While Michigan’s 2016 class seems mostly complete – aside from a few high-profile recruits to close the group – the coaching staff hasn’t used that as an opportunity to rest on its laurels when it comes to identifying new targets. U-M has issued several new offers in recent days, mostly in the 2017 and 2018 classes.
The new 2017 offers include some prospects who stand a good chance to end up as Wolverines. Ligonier (Pa.) athlete Collin Smith has been a highly productive quarterback in his junior year on the field, but U-M likes him most as a defensive back.
“Coach Harbaugh said he liked a lot of my film, and he really liked how physical I am,” Smith said. “Michigan is my first offer, so even if more come, that’s something that’s always going to be on my mind in the recruiting process.”
Fellow 2017 offers include Germantown (Tenn.) St. George’s running back Chase Hayden, Clearwater (Fla.) running back Adarius Lemons, Fort Worth (Texas) South Hills wide receiver Tylan Wallace, Norcross (Ga.) linebacker Robert Beal Jr. and Arlington Heights (Ill.) St. Viator tight end Cole Kmet. While the southeast (and, in Wallace’s case, southwest) prospects may be tough pulls for the Wolverines, Kmet at least has a regional connection.
U-M has expanded the 2018 offer net as well, with Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep defensive end Tyler Friday and Prattvile (Ala.) wide receiver Cam Taylor earning the offer. The 6-foot, 190-pound Taylor is a prospect of extreme interest for the Maize and Blue because of the Wolverines’ expanding connections to the Prattville program. Freshman cornerback Keith Washington was the school’s starting quarterback last year, and 2016 classmates Kingston Davis and Dytarious Johnson are headed to Ann Arbor from Prattville.
U-M has even expanded into the 2019 class, offering Akron (Ohio) Hoban offensive lineman Nolan Rumler. The 6-4, 290-pounder immediately took an unofficial visit after receiving the offer, taking in the 31-0 victory over BYU on Saturday.
Michigan has 22 commitments in the 2016 class, with the expectation that 25-28 players will eventually sign in February. The final tally in that group affects how many scholarships are available in 2017, which in turn has an impact on 2018 and beyond. The U-M coaches have identified a number of prospects they’d like to be part of those classes, and will have plenty of time to sell them on becoming Wolverines.
Tim Sullivan is the Football Recruiting Editor of The Wolverine magazine and TheWolverine.com. He is also a contributor to national football recruiting coverage on the Rivals.com network. You can follow him on Twitter @TimS_Wolverine.