It’s become clockwork at this point.
Michigan again finished its regular season with a loss to Ohio State, ensuring a postseason in which the Wolverines are on the outside looking in. Once again, pundits bill this offseason as a “make or break” sequence for coach Jim Harbaugh as the narrative of a recruiting gap between the bitter rivals gains steam.
With the early signing period, a three-day stretch from Dec. 19-21, Harbaugh has a chance to cut into the gap between the two squads by bringing in a respectable class. Currently Michigan’s class of 2020 ranks 11th in the country, second behind only the Buckeyes in the Big Ten.
247Sports has the Wolverines with 25 commits, the highest ranking of which is four-star wide receiver A.J. Henning. Next week’s early signing period offers the Wolverines a chance to add more talent while locking up most of their verbal commitments through receiving each individual’s coveted letter of intent.
While not every prospect available will commit during the early signing period, here’s a look at some targets still in play for Michigan during the early signing period:
Three-star James Pogorlec, Offensive Tackle, Chantilly, Virginia
At 6-foot-7 and 270 pounds, Pogorlec is a massive offensive tackle from Virginia. With senior left tackle Jon Runyan Jr. set to graduate, here lies a replacement capable of playing right away from a physical standpoint.
The ninth-best player coming out of his state, Pogorlec has earned a .8889 composite rating from 247. According to the experts, the Wolverines are likely to miss out on this prize, as all six of 247’s crystal ball predictions have Pogorlec heading to Stanford to play for David Shaw and the Cardinal.
Four-star CJ Stroud, Quarterback, Rancho Cucamonga, California
Stroud was on campus in Ann Arbor Dec. 7, when he was in attendance for Michigan basketball’s 103-91 victory over Iowa at Crisler Center. During the game, chants of “We want CJ” echoed throughout the arena. Whether that was for Stroud or Michigan basketball human victory cigar CJ Baird remains to be determined. Regardless, the California native is rated as the second best pro-style quarterback in his class. The three favorites in this recruitment are Ohio State, Michigan and Georgia.
Once again, 247 has the Wolverines missing out on this high profile quarterback, as the crystal ball predictions all favor Ohio State. Should Michigan corral this prospect, it would offset the loss of JD Johnson, who was forced to retire due to health issues.
Four-star Darion Green-Warren, Cornerback, Harbor City, California
Green-Warren, a four-star cornerback, has narrowed his recruitment down to Michigan and USC. Both Sherrone Moore and Mike Zordich have been recruiting him heavily, and Green-Warren was with Stroud and Pogorlec in Ann Arbor for the basketball contest against Iowa.
This prospect is considered the most likely to commit to the Wolverines during the early signing period. More than half the crystal ball predictions — 58 percent in fact — are in favor of the Wolverines, a positive sign when it comes to bolstering this recruiting class.
Keep An Eye Out For Us
Here are some more under-the-radar guys who Michigan has been in contact with that are candidates to be flipped or commit. The chances any of these guys join the class are pretty low, but there always seem to be surprises on signing day.
Greater Atlanta Christian (GA) Myles Hinton - Four-star, No. 68 overall, No. 8 OT (Stanford commit)
Boston College (MA) Ozzy Trapilo - Four-star, No. 219 overall, No. 19 OT (Boston College commit)
Corner Canyon (UT) Van Fillinger - Four-star, No. 246 overall, No. 11 SDE
Tuscarora (MD) Jordan Addison - Three-star, No. 281 overall, No. 45 WR (Pitt commit)
Moorpark (CA) Jonah Monheim - Four-star, No. 350 overall, No. 13 OG (USC commit)
La Cueva (NM) Connor O’Toole - Three-star, No. 565 overall, No. 21 TE
Salisbury School (CT) Tobias Braun - Three-star, No. 759 overall, No. 58 OT
Plainedge (NY) Dan Villari - Three-star, No. 1238 overall, No. 40 Pro-style QB