Michigan Football Recruiting: Could 2016 class rank in top 5?

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Jim Harbaugh has the Michigan football team back in the recruiting mix.

Oct 3, 2015; College Park, MD, USA; Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh congratulates wide receiver Jehu Chesson (86) following his touchdown against the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium. Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s recruiting success over the last several seasons has been checkered at best.

The Wolverines suffered through many mediocre seasons during the 1960s, before Bo Schembechler turned the program around beginning with the 1969 season.

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For the next 20 years, Michigan won, and won often.

Bo recruited Michigan and Ohio heavily while also signing players from around the country.

In addition, Bo created a coaching tree, so he could hand-pick a successor when he retired.

When Bo called it quits in 1989, he was able to pick a successor from within the program. He first chose Gary Moeller and then Lloyd Carr. Continuity was the recipe both on the field and along the recruiting trail. Bo and his two proteges each had winning percentages above .750.

The Wolverine “dynasty” began to erode when Michigan went “outside,” to hire Rich Rodriguez. Brady Hoke was next, trying to return Michigan to the Carr era, but it was not to be.

Whether it was luck or destiny, former Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh became available after leaving the San Francisco 49ers.

In both the Rodriguez and Hoke searches, Harbaugh’s name was at the top of the list (along with LSU’s Les Miles), but the timing wasn’t right.

Harbaugh’s hire after the 2014 season was to achieve three things: win Big Ten titles, defeat arch rival Ohio State, and compete for national titles.

To do that, Harbaugh dove right into the recruiting battle, completing the 2015 class then setting his sites on 2016.

Let’s follow along to meet a few of the prospects interested in Michigan’s 2016 class.

Next: Rashan Gary