2014 Football Recruiting Prospects
Quarterback
Wilton Speight alt

Richmond (VA) Collegiate
6-6, 215 pounds

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Michigan was very slow to offer quarterbacks for the 2014 class, waiting until February of this year to extend the first scholarship opportunity. That went to Speight shortly after he worked out for the coaching staff and he promptly committed.
Our Take: After the Speight commitment, the Wolverines put the brakes on the recruitment of any other players at the position. With that said, we are strongly of the opinion that Michigan should take a second signal caller in the class. There was no quarterback taken in the 2012 class, and while it made sense to only take one last year as a means of not scaring off Shane Morris, that hole in depth could catch up to the Wolverines pretty quickly if there are injuries.

As for where such a player would come from at this point, there are a number of possibilities. A senior who has a breakout final season would be one option. Another would be a quarterback/athlete who could start out as a signal caller and potentially switch positions if he is unable to make headway on the depth chart. In addition, the state of Michigan has three Big Ten level quarterbacks in our opinion, but two are already pledged to MAC schools. The Wolverines could take a run at those players or others that are pledged elsewhere. We’re not saying at any of this will happen; only that it might be a good idea.

Running Back
Jonathan Hilliman

Jersey City (NJ) St. Peters
6-1, 215 pounds
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The Wolverines have hit the Garden State hard this year, already pulling in two commitments. Hilliman likewise has an offer from Michigan and he has expressed a strong interest. He plans to visit in late July for the BBQ at the Big House. His lack of a higher ranking really surprises us after watching his film.
Kalen Ballage

Falcon (CO)
6-2, 215 pounds
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Ballage is a somewhat under-the-radar prospect compared to others at the position, but he is a talented athlete capable of playing running back or linebacker in college. He holds a Michigan offer and plans to visit. His older brother goes to Nebraska, and he is also looking at Arizona State and Boise State. 
Malik Hooker

New Castle (PA)
6-2, 185 pounds
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Given his height and weight, we’d most likely expect Hooker to end up at wide receiver in college. However, Michigan is probably done recruiting that position, and Hooker does play running back in high school. Can he add the weight needed to stay there in college? Michigan has offered and is in the running.
Leonard Fournette

New Orleans (LA) St Augustine
6-1, 225 pounds
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The last player Michigan landed out of St. Augustine was James Hall in 1995, yet players from the school pretty consistently show interest. Realistically in this case, Fournette will probably end up at LSU or Alabama. But he has shown an interest in visiting Michigan, which if it happens, could affect his thinking.
Joe Mixon

Oakley (CA) Freedom
6-2, 210 pounds
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Michigan is longshot for Mixon, who has named a variety of different top five lists that did not include the Wolverines in recent months. Still he has an offer and has yet to eliminate the Maize and Blue from consideration, instead keeping all his options open.
Our Take:Michigan landed two very good running backs in the last class and hasn’t offered many in the current recruiting effort. While that might point to the Wolverines not filling that spot with anyone in 2013, we don’t expect that to be the case. The bottom line is that Michigan always signs a running back. You would probably have to go back to before Bo Schembechler to find the last time that the Wolverines didn’t have a running back in a recruiting class.

We’re not expecting Michigan to get Fournette or Mixon. Stranger things have happened, but the Wolverines would need to get them in for visits and really impress. Hilliman and Ballage are much stronger options. If they end up elsewhere, it would not be a surprise to see the Wolverines grab a late rising prospect.

Wide Receiver
Drake Harris alt

Grand Rapids (MI) Christian
6-4, 180 pounds
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Earning an offer at the 2012 summer camp before his junior year, Harris initially committed to Michigan State out of a desire to play both football and basketball in college. After reevaluating that choice, he opened back up his recruitment and decided in favor of the Maize and Blue.
Maurice Ways alt

Beverly Hills (MI) Country Day
6-3, 200 pounds
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Having played football for only two years, Ways is still in the process of developing the finer points of his game. Despite his inexperience, he has excellent size and physical potential, which allowed him to earn an offer from the Wolverines in April of his junior year. He committed to the Maize and Blue soon after.
Freddy Canteen alt

Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian
6-1, 175 pounds
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As part of a large and talented contingent from his high school to attend the Michigan summer camp, Canteen impressed and pulled in a scholarship offer from the Wolverines at that time. He waited a week to consider his options, then committed in conjunction with his teammate Brandon Watson.
Our Take: More than likely, Michigan is done recruiting players at the wide receiver position. With three signees in the 2013 class and three more pledged to 2014, the Wolverines will have plenty of options to continue running spread concept plays or rotating players in a pro-style offense. If an elite prospect desperately wanted in, it is doubtful Michigan would turn him down. But at this point, that appears like an unlikely outcome.

