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Davis, Goodwin and Shipp: A glimpse into the possible future of Michigan’s passing attack

What Michigan could be getting if all three Providence Day stars commit to the Wolverines, and what this would indicate about Jadyn Davis’ potential as a recruiter.

Michigan Spring Football Game Photo by Jaime Crawford/Getty Images

A common refrain from wide receiver recruits is they would “like to see a little more” from the Michigan Wolverines’ offensive identity before being comfortable committing to the Maize and Blue. Micah Gilbert, a blue chip pass catcher from North Carolina in the 2024 class, used these exact words when discussing Michigan’s recruitment of him with The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb.

The “more” Gilbert is referring to is a more consistent passing attack. It’s only natural top-rated receivers would be hesitant to commit to a team whose identity is predicated on running the rock. With the historic success Michigan has had the past few seasons coming in large part from a rejuvenated “smash fest,” run-first brand of offense, will Michigan be able to convince enough receiver talent to challenge defenses in the pivotal moments in the final games of the season?

Cornelius Johnson was able to do just that against Ohio State, and a combination of Ronnie Bell and Roman Wilson nearly did it against TCU. The next guys up in Michigan’s wideout room — Tyler Morris, Darrius Clemons and others — could pick up the mantle, too. But it’s also clear their efforts haven’t been enough to consistently convince blue-chip receivers to play for Michigan.

But with the addition of five-star quarterback Jadyn Davis to the 2024 class, the Wolverines can reverse this trend in this cycle. While Michigan is unlikely to land five-star wideouts anytime soon, within the 2024 class, the Maize and Blue are well-situated to land two stellar, yet underrated wide receivers who already have a track record of excelling with him at the highest level: Channing Goodwin and Jordan Shipp, who play with Davis at Providence Day in Charlotte, North Carolina.

If these two decide to follow their quarterback to Ann Arbor, they will be in a position to extend the chemistry they developed on their way to a North Carolina State Championship, and possibly alter the narrative about Michigan not being a destination program for wide receivers.

The trio of Davis, Goodwin and Shipp was instrumental in Providence Day’s 2022 state title run. Shipp and Goodwin accounted for more than 2,000 yards, as well as 29 of Davis’ 43 passing touchdowns.

Intriguingly, Shipp and Goodwin were statistical Gemini — Shipp had 14 receiving touchdowns; Goodwin had 15. Shipp had 1,088 receiving yards; Goodwin had 962. This indicates Davis isn’t favoring one over the other; their numbers are too similar to chalk up to mere chance. Distributing the ball equitably — and productively — requires chemistry between quarterbacks and receivers. Providence Day’s 2022 stats bear this out for these three players..

This trio could form the core of Michigan’s outside passing attack starting in the 2025 season, with others to follow. Goodwin and Shipp remain uncommitted, but there have been rumors of a “package deal” for the Providence Day wideouts. Davis’ presence would give them a built-in advantage over other wideouts on the roster.

The two have earned respectable high three-star to low four-star accolades from national recruiting services, but haven’t attracted much national recruiting attention outside the Carolinas and Michigan. Goodwin and Shipp could not have asked for a better opportunity to prove the recruiting analysts wrong than by continuing their winning ways with Davis at Michigan. The question is, will they take it?

What can Goodwin’s and Shipp’s recruitment tell us about Michigan’s wide receiver recruiting? It will be the first major test to see if Davis can convince quality wideouts to join him at Michigan. This process will be a protracted one. Receiver recruits may continue to be angsty as long as the run games continues to be the focal point. However, the offense’s identity after Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards has to be molded now, and Davis will be the main protagonist in this saga.

He — and likely not the product on the field in 2023 — will be what persuades top receivers to come to Michigan. If the Wolverines land both Goodwin and Shipp, that will be a positive first step in the project to build the future of Michigan football during Davis’ tenure.