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Early top targets in 2025 class for Michigan

The 2025 class could be special for the Wolverines.

East Carolina v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The 2024 class is pretty much said and done now for the Michigan Wolverines. Of course, there is always the traditional signing day in February if they want to try and flip and unsigned recruits, but the expectation as of now is that everything is essentially locked in.

Most of the staff’s focus can now shift toward the 2025 class. The Wolverines have already laid some groundwork, with three prospects already committed in four-star quarterback Carter Smith, four-star cornerback Chris Ewald and four-star defensive lineman Bobby Kanka. It’s a good start, but there is plenty of work ahead.

Here are some of Michigan’s early top targets in the 2025 cycle.

Bryce Underwood - Five-star QB, Belleville (MI)

It’d be a disservice to not begin this list with one of the most highly regarded prospects from Michigan this century. Underwood is the top ranked player in the country and is a major priority for the Wolverines, even though they already have a committed quarterback. Michigan is in a heated recruiting battle with LSU for Underwood’s services. We will find out soon enough — Jan. 6, to be exact — where he will play in college.

Kaliq Lockett - Four-star WR, Sachse (TX)

A stud out wide, Lockett is coming off a monster junior season where he accumulated 59 catches for 1,299 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was recently deemed a five-star on 247Sports’ personal rankings, and is just inside the top-100 on the composite. Ron Bellamy offered Lockett back in May before his recruitment took off, as he has garnered other offers since then from Texas, LSU, Penn State, Ohio State, USC and more blue bloods. He visited Michigan for the BBQ at the Big House back in July and has a former teammate in Ann Arbor in quarterback Alex Orji. Admittedly, this will probably be the hardest recruitment of all these prospects listed, so I would temper any expectations here.

Eli Owens - Four-star TE, Alcoa (TN)

Michigan utilizes tight ends as much as any blue blood in America, and Owens has taken notice. He visited for the win over Ohio State and almost instantly received three Crystal Ball predictions in favor of the Wolverines. At 6-foot-1.5 and 243 pounds, Owens seems like a perfect fit at the FB/TE position made famous the last couple years by Max Bredeson.

Carter Lowe - Four-star OL, Toledo (OH)

A major Michigan/Ohio State recruiting battle is taking place for Lowe, the No. 119 overall player in the country. Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 290 pounds, Lowe can play either tackle or guard at the next level. Sherrone Moore is prioritizing the Ohio native, and the Wolverines have hosted him on a number of visits already. Two Crystal Balls are in for the Buckeyes, but this recruitment is far from over.

Avery Gach - Four-star OL, Franklin (MI)

Another top offensive line target for the Wolverines, Gach is one of the premier players in the state of Michigan in this cycle. A top-200 overall talent, he is projected to play on the interior at the next level. He recently told 247Sports’ Allen Trieu ($) the six schools he is “kind of” focusing on are Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Georgia and USC. There is one Crystal Ball prediction in for the Wolverines, but he’s also in no rush to make a decision, saying he hopes to take official visits and make a commitment this summer.

Andrew Babalola - Four-star OL, Overland Park (KS)

Another beast of an offensive tackle, Babalola stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 275 pounds. He has yet to visit Ann Arbor, as he just received his offer back in September, but he did tell 247Sports ($) he intends on visiting Michigan sometime after the season. A top-100 player ranked at No. 80 overall, Babalola holds other great offers from Oklahoma, Washington, Wisconsin, Ole Miss, Miami, Tennessee, Florida and more.

Jaylen Williams - Four-star DL, Palatine (IL)

Williams is among the better defensive linemen in the Midwest, as he ranks No. 227 overall and No. 26 among defensive linemen in his class. Three Crystal Ball predictions were put in for the Wolverines after he had rave reviews following his visit for the win over Ohio State. He’s listed at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds, and holds other offers from Florida State, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Auburn, USC, Missouri and more.

Nathaniel Marshall - Four-star DL, Oak Park (IL)

One of the top defensive linemen in the country in 2025, Marshall is ranked No. 38 overall and No. 4 along the defensive line. He visited Michigan most recently for the win over Ohio State, describing it to The Michigan Insider’s Brice Marich ($) as a “crazy experience and glad to be in the building for it.” He has other offers from Ohio State, Alabama, Oregon, Penn State, Notre Dame, Texas, Wisconsin and more.

Ethan Utley - Four-star DL, Nashville (TN)

Another top defensive line prospect, Utley is just outside the top-100 at No. 107 overall. At 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, Utley has flexibility and could play on the outside and the inside. He was at Michigan most recently for the win over Ohio State, and was with his high school teammate and future Wolverines, 2024 four-star Mason Curtis. He has other offers from Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Penn State, Miami, Oklahoma, Florida and more.

Xavier Newsome - Four-star edge, Detroit (MI)

There aren’t many clear top target edges as of right now for the Wolverines, but Newsome is among the best. At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, Newsome plays at Martin Luther King High School in Detroit. He most recently was in Ann Arbor for the big win over Ohio State and said after the game Michigan is in his top-three. He holds other offers from Penn State, Kansas, Louisville, Pitt, Minnesota, Purdue, Rutgers, Tennessee and more.

DJ Pickett - Five-star S, Zephyrhills (FL)

Jay Harbaugh, Steve Clinkscale and company have made Pickett one of the top priorities on defense for the 2025 class. A top-10 overall prospect, Pickett has taken a few trips to Ann Arbor, most recently for Michigan’s win over Ohio State. His mother is a U-M grad and he also has family still in the area. Miami, Florida, Florida State and Oregon are just a handful of other programs fighting for his commitment.

Marcus Wimberly - Three-star S, Bauxite (AR)

Another top target at the safety position, Wimberly recently decommitted from his hometown Arkansas Razorbacks and immediately received Crystal Balls for Michigan. Jay Harbaugh loves what Wimberly brings to the table at the position — speed and physicality — so don’t be afraid of him being the No. 508 overall player in the class; his ranking is surely to be adjusted in the future.

Alex Graham - Four-star DB, Detroit (MI)

Another highly touted defensive back near the top of Michigan’s board, Graham is right inside the top-100 at No. 99 overall and No. 13 at the cornerback position. Originally from Detroit, Graham played in Florida at IMG Academy this past season. At 6-foot-1, Graham is a Swiss Army Knife type defensive back and can play either corner or safety. Michigan has the lone Crystal Ball prediction.

Mark Zackery IV - Four-star CB, Indianapolis (IN)

As you can see, there are a lot of top targets in the secondary, and Zackery IV may be the top at the corner position. He isn’t incredibly built at 5-foot-10.5 and 164 pounds, but he sure would make a perfect sit at the slot position. He was last in Ann Arbor in the fall for a mid-week visit. He has other offers from Ohio State, Georgia, Notre Dame Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC, Penn State and others.

Elijah Dotson - Three-star ATH, Detroit (MI)

At 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, Dotson is a versatile athlete who can play either defensive back or wide receiver at the next level — he compiled 43 receptions on offense, and 66 tackles, 11 pass breakups and three interceptions on defense in 2023. There are three Crystal Ball predictions in for Michigan at the moment, and much like many of these recruits in this article, he also visited for the win over Ohio State. He holds other offers from Michigan State, Penn State, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Pitt, Louisville and more.