I’m going to start something that I haven’t done in a few years, and that’s handing out recruiting grades. As Michigan’s recruiting has dropped off a little bit in 2023 to the low teens, I want to share how I feel about Michigan’s efforts overall.
I’ll start off with the most important position on the football fied: quarterback.
2023 NEEDS: 1
2023 COMMITMENTS: Indiana transfer Jack Tuttle
- Arch Manning – New Orleans (LA) Isidore Newman: Texas
- Dante Moore – Detroit (MI) King: UCLA
- Malachi Nelson – Los Alamitos (CA) Los Alamitos: USC
- William Watson III – Springfield (MA) Central: Virginia Tech
- Creed Whittemore – Gainesville (FL) Buchholz: Florida
REASON FOR THE GRADE: First and foremost, Michigan completely whiffed on the quarterback position in the class of 2023 unless you count sixth year senior Jack Tuttle, who is a one-year backup rental. Technically, Michigan offered superstar recruits Arch Manning and Malachi Nelson, but both were extreme longshots and the Wolverines never really had a chance. Meanwhile, Watson and Whittemore are both undersized QB/ATH recruits who are probably likely to play a different position in college.
So really, Michigan put all of its eggs in the Dante Moore basket. Unfortunately, Moore had a desire to play immediately, and the presence of J.J. McCarthy blocked Moore at Michigan for at least the 2023 season, if not 2024. Moore is a 5-star prospect and could perhaps be the best quarterback in the class when all is said and done, and it hurt to lose him. It stings a little bit less since he didn’t end up at Michigan State or Ohio State, two programs he was also considering. But Michigan had a lot of connections and still couldn’t close the deal. Moore committed to Oregon initially, and when his future QB coach left for Arizona State, Moore flipped to UCLA. Personally, I think UCLA is an odd fit because head coach Chip Kelly does not have a strong record of developing pro-style quarterbacks.
Regardless, Michigan tried to land a quarterback in 2023 and failed. They could have potentially earned a commitment from Warren (MI) De La Salle’s Brady Drogosh (4-star, #20 QB, #317 overall) if they moved on him earlier, but they waited too long and burned that bridge. That leaves the cupboard relatively bare, since beyond McCarthy for the future, the Wolverines have only walk-on Davis Warren and projects Jayden Denegal and Alex Orji. That puts a lot of pressure on the staff to land a very good 2024 quarterback and/or explore the transfer portal for a future starter.