While wide receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski insists that the Wolverines do not have an aversion to shorter receivers, the height movement continues with the current class. Canteen is the shortest receiver that Hoke has gotten at Michigan at 6-1, while Harris and Ways will provide two more big targets.

Tight End
Ian Bunting alt

Hinsdale (IL) Central
6-7, 215 pounds

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A high school wide receiver, Bunting has excellent height and the frame to add a lot more weight, which will allow him to grow into the tight end position. A visitor for Michigan’s game against Northwestern in 2012, he made a return trip in April of his junior year and announced his commitment soon after.
Garrett Dickerson

Oradell (NJ) Bergen Catholic
6-3, 235 pounds

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Possessing the skills to be an excellent tight end or defensive end at the collegiate level, Dickerson has stated a preference for playing on the offensive side of the ball. He attended Michigan’s home game against Northwestern last fall, and has the Wolverines and Wildcats in his top three with Stanford.
Our Take: With the strong freshmen year play of Devin Funchess and A.J. Williams, the signing of Jake Butt and the commitment of Ian Bunting, the Wolverines are in pretty solid shape at the tight end position. Players like Khalid Hill and Wyatt Shallman could also help out the position in more of an H-back role. As a result, the Maize and Blue are not likely to offer any additional players for tight end in the 2014 class.

With that said, Michigan has continued to recruit Dickerson through the Bunting commitment, so it is clear that the Wolverines’ coaching staff wants him in the class. They still stand a good shot with him as well and should be expected to play host to him on an official visit in the fall.

Offensive Line
Juwann Bushell-Beatty alt

Paramus (NJ) Catholic
6-5, 300 pounds

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Bushell-Beatty made steady development as a player through his high school career, but it was late in his junior year that he really broke out. His dominance at the end of that season prompted several big-time offers to flow in for the offensive tackle. He visited Michigan in early April and committed within a month.
Mason Cole alt

Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake
6-5, 275 pounds

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Cole first visited Ann Arbor for the Wolverines’ BBQ at the Big House prior to his junior year. Raving about the experience at the time, Michigan quickly jumped high onto his list. By late February, he had seen enough of the schools recruiting him to make a decision in favor of the Maize and Blue.
Casey Tucker

Chandler (AZ) Hamilton
6-6, 290 pounds
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Tucker pledged to USC prior to the start of his junior year, but later he decommitted to explore his options. He currently has Arizona State and Stanford high on his list as likely official visit destinations. While he would be considered a longshot at this point, Michigan is on a long list for one of his remaining three trips.
Jamie Herr

Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian
6-5, 275 pounds
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A teammate of Freddy Canteen and Branden Watson, Herr was one of the most impressive players at Michigan’s summer camp, but left the visit without an offer. He could be one to watch out for down the road if he does not make a commitment to Rutgers before Michigan is ready.
Braden Smith

Olathe (KS) South
6-6, 290 pounds
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Smith is a longshot for Michigan, but he did check out Ann Arbor in late March. He has Notre Dame, Texas A&M and TCU atop his list and seems to be more focused on southern schools, but he has not yet named which teams will receive official visits.
Our Take: The Wolverines are still working on players like Bentley Spain, Roderick Johnson, Cameron Robinson and Damian Prince, but they are such extreme longshots at this point that we did not include them on the list. Even the players that were listed, excluding the commitments, do not appear very likely, barring some major changes in the direction of their recruitments.

The loss of players like Denzel Ward to Purdue, Tommy Doles to Northwestern and Jamarco Jones to Ohio State may point to the Wolverines being finished with offensive linemen for 2014. Still, even with the Wolverines signing 10 in the last two classes, carrying only two commitments is a pretty light number for a position that puts five on the field at a given time. As a result, it would not be a surprise to see Michigan make more offers down the road.

A year ago, Michigan appeared finished with offensive linemen, but made late pushes for Dan Samuelson and Cameron Hunt, ultimately picking up a pledge from the former. If the Wolverines do not make major headway during the fall, it would not be a major surprise to see a similar scenario unfold late.

Defensive Tackle
Bryan Mone alt

Salt Lake City (UT) Highland
6-4, 315 pounds

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From the same school as Michigan sophomore fullback Sione Houma, Mone attracted the attention of the Wolverines very early in the process when he was a much smaller defensive end. Having since grown into one of the nation’s top interior line prospects, he was one of the first players to commit in the class.
Brady Pallante alt

Naples (FL) Barron Collier
6-1, 280 pounds
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Pallante camped at Michigan prior to his junior year and made return unofficial visit the following April. He was offered a scholarship at that time and committed soon after. While offered for the 2014 class, he could end up taking a grayshirt and enrolling as part of the 2015 group.
Our Take: Michigan appears to be finished with recruiting 2014 defensive tackles. If Pallante gets moved back to the 2015 class as a grayshirt, he would likely be joined by another defensive tackle in that group to keep a steady flow of personnel within the position from year-to-year. The Wolverines should be solid at the position in either event.
Defensive End
Lawrence Marshall alt

