Back in March I posted a poll about the 2016 class of running backs: Which 2016 prospect will have the best career at RB for Michigan?
Here are the results out of 1,105 total votes:
Kareem Walker: 48%
Naturally, this was bound to be the pick since Michigan stole Walker from Ohio State, he’s the highest rated of the bunch (4-star, #4 RB, #100 overall), and he was an Under Armour All-American. The 6’1″, 210 lb. prospect enrolled early and participated in Michigan’s spring practices, but he appears to be a ways down the depth chart for now. Walker was my pick because a couple of these guys won’t stay at tailback, and I think he has good potential to be a between-the-tackles runner with a bit of burst.
Kingston Davis: 28%
Another early enrollee, Davis is a bit of a tweener who could also play fullback. In fact, he was a 3-star, the #1 FB, and #735 overall in the 2016 class. Of course, the last time Michigan signed the #1 fullback in the class, Brandon Minor turned into a pretty good tailback. Davis’s size has been listed at anywhere from 225 lbs. to 242 lbs. at different times, and he is not the most explosive back, but he has resisted suggestions that he’ll be a blocking back in college.
Khaleke Hudson: 16%
A standout tailback in high school, Hudson was recruited to Michigan as a safety/outside linebacker. The 5’11”, 205 lb. Pennsylvania native was a 3-star, the #23 safety, and #382 overall, and he was a standout in the Semper Fi All-American Bowl. There’s always a chance that he could end up playing running back in college if the chips fall in a certain way, but I’m looking at him as a potential replacement for Jabrill Peppers down the road.
Chris Evans: 8%
Evans also appeared in the wide receiver poll results, which I posted the other day (LINK). The 5’11”, 186-pounder could be a runner, a wide receiver, or a cornerback in college. He should get his first shot at running back, but Jim Harbaugh tends to like bigger, stronger backs.
ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2017
Salinas (CA) Palma center Drew Dalman was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’3″, 265 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona, Colorado, and Fresno State, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #16 center, and #1373 overall. Dalman isn’t an overpowering lineman, but he is quick out of his stance with a low base. He’s the type who fits at center and not anywhere else.
San Antonio (TX) John Jay offensive tackle Matthew Huhn was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’7″, 270 lb. prospect with offers from Baylor, Houston, and Iowa State, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #81 offensive tackle, and #771 overall. He’s a little heavy-footed and not an ideally athletic prospect, so I would slot him in as a right tackle. Based on the way I expect Michigan to recruit, he’s not on par with what I expect at this juncture, but we’ll see how his recruitment plays out.
Sandy Hook (CT) Newtown linebacker Ben Mason was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’2″, 247 lb. prospect with offers from Boston College, Cal, Duke, and Wisconsin, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #35 inside linebacker, and #878 overall. Unfortunately, the only reason many of us – including me – have heard of Sandy Hook before is the elementary school shooting that took place there in December of 2012, in which 28 total people were killed. Anyway, he plays linebacker and fullback for his high school team, but Michigan is looking at him probably as a fullback or a defensive end. He is an underwhelming linebacker prospect, in my opinion.
San Diego (CA) Madison linebacker Sampson Niu was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’1″, 217 lb. prospect with offers from Arizona, Notre Dame, Oregon, and USC, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #18 inside linebacker, and #476 overall. As a junior in 2015, he made 90 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. He does a very good job of staying low and tackles like a wrestler, but he needs to add weight and strength, as he lacks the necessary bulk and strength to hold up against some of the linemen, fullbacks, and running backs he’ll meet at the next level. He is generally expected to end up at USC.
ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2018
Highstown (NJ) Peddie wide receiver Jahan Dotson was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’11”, 160 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Auburn, Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, and Rutgers, among others. He’s a 247 Sports 4-star, the #6 wide receiver, and #84 overall. As a junior at Nazareth (PA) Nazareth in 2015, he caught 66 passes for 1,179 yards and 16 touchdowns, plus 1 kickoff return TD and 1 punt return TD. He claims a 4.46 forty. Michigan offers so many prospects that I won’t always suggest you watch every highlight film . . . but this is one you’ll want to watch:
Houston (TX) Dekaney tight end Malcolm Epps, who committed to Alabama in February, was offered by Michigan. He’s a 247 Sports 4-star, the #4 tight end, and #82 overall. He’s listed at 6’6″, 214 lbs. and also has offers from Florida State, LSU, and Texas, among others. Right now Epps is a tall, lanky wide receiver, but his body will fill out and he’ll end up as a tight end. Right now there is no indication that he’ll waver from his Alabama commitment.
