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Michigan Football Early Signing Day Report Card

How did the Wolverines do at each position?

NCAA Football: Michigan at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Early Signing Day has come and gone, and Michigan made out quite well. The biggest news of the day was the flipping back of 5-star safety Daxton Hill, who is a candidate to start from day one.

It’s far too early to judge the class of course, but we went through each position group and assigned a grade based on ratings, potential and need. In four years, check back and see how we did. For this exercise, we only rate the 25 players that signed their letters of intent yesterday, which leaves out 3-star athlete Amauri Pesek-Hickson and 4-star safety Quinten Johnson, who are both expected to sign in February.

Note: For star ratings and rankings, we are using 247Sports composite.


  • Cade McNamara, 4-star, .9048 rating, No. 275 player nationally, No. 11 at his position

Michigan signed just one quarterback in the 2019 class, but he’s a good one. Given the roster construction, the Wolverines didn’t need more than one quarterback anyways. He will have to wait his turn, starting with a redshirt his freshman year, but he’ll compete with Dylan McCaffrey and Joe Milton once Shea Patterson leaves.

Grade: B+

Running Back

  • Zach Charbonnet, 4-star, .9800 rating, No. 42 player nationally, No. 3 at his position

Running back was a huge need for U-M with the loss of Karan Higdon to the NFL and others to transfer or dismissal. Charbonnet is a home run. There’s a good chance he starts from day one and could be the next great Michigan running back. The staff would still like to add another runner after Eric Gray de-committed, but even if they aren’t able to, they made out well.

Grade: A

Wide Receiver

  • Cornelius Johnson, 4-star, .9074 rating, No. 256 player nationally, No. 39 at his position
  • Giles Jackson, 4-star, .9020 rating, No. 298 player nationally, No. 43 at his position
  • Quintel Kent, 3-star, .8564 rating, No. 934 player nationally, No. 120 at his position

Michigan focused a lot on adding speed to the receiving corps, and it accomplished its goal. Jackson and Kent especially are speedsters with a ton of high school production, which Johnson is more of your traditional receiver that can go up and make plays with his size. He fits more of the Tarik Black/Nico Collins role. Overall, it’s not a group that stands out a ton in rankings, but it’s a solid group that will contribute.

Grade: B+

Tight End

  • Erick All, 4-star, .8937 rating, No. 351 player nationally, No. 13 at his position

After signing three tight ends last year, Michigan didn’t have much of a need at the tight end position. All, however, is a quality player that should fit into Michigan’s offense well.

Grade: B

Offensive Line

  • Nolan Rumler, 4-star, .9384 rating, No. 146 player nationally, No. 9 at his position (OG)
  • Trevor Keegan, 4-star, .9307 rating, No. 163 player nationally, No. 17 at his position (OT)
  • Trente Jones, 4-star, .9302 rating, No. 164 player nationally, No. 18 at his position (OT)
  • Karsen Barnhart, 4-star, .8942 rating, No. 343 player nationally, No. 19 at his position (OG)
  • Zach Carpenter, 3-star, .8776 rating, No. 544 player nationally, No. 32 at his position (OG)
  • Jack Stewart, 3-star, .8689 rating, No. 665 player nationally, No. 53 at his position (OT)

Talk about how much Ed Warinner means to this program. His first class of recruits at Michigan is outstanding and probably features a few pros. Rumler is a beast that could play significant time in his freshman year, while tackles Keegan and Jones are sure to factor into the right tackle competition right away. The staff loves the potential of Barnhart, who may have the highest ceiling of them all.

Grade: A


  • George Johnson III, 3-star, .8601 rating, No. 849 player nationally, No. 58 at his position

Johnson is a dynamic player that can play nearly any skill position. He was a dual-threat quarterback, slot receiver and defensive back in high school. Don Brown thinks he’d be a great viper, so that’s where I expect him to start.

Grade: C+

Defensive Line

  • Chris Hinton, 4-star, .9760 rating, No. 49 player nationally, No. 5 at his position (DT)
  • Mazi Smith, 4-star, .9407 rating, No. 137 player nationally, No. 9 at his position (DT)
  • David Ojabo, 4-star, .8998 rating, No. 311 player nationally, No. 22 at his position (DE)
  • Mike Morris, 3-star, .8891 rating, No. 389 player nationally, No. 29 at his position (DE)
  • Gabe Newburg, 3-star, .8655 rating, No. 746 player nationally, No. 49 at his position (DE)

Despite not landing Zach Harrison, it was still a good haul for Michigan. Chris Hinton can play end or tackle, and he will compete for a starting job at both spots right away. Smith is the other star get in this class. He will be an impact player for the Wolverines in his career. Ojabo has high upside at end.

Grade: A


  • Anthony Solomon, 4-star, .9208 rating, No. 193 player nationally, No. 10 at his position (OLB)
  • Charles Thomas, 3-star, .8857 rating, No. 437 player nationally, No. 24 at his position (ILB)

Michigan flipped Solomon from Miami just days before signing day. He’s a talented outside linebacker that could find himself on the two-deep right away. The defensive staff has done a good job of finding players that fit into Don Brown’s system and these two are no different.

Grade: B


  • Jalen Perry, 4-star, .9207 rating, No. 194 player nationally, No. 22 at his position
  • DJ Turner II, 3-star, .8884 rating, No. 409 player nationally, No. 41 at his position
  • Mike Sainristil, 3-star, .8676 rating, No. 704 player nationally, No. 64 at his position

With the team’s top three corners likely gone to the NFL or graduation, adding talent at the position was critical for U-M. Perry is the headliner, a solid player the team flipped from Georgia in October. Sainristil was also a flip, coming over from Virginia Tech. It’d be nice to give all three guys some time to develop, but at least one may be thrust into action early.

Grade: B


  • Daxton Hill, 5-star, .9948 rating, No. 8 player nationally, No. 1 at his position
  • Joey Velazquez, 3-star, .8531 rating, Not ranked nationally, No. 85 at his position

Flipping Hill back to Michigan was absolutely gigantic, there’s no other way to put it. He can start from Day 1 opposite of Josh Metellus, which would give the Wolverines one of the best safety duos in the nation. He’s one of the most highly rated recruits Michigan has ever gotten, and if things go as planned, should be playing in the NFL in a few years.

Velazquez isn’t rated highly, but he’s a gym-rat that hates Ohio State, so no complaints here. Adding 4-star Quinten Johnson in February will only make this group even better.

Grade: A


Michigan’s class is currently No. 8 nationally and No. 1 in the Big Ten, which is quite the accomplishment. Ohio State has dominated the Big Ten recruiting rankings in recent years. It’s the first time U-M is tops in the league since 2007.

This class fills needs at safety, defensive line and running back, and is loaded with potential.

Grade: A


What grade would you give Michigan’s Early Signing Day Class?

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