We are about five months until the beginning of the early signing period for prospects in 2022, and Michigan football’s class is beginning to take shape. With 15 verbal commits and counting, Jim Harbaugh and his staff still have plenty of top targets left on the board, mostly on the defensive side of the ball.
Let’s dive in and see where the board is at for the Wolverines as we head into the dog days of summer.
Commits: Four-star Jayden Denegal
Quarterback was wrapped up last month when Denegal essentially committed on the spot after throwing in front of the coaching staff. The Wolverines can now look ahead to their top target in 2023 — in-state five-star Dante Moore.
Commits: Three-star CJ Stokes
Targets: Four-star George Pettaway
At this moment, it really seems like Michigan’s lone remaining running back target is Pettaway, a top 100 overall player on the 247Sports composite and the No. 7 running back in the class. He officially visited for “Victors Weekend” last month, but has been trending on the crystal ball to go to North Carolina, where he took an unofficial visit to before heading to Ann Arbor. The Wolverines don’t necessarily need another running back in this class after taking two in 2021, but it does seem like they do want another.
Commits: Four-star Tyler Morris, four-star Tayshawn Trent
Targets: Four-star Dane Key, three-star Dillon Bell
The board is really beginning to dwindle at the wide receiver position in this class. But with two four-stars already in the fold, Josh Gattis and company can take their time the rest of the way.
It feels like they lead for Bell, who officially visited for “Victors Weekend,” and are doing well with Key, who visited the week leading up to “Victors Weekend.” I have the feeling they want at least one more guy at receiver before the class is all said and done.
Commits: Three-star Marlin Klein, three-star Colston Loveland
Targets: Four-star Oscar Delp
With two players already committed, the Wolverines are in a unique spot. They can either stand pat at the position, or continue to recruit an elite talent like Delp, someone they offered before anybody else did when he was an unranked recruit.
Odds are they will continue to recruit him because he is too good to ignore. I still believe he ends up somewhere in the SEC, but it’s worth a shot to keep going after him.
Commits: Three-star Connor Jones, three-star Alessandro Lorenzetti
Targets: Five-star Josh Conerly Jr., four-star George Fitzpatrick, three-star Mark Nabou,
With only two commits and not many targets left, the Wolverines may have to evaluate more guys along the offensive line this fall.
They hosted Nabou on an unofficial visit not long after offering him last month. Fitzpatrick also came to Ann Arbor in June, his being an official visit. Conerly, the highest-ranked of the bunch, has yet to see U-M but may come to town for the BBQ at the Big House later this month. This position group is very much in “wait and see” mode as of now, but they need more guys in this class. Period.
Commits: Four-star Mario Eugenio, three-star Kavonte Henry, three-star Davonte Miles
Targets: Five-star Walter Nolen, three-star Deone Walker, three-star Joseph Adedire, three-star Joshua Josephs, three-star Isaiah Hastings, unranked Kenneth Grant,
Michigan is a bit further ahead along the defensive line than the offensive line, but it still has work to do, especially along the interior.
Nolen is arguably the top player in the class, with the versatility to play inside or outside; the Wolverines will recruit him as hard as any other recruit the duration of this cycle. Walker (6-foot-6, 340 pounds) seems to be a very likely commitment candidate for the interior. Grant and Hastings are also two targets on the inside, with Hastings just being offered last week.
Adedire and Josephs are the two remaining prospects along the edge, with Josephs perhaps falling more into the outside linebacker/edge rusher category. Both players visited for “Victors Weekend.”
Commits: Three-star Aaron Alexander
Targets: Four-star Sebastian Cheeks, four-star Lander Barton, four-star Jaren Kanak, three-star Micah Pollard, three-star Jeremy Patton
The linebacker board is an incredibly intriguing one. There aren’t too many guys out there, but I suppose you can lump a couple of the guys I put in the defensive line category here as well, like Josephs and Adedire. Barton and Pollard also fall into that category
The traditional linebackers of the group are Cheeks and Kanak, who both saw Michigan up close on official visits in June. Cheeks has been very pro-North Carolina on Twitter lately, and Kanak is being recruited by basically every major college football program under the sun. Both are not slam dunks to join Michigan’s class, so this may be another position the Wolverines will have to reevaluate this fall.
Commits: Five-star CB Will Johnson, four-star DB Kody Jones, three-star CB Myles Pollard
Targets: Five-star USC CB commit Domani Jackson, five-star S Keon Sabb, four-star Georgia CB commit Marquis Groves-Killebrew, four-star S D’Arco Perkins-McAllister, four-star S Dillon Tatum, three-star CB Jahlil Florence, three-star S Ja’Kobi Albert, three-star Kentucky CB commit Andre Stewart
Defensive backs. Defensive backs everywhere.
There are a ton out there for the taking, but I’m not sure Michigan leads for more than just one at the moment, with that being Florence. Everyone else is a huge question mark.
Sabb seems destined to land elsewhere, despite taking an official visit last month. Jackson, Groves-Killebrew and Stewart are both committed to other programs, so it will take some convincing to flip them. Tatum could have committed months ago, but is clearly holding out. Albert and Perkins-McAllister both officially visited in June, and both now have a Michigan crystal ball, so those guys are worth monitoring closer.
This position is one to watch very heavily over the next several months, as Michigan looks to add several more to the 2022 class after only landing two (one safety, one corner) in 2021.