The Michigan Wolverines have rightly earned their reputation as one of the best developers of talent in the country. The 2023 recruiting class is lacking on the top-100 guys, but it has plenty of under-the-radar guys who could turn into early NFL draft picks.
Here are three guys who could outperform expectations.
LB Hayden Moore
There is a reason Michigan kept pursuing Moore even after he committed to Nebraska in June. The Regis Jesuit (CO) linebacker posted eye-popping stats as a senior, garnering 197 tackles with seven sacks and an interception.
Moore is also an outstanding pitcher on the baseball diamond with multiple Power 5 offers in that sport as well, including at Michigan. He’s a great all-around athlete who has also earned compliments as a team leader. All of this points to someone who can outperform his composite ranking as the No. 1,112 player in the country and No. 88 linebacker.
ATH Kendrick Bell
Bell is ranked as the No. 838 overall player in the country and No. 59 athlete, 600 spots higher than where his older brother Ronnie was ranked coming out of high school. And we’ve all seen how that’s worked out.
Part of what is holding back Bell’s ranking is uncertainty on what position he’ll play in college. A quarterback in high school, Bell’s mechanics are not traditional but he got the job done with 3,123 yards passing and 35 touchdowns as a senior. He also ran for 670 yards and nine touchdowns. If quarterback doesn’t work out, he could easily transition to wide receiver or defensive back.
Edge Aymeric Koumba
International prospects are often boom or bust, and Koumba is no different. He holds all the physical traits you would want for an edge with a 7-foot-1 wing span on his 6-foot-4 frame. He also runs a 4.7 40-yard dash and broad jumps 10’5.
Of course, the transition from France to Big Ten football is going to be tough and a lot will depend on Koumba’s ability to learn the intricacies of the game. If he develops his football IQ as much as his technique while at Michigan, the sky’s the limit for Koumba.