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The Five Most Important Commits in the 2017 Class

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Taking a look at the most important players Michigan has in the fold for the 2017 class.

Cesar Ruiz
Bud Elliott,

Michigan already has one of the nation’s best recruiting classes, coming at #4 on the 247 Composite Team Rankings. With a five-star, 17 four-stars, and 7 three-stars, there is no shortage of star power coming to Ann Arbor this year. It’s time to take a look at the most important guys in this class so far.

1. Cesar Ruiz - #1 C, #51 Overall (IMG Academy)

With as much uncertainty as there is surrounding the offensive line for the 2017 season, Cesar Ruiz was looked at as a must get. With Grant Newsome’s availability being one of the biggest unknowns heading into 2017, we are still unsure if Mason Cole will have to move back to left tackle, leaving the starting center position open. If that is the case, the battle would come down to Ruiz and 5th-year senior Patrick Kugler. By all accounts, Ruiz looks like he can play day one in college. Couple in the fact that he’s already on campus learning the playbook with IMG basically being a college program, I would not be shocked to see Ruiz play immediately.

2. Donovan Peoples-Jones - #1 WR, #11 Overall (Cass Tech)

Michigan has not had an offensive skill player with this athletic ability in a while. Donovan Peoples-Jones showed up to The Opening just after his sophomore year of high school and dominated the testing. With a 4.4 40 yard dash and 42-inch vertical, he’s going to be an explosive deep threat for the Wolverines for years to come. Once he gets to work with new associate head coach and wide receivers coach Pep Hamilton and refines his route running ability, the sky is the limit for the Detroit native.

3. Chuck Filiaga - #14 OT, #106 Overall (Aledo)

After Michigan missed on 5-star Isaiah Wilson, and were unable to pull Alex Leatherwood or Jedrick Wills from Alabama, Chuck Filiaga became the most important tackle prospect left on the board. After releasing a top 3 of Michigan, Nebraska, and Oklahoma, Filiaga gave Michigan fans good after he committed to the Wolverines at the U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio. Filiaga looks to be a left tackle all the way at 6-6, 335 pounds, but could play right tackle as a true freshman if needed before sliding to the opposite side in 2018. Look for Filiaga to play early.

4. Luiji Vilain - #8 WDE, #70 Overall (Episcopal)

When Don Brown was hired as defensive coordinator at Michigan, a lot of the first reports that came out were his love of blitzing and bringing pressure. We saw a lot of that in his first year, but there wasn’t a true hybrid guy coming off the edge for Michigan. That’s exactly what Luiji Vilain is. With an explosive quick step, Vilain looks like he could contribute day one. After a stellar Under Armour All-American game performance, he vaulted up my list of freshmen I am most excited for.

5. Dylan McCaffrey - #4 PRO, #66 Overall (Valor Christian)

When Dylan McCaffrey gave his verbal to Jim Harbaugh and Michigan in February of last year, it marked one of the biggest recruiting wins in the Harbaugh era so far. While he won’t see the field for a couple of years, Michigan getting their top quarterback target in the class was huge. Having to sit for 2-3 years behind Speight/Peters will allow McCaffrey to refine his skills and work on any flaws in his release. I expect Dylan to continue the excellent track record of the Football McCaffreys.

Honorable Mentions:

Ambry Thomas was a huge recruiting win in the state of Michigan and out of Detroit King High School. Thomas will play early and often as a Wolverine.

Paramus Catholic LB Drew Singleton was one of the biggest targets on the board for 2017 and Michigan was able to overtake his recruitment and never look back. Singleton is the type of LB Michigan needs.

Michigan seemed to be out the recruitment of Tarik Black until his official visit early in the season. They led for the Cheshire product and secured a very important commitment from the wide receiver.