Projecting the 2016 Class - Way Too Early Edition

Submitted by alum96 on June 3rd, 2015 at 8:17 AM

Alternative title:  How to make a post that makes you look foolish in 7 months.

Hopefully a flurry of commits happen in the next 3 weeks to firm up this list but here is a projected 23 man class.  The apparent goal is "Fab25" which would be 25 but I had trouble plugging in DBs as UM doesn't lead for many and is not really in the conversation as a contender for many at this point.  So most likely it will be guys we have not really heard of yet outside of Butler.  (I have Hill not flipping to UM per current tea leaves)  In theory someone like Enis could end up as a S down the road.

Please also note any class over 18 or so will require serious attrition in the coming half year.  25?  We are not talking scalpel but butcher knife.

This 23 man class is a sort of "best case" perhaps - for kicks I plugged it into 247 and it generated a score of 262.8 which in 2013 terms would be #10, 2014 terms would be  #11, and 2015 terms would be #14. Hoke's first full cycle class of 2012 was 25 players and #6.  

The total class rank is influenced heavily by the # of players you have (i.e. a 23 man class will rank much higher than an 18 man class) - unfortunately 247's projection doesn't give you the average player rank which is a more fair comparison.  i.e. an 18 man class with an average rank of 90.5 is in theory better than a 21 man class with average rank 87.5 even if the latter will be ranked higher.


1 OL Erik Swenson
2 OL Michael Onwenu
3 OL Ben Bredeson
4 OL Terrance Davis
5 QB Brandon Peters
6 RB Matt Falcon
7 RB Kingston Davis
8 RB/WR/S Chris Evans
9 FB (LB) David Reese
10 TE Naseir Upshur
11 WR/RB/DB Kiante Enis
12 WR Brad Hawkins
13 WR Donald Stewart
14 DT Rashan Gary
15 DL Connor Murphy
16 DL Xavier Kelly
17 LB Caleb Kelly or Devin Bush Jr
18 LB Dele Harding
19 LB Dontavious Jackson
20 LB Jonathan Jones
21 CB Tony Butler
22 CB  
23 S Chris Brown
24 S  
25 K Quinn Nordin


Alternate:  OT Devery Hamilton, WR Dez Fitzpatrick, WR Korey
Banks (CB?), DE Daniel Joseph, LB Camilo Eifler, CB Lavert Hill


  • For ranking purposes I included Devin Bush Jr (not Caleb Kelly) - both seem to be an intense focus of a satellite camp.
  • The whole defense is difficult to project, but LB is probably the one group with some visibility.
  • No idea who our alternative would be at DT if not Gary.
  • DEs are very difficult to project; I picked Murphy due to relationship with Harbaugh from older brother and Kelly as he will be on campus in 2 weeks and he is a Nebraska lean so reasonably flippable.
  • Banks is a low rated WR that seems to be a fall back plan but in theory could be a DB recruit but Magnus says he is a WR recruit so I didnt put him in as a DB.
  • We seem to be in the running for Hamilton as well but would we take 5 OL?  I assume if all 5 say yes we would.  Esp if a guy like Davis flips to a southern school - thus opening a new slot in the class, even if a diff position. (Evans could be your 2nd RB in such a case)




June 3rd, 2015 at 8:23 AM ^

O line is a very important component in this class.  We lose four guys after 2016 and six after 2017.  The guys in this class would only be RS sophomores once those players graduate. Unfortunately we kind of have to hope for some attrition because it seems like we have at least three position groups in which we have to sign a minimum of 4 players (LB, OL, DB) plus we really need help at WR and TE, and that just about fills up the majority of the slots right there without addressing any other position.


June 3rd, 2015 at 8:39 AM ^

If one wants to RS DTs its also a position that needs multiple players.  It doesnt look like it today as its the position with the most depth on defense but a whole host of players have 2 years of eligibility and then they gone.  And its not a position you usually want to throw true freshman in (class of 2017s) so getting multiple 2016s in would be a good thing.  Henry, Glasgow, Wormley, Godin will be gone - only Mone and Hurst will remain down the road (Pallante seems to have moved to the offensive side of the ball) so right now your 2 deep at DTs in 2017 are Mone, Hurst, 2016 recruit, 2017 recruit - if you only take 1 in the 2016 class.


June 3rd, 2015 at 11:48 AM ^

*this year.  He was demonstrably awful during the spring game (I'm commenting on his play and not him as a person).  There's no reason to keep him on offense.  Yes, even based on one game/scrimmage.  It's hard for me to believe that Poggi wasn't a better alternative in that position switch.  

But I assume Khalid Hill will remove all doubts, assuming he's healthy, and even a true freshman Ty Wheatley Jr. is going to be a better option at H-back.  We need reserve LB's this year and starters next, and that's where Winivich's long term plan should be.  There's no reason to waste a Fall camp on offense. 

