|Detroit (MI) Cass Tech wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones|
Rivals released their early top 100 prospects to watch for 2017 (LINK); while the players are not listed numerically, they have been given star ratings. Below is a list of the players Michigan has offered:
Calvin Ashley – OT – Florida
Najee Harris – RB – California
Darnay Holmes – CB – California
Devon Hunter – S – Virginia
Josh Myers – OT – Ohio (Ohio State)
A.J. Epenesa – DE – Illinois
Darnell Ewell – OT – Virginia
Paris Ford – ATH – Pennsylvania
Anthony Hines – LB – Texas
Dylan McCaffrey – QB – Colorado
Jake Moretti – OT – Colorado
Jeffrey Okudah – ATH – Texas
Donovan Peoples-Jones – WR – Michigan
Stanford Samuels III – ATH – Florida
Jeff Thomas – WR – Illinois
Shaun Wade – CB – Florida (Ohio State)
Jamyest Williams – ATH – Georgia
Marcus Williamson – CB – Ohio
|Detroit (MI) Cass Tech wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones is the top player in Michigan for 2017|
It seems a wee bit early for 2017 recruiting rankings, but 247 Sports went ahead with them anyway. The problem I have with them is that these kids are currently going into their sophomore year, meaning these will mostly be the “prodigies” who played up on varsity as freshmen and had good seasons. Meanwhile, the kids who will hit late growth spurts or change focus from basketball to football will be completely absent. Anyway, here’s the complete list (LINK) and then a breakdown of kids from the ever-expanding Big Ten imprint or players with Michigan connections:
2. A.J. Epenesa – DE – Illinois
3. Josh Myers – OT – Ohio: Offered by Michigan.
6. Calvin Ashley – OT – Florida: Offered by Michigan.
8. D’Andre Swift – RB – Pennsylvania: Teammate of 2015 OG commit Jon Runyan, Jr.
9. Hunter Johnson – QB – Indiana
12. Donovan Peoples-Jones – WR – Michigan: Teammate of 2015 RB commit Michael Weber. Son of former Wolverine Shonte Peoples.
20. Jeff Thomas – WR – Illinois: Offered by Michigan.
30. Emani Mason – OT – Michigan
33. Ty Chandler – RB – Tennessee: Attends alma mater of Michigan OG Blake Bars.
39. Lamont Wade – CB – Pennsylvania
43. Danny Clark – QB – Ohio: Teammate of 2015 K commit Andrew David.
44. Cam Spence – OT – Maryland: Attends alma mater of Michigan DE Henry Poggi.
50. Josh Ross – LB – Michigan: Offered by Michigan. Brother of Michigan LB James Ross.
57. Jordan Anthony – ATH – Maryland: Attends alma mater of Michigan CB Blake Countess.
60. Marcus Williamson – CB – Ohio
64. Danny Davis – WR – Ohio
73. Kasim Hill – QB – Maryland: Attends alma mater of Michigan DE Henry Poggi.
77. Anthony McFarland, Jr. – RB – Maryland
81. Juan Harris – RB – Wisconsin
83. Elvis Hines – ATH – New Jersey
94. R.J. Potts – S – Indiana
96. Ricky Smalling – WR – Illinois
|East St. Louis (IL) East St. Louis defensive tackle headlines an impressive group of campus visitors (image via Maxpreps)|
Terry Beckner, Jr. – DE – East St. Louis (IL) East St. Louis: Beckner is a 6’4″, 293 lb. prospect with offers from all over the country and a top group that includes Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Missouri, and USC, with Missouri the declared leader. He’s a 247 Composite 5-star, the #3 strongside end, and #21 overall. Beckner started off as an end prospect but with the size he’s already added, he’s more likely to play defensive tackle, in my opinion. Michigan’s coaching staff does not seem to be recruiting defensive tackles heavily in the 2015 class, but they would almost surely take a commitment from someone as talented as Beckner, regardless of his position.
Miles Boykin – WR – New Lenox (IL) Providence Catholic: Boykin is a 6’4″, 212 lb. prospect with offers from Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Notre Dame, and Oregon, among others. He’s 247 Composite 4-star, the #22 wide receiver, and #185 overall. Boykin visited Michigan for the spring game in early April and was offered shortly thereafter. He was supposed to visit next week but changed plans.
Natereace Strong – RB – East St. Louis (IL) East St. Louis: Strong is a 6’1″, 210 lb. prospect who committed to Missouri in April; he also has offers from Florida State, Illinois, Michigan State, and Ohio State. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #18 running back, and #238 overall. As a junior in 2013, he had 67 carries for 595 yards and 5 touchdowns. He’s pretty solid in his commitment and wants to stay close to home so his family members can see him play, but you never know what might happen with a good campus visit. Michigan has been expanding its running back offer list, and Strong would seem to fit in line with what Michigan wants – a big, physical running back with good straight line speed.
