Friday Michigan Football Recruiting Roundup Hits, Sheds and Destroys

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

FRR updates you on the very latest Michigan football recruiting rumblings. Who is Michigan's best linebacker commitment in 2014? Which players are rising in the rankings? That and more.

Oklahoma, MSU Offer Joshua Ross

Michigan State and Oklahoma both came through with offers this week for Joshua Ross, younger brother of current Michigan inside linebacker James Ross. The young man is a class of 2017 prospect, making him a high school freshman. He's already six feet tall, meaning he could push SAM size by the time he graduates.

Don't fret about Michigan's chances here. The Wolverines should still be the favorites to land Ross when they come through with an offer, and they will come through with the offer. Check out my piece on the method behind the madness of early offers.

Ferns, Winovich Both Impressive

Check out Michael Ferns' latest highlight reel on Hudl. Ferns is certainly stronger, and I am beginning to see why so many Michigan fans want to see him line up on the inside. He looks like a grown man playing against boys, crushing lead blocker after lead blocker before ripping ball carriers down to the ground. His ability to shed and take the proper angle to the ball is impressive. Ferns' ability to cover and play in space could still be a liability down the road, but he's far ahead of the curve in the running game.

Outside linebacker prospect Chase Winovich's highlight reel is just as impressive, and it really showcases the differences between a SAM prospect and a MIKE/WILL prospect. Winovich isn't afraid of contact, but he has better long speed and acceleration than Ferns and he's fantastic at slashing to find the ball carrier. His length also makes him great at holding the edge and blitzing, which he'll be called upon to do once he finds himself donning the maize and blue.

It's safe to say that Michigan's linebacker play will continue to improve as time goes on.

Class of 2014Nearly Finished, Still Moving Slow

Michigan's class of 2014 has been this close to being finished for quite some time now. Steve Lorenz of 247 Sports updated Michigan's target list to reflect that, leaving only S Erick Smith, SDE Malik McDowell, ATH Marshon Lattimore, S John Smith and WDE Da'Shawn Hand on the board as top targets.

This class should finish the same way many expect it to, with Hand and McDowell climbing on board before the rest of the targets head elsewhere. Michigan will have its chance to impress Juju Smith, and the Glenville duo should visit Michigan once more before the end of the year, but all of them are moderate to heavy leans elsewhere. Most years the staff has a few tricks up its sleeve in case it can't fill the spots it needs to fill, but this year's class simply doesn't have the room for any wildcard commitments.

General Notes and Multimedia Items

Michigan WDE commitment Lawrence Marshall is one of 247 Sports' risers in the class of 2014:

Lawrence Marshall, DE, Southfield (Mich.) - Marshall has added good weight this year and long-time area coach John Bechtel of Farmington called him the best player he's ever coached against. "I've been doing this for 35 years and never faced a player like him before," he said.

Michigan would really like him to turn into a consistent pass rusher at the next level.

Offensive line prospect Chuma Edoga has mid-season highlights up on Hudl. He's an impressive prospect who will be tough to pull from the South. Fellow class of 2015 offensive line prospect Matt Burrell has accepted an invitation to the Army All-American Bowl.

Evander Holyfield's son Elijah Holyfield is considering Michigan, among others. Whether or not he's actually an "SEC-caliber" running back is yet to be seen.

In case you missed it, check out our class of 2015 recruiting board. Film, measurables, ratings, notes and predictions can be found for all of Michigan's targets for the class of 2015, and the needs at each position are broken down as well. I'll be making weekly updates to the board as information comes out, so make sure to check back in.

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