The Ole Miss Situation
Van Jefferson comin' on up? [Bryan Fuller]
No post that touches on recruiting at the moment can style itself complete without mentioning the likely transfer of three Ole Miss players. While Shea Patterson and Van Jefferson are offensive players, they take up scholarships. Deontay Anderson is a safety who will (probably) be a redshirt sophomore next year, which puts him in the same class as J'Marick "Ol' Woods" Woods and Jaylen Kelly-Powell.
At this moment it seems likely that Michigan will get those three players, and only those three players. Rivals's assertions that "up to seven" Rebels could end up at Michigan might be technically true, but one glance at the roster should be sufficient evidence to discount a mass transfer of that magnitude. Unless your name is Greg Little, Michigan's need to have a 2018 recruiting class all but shuts the door.
If Michigan does lock down the three names above that takes this class from 20-22 to 17-19 without additional attrition; that is certainly a possibility with so many borderline fifth-years. It's a delicate situation.
But, anyway, the defense:
various Upshaws 
Michigan has commits from instate SDE Adrian Hutchinson and FL DE Taylor Upshaw. Hutchinson is a Michigan legacy and four-star who projects as a Wormley/Van Bergen sort of burly strongside guy without huge pass rush upside. Upshaw, the son of NFL DE Regan Upshaw, is a high-upside wildcard who Michigan flipped from Florida this fall. He just started playing football and is all potential and no polish.
Michigan took a couple of excellent WDE prospects a year ago and redshirted Luiji Vilain due to injury, so need for an edge rusher is not pressing. Michigan is still heavily pursuing two five-star-ish sorts. MD DE Eyabi Anoma is at St. Frances, which means he's being coached by Biff Poggi. Alabama is his presumed landing spot all the same; Anoma did visit for OSU but he's been to Alabama three times already and is set to return this weekend. Writing seems on the wall there.
NJ DE Jayson Oweh also came up for the OSU game; he seems like a three-way OSU-PSU-Michigan battle. As of a week ago Wiltfong thought it was Michigan vs PSU.
The one spot on the defense where Michigan absolutely needs a body or two, because you have two starters at each DT spot and like QB you never want to take a pass. Fortunately, Michigan appears to be in the driver's seat for NJ DT Tyler Friday. The book-length multi-part Sam Webb interview with a parent has started dropping over at The Michigan Insider, and the crystal balls are rolling in. Friday is a consensus top 100 guy that Michigan looks set to fend off Alabama and OSU for.
A second guy probably has to come from off the board. MO DT Michael Thompson hasn't returned for an official after taking a summer visit; the same goes for NC DT Rick Sandidge.
just guys bein' dudes
Michigan has one solid ILB commit in IN LB Cameron McGrone and one wobbly viper in GA LB Otis Reese. McGrone sounds like Devin Bush 2.0...
Aggressive backer who gets moving downhill in a hurry. Shows good burst and quickness off the snap of the ball and timing when he is blitzing and shooting gaps. Plays with good motor and looks like he is always running at 100 percent. Physical and takes on blocks as well as arrives at ball carriers with impact.
...a flash of backfield doom waiting to happen. 24/7 is very bullish on him; if he sticks at his current spot (#31) he'll be a five star on Signing Day. Other sites are less enthused, but Bush was a 3/4 star borderline guy, so whatever.
Reese was one of the first commits in the class, but this seems un-good.
Reese was actually the guy who dropped before teammate Aubrey Solomon last year, and seemed like a major reason that Solomon did end up in Ann Arbor after all. But visits are visits; Michigan will strive to get him up one more time before he makes a final decision. FWIW, there have been some rumblings that Reese is #2 in the pecking order for a single slot in Georgia's class.
With three touted guys in last year's class Michigan can go relatively light here. If Reese does decommit they might be happy with just McGrone and use that spot to shore up some weaker parts of the roster. There are no LBs on the board, really. GA ATH Michael Barrett is a dual threat QB who Michigan appears set to take; he's probably not a QB and Michigan already has two RBs in the class, so he might be another Bush 2.0 candidate. He's listed at 5'11" and 215, which is Bush territory, and looks like a linebacker playing QB on tape. I mean that as a compliment.
I'm hurling all DB-shaped guys in the same group because Michigan has recruited four guys who are more or less clones. TX CB/S gents German and Gemon Green are literally twins. FL S Sammy Faustin and GA CB Myles Sims are their other brothers Darrell; all are long-limbed 6'2" guys suited to batting away fades and the like. Sims's nickname may as well be the whole group's: "Spider." Collectively they have eight arms and there's probably a silk gland in there somewhere.
Sims and Gemon Green are highly touted top 250 types; German and Faustin are three star sorts. In German's case his ranking was depressed by an ACL tear that prevented him from showing out during the heart of you-get-ranked-here season.
Michigan's pursuit of other defensive backs seems limited to CT CB Josh Jobe, a very soft Miami commit who is spending his final year of high school in the heart of Don Brown territory at Cheshire Academy, which just sent Tarik Black to Michigan. Confidence about Michigan's ability to flip Jobe has waxed and waned. Of late it's bottomed out; he just told a 24/7 writer that there's a "120 percent chance" he flips to... Alabama. Deontay Anderson appears to be taking his spot anyway.
The only other dude currently on the board is CA S Talanoa Hufanga, who visited for OSU. He was widely expected to go to Oregon prior to Willie Taggart's departure. That might open the door; still a tall order to pry a Samoan guy from California when the whole West Coast is hot on his tail. (CA S Bryan Addison is committing Sunday but has not fielded an in-home from Harbaugh, so... yeah.)
Michigan loses zero defensive backs to graduation unless Brandon Watson doesn't get invited back—unlikely—so Anderson would be a net gain of 5 DBs and almost certainly shut the door for anyone else.