Michigan Football Recruiting 2016: Homestretch Edition

Photograph: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Photograph: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s a hectic time of year for Michigan football recruiting, but their class is shaping up. Let’s look at the biggest uncommitted targets they’re chasing.

The Wolverines have quite a bit of depth (and skill) returning to their defensive line in 2016. Talented defensive tackles Ryan Glasgow and Bryan Mone both return from injuries to anchor the line, while Chris Wormley, Taco Charlton and Maurice Hurst add playmakers to the unit.

Even so, Michigan football is looking to add to its wealth of riches along the defensive line. Rashan Gary is the number one recruit in the nation – a five-star, can’t miss prospect – and Michigan is hot on his trail. They’ve been recruiting him persistently for a long time.

The good news is Rashan Gary seems to hold Michigan in very high-esteem, and so does his mother. The bad news is everyone is recruiting Gary (and his mother), and his mother also seems to like USC quite a bit. It’s been reported that Gary has the most serious (mutual) interest in Ole Miss, Michigan, Alabama, Clemson and USC. Michigan has a longstanding relationship with Gary to lean on, but it should be a fight to finish to add him to the class. Gary is on the Michigan campus for an unofficial visit this weekend.

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Regardless of what happens with Gary, Michigan also appears to be very interested in defensive tackles Michael Dwumfour (Gary’s good friend) and Boss Tagaloa. They are trying their best to hang onto the commitment of current recruit Jordan Elliott (who could be wavering on his commitment to Michigan, with Texas putting on the pressure).

Jim Harbaugh and company are also going hard after four-star defensive end prospect Connor Murphy. Harbaugh has a history with the Murphy family. He coached Connor’s older brother Trent Murphy at Stanford. Even with an established past connection, that didn’t keep Harbaugh from resting on his laurels. A well documented sleepover went down, and Michigan is supposedly sitting in the catbird seat with Murphy.

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Perhaps the biggest area of need for Michigan’s recruiting class is talent and depth at the linebacker position. James Ross, Desmond Morgan, Joe Bolden and Royce Jenkins-Stone are all moving on from the football program, so the Wolverines will have to work hard to replenish the unit. T

hey have already started that process, in the form of early enrollee Devin Bush Jr. (son of former NFL player Devin Bush Sr.). While Bush will likely to see plenty of playing time as a freshman, there is likely still more linebacker playing time to go around. As result, Michigan is still recruiting the position hard, going after talented recruits Jonathan Jones, Dontavious Jackson, Joshua Uche and Elysse Mbem-Bosse the hardest.

Jones is said to be down to Notre Dame and Michigan. Jackson is down to five (Texas, Alabama, Florida, Florida, Florida State, and Michigan). Uche is down to three (Florida, Auburn, and Michigan). And Mbem-Bosse is apparently down to a select few that includes Michigan (in very good standing).

Michigan appears in good position to land at least one of these linebacker prospects, but recruiting season is a fickle time, and anything can happen. Stay tuned.

Stay tuned too to see what happens with these other recruits that Michigan is currently interested in:  Tight ends Chase Allen and Devin Asiasi, wide receivers Keyshawn Young, Donald Stewart and Eddie McDoom, safeties Khaleke Hudson, Jordan Fuller and Isaiah Simmons, cornerback Lavert Hill and placekicker Quinn Nordin (the first recruit to have a sleepover with Harbaugh) are all players Michigan has a high-level of (mutual) interest in.

However, not all of these players will choose Michigan, and even if they did, Michigan couldn’t accept all of them. Currently the class of ’16 sits at 22 recruits, and Michigan only has space for about 30 total recruits (or eight more slots available).

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Harbaugh and company are sure to pull out all the stops they’re allowed to. So sit back, relax (if at all possible) and enjoy the homestretch of the recruiting season before National Signing Day. It’s shaping up to be an exciting time for Michigan football.