2017 Recruiting Overview: Offense

Submitted by Brian on February 5th, 2016 at 12:27 PM

The numbers

We projejct that Michigan loses one additional grad transfer, leaving Michigan with 18 seniors and 18 spots to start 2017 with. A normal rate of attrition should see them get to a class around 25. Michigan can backdate three or four early enrollees depending on what happens with Dytarious Johnson, giving them a maximum class size next year of 28 or 29.



Dylan McCaffrey isn't as fast as Christian but we'll look past that

The Roster. Michigan isn't scheduled to lose anyone but with a roster that goes six deep at the moment it's likely a couple guys in back decide to look for greener pastures. Michigan will take one, because only a lunatic skips QB recruiting, and may grab a second if he's a Viramontes/Gentry type with upside at multiple positions.

The Recruits. Michigan has been focused on CO QB Dylan McCaffrey (yes that McCaffrey) for months now. They are in excellent shape with a guy who says he will commit by spring. A Stanford offer is the main way this gets derailed. The Cardinal is focused on GA QB Davis Mills, another Michigan target.

The Projection. Michigan gets McCaffrey and calls it a day.

Running Back


Stritzinger is a two way athlete

The Roster. Drake Johnson and De'Veon Smith graduate, leaving four true tailbacks and Wyatt Shallman. If Ty Isaac doesn't emerge into a contributor he may take a grad transfer; despite two backs in the previous class tailback is a priority.

The Recruits. GA RB Kurt Taylor committed in November. In-stater Allen Stritzinger is the most likely tailback to join the class. Stritzinger is guy on the fringe of four stars who could also be a defensive back.

Past Stritzinger Michigan will swing for the fences. CA RB Najee Harris is a soft Alabama commit who will give Michigan a look. PA RB D'Andre Swift is someone Michigan will go after, but he's a 5'9" guy who may not see Michigan as the best fit. He's also from Philly, which has not been kind to Michigan recruiting over the years. MD RB Anthony McFarland is another scatback type who's well-regarded early. Michigan is currently on the periphery of his recruitment.

Michigan also has an offer out to NJ RB Bo Melton, a teammate of Ahmir Mitchell.

The Prediction. Michigan gets and keeps Stritzinger as an ATH and keeps looking. Harris is probably their best bet for a blue-chip despite the Bama commit; it's likely that one or two additional guys who end up in the class are not mentioned in this post. Taylor is a guy who may end up elsewhere. Or maybe not.

Wide Receiver


Peoples-Jones is Cass Tech's highest-touted prospect ever

The Need. Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh both graduate, as does reserve DaMario Jones. Jaron Dukes looks unlikely to be back for a fifth year. That leaves Ways, Harris, and Perry plus 4-5 of the 6(!) WR types in 2016. (The others are likely ticketed for the secondary.)

Michigan will try to keep the numbers up by adding approximately three. They do not need to reach and can swing for the fences.

The Recruits. GA WR Jeremiah Holloman is already committed. He's a three star early in the process but just impressed at a camp and may move up into four-star range. Michigan wants him to impress, but not so much that Georgia gets involved.

Cass Tech's Donovan Peoples-Jones is a top ten national recruit and probably the highest priority for Michigan's staff in 2017 outside of OTs. OLSM's KJ Hamler is a dynamic 5'9" dude who really wants to go to Oregon right now. The rest of the board is extremely murky, with few top targets listing Michigan guy. They are after CA WR Joseph Lewis, an LA kid currently pegged for USC. CT WR Tarik Black is in an area of the country Michigan's done reasonably well in, but Michigan is trailing a bunch of schools.

The Projection. No idea. 50/50 that Holloman gets sufficient SEC interest to remove him from Michigan's equation. Peoples-Jones is reportedly coming around on Michigan as a potential power but Florida is consistently mentioned as a problem.

Tight End

The Need. Michigan can go relatively easy here after signing three in 2016. They'll take at least one—they in fact have already done so. After that they can hold out for a top tier prospect, of which there don't seem to be a ton of in 2017.

The Recruits. In-state three-star legacy Carter Dunaway is already committed. Dunaway is a lot like Sean McKeon: a big frame that needs a lot of development. CA TE Jimmy Jaggers took an unofficial last fall, his second trip to campus. After Jaggers there's not much on the board; three of Michigan's top targets are already committed elsewhere, two to Notre Dame and one to Stanford.

The Projection. Michigan gets Jaggers to go with Dunaway.

Offensive Line


Isaiah Wilson is a large man

The Need. Tackle is without question the #1 priority in the 2017 class. Michigan did not take a true tackle in 2016 and burned Grant Newsome's redshirt last year, leaving Nolan Ulizio the only tackle on the roster with freshman eligibility. Ben Bredeson could pop outside if necessary (and it will probably be necessary); he is a natural guard.

