This usually comes out shortly after Signing Day, but due to a combination of football ennui and blog-wide health issues that forced your author to pick up portions of the basketball coverage the traditional 1,000 foot view for the upcoming football recruiting year has been delayed. Do not complain about this. I am more than capable of writing a long post about local politics instead.
ROSTER. Michigan added Shea Patterson, who should be a true junior if the NCAA appeal doesn't get borked, to redshirt sophomore Brandon Peters and redshirt freshman Dylan McCaffrey. True freshman Joe Milton arrived this spring. Even if Michigan loses someone to a transfer—all but inevitable these days when you have four QBs and no seniors—they'd be in good shape if they didn't ignore QBs all together.
CSI: QB: AWESOME EDIT [sunglasses!]
COMMITS. Surprise: they have not ignored QBs all together, scooping up 3.5* Notre Dame decommit Cade McNamara less than two weeks after he pulled the ripcord on his descent into South Bend. McNamara is a bit of an outlier for Harbaugh QB recruits in that he's not a towering pocket passer. He's a moderate-sized pocket passer at 6'1". The ND decommit happened after a flurry of offers (or offer-type substances) from heavy hitters like Georgia, Alabama, and USC, but since he's in Nevada he might have a hard time moving up the rankings.
FURTHER NEEDS. None.
RECRUITS. None. Michigan has not undertaken 2019 QB recruiting activities since McNamara's commitment. They seem to have fully set their sights on 2020 QBs.
tbh at this point I'd rather have a 3.5 star [Eric Upchurch]
ROSTER. Michigan has eight tailbacks and is set to lose only Karan Higdon after the season. Chris Evans is the only other upperclassman. Even if Michigan suffers an unexpected bit of attrition the need here is low, especially after the late add of ATH Michael Barrett.
At fullback Michigan has sophomore Ben Mason and freshman Ben VanSumeren and is probably set.
FURTHER NEEDS. They're certainly seeking at least one tailback. Anything additional would be a luxury.
RECRUITS. It's unlikely Michigan pulls a big name. Everyone they're pursuing is out of region and most are from the south. Five-star NC RB Quavaris Crouch is the big name, and he has been on campus. Unfortunately, Lorenz reports that his head coach has moved on and that was Crouch's main Michigan connect. Chances of pulling Crouch away from the rest of the country were already pretty low and are now lower.
Almost everyone else listed as a target is in the "not likely" bin, if not the "why are we even talking about this?" bin. They include LA RB John Emery Jr, who put Michigan in a top eight but remains a highly touted guy from Louisiana; MS RB Jerrion Ealy, who is from Mississippi, committed to Ole Miss, and thinking about a Bama flip; NC RB Khafre Brown, whose brother signed with UNC last year and has a blizzard of unofficial visits to the Tarheels to overcome; IMG's Noah Cain, who's barely drawn mention from the Michigan Insider in months and has 15 Not Michigan crystal balls to five different schools.
The one four star who's drawn chatter who seems achievable is CA RB Zach Charbonnet, who attends Westlake Christian. Westlake does export kids to high academic out of state schools fairly regularly. He seems like a plan B for Notre Dame, which is always a threat for Westlake kids—what what Jimmy Clausen—and 247 has just UCLA and Washington as "warm" schools other than Michigan. Charbonnet made it up for a visit about a month ago.
If it's not Charbonnet it's going to be someone off the radar. This is mostly fine given Michigan's success with highly touted backs over the last… decade? 15 years? I'm not sure there's any period in time during which top 100-ish backs outperform three stars for M. Lorenz suggests that KS RB Breece Hall and MO RB Kyren Williams are lower-rated guys who Michigan will pursue.
ROSTER. A year after a bumper crop saw a four-star move to safety, Michigan took only flier recruit Ronnie Bell. Numbers are a priority here despite only having one senior (Grant Perry) unless Michigan wants to have another year like 2017, when they had virtually no experience and it showed.
FURTHER NEEDS. Michigan needs two or three WRs. Outside preferably.
RECRUITS. This is grim. I don't think there's a single crystal ball out for Michigan at WR. There certainly hasn't been one since November started. And there are few targets out there Michigan is even mentioned with. Michigan likely to be just a hat on the table for a USC-bound Kyle Ford; ditto except for Florida State for FL WR John Dunmore. Dunmore was scheduled to be up this weekend, but with the spring game canceled that trip probably is as well. Michigan didn't even draw mention in a Wiltfong article about IN WR David Bell three days ago. MD WR John Metchie is supposed to be on campus this weekend—again, maybe—and is one of those guys who's been to a particular school a ton (PSU in this case) and will be an uphill climb for anyone else.
There are two guys who have recently been on campus. 3* CT WR Cornelius Johnson took an unofficial, but the shape of his recruitment doesn't look particularly promising:
Next up for Johnson is an April 25 visit to California. He also is scheduling a return trip to Notre Dame, and with Penn State offering Monday, a return visit to Happy Valley could take place. He is also looking at trips to West Virginia, Northwestern and Duke.
ND has three crystal ball predictions, FWIW. TX WR Dylan Wright took a swing through Michigan and Notre Dame, and did say Michigan was certainly in line for an official afterwards. That's all you can hope for as an out of region prospect, but Michigan would need 4-5 guys in Wright's position to expect to land one.
That is the entire WR board until Michigan starts firing out offers to three stars.
In all likelihood Michigan's entire skill position class is going to consist of fliers, late bloomers, sleepers, guys who recently emerged from a coma, and the like. These are the wages of having the worst passing offense imaginable and not having a WR coach who can go on the road to recruit until you hire… uh… Jim McElwain.