The “early” National Signing Day for the class of 2024 will be on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. This early signing day has really killed some of the excitement that used to exist, built during a slow off-season after the bowls. Now the early signing day is mixed in with the College Football Playoff discussion, upcoming bowls, transfer portal drama, and coaching changes . . . not to mention a little thing called Christmas about a week later.
Michigan is also offering 300+ players per cycle and decommitments happen left and right, depending on who’s offering the best NIL plan, so it’s harder and harder for the average fan to follow recruiting.
Instead of doing a player-by-player rundown of what remains of the 2024 class, I’ll try to address the most pressing issues. And if anything surprising happens, so be it.
WHAT HIGH SCHOOL RECRUITS ARE ON THE CLOCK?
More than 30 offered players remain uncommitted for 2024, but most are not considering Michigan. The most prominent target is District Heights (MD) Bishop McNamara DE Lugard Edokpayi (4-star, #25 EDGE, #305 overall). Edokpayi took an official visit to Michigan in the middle of last week, and he has now been crystal balled to the Wolverines by Brice Marich and has a FutureCast from Josh Henschke. Edokpayi is the lone uncommitted prospect who seems to be a strong possibility for the Wolverines, but sometimes there are surprises.
Hit the jump for more.
WHERE WILL GATLIN BAIR COMMIT?
Burley (ID) Burley wide receiver Gatlin Bair (4-star, #11 WR, #43 overall) decommitted from Boise State on December 1 after head coach Andy Avalos was relieved of his duties. Bair visited Michigan a couple weeks ago, and it appears he will sign with either Oregon or Michigan, both of which were strong contenders before he picked the Broncos in the first place. Bair is one of the fastest track athletes in the country, and he could certainly be a game-changer. But he’ll be headed on a two-year Mormon mission, and a lot can change between now and 2026. Now Bair says he will plan to sign in February instead of December, so unless something changes, this will draw out for another couple months. I’m not too invested in this recruitment because the college football landscape could change significantly, and we saw with Andrew Gentry (who signed with Virginia out of high school only to end up at Michigan following his mission trip) that a pre-mission signing doesn’t mean a whole lot.
HOW WILL MICHIGAN DO IN THE TRANSFER PORTAL?
The transfer portal can obviously be a huge boon for some teams, and Michigan has hit it big in the past few seasons, landing guys like Olu Oluwatimi, Drake Nugent, Ernest Hausmann, Josh Wallace, and others. This year Michigan has offered a handful of transfer players and snagged visits from Maryland linebacker Jaishawn Barham and Western Kentucky defensive back Upton Stout. Crystal balls have come in for both those players to end up at Michigan, and they could end up replacing Michael Barrett and Mike Sainristil, respectively. A couple offered players have already committed elsewhere, including Harvard transfer DT Thor Griffith (headed to Louisville) and Penn transfer DT Joey Slackman (headed to Florida).
Other players of interest in the transfer portal include Texas A&M OT Chase Bisontis, Wisconsin WR Chimere Dike, Indiana WR Donaven McCulley, UCLA QB Dante Moore, and Texas A&M DT Walter Nolen. But that interest either seems to be one-sided or in its infancy, as some of those potential targets have yet to visit Ann Arbor.
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