Gentleman Squirrels

June 3rd, 2015 at 8:24 AM ^

I'd be fine with this projection. Personally, I'm hoping we get Dez Fitzpatrick or a speedy WR to complement Stewart and Hawkins. Gary would be huge (literally and figuritavely)


June 3rd, 2015 at 8:31 AM ^

Yes, my wild ass theory is Stewart is a guy you take to contiue to build a pipeline into that powerhouse NJ school.  Maybe he is buddies with Gary - who knows.   Outside of Davis he'd be the lowest rated recruit on the board and obviously Dez would upgrade the score if he came into the class over Stewart.  But sometimes it is worth taking guys for the long game - to show you have Peppers, Gary, JBB, Stewart etc already on the roster... and maybe these guys are good friends with the class of 2017/2018 at that school.


June 3rd, 2015 at 9:06 AM ^

When Chris Partridge left his job as head football coach at Paramus (NJ) Catholic to join the Michigan football staff earlier this year, former NFL player Blake Costanzo was named the school's new head coach. Costanzo just stepped down as the team's head coach, hoping that he might get another shot at joining an NFL team. LINK

Only Chris Partridge may know whether this will have any impact on Michigan's ability to successfully recruit players from that school.

Here's a link to a more detailed blog post in which the writer says he likes John Westervelt, the new head football coach at Paramus Catholic,because Westervelt wears an LSU visor. Someone (Wolverine Devotee - ?) might want to send Coach Westervelt a Michigan visor.

Yostbound and Down

June 3rd, 2015 at 8:40 AM ^

Well, the alternative to Gary might be Onwenu. I personally have a hard time believing a guard that big is going to have success in pull blocking, whereas he can be a mammoth run stuffer on defense.

Understand that he will be probably trimming down wherever he plays, but it seemed at least from what I read and watched that he'd be a better fit at D tackle.


June 3rd, 2015 at 9:20 AM ^

Could be - but anytime someone has Alabama as their crystal ball leader I have a tough time pushing him to UM.  Yes there are exception - Poggi or whatnot but just going with probability.  After he decommited from MSU he got 3 Bama predictions.  Also there are not many crystal balls in total for him so it can change.  Based on what his parents said after the MSU decommit his process could play out over a long time.

These things are fluid.  Bama might get two of the top 3 DEs in the nation in 4 months and not have room for Kareem.


June 3rd, 2015 at 10:37 AM ^

Fair point.
But at his age, 365 is much more likely to be a much bigger number in 10 years, than someone who is already in his 20's or 30's. This kid is not quite done growing yet.


June 3rd, 2015 at 9:09 AM ^

I would love this class from an O-Line standpoint. Reminds me of the year Hoke got Chris Fox, Dawson, and Kugler, except we have coaches capable of coaching them up. Lol


June 3rd, 2015 at 9:24 AM ^

Yes that was my first thought too - man on paper this looks like our 2012 class for the OL.  Welp, that didnt turn out so well so far.  But then I remembered Drevno.  Stanford had prime time OLs without this caliber of player so I am very excited to see this type of raw material work with a guy who pushes guys to the NFL.

Of all the position coaches I am most confident of Drevno developing people - well aside from Harbaugh at QB.  Even at USC last year when he had a 1 year stop he was working with a ton of very young players and they were more than servicable.


June 3rd, 2015 at 9:32 AM ^

There are going to be some very obvious grad transfers from the 2012  recruiting class - guys who have barely played in 4 years unless something really wild happens this year.   I can count 4 guys in that class off the top of my head who have not played a meaningful Big 10 down in their career - two 4 stars, two 3 stars. They would not have to sit out if they leave after next year.  Or they might be done with football.  They got their 4 years, and degree and away we go.

Then you have a few medicals rumored to be coming this summer (up to 3 but at least 2).  The 2013 WR class is also a group you could see attrition.   Then there might be 1-2 guys who surprise everyone ala Ferns or Countess.

So I can build a case of 8-9 guys without going too crazy or losing anyone who has actually contributed much on the field other than 1 guy (Pipkins).  So I guess the Fab25 is pretty feasible.  The attrition under Hoke has been very light which is a testmament to the guys loyaly to Hoke but if Harbaugh wants every scholarship "working" then there are some obvious guys to have movement on.


June 3rd, 2015 at 9:43 AM ^

the player doesn't see himself fitting the Harbaugh mold (not just talking work ethic but also types of players he wants) they are better off leaving because a guy who doesn't see the field isn't really helping himself or the team. 

It also allows Harbaugh to transition the roster the way he wants it to loke more quickly so I don't look at the attrition as negatively as I normally would.

I did hate to see Countess go but it looked like he was likely to be a backup and he needed to start to give himself the best chance of making it to the NFL. I would have liked to see Ferns stay also. Obviously something wasn't a fit though.


June 3rd, 2015 at 10:37 AM ^

I think Blake will be a big loss from a depth perspective.  There are ALWAYS injuries in the DBs every year - seems like the Lions lose half their DBs on an annual basis and he would be at minimum a good depth player.  Really hoping Brandon Watson shows up and is ready to be pushing for a starting gig and Stribling eats all summer and can get somewhere near to 190.

