day, go to camps, continue to improve, along with staying in a good place academically and in the community. The reason I'm mentioning this is because if I were a Michigan commit, particularly a 3 star or in a school with low visibility, I would be working my butt off to improve and to show that I was worthy of receiving a coveted commitable offer from Michigan. If you are a 3 star coming to Michigan's summer camp, Harbaugh and the coaches can see how you match up to 4 stars. It isn't the stars:  it is the coach's evals that really matter.


February 9th, 2016 at 7:05 PM ^

This will feel weird if this happens again.  I have no problem ceeding the state to everyone else, but Grbac, Desmond and Woodson pop into my head.  I sure hope the MAC schools turn into powerhouses so MSU/PSU doesn't get the Ohio leftovers.

Mr. Elbel

February 9th, 2016 at 8:08 PM ^

We should buckle up and I should have a hello: Isiah Wilson post in the tabs ready to drop any day now? You seemed pretty confident with that rating of high. /s


February 9th, 2016 at 8:52 PM ^

But coach Harbaugh is not exactly a little guy, want Kaindoh, need, he's ours, we has nice things


And Donovan Peoples Jones..just moderate? His dad is a Michigan alum? We can't feel even a little bit positive? I know he'll have to play the game as a 5 star and pretend it's between Bama, , Ohio State, Clemson and Michigan but can we maybe even a little bit assume he's in the class?