Brendan Ferns – LB – St. Clairsville (OH) St. Clairsville: Ferns is a 6’3″, 223 lb. prospect with offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Pitt, Virginia, and West Virginia. He’s a 247 Sports 4-star, the #5 athlete, and #51 overall. He’s also the younger brother of current Michigan freshman linebacker Michael Ferns. Despite no offer from either school, Penn State was considered to be ahead of Michigan early in the process. He will be getting a visit from the coaching staff early this week and then heading up to campus at the end of the week.
Jeff Thomas – WR – East St. Louis (IL) East St. Louis: Thomas is a 5’10”, 170 lb. prospect with offers from Florida State, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Texas A&M. As a freshman in 2013, he had 54 catches for 944 yards and 12 touchdowns. He claims a 4.45 forty time. Michigan was his first offer and he grew up as a Michigan fan, so that was a big deal for him. This will be his first time on campus. As you may have noticed, he will be visiting with teammates Beckner and Strong. Michigan also recruited East St. Louis in 2014 with an offer to linebacker Kyron Watson (Kansas).
|Charlotte (NC) South Mecklenburg
safety Stephen Griffin
ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2015
Charlotte (NC) South Mecklenburg safety Stephen Griffin was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’3″, 187 lb. prospect with offers from Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Tennessee, and Wake Forest, among others. Only two recruiting services have rated him, but he’s a 247 Composite 3-star, the #63 cornerback, and #789 overall. He claims a 37″ vertical, a 275 lb. bench, and a 395 lb. squat. Griffin is a hard hitter who will probably be well over 200 lbs. by the time he fills out, so I think he’ll be a safety in college. As a junior in 2013, he had 80 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions (1 touchdown), 1 fumble recovery, and 2 fumbles forced; he was also 43/82 passing for 565 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions and rushed 83 times for 583 yards and 3 touchdowns.
New Orleans (LA) Warren Easton wide receiver Tyron Johnson was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’3″, 190 lb. prospect with offers from Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #4 wide receiver, #42 overall, and #1 in his state. Johnson has a good frame, very good speed, and excellent change-of-direction skills for a guy his size. As often is the case, LSU appears to lead with Texas A&M also in hot pursuit.
Washington (DC) Gonzaga cornerback Marcus Lewis was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’1″, 187 lb. prospect with offers from Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Maryland, Ohio State, and Virginia Tech, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #12 athlete, and #111 overall. Lewis claims a 4.38 forty, but I have reservations about that time. Lewis plays corner for his high school team, and while that’s still a possibility in college, he looks a little too stiff to me to play corner at a big-time program on the next level. My guess is that he will develop into a safety, and I believe he has the size and physicality to do that well.
Brooksville (FL) Nature Coast Tech offensive tackle Christian Pellage was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’7″, 271 lb. prospect with offers from Alabama, Central Florida, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, and Oklahoma, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #19 offensive tackle, and #185 overall. He claims a 4.88 forty, a 32″ vertical, a 285 lb. bench, and a 500 lb. squat. He appears to play in a very run-oriented offense, but he has nice bend and quick feet, and he looks like a future left tackle.
Richmond (VA) St. Christopher’s cornerback Garrett Taylor was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’1″, 188 lb. prospect with offers from Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Virginia, and Virginia Tech, among others. He’s a 247 Composite 4-star, the #9 cornerback, and the #90 player overall, and he claims a 4.5 forty, a 255 lb. bench, and a 400 lb. squat. Taylor has inconsistent technique and is a little stiff for cornerback, so he’s another kid who might be a safety down the road. He plays in the same league as freshman quarterback Wilton Speight did, and he’s teammates with highly touted defensive end/outside linebacker Ricky DeBerry.
ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2016
New Orleans (LA) John Curtis offensive tackle Willie Allen was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’6″, 265 lb. prospect with offers from Florida, LSU, and Tulane. Michigan went after three of his teammates in the 2014 class: wide receiver Malachi Dupre (LSU), linebacker Kenny Young (UCLA), and safety Mattrell McGraw (Oregon). Allen is an athletic kid who has yet to fill out and needs to learn technique, but the raw athleticism is there to develop.
ADDED TO THE BOARD: 2017
Orchard Lake (MI) St. Mary’s linebacker Joshua Ross was offered by Michigan. He’s a 6’0″, 194 lb. prospect with offers from Michigan State and Oklahoma. He missed the second half of his freshman season due to a broken ankle, but obviously he showed enough during the first half of the year to garner some offers. Ross is the younger brother of Michigan junior linebacker James Ross and looks a lot like him in his stance.
East St. Louis (IL) East St. Louis wide receiver Jeff Thomas was offered by Michigan. He’s a 5’10”, 170 lb. prospect with offers from Illinois and Kansas. As a freshman in 2013, he had 54 catches for 944 yards (17.5 yards/catch) and 12 touchdowns. Thomas has blazing speed and looks like a Percy Harvin clone. He was teammates with 2014 linebacker Kyron Watson (Kansas).
Here’s a list of this past weekend’s visitors. Thiyo Lukusa considered committing on the visit, but Coach Hoke convinced him that it would make sense to take other visits and be 100% positive before committing. He’s a 2016 kid, so he has plenty of time to decide.