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Resetting Michigan football’s 2020 recruiting class

The early signing period is coming up, so let’s take a quick look at the 2020 class for U-M.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 17 Indiana at Michigan

College football’s early signing period is about a month and a half away — Dec. 18-20 — so it is crunch time for the majority of prospects in the 2020 class.

Most of Michigan’s 2020 class is locked in, but like every year, there could be some last-minute additions and subtractions before pen meets paper.

Let’s run down what Michigan has in its 2020 class, who could be added, who could de-commit and where the class will rank when it’s all said and done.

Michigan’s 2020 class

  • Ranking: No. 10 overall, No. 2 in the Big Ten (247Sports composite)
  • Total players: 24
  • Quarterback: Three-star JD Johnson (still in the class, but medically retired from football last week)
  • Running back: Four-star Blake Corum, three-star Gaige Garcia
  • Wide receiver: Four-stars A.J. Henning and Roman Wilson
  • Tight end: Three-stars Matthew Hibner and Nick Patterson
  • Offensive line: Four-star Zak Zinter; three-stars Jeffrey Persi, Reece Atteberry and Micah Mazzccua
  • Defensive line: Four-star Braiden McGregor, three-stars Aaron Lewis and Kris Jenkins
  • Linebacker: Four-stars Kalel Mullings and Osman Savage; three-stars Nikhai Hill-Green and Cornell Wheeler
  • Cornerback: Four-star Andre Seldon
  • Safety: Four-stars Jordan Morant, Makari Paige and RJ Moten
  • Athlete: Three-star Williams Mohan and Eamonn Dennis
  • Special teams: None

Michigan has built a solid class for 2020, with 11 four-stars and 13 three-stars. Unfortunately, there are no five-stars in this class like there were last year (Daxton Hill, Chris Hinton). And out of the six five-stars who remain un-committed in the 2020 class, the Wolverines are in the running for none of them.

Uncommitted targets

So if they won’t land any five-stars in this class, who is left to take in?

Let’s start with the quarterback position. With JD Johnson’s medical retirement, Michigan is left without a quarterback in a recruiting cycle for the first time since 2012. Michigan is going to have to get a quarterback, whether it’s from the 2020 class or a transfer. If it is from the 2020 class, the three likeliest options right now appear to be four-star CJ Stroud, three-star Jeff Sims and three-star Jayden de Laura.

Sims and de Laura are already committed to a program, so they’ll be a tougher pull. Stroud, however, has been very open in his recruitment and may hold off on signing until the February signing period. If that’s the case, Michigan, who extended an offer to him last week, will have some time to form a bond with him and try to get a signature from him.

Then there is four-star tight end Theo Johnson, who is set to commit to a program on Nov. 18. He is a top 100 player and the top player in Canada. Michigan is in his top four along with Penn State, Iowa and Georgia. He is visiting Michigan next Saturday for the game against MSU, which will be Johnson’s last visit before committing.

If Johnson were to commit to the Wolverines, he would be the No. 2 ranked player in their class, right behind A.J. Henning.

The Wolverines are also firmly in the race for four-star offensive lineman Andrew Gentry, four-star cornerback Darion Green-Warren, four-star defensive lineman Jaylen Harrel, three-star offensive lineman James Pogorelc and three-star defensive lineman Kenny Mestidor.

A possible de-commitment

With 24 players already committed, and possibly more coming, Michigan doesn’t have many spots left in the class. This, unfortunately, leads to something that happens every recruiting cycle for every program — de-commitments.

Last year, the de-commitment of Amauri Pesek-Hickson was one that led to some controversy for Jim Harbaugh and company. It all worked out for him, as he eventually signed with his hometown school Kansas. If a de-commitment is inbound for Michigan’s 2020 class, it likely won’t be anything like Pesek-Hickson’s last year.

If any player were to de-commit, it’d likely be Nick Patterson. Despite being the second-longest commitment player in Michigan’s 2020 class — the longest being Andre Seldon — he has not visited this entire season. He also took a visit to Georgia Tech back in September, showing he is at least interested in seeing what other schools have to offer.

Throw in the fact Theo Johnson may commit to Michigan, and that leaves Patterson on the outside looking in.

Other than Patterson, I don’t see anybody else de-committing from this class, at least as of me writing this. Of course, anything can happen at any given minute. It is recruiting, after all.

Class ranking prediction

When it’s all said and done, Michigan should end up with another top 15 class. With so many players in the class still left to commit, some schools are bound to leap over the Wolverines, especially if they can’t land Theo Johnson or any of their remaining top targets.

This should end up being a solid class for the Maize and Blue. Not Harbaugh’s best, but still a solid one nonetheless.