Ferns really bummed me out - he seemed to have great character and he and Harbaugh seem like they would get along famously.  Plus our LB depth is a big issue in 12 months.  Seemed like a protoypical kid we'd pull out of Ohio who would do great things for us.

Mr Miggle

June 3rd, 2015 at 10:05 AM ^

but Pipkins is a senior already. I know he's rumored to get a medical, but it wouldn't have any effect on the recruiting class.

Of course forecasting attrition is a crap shoot, other than looking at some guys who may not return for a fifth year. Injuries may even keep someone like Morgan around for an extra year.


June 3rd, 2015 at 10:05 AM ^

I really think we end up with Kelly. He's got a higher ceiling than Bush but also it's going to be way hard to pull a legacy commit away from FSU who has been very successful recently. Even if we are attacking his camp with EUTM.

One person in the sunshine state I do think we end up with though, is TE Jacob Mathis. I think we want 2 TE's this round and he is our other guy.

I don't see us ending up with Murphy at this point. I think that's going to be Khalid Kareem. Connor Murphy has been very quiet and this staff hasn't gone out of their way to recruit him especially hard

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


June 3rd, 2015 at 10:32 AM ^

Yes the D is so much of  a crapshoot right now outside of LBs.  Not sure we lead for any DE right now, not sure if we have anyone outside of Gary at DT we are a serious player for (obviously Onwenu could 1 day be one) and the secondary players are really sparse outside of a Pitt commit.  If I didnt have Murphy there I dont know who I would put in that slot - really there are not many obvious names outside of Kareem or Joseph at this moment.  Maybe some new names show up after these camps for the defense. 

The D is probably going to have 3-4 diff names then above as a lot of guys we'll be later to the game on will most likely end up in the class as opposed to the offensive side of the ball where the targets are obvious and we are serious players for many.

Bush would be a heck of a flip considering he has something like 25 crystal balls to FSU and has the legacy thing going on.  It will be interesting to see if there is movement on him after the camp in Florida with his dad.  If not, it would seem very unlikely he ends up here.


June 3rd, 2015 at 12:57 PM ^

Maybe Carlo Kemp at DE? I'd say we at one point led for Xavier Kelly but since he blew up its probably 50-50 us and the field with Nebraska probably being in 2nd. I'd love for us to get Erroll Thompson for the buck position, his film is beautiful, but if Alabama is serious about him he will be a hard pull from the Yellowhammer State.

Thanks for the great post as always alum96

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


June 3rd, 2015 at 10:14 AM ^

That would put us at 275.32 on the 247 Class Calculator.  Good for 10th, 7th, and 9th over the last three years.  I still had the tab up from the class I projected a few days ago and it was quite similar to yours.  Some might look at it as unreasonable wishful thinking, however it really does seem that we have a great shot with everyone on it.

OL - Erik Swenson

OL - Michael Onwenu

OL - Ben Bredeson

OL - Terrance Davis

TE - Naseir Upshur

TE - Peyton Aucion

WR - Jack Jones

WR - Brad Hawkins

WR/APB - Chris Evans

QB - Brandon Peters

RB - Matt Falcon

RB - Kingston Davis

FB/LB - David Reese

SDE - Daniel Joseph

SDE/Buck - Carlo Kemp

WDE - Ron Johnson

DT - Rashan Gary

ILB - Dontavious Jackson

OLB - Camilo Eifler

OLB/Buck - Xavier Kelly

OLB - Johnathan Jones

CB - Tony Butler

CB - Lamar Jackson

S - Chris Brown

S - Kiante Enis

This would be a 279.67

I left out Dele' Harding because, while he's committed, I haven't heard a thing out of him since the coaching change.  It's like he disappeared along with Hoke and I really wonder if he will end up in the class.

I wish we had interest from cornerbacks the way we do from linebackers.  I know David Long is still out there and talked about committing at the drop of a Woodson edit, but I think he'll stay out West.  Why? I don't know.  Still hoping for a Jack Jones, Camilo Eifler, Lamar Jackson CA to AA miracle.



June 3rd, 2015 at 10:34 AM ^

Dont know if its a bug in my browser but double check they don't count any players twice.  When I did it, it originally double counted about 6 players for some odd reason today.  Either way if its 23-25 players it looks like a class projecting somewhere between #8 and #15 which is  lot of raw material for Harbaugh & Co.  And with such a small class in 2015 would be a good thing so we dont have 2 small classes back to back.



June 3rd, 2015 at 11:45 AM ^

There are also two Chris Evans options from Indy.  One is an APB and the other RB.  I think the RB was a mistake profile.  I really would like to see this class get into the low to mid 20s.  Both to balance class size and because we could use an influx of hungry young players and an exodus of those who feel entitled or unwilling to compete.


June 3rd, 2015 at 11:27 AM ^

I always thought that they are part of the 25. Convert them to scholarship the next year and effectively even out the class sizes.