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Top Michigan recruiting storylines heading into the 2023 Early Signing Period

With Signing Day tomorrow, these are the top stories to follow for the Wolverines

Big Ten Championship - Purdue v Michigan Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Early Signing Period for 2023 high school football prospects starts tomorrow, which is when the large majority of players sign their letter of intent. As it stands right now, the Michigan Wolverines are just inside the top-20 of the national team rankings, but have gained momentum recently with some huge transfer portal pickups.

There are still some loose ends for Michigan to wrap up with the class that will hopefully be answered soon. Here is what to watch for.

Is Jyaire Hill for real?

Kankakee (IL) four-star cornerback Jyaire Hill caused a stir yesterday when he posted his top five schools list that doesn’t include Michigan. Instead, Illinois, Purdue, Kentucky, Florida and Missouri made the list.

This is obviously a huge departure from Hill’s recruitment prior to this, with Michigan being involved for an extremely long time and even gaining steam following the end of the regular season. In fact, both Steve Wiltfong and Brice Marich of 247Sports put in Crystal Ball picks for Hill to land at Michigan on Sunday, giving the Wolverines all three predictions.

Michigan was clearly a contender in his recruitment and for Hill to not even include them in his top list means something else is up. Does this just end up being a troll job by Hill before he pulls a Michigan hat out from under the table during his announcement? We’ll have to wait until tomorrow at 4 p.m. EST when he makes his decision public.

How does Michigan finish out their defensive line?

Michigan hosted three-star defensive lineman and former Wisconsin commit Jamel Howard for an official visit this past weekend. This was after Howard visited for Michigan’s home finale against Illinois last month.

Still, Illinois, and Wisconsin under new head coach Luke Fickell, are making strong pushes for the 6-foot-3, 320-pounder. This isn’t a done deal yet, but Michigan probably sits in the best position.

With Howard, Michigan would have a promising interior defensive line class along with Roderick Pierce and Brooks Bahr. Enow Etta could also grow into an interior guy if he doesn’t stay on the edge.

Speaking of edge, Michigan re-initiated contact with top-100 prospect Malachi Coleman visit Colorado instead, the Michigan staff still went in-home with him and are recruiting him.

This doesn’t seem like a recruitment where Michigan necessarily fits in, but Coleman may push things out to February and could give the Wolverines a chance to actually get him on campus. With Collins Acheampong flipping to Miami, Michigan could use another touted edge in the class.

How high can Michigan’s class rise?

It’s no secret Michigan’s traditional recruiting has not been up to par this cycle, even after coming off its first Big Ten title in over 15 years and winning another one this season.

Just including high schoolers, Michigan’s class ranks 19th in the country right now with seven four-stars and 14 three-stars. Adding four-stars Karmello English and the aforementioned Hill, and three-star Jamel Howard — the most likely additions to the class — would bump Michigan up to 15th in the country.

With the proliferation of the transfer portal, though, 247Sports now has a metric that includes both high school recruits and transfers. Michigan’s transfer portal class is first in the country right now and may not be finished.

Combining the two metrics has Michigan sitting at 15th overall heading into signing day. Even while adding the three recruits listed above and Indiana tight end transfer AJ Barner, who visited last weekend, Michigan would not move up in the overall rankings.

There is still the February signing day, of course, so this won’t be the final ranking for the Wolverines’ class. They still have a big fish in five-star athlete Nyckoles Harbor who is deciding in February, and maybe more surprises that pop up.

But for now, it looks like the ceiling on Michigan’s class is around 15th, barring any signing day shockers.