Ivan Taylor, Wolverine

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11Jul 2024
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Ivan Taylor, Wolverine

Winter Garden (FL) West Orange safety Ivan Taylor (image via Orange Observer)

Winter Garden (FL) West Orange safety Ivan Taylor flipped from Notre Dame to Michigan.

Taylor is listed at 6’0″ and 174 pounds. As a junior in 2023, he made 45 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 4 forced fumbles, and 1 pass breakup.

RANKINGS
ESPN: 4-star, 85 grade, #5 S, #41 overall
On3: 4-star, 92 grade, #14 S, #132 overall
Rivals: 4-star, 5.9 grade, #11 S, #102 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 94 grade, #2 S, #41 overall

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10Jul 2024
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2024 Season Countdown: #93 Lugard Edokpayi

Lugard Edokpayi (image via SI)

Name: Lugard Edokpayi
Height: 
6’6″
Weight: 
225 lbs.
High school: 
Bowie (MD) Bishop McNamara
Position: 
Defensive end
Class: 
Freshman
Jersey number: 
N/A
Last year: 
Edokpayi was a senior in high school. He made 22 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and 5 pass breakups.
TTB Rating: 
84

Maybe it’s just my perception, but Edokpayi is one of the most overlooked members of the 2024 class, especially because he’s #152 overall in the 247 Composite. Michigan got a highly ranked edge rusher, and nobody seems to talk about him. And that includes me, because I never wrote a commitment post for him.

Edokpayi is a 6’6″, 225 lb. athlete who made a somewhat obvious choice to pick Michigan; other suitors included Florida State, Minnesota, Rutgers, and Tennessee, so it wasn’t exactly a who’s-who of colleges, especially for a top-200 player. He only played in six games as a senior due to injury, so his numbers don’t exactly jump out, either. Bishop McNamara also used him as a wide receiver, and while he shows decent speed, there’s not a lot of smoothness to his ability to catch the football. I don’t think he’s in danger of being moved to tight end.

But Edokpayi does have a nice, natural stance and a good get-off. His first step is very good, and he shows some nice lateral quickness to keep offensive tackles guessing. 247 mentions him having an 84″ wingspan, and when you combine that with his ability to dip his inside shoulder and use his quickness, I think Michigan has a very good prospect here. It will take some time for his strength to catch up to the rest of his attributes, so we’re probably looking at a redshirt season. But if he’s added some strength, he could be a dark horse to be one of those freshmen who makes 1 or 2 sacks and shows a glimpse of what’s to come in the future.

Prediction: Redshirt

9Jul 2024
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2024 Season Countdown: #94 Micah Ka’apana

Micah Ka’apana

Name: Micah Ka’apana
Height: 
5’11″
Weight: 
190 lbs.
High school: 
Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman
Position: 
Running back
Class: 
Freshman
Jersey number: 
N/A
Last year: 
Ka’apana was a senior in high school (LINK). He ran for 732 yards and 9 touchdowns.
TTB Rating: 
66

One player with a tantalizing high school highlights reel is running back Micah Ka’apana. A product of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, he plays with a lot of other star players, so it’s tough to gauge how well a player like him would produce on a more ho-hum team. But his junior highlights consist of a ton of long runs through huge holes. He averaged over 12 yards per carry that season and scored a total of 19 touchdowns on just 81 targets, which means he scored on almost 25% of his carries.

Michigan has usually been able to give at least three running backs a pretty good number of carries. With Donovan Edwards and Kalel Mullings likely to take a huge chunk of the touches, the real question is about who emerges as that third back. Some people are penciling in fellow freshman Jordan Marshall, while second-year player Ben Hall is also an intriguing option. Ka’apana is a speedy player with big-play potential, and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Altogether, Michigan has a good mix of speedy players (Edwards, Ka’apana, Cole Cabana) and pound-the-rock types (Mullings, Hall, Marshall) to be able to do a variety of things with play calling and personnel. I think Ka’apana will probably get a few carries in mop-up duty if possible, but he’s likely to play in four games or fewer so he can keep his redshirt.

Prediction: Redshirt

7Jul 2024
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2025 Recruiting Update: July 7, 2024

Kainoa Winston and Sherrone Moore

COMMITMENTS

I recently put up commitment posts for the following players:

  • RB Donovan Johnson (LINK)
  • RB Jasper Parker (LINK)
  • WR Jacob Washington (LINK)
  • OL Kaden Strayhorn (LINK)
  • DE Julius Holly (LINK)
  • LB Chase Taylor (LINK)
  • S Kainoa Winston (LINK)

OFF THE BOARD

Las Vegas (NV) Bishop Gorman offensive guard Seuseu Alofaituli (4-star, #3 IOL, #70 overall) committed to Miami. He had visited Michigan officially at the beginning of June and was a teammate of incoming freshman running back Micah Ka’apana.

Princeton (NJ) Hun School linebacker Kamar Archie (4-star, #32 LB, #286 overall) committed to Rutgers. He had visited Michigan several times and took an official to Ann Arbor in late June. There were rumors long ago that Michigan might be “too big of a stage” for his liking, so perhaps that was an important factor in his decision.

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7Jul 2024
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2024 Season Countdown: #95 Chibi Anwunah

Chibi Anwunah (image via ESPN)

Name: Chibi Anwunah
Height: 
6’5″
Weight: 
268 lbs.
High school: 
Canton (MI) Plymouth Christian
Position: 
Edge
Class: 
Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: 
#95 #97
Last year: 
I ranked Anwunah #121 and said he would be a backup defensive end (LINK). He did not play.
TTB Rating: 
N/A

Anwunah has had a little bit of a ride during his college career so far, bouncing back and forth between the tight end and edge positions. Last year he was listed at 6’5″ and 242 pounds, so he has put on 26 pounds since the previous weight update. That’s a significant change and may indicate a little more readiness to play. At his height, it might be kind of difficult to see the field at 242, but 268 is a much more playable size.

The edge positions appear to be pretty set for this fall with Derrick Moore and Josaiah Stewart looking like the starters, and with people like Enow Etta, T.J. Guy, Cameron Brandt, and Kechaun Bennett all vying for playing time. Anwunah is unlikely to beat out many – if any – of those guys, but it’s possible that he could get a few snaps if there are some blowout opportunities.

Prediction: Backup defensive end