Michigan will also be on the lookout for a couple of interior linemen, with center a priority after Michigan did not get one in 2016.

The Recruits. Michigan has a commit from in-state four star JaRaymond Hall. More dudes are needed; fortunately, Michigan is well-positioned for a ton of high-end prospects. There are so many that we should grab us some bullets:

  • 5* NY OT Isaiah Wilson has declared Michigan his leader repeatedly, most recently a few weeks ago. He said Michigan was a "big leader" while talking to a Florida site; that's a great sing. While Lorenz cautions that his recruitment is not likely to be a cut-and-dried thing over by March, Michigan is a solid favorite.
  • FL OT Tedarrell Slaton also named Michigan his leader a few months back. Teammate Kai-Leon Herbert also has an offer; the pair is trying to visit over the spring. Even if they can't pull that off a dollar says they take in Michigan while they practice at IMG.
  • CA OT Wyatt Davis will be a national recruit; Michigan is in an amorphous top group.
  • NJ OT Micah Clark has Michigan in a top 15; he says OSU leads. OSU already has a couple of high-profile tackles committed.
  • FL OC Cesar Ruiz is at IMG; before that he was at Camden with Brad Hawkins and Ron Johnson. Michigan is in an early top three that figures to expand before narrowing down again.
  • TX OT Austin Deculus has a Michigan offer and some interest; he'll be a tough pull away from LSU even if Michigan currently sits in his top 3.
  • WI OT Tyler Beach has a tentative top two of Michigan and Wisconsin; he's originally from Colorado and thus not as locked in to the Badgers as a lot of in-state OL are.
  • GA OT Netori "Fifth Element" Johnson just decommitted from Alabama. Michigan grabbed Elysee Mbem-Bosse out of his school last year and he's interested in M.

Michigan will take four or five guys this cycle and I wouldn't be surprised if three of them were tackles.

The Projection. Hall sticks, Michigan gets Wilson and Ruiz and maybe Slaton. They add a fifth guy who is 30/70 to have been mentioned.



February 5th, 2016 at 12:46 PM ^

I will cry if we get him. He is physically just like Jabrill Peppers but with a skillset perfect for reciever. He reminds me a lot of Julio Jones. This man is a top 10 pick in the NFL Draft waiting to happen.


February 5th, 2016 at 1:10 PM ^

Peoples-Jones has a lot of suitors. He wants to go out of state (say, to Florida or USC, for example), but he has family who went to Michigan and may feel compelled to stay home, kind of like Boss Tagaloa. The good thing is that, from what I've heard, he would be more likely to pick Michigan than MSU if he stays in-state.

Gentleman Squirrels

February 5th, 2016 at 12:47 PM ^

It looks like Dylan McCaffrey is really leaning towards Michigan. If we do end up getting him, should we be worried that a Stanford offer would lead him to decommit? There are a lot of factors for him to end up there. I just don't want another Hamilton situation. 


February 5th, 2016 at 1:01 PM ^

TE seemed to be a huge focus in 2016.  I think Harbaugh will really focus on OL and land the #1 or #2 OL class in the nation.  We need 5 or 6, and he has the clout to rake in high quality prospects.  Showing recruits past development plus depth chart has to be a huge plus here.

Start with Hall and Wilson would be huge.


February 5th, 2016 at 1:45 PM ^

I don't track the 247 Composite, but I do track the four sites separately. Here's the Rivals 100 when it was released, and he was #8:


Gary was #5 to Scout when their list was released:


He was #17 to ESPN:


He was #10 to 247 Sports:



February 5th, 2016 at 1:10 PM ^

Setting over under at 5 on # of recruits we land on offense who are not on this list because #Harbaugh.

Will also be interesting to see which of current commits make it thru Hunger Games to indeed sign in Feb 17.


February 5th, 2016 at 1:18 PM ^

Thanks to Brian for already putting 2017 recruiting content up.  I was starting to have withdrawals since Wednesday.  I wish I didn't pay as much attention to recruiting as I do.  Paying less attention would seem to make for a lot less letdown come next February.  One thing this year proved to me is that we have a staff that can not only win on the football field but can also close on top recruits as signing day approaches.  


February 5th, 2016 at 1:59 PM ^

I remember people repeatedly stating, even treating it as a fait accompli, that AJ Williams was going to "grow out of" TE and end up an OT.  Now people keep repeating the same baseless speculation with Wheatley.  In fact, has any coach suggested that the left tackle (I'm spacing on his name) is going to move to center?  Or is that just more internet wisdom being passed off as a decision the coaches are certain to make?

Upshot: people should qualify their complete speculation as speculation, not as a decision the coaches are certain to make.