2018 Recruiting Update: May 30, 2016

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30May 2016
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2018 Recruiting Update: May 30, 2016

Justin Shorter 943x

Justin Shorter (image via Rivals)

ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2018
Clearwater (FL) Catholic Central wide receiver Amari Burney was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’1″, 205 lb. prospect with offers from Auburn, Florida, Louisville, Miami, and Wisconsin, among others. He’s a 247 Sports 4-star, the #16 wide receiver, and #120 overall. He’s a thickly built kid who’s a possession type of receiver.

Bradenton (FL) Braden River cornerback Tyrone Collins was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’10”, 164 lb. prospect whose lone other offer comes from Boston College and Florida Atlantic, among others. He claims a 4.5 forty. He’s a very slight, quick cover corner with some good playmaking ability, and he’s not afraid of contact, either.

Chicago (IL) Mt. Carmel cornerback Houston Griffith was offered by Michigan when he visited two weekends ago. He’s a 6’0″, 180 lb. prospect with offers from Arkansas, Florida State, Illinois, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Penn State, among others. He’s a 247 Sports 4-star, the #7 cornerback, and #72 overall. Griffith is a physical corner, though his highlights do not necessarily show a guy who’s the #72 overall player in the country. He’s the son of former Illinois and NFL fullback Howard Griffith.

Hit the jump for several other new offers in the class of 2018.

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29May 2016
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School in the News: Baylor

TE Kedrick James

Some crazy stuff has gone down in Waco, TX, and now university president Ken Starr and head coach Art Briles are gone. So here’s a look at how the fallout from that might affect Michigan or other teams.

2016 roster members recruited by Michigan:
QB Jarrett Stidham (RS So.)
2016 signees with Michigan offers: DE Brandon Bowen, WR Tren’Davian Dickson, WR Devin Duvernay, CB Donovan Duvernay, OT J.P. Urquidez
2017 commits with Michigan offers:
None
2018 commits with Michigan offers: None

Scoop: Historically, Michigan and Baylor have not squared off for recruits very often. That’s because Baylor is usually not very good at football, at least not until recently. Stidham was a prized recruit in 2014, but I have doubts that he’ll go anywhere since he’s already established himself as a quality player at Baylor. Meanwhile, 2016 signees could potentially ask for a release from their National Letters of Intent to play somewhere else this fall. None of the five signees gave Michigan much of a look prior to committing to the Golden Bears, so they’re unlikely to end up in Ann Arbor, even if Michigan has room (and it’s not clear they do).

It may be a long shot, but the best chance Michigan has to benefit from Baylor’s turmoil is with TE Kedrick James and WR Hezekiah Jones. Both players have already decommitted from Baylor. James (and Donovan Duvernay) both attended Michigan’s Summer Swarm 2015 camp in Grand Prairie, TX, and the Wolverines are looking for tight ends in 2017. Four predictions have come in for James to Texas A&M in the last few days, and he was already looking at the Aggies before the decommitment. Jones was thought by many to end up in College Station before committing to Baylor. It seems counterintuitive for someone to escape Baylor only to enter the uncertainty of Texas A&M’s situation, but it’s possible. Michigan also needs wideouts, so I would expect Jim Harbaugh and the staff to inquire about both prospects.

29May 2016
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2016 Season Countdown: #90 Jack Dunaway

Jack Dunaway (right, with Grant Perry; image via MLive)

Name: Jack Dunaway
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 212 lbs.
High school: Bloomfield Hills (MI) Brother Rice
Position: Linebacker
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #88
Last year: I did not rank Dunaway. He redshirted.

I generally don’t rank freshman walk-ons, and that was the case in 2015 with Dunaway. He’s the son of former Michigan tight end Craig Dunaway, who wore #88 from the late 1970s into the early ’80s; he also has a younger brother, tight end Carter Dunaway, who is committed to the Wolverines in the 2017 class. Last year Jack played defensive end, and this spring we saw him taking reps at SAM linebacker behind Jabrill Peppers and Noah Furbush. He clearly needs to bulk up, and I don’t think his athleticism will allow him to be a regular contributor. When the season rolls around, there will probably be another incoming freshman or two who move ahead of him on the depth chart, too. I don’t expect to see him on the field much this season, if at all, but he could sneak in there in garbage time.

Prediction: Backup SAM linebacker

28May 2016
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2016 Season Countdown: #91 Joe Hewlett

Joe Hewlett 965x

Joe Hewlett (image via Freep)

Name: Joe Hewlett
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 195 lbs.
High school: Novi (MI) Northville
Position: Running back
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #27
Last year: I did not rank Hewlett. He did not see any game action.

Devout Michigan fans were probably vaguely aware of Hewlett when he committed as a preferred walk-on a couple years ago. Or maybe they scanned the roster and saw a quarterback or safety named Joe Hewlett, as he bounced around a little bit. But usually walk-on skill guys don’t make huge contributions to a team like Michigan, so it’s understandable if he didn’t register on your radar. That changed for many when Michigan held an open spring practice at Ford Field a couple months ago. Hewlett was used heavily in scrimmage situations and acquitted himself well, drawing a few oohs and ahs with some nifty runs. Aside from Ty Isaac, he was the most impressive running back on the day (note: De’Veon Smith didn’t play much, and others didn’t participate at all). Hewlett doesn’t have great speed or size, so he had to run hard and break tackles, but he showed some short-area quickness, too.

Other backs on the roster have more potential, so I don’t think Hewlett will play much in crunch-time situations. He’s a guy who could play on special teams or mop up late in a blowout victory. But he’s worth mentioning here as an underdog player to watch for sometime in the upcoming season.

At the bottom of this post, you can see his highlights from when he was a QB at Northville.

Prediction: Backup running back, special teams player; 2 carries, 5 yards

28May 2016
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Preview of 2017 In-State Recruiting: #1-5

Detroit (MI) Cass Tech WR Donovan Peoples-Jones

Back in February, I exchanged posts with MGoFish where I took a look at the top five uncommitted prospects within the state (LINK). The post eliminated from contention several prospects who had already committed to various schools, though the list doesn’t change much when you throw in the committed players.

In previous years, I have done posts where I included all of the most notable prospects within the state. Those posts grow to be very long and arduous to put together. Last year I ranked the 2016 prospects, a first in the series. This year I simply haven’t had the time to put together one single post with 35-50 players on it. I still want to complete the project, but I’ll be breaking it up into chunks where I look at five players at a time.

Below are the top five players in the state. For further analysis on some, feel free to visit the link to MGoFish above:

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