Seffner (FL) Armwood running back Brian Snead was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’11”, 190 lb. prospect with offers from Florida, Ohio State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Tennessee, among others. He’s a 247 Sports 4-star, the #3 running back, and #54 overall. As a sophomore in 2015, he ran 174 times for 1,227 yards (7.1 yards/carry) and 17 TDs. He’s a strong runner with good speed. Armwood is traditionally a school that churns out talent, but it has not been kind to Michigan over the years.
ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2019
Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra cornerback Max Williams was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’10”, 160 lb. prospect with offers from Boston College, Florida State, and LSU, among others. He visited with a bunch of other California prospects last weekend (see below for the link to the visitors list), but Serra is another program that has not been kind to Michigan over the last several years.
OFF THE BOARD
Anaham (CA) Servite wide receiver Terrell Bynum committed to Washington. Michigan was always on the periphery of his recruitment, so this was not much of a surprise.
Owings Mills (MD) McDonough offensive tackle Jordan McNair committed to Maryland. Even with the hometown discount, this was a bit of a surprise because McNair is a high-level prospect with a lot of suitors, and Maryland’s offensive line development has not been particularly good over the past several years. He might be one to watch down the road, though the Terrapins have a very easy schedule this year, so they might gain some momentum once the season gets underway.
Egg Harbor City (NJ) Cedar Creek running back Bo Melton committed to Rutgers. Melton was a teammate of Michigan early enrollee wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell, so I thought the Wolverines would have a good shot here. He was one of my most wanted prospects in the class because I think he has some big-play potential, though he might end up playing wide receiver or possibly in the defensive backfield, too.
Redlands (CA) East Valley defensive end Jaelan Phillips committed to UCLA. Similar to Bynum, Michigan was not heavily involved in his recruitment, and UCLA appeared to be the favorite for a while.
Indpendence (OR) Central defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu committed to Washington. This commitment was a bit of a surprise because he seemed to want to let things play out a bit more, so it will be interesting to see whether he follows through with taking visits elsewhere or not. Michigan has seemingly picked up their pursuit of players with Pacific Islander descent now that Tony Tuioti has been hired as a player personnel guy.
Here’s a list of visitors from this past weekend (LINK).
Holmdel (NJ) Vianney offensive tackle Micah Clark named a top five that includes Michigan at #2, right behind Rutgers.
Brunswick (GA) Glynn Academy cornerback DeeJay Dallas named Michigan to a final ten list of schools. It’s an array of ACC, SEC, Pac-12, and Big Ten schools that also includes the school that he was previously pledged to in the form of the Georgia Bulldogs.
Philadelphia (PA) St. Joseph’s running back D’Andre Swift named Michigan to a top ten.
New Orleans (LA) Brother Martin linebacker Bruce Jordan-Swilling named a top ten that does not include Michigan. I did not expect him to pick a school outside of ACC/SEC country, but I held on to a sliver of hope since he’s the son of former New Orleans Saint and Detroit Lion outside linebacker Pat Swilling.
Over on Recruiting Season, I added/updated profiles for:
A question from UM_1973 got me to respond to something I have been meaning to address for a couple weeks now:
Thunder, I noticed that our current group of commits are made up of mostly 3 stars. However, unlike last year’s bunch of early commits, you seem to be more impressed by this year’s bunch than last year’s. Based on that, do you expect that there will be less decommitments in this year’s class compared to last year’s class?
To start off here, it’s obviously important to take a look at the current 3-star commits and last year’s.
2017 3-stars committed: S J’Marick Woods, RB A.J. Dillon, DT Phillip Paea, FB Chase Lasater, RB Kurt Taylor, TE Carter Dunaway, CB Benjamin St-Juste
2016 3-stars committed by the end of August 2015: RB Kingston Davis, RB Kiante Enis, LB Devin Gil, LB Dele’ Harding, LB Dytarious Johnson, TE Sean McKeon, S Josh Metellus, LB David Reese, CB Antwaine Richardson, CB Sir Patrick Scott, QB Victor Viramontes, DE Rashad Weaver
Hit the jump for more on the differences between the two classes.