2016 Recruiting Class - Best Defensive Class Since???

Submitted by Bones032 on November 8th, 2018 at 4:21 PM

Was just thinking about how good everyone on the defense is playing this year, and was just realizing how many of them were a part of the 2016 Class. These are the defensive contributors from the 2016 class(composite rank in parentheses):

1. Rashan Gary (1)

2. David Long (65)

3. Lavert Hill (132)

4. Carlo Kemp(310)

5. Devin Bush(312)

6. Khaleke Hudson(386)

7. Josh Uche(707)

8. Josh Metellus(739)

9. Michael Dwumfour(947)

10. Devin Gil(997)

Thats 10 Players. 9 of which have started games this year, and the 1 that hasnt started is leading the team in sacks(Uche). 4 are All American Quality(Gary wont be because he missed games), I bet 2 or 3 more make All Big-10 lists. 

I mean when is the last time we have had that many good players/contributors from 1 class on 1 side of the ball? Just having 10 players from 1 class as rotation players on a defense is alot, but the fact that they are all major contributors of the #1 Defense in the country. Thats pretty nuts.

Can anybody think of a single class from the past that had that big of an impact on 1 side of the ball before? I am just talking Michigan history, because I am sure Alabama has had some crazy 6 5-Star Class that was all on D probably.


Ali G Bomaye

November 9th, 2018 at 9:40 AM ^

1995 is a contender:

  • Charles Woodson (duh)
  • Rob Renes - starting NT for several years, drafted in 7th round in 2000 NFL Draft
  • Daydrion Taylor - starting SS on 1997 defense before career-ending injury on epic hit
  • James Hall - started at DE for several years, 26.5 sacks at Michigan, 63 career NFL sacks
  • Josh Williams - starting DT for several years, drafted in 4th round in 2000
  • David Bowens - was a stud at DE, but didn't go to class and transferred to Western Illinois.

Oh yeah, that class also had Tom Brady, Tai Streets, and Clarence Williams on offense.


November 8th, 2018 at 10:50 PM ^

I live in Fort Lauderdale, and went to one of the games Bush was playing at (Versus Piper high school). It was obvious to me that the 17 year old I was watching could likely have been a back-up for an nfl team. He was that damned good at linebacker then. The play that made me shit a brick, it was a sweep to the right side, and whatever read he was took him the opposite way. He figured out he was going the wrong way, corrected, and still made the tackle after bolting 25 yards for only a 3 yard gain. My jar damn near broke on the stands


November 8th, 2018 at 8:31 PM ^

If Harrison and Crouch get added to Hinton, Smith and Hill the top end of this class would certainly challenge some kind of metric for Michigan recruiting. And on the offensive side with Charbonnet, Rumler, Jones and  Gray...and hopefully "Ike". And there are a couple sleeper, wild cards in there whose ceiling might be as high as that top group...Ojabo, Jackson, Sainristil...even McNamara-bright kid and terrific leader. 

Blue in Paradise

November 8th, 2018 at 4:30 PM ^

You guys have it all wrong, I am on a conference call with Bluey, Albatross and the rest of the Starz Mafia and they are telling me that the 2016 recruiting class sucked because half of the guys on that list are 3 stars.


November 8th, 2018 at 5:56 PM ^

That’s as wrong-headed as the “stars are all that matter” viewpoint. The top five guys on that list are 4* players. And this defense isn’t nearly what it is without them. 

Stars don’t tell the whole story, but they are an important piece of data. Development matters too, but you need players that can develop. 

Our defense has developed well. We also started with some terrific, well-rated athletes. 


November 8th, 2018 at 8:43 PM ^

That's right. And this is why Michigan is recruiting many of the kids they are. Harbaugh does not hesitate to take multi-position kids who are well-rounded and excellent athletes-who are often over-looked. (I am really curious where this Barrett kid lands position wise.)

This sort of reminds me of how Hutch recruits her softball players. I have heard her say that she, first and foremost, wants athletes with high playing IQs. You can teach those kids how to play any position they end up at-very well. After basketball, the sport I like the most is fast-pitch softball...grew up around a world champion men's team...love watching Michigan compete!!!


November 9th, 2018 at 9:00 AM ^

IMHO this is the wrong way to look at it.  It is not like the team never misses on a highly rated kid that Brown likes.  Obviously, if Brown likes a kid, then I will be all in on him.  But, we shouldn't pretend that if a kid is rated lower that he is definitely some diamond in the rough.  I say this is someone who is not a STARZ guy.


November 8th, 2018 at 4:32 PM ^

Still can't believe how loaded that flanagan senior class was...essentially they started 3 players in high school that are stalwarts of the #1 defense in COLLEGE football. 


November 8th, 2018 at 4:34 PM ^

Shows you that 5 stars and 4 stars don’t mean on thing on defense we have one hell of coaching staff. Now if the offense could build this kind of consistency we can become Alabama good

UP to LA

November 8th, 2018 at 5:30 PM ^

I'm excited about this class as well, but what's so crazy about 2016 isn't the amount of potential impact that came in, but the extent to which that potential turned into actual impact. 2012 wasn't so far removed from 2016 in terms of incoming defensive talent, but it was a more typical year in that a lot of guys kind of washed out for one reason or another. The rate of hits to misses in 2016 was insane.


November 8th, 2018 at 4:59 PM ^

Great group of guys who fairly seamlessly picked up the torch from the 2016 group and ran with it. 

Brown and Harbaugh have it basically down to this: if you start on D at Michigan you end up on All-B1G lists and in the NFL. 


November 8th, 2018 at 6:21 PM ^

I don't know, that's still a pretty close call at the top end.  2003 had Woodley, 2016 had Gary.  2003 had Crable, 2016 had Bush.  2003 had Leon Hall, 2016 had both Lavert Hill and David Long.  2003 had Ryan Mundy, 2016 had Josh Metellus (and Mundy actually played his best ball after leaving M).    2003 had Burgess, but 2016 had Hudson.  


November 8th, 2018 at 6:16 PM ^

I think the 2016 class is definitely the best in the 85-scholarship era.  

The 2012 and 2013 classes each had about 8-9 defensive contributors and then the 1995 and 1998 classes each had about 5-6 defensive hits but some were massive stars like Woodson, Foote, Gold, et al.  The 2003 class had Woodley, Mundy, Leon Hall, Prescott Burgess, and Shawn Crable--so that's a great five guys but not much (defensively) after that.  

Another great thing about the 2016 class is how few busts or washouts there have been.  Only EBM is gone, and the only defensive recruits from that class yet to make a significant on-field contribution is Ron Johnson.


November 8th, 2018 at 6:33 PM ^

I remember the 2003 guys listed in the comments.  That was a good class.  But it was nothing like 2016 in numbers and consistency, now that we can see how the class has developed.  Maybe the class of 1995 is worthy of attention, if you can look it up.