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Thursday Morning Brews: Book of Dreams

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We take one last look at the 2018 recruiting class before turning our attention to the season ahead. Join us in Morning Brews

NCAA Football: Michigan at Ohio State
Three weeks until football
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thursday, folks. Welcome to Morning Brews. This morning we take a look at Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class before we turn our focus to the season before us. Specifically, I’ll be addressing two common questions I’ve heard about the 2018 class - how big the class will be and how high the class will be ranked. This morning we also hear from new OT coach Greg Frey, and we check in with the youngest McCaffrey as he begins his college recruiting journey. Keep on keepin’ on, folks. The weekend is almost here.

As has become custom, there is a musical theme to this morning’s Brews. There are at least four clues that combine to reference a song. These clues may be words, phrases, or pictures, and they may reference song lyrics, the song title, the band, or the album from whence the song comes. Fire away down in the comments with your guess.

High School Football: National Signing Day-University of Michigan Kimberly P. Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Brews Looks at the 2018 Class Before the Season Starts

Football will soon again be upon us. While recruiting doesn’t stop during the season, it will fade into the background as we turn our focus to what happens on the field. To that end, I’m going to take a look at the 2018 class this morning - where it stands, where it’s going, and what could be.

As of this morning, Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class stands at 13 commits. These prospects break down as eight four-star recruits and five three-star recruits, according to the 247 Composite. This current total is good for the #15 class in the 2018 cycle, again according to the 247 Composite. I’ve heard two main questions of late from Michigan fans: how big will the 2018 class be and how high will the class be ranked?

The first question is easier to answer than the second. Because of scholarship limits and Michigan’s recent recruiting class sizes, Michigan’s 2018 class will be smaller than it has been during the first two years of Harbaugh’s tenure. Last year Jim Harbaugh took 30 recruits and in 2016 he signed 28 recruits. Given that FBS scholarships are limited to 85, taking in 58 new players in a two year span necessarily means that future classes will need to be smaller. How small? Right now it looks like the class will be in the 18-22 range. You’ll notice that, based on those numbers, the 2018 class is already more than half full with 13 commits.

How high will the 2018 class be ranked? Well, that’s a little complicated. We here at MnB like to use the 247 Composite rankings when we talk recruiting because it aggregates the major recruiting service rankings and smooths out the sometimes wild differences from one set of rankings to the next. How does 247 rank the classes?

For those who aren’t so good with math, just trust me when I say that a team’s ranking is a function of both quality and quantity. With Michigan taking a smaller class than usual, they will inherently be at a quantity disadvantage - which is likely to lead a slightly lower ranked class.

Where the class is ultimately ranked will depend on the quality of recruits in the class. Last year Ohio State had the #2 ranked class with 21 recruits, so a Top-5 class is possible when taking fewer recruits. However, I would caution against using that result as a measuring stick because their class was scary good last year (five five-stars, 14 four-stars, and two three-stars). I think the more reliable measuring sticks would be the classes Auburn and Notre Dame had last year (#9 and #10, respectively).

Auburn’s class was comprised of one five-star, ten four-stars, and 11 three-stars. Notre Dame had ten four-stars and 11 three-stars. Right now, Michigan’s class breaks down as eight four-stars and five three-stars. There are a couple more four-stars that I think Michigan will eventually add to the class. One is Tyler Friday, the #63 overall prospect and #3 DT prospect. The second is Josh Jobe, who would be a flip from Miami. Jobe is the #70 overall prospect and he is ranked as the #11 DB recruit. The third is Mustapha Muhammad, the #107 overall prospect and the # 5 TE recruit. If Michigan adds those three to the class, it would give michigan 11 four-stars and five three-stars - a composition I’m fairly confident would be a Top-10 class - with two to six more slots open in the class.

Where do you think Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class will be ranked? Does Harbaugh need to achieve Top-5 (10?) classes every year for you to be satisfied that he’s doing a good job? Weigh in with the poll below and down in the comments.

Poll

Where will Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class be ranked?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Top 3
    (18 votes)
  • 5%
    Top 5
    (43 votes)
  • 11%
    Top 7
    (91 votes)
  • 51%
    Top 10
    (423 votes)
  • 29%
    Top 15
    (244 votes)
  • 0%
    Other/Lower (Comment)
    (4 votes)
823 votes total Vote Now

Greg Frey is the new guy on the football staff, and you have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to use that ‘Frey the new guy’ line. On the field, Frey is responsible for the offensive tackles, tight ends, and the running game. Of the the tackles, Frey says they’re, “trying to get a nice pool of depth and ready players. So as we, you know, start this trek through the B1G . . . we have enough talent, enough guys, enough ready players to push through that tough schedule.” This is a road that Frey has been down before, as it’s his second stint coaching OL for the Wolverines. For Frey’s other thoughts on the tackles, plus the tight ends and his coaching style, check out the brief interview above.

One of the many highly-touted recruits in Michigan’s 2017 class was four-star QB Dylan McCaffrey. He’s the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey and the younger brother of Heisman Runner-Up and current NFL RB Christian McCaffrey. Well, there’s yet another McCaffrey and, like Dylan, he’s a QB. The youngest McCaffrey is a four-star recruit in the 2019 cycle and his recruiting star is beginning to rise. Will Luke follow Dylan to Michigan? He recently told Scout ($), “I can't say I haven't thought about playing with Dylan at the next level and it's definitely something to look at, but I've also thought about doing my own thing.” Like his brothers, Luke is quite talented on the football field - so keep an eye on him when the 2019 recruiting cycle heats up.