Signing of the Stars Was a Massive Success
Michigan absolutely crushed the Signing of the Stars event this afternoon. Nobody really knew what we would be in for, but as things kicked off it was a sight to behold.
It was a bit silly at times and perhaps even a bit over the top, but it fun and it had the eyes of the college football world on Michigan, which is something that Jim Harbaugh and company have mastered.
It was surreal at times to see Harbaugh and others mix it up with the likes of Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, Ric Flair and the several other big names there. Kudos to The Players' Tribune for putting on a great show.
For all of the detractors and eyerollers out there, watch several other schools try to do something like this next year/
The most important thing to come out of today is the money that was raised for the ChadTough Foundation. Make no mistake about it, the high-profile names in Ann Arbor on Wednesday were there for fun, but it was also to support a great cause.
To donate to the ChadTough Foundation, hit the link here.
They Finally Landed the Biggest Fish Out There
Rashan Gary, the nation's number-one prospect, pulled the trigger and joined Michigan's 2016 recruiting class on Wednesday, which is huge for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, it gives Michigan a guy they can plug in immediately to be a contributor on the defensive line and certainly could even start. It would seem like a natural fit for him to slide into the spot Willie Henry is vacating for the NFL.
Also, it shows that unlike years past, the Wolverines have a coaching staff that can stave off the competition for some of the elite talent in college football. We have gotten used to seeing high-profile recruitments get away from them in the last few cycles, so to land a player like Gary is a milestone for Michigan's resurgence.
It had been a long time coming, but the Wolverines were finally able to snag the commitment of 2016 defensive back Lavert Hill on National Signing Day.
Mark Dantonio and the Michigan State Spartans made things interesting, as they did with Michael Onwenu, but the Wolverines were able to hold them off for both and grab a player who is very much in the same mold as Jourdan Lewis.
Assuming they are coached up and pan out like we expect they will, Michigan now has its replacements for Lewis and Channing Stribling in Hill and David Long, who look to be cornerstones of the secondary in years to come and could absolutely see the field early for the Wolverines this season.
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the day came in the form of tight end Devin Asiasi, who joins the Wolverines as the third prospect in the class from the state of California.
Michigan has been chasing a top-flight tight end throughout the entirely of the 2016 class. They missed on Naseir Upshur and Isaac Nauta, but the third time was a charm with Asiasi.
He is the total package. He is a good pass catcher and a more than willing run-blocker, which is something the other two tight end commitments in the class do not necessarily bring at this state.
Harbaugh was able to turn the tide in his recruitment in just a few weeks and it paid off with him signing with the Wolverines on Wednesday.
Ready for a way too early 2017 recruiting class prediction?
In Harbaugh's first full recruiting class, the staff did a great job closing the deal with its top targets and it resulted in one of the best recruiting classes in college football.
Next year's cycle should have a more of a local feel to it. The talent in the state of Michigan is as rich as its ever been and expect the Wolverines to grab their fair share of top prospects from inside their own borders.
The biggest of these is wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, another Cass Tech product who already has national offers and elite programs drooling over him. Michigan wants to keep him in-site.
In terms of need, offensive tackle is the big one here. After some attrition in the 2016 class, Michigan needs to load up on tackles in the next cycle. The good news is there are a lot of very good ones, so expect them to push hard for some of the top names on the board.
Other areas of need will be linebacker, fullback, defensive end and more.
We can rest easy now with 2016 in the books, but Harbaugh and staff surely aren't. Expect them to get to work right away to try and make a run at the top-ranked recruiting class for next season.