The days of demolished cornerback depth charts in Ann Arbor are long gone: Michigan will have eight(!) corners on its roster in 2014. The number alone is solid, but the amount of elite talent at the position ranges from little to none, depending on who you ask. Players like Terry Richardson, Jourdan Lewis and Ross Douglas are promising young players, but each of them lack size, and Richardson might be the only one with truly elite burst.
Enter the class of 2014. Michigan is in on multiple four- to five-star corners in the current cycle, targeting players with size and speed. The staff will most likely take one corner, with a second coming if he's elite or capable of playing safety as well.
Most Talented: Jabrill Peppers
Not even Adoree Jackson, an Olympic hopeful in the long jump, can dethrone Peppers in this category. Jabrill is long for a corner, standing at 6'1". He's already stronger than the majority of corners on Michigan's roster and would easily be the most explosive player on Michigan's roster today. He has the tools to play halfback, corner, safety and even receiver at the next level. He could improve his ball skills a bit and will need to learn the corner position nearly from scratch, but he has first round NFL Draft type of potential.
Oh yea: I was this close to putting Peppers down as the corner who's most likely to commit.
Under the Radar: Jalen Embry
Embry isn't as explosive as someone like Peppers, but he did run some decent times at camps this past winter. He's a very physical corner with above average height, standing at 5'11", and he uses all 180 pounds on his frame to steer receivers off of their routes. I don't think he'll be offered when all is said and done, but I think Michigan State or a MAC school will get a steal of a recruit when he makes his decision.
Most Likely to Commit: Parrker Westphal
Westphal has visited campus more times than any other defensive back on Michigan's board. He put Michigan atop his list very early in the process, leaving myself and many other recruiting gurus to believe that it's only a matter of time before he pulls the trigger. This is no small deal: Westphal is a consensus four-star prospect who holds offers from the likes of Florida, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin and many others.
Pipe Dream: Adoree Jackson
Jackson is a super explosive corner from California who isn't ever going to play football for Michigan. Eight different 247 writers think that he ends up at USC, and so do I. Even if he doesn't commit to the Trojans, Michigan would have to fend off every SEC power and then some. Not happening, folks.
The One Who Got Away: Damon Webb
I was shocked to see Webb commit to Ohio State so early in the process, and I was also extremely disappointed. Webb is a nasty corner with decent size, standing at 5'11", 180 pounds. He's the best corner to come out of Cass Tech yet in my humble opinion, and I think he could end up being the next Honey Badger in terms of pure destructiveness as a corner. This isn't good news for Michigan, but the Wolverines will get the last laugh if they land Jabrill Peppers.
Other Names to Remember:
Jalen Tabor - Tabor is probably another pipe dream. He did come away impressed with the program after taking an unofficial visit this past month, so don't write him off just yet.
Nick Watkins - Also probably not happening, but Watkins has been relatively quiet and has mentioned a possible visit to Michigan before.
Michigan lands Jabrill Peppers and Parrker Westphal. One of Tabor or Watkins steps up if Westphal somehow doesn't go blue.
Michigan fails to secure Jabrill Peppers, and Parrker Westphal decides to go all Laquon Treadwell on us before committing to Vanderbilt. This would force Michigan to put the pressure on a bunch of long shots before putting out an offer to Jalen Embry, who accepts the offer on the spot.
Final Prediction for the Position
Michigan lands Jabrill Peppers and Parrker Westphal. The numbers on the roster might be a bit deceiving, as Channing Stribling and Reon Dawson are both lanky corners who could put on weight and slide back to safety. The position also needs an infusion of talent, so you can't turn down two long, talented corners if you have the chance to take both, and Michigan should get that chance. There are more than a handful of gurus who believe Peppers will commit to the Wolverines before his senior season begins, and Westphal seems like a foregone conclusion. This is especially likely to happen if Westphal decides before Peppers; there is always room for a consensus five-star player.