With most of the National Letters of Intent signed and sent, National Signing Day has been wrapped up, and now it’s time to grade Michigan football’s recruiting class for 2017.
Well, Jim Harbaugh couldn’t quite get the Wolverines into the No. 1 spot in the 2017 recruiting class rankings, but they did have an incredible class come together on National Signing Day.
Plus, Michigan wound up ahead of the Ohio State Buckeyes in both the national class rankings and the Big Ten recruiting class rankings. So, isn’t that all that matters?
With that said, let’s take a look at the entire Michigan football recruiting class from 2017, and hand out a few grades.
After getting Brandon Peters in last year’s class, Michigan didn’t need to add a ton of bodies in the 2017 group. But it did need at least one arm, and it got a great one. Dylan McCaffrey has star potential written all over him, and he’ll fit in perfectly with what the Wolverines want to do offensively.
Running Back: B-
No, they didn’t get Najee Harris like many thought they would, but they did add some quality tailbacks. Four-star recruit O’Maury Samuels is a nice addition, and 3-star running back Kurt Taylor will add more depth. But with Kareem Walker set to take on more responsibility next season, we might not see a lot of them right away, which makes A.J. Dillon’s flip from Michigan to Boston College a little more understandable.
Wide Receiver: A+
There isn’t another college football team that pulled in a better wide receiving class than Michigan did with its 2017 haul. It is truly elite. Five-star prospect Donovan Peoples-Jones headlines it, but he’s being joined by 4-star receivers Tarik Black and Nico Collins. Plus, the Wolverines snuck in at the 11th hour and nabbed 4-star recruit Oliver Martin out from under Notre Dame’s nose. Three-star prospect Brad Hawkins might eventually move to the secondary, but for now, he’s a solid depth signee.
Tight End: F
After getting Devin Asiasi last year, Michigan should have looked to add another tight end this time around.
Offensive Line: A
Let’s first address the negatives. The Wolverines swung and missed on Isaiah Wilson (Georgia). They also missed on Jedrick Wills (Alabama). They even failed to flip Alex Leatherwood from the Crimson Tide while watching 4-star offensive tackle Kai-Leon Herbert go to Miami.
But there are a lot of positives. They added three 4-star offensive tackles with Chuck Filiaga, Andrew Stueber and Ja’Raymond Hall. But three-star offensive tackle Joel Honigford can play some quality football, too. And we can’t ignore the fact Harbaugh went down into Florida and snagged 4-star center Cesar Ruiz, who will be the glue that holds that future offensive line together.
Defensive Line: A+
Four-star recruit James Hudson and 3-star recruit Phil Paea are nice pick-ups for the defensive tackle group on their own, but getting 5-star prospect Aubrey Solomon back into the Michigan football recruiting class was a gigantic pull for Harbaugh. It took some go-karting with Solomon’s family, but the Michigan head coach kept him away from Alabama and Georgia. Adding six defensive ends doesn’t hurt either: Donovan Jeter (4-star), Corey Malone-Hatcher (4-star), Deron Irving-Bey (4-star), Luiji Vilain (4-star), Kwity Paye (3-star) and Ben Mason (3-star).
Four-star inside linebacker Josh Ross is one of the less talked about signees, but he’s a solid football player. He’s joined by 4-star outside linebackers Drew Singleton and Jordan Anthony.
Defensive Backs: A-
It’s a family affair in Ann Arbor, as 4-star cornerback Ambry Thomas and 4-star safety Jaylen Kelly-Powell are cousins. They’ll roam the future Michgian secondary with 4-star safety J’Marick Woods and 3-star cornerback Benjamin St. Juste.
Michigan Wolverines Recruiting Class Overall Grade: A+
Note: Scout rankings and ratings used in this article.