Southfield (MI)
 6-4, 235 pounds
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Marshall is still raw when it comes to techniques and fundamentals, but his immense physical potential earned him major offers from around the nation early. He committed to Ohio State early, but soon reconsidered. After taking several visit to Ann Arbor, he committed to the Wolverines in May of his junior year.
Da'Shawn Hand

Woodbridge (VA)
6-4, 250 pounds
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Arguably the nation’s top prospect, Hand has Michigan in his top three with Alabama and Florida. He plans to take official visits to those three schools, with Southern Cal and LSU also vying for trips. He hopes to decide by late in his senior season.
Malik McDowell

Detroit (MI)
6-6, 290 pounds
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McDowell has the skills to play at defensive end in college or bulk up to play on the interior at defensive tackle. While he fairly consistently states that he is wide open, Michigan is one of the strong players in his recruitment. It appears he will transfer from Detroit Loyola to another school for his senior year.
Andrew Williams

McDonough (Ga.) E.L. Christian
6-4, 245 pounds
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Williams is in the process of narrowing down his list to a top group that he will take official visits to during his senior year. While that group will likely consist of mostly southern schools, Michigan also stands a legitimate shot at making his cut.
Myles Garrett

Arlington (TX) Martin
6-4, 245 pounds
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From the same school as Michigan quarterback Russell Bellomy, the Wolverines started recruiting Garrett early in the process. He is probably a longshot for the Maize and Blue, focusing most of his attention on more local schools, but he has not completely narrowed his focus.
Our Take:Michigan is very much in the thick of the battle for both Hand and McDowell. If the Wolverines are lucky enough to get both, then they would certainly have the top defensive line class in the nation. It would be a huge benefit for the Maize and Blue to land at least one of the two.

Michigan is still in the running for players like Andrew Williams and Myles Garrett, though neither has shown nearly as much interest as Hand and McDowell. We included Garrett Dickerson in our offensive list of players as a tight end, because he has stated that as his position of preference, but he could also play defensive end in college. He has Michigan in his top three.
Linebacker
Michael Ferns alt

St. Clairsville (OH)
6-3, 230 pounds
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With the plan to enroll early as a pre-med major, Ferns wanted to make a quick decision when it came to the recruiting process. Carrying plenty of offers after his sophomore season, he visited several schools and selected Michigan over Notre Dame and Penn State prior to the start of his junior year.
Noah Furbush alt

Kenton (OH)
6-4, 230 pounds
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Furbush visited Michigan in April and made a return trip in early June. On that second trip, he received an offer from the Wolverines. Within a month, he had decided in favor of the Maize and Blue. He will likely fit into the Michigan defense as a strong outside linebacker.
Chase Winovich alt

Jefferson Hills (PA) Jefferson
 6-3, 215 pounds
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Winovich visited Michigan in March, and then made a return trip for the Wolverines’ spring game a month later after receiving a scholarship offer from the Maize and Blue. While he grew up a fan of Ohio State, he ended up selecting the Wolverines over the Buckeyes and Pitt Panthers.
Richard Yeargin III

Ft Lauderdale (FL) University
6-3, 215 pounds
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While still open to the more than 40 schools that have extended scholarship offers, Yeargin has shown a strong interest in both Notre Dame and Michigan, expressing a desire to make official visits to each of those two schools.
Jimmie Swain

Lee’s Summit (MO)
6-3, 220 pounds
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Michigan was somewhat of a late entrant in Swain’s recruitment, but the Wolverines quickly moved into his top five with Stanford, Oregon, TCU and Michigan State. He plans to trim two schools from that list, take early official visits and decide by the end of September.
Dwight Williams

Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra
6-1, 215 pounds
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Williams has a top seven of Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma, UCLA, Stanford and Oklahoma State, but he is still considering several other schools as well. Michigan is one that he has singled out as a possible official visit destination.
Nyles Morgan

Crete (IL) Monee
6-1, 220 pounds
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Michigan has offered Morgan a scholarship and remains one of the schools under consideration, but he has yet to really focus his attention on a top group of schools. He has visited Ann Arbor previously, so he could still be one to watch out for down the road as he trims down his list of options.
Drue Tranquill

Ft Wayne (IN) Carroll
6-2, 205 pounds
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Tranquill has a top four of Purdue, Cincinnati, Notre Dame and Michigan, with only the Boilermakers and Bearcats offering from that list so far. He attended the Michigan summer camp and performed well, but it is possible the Furbush commit will take away his shot at earning the offer. He wants to decide early.
Jamal Davis

Canton (OH) McKinley
6-2, 215 pounds
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Another strong summer camp performer, the story with Davis may be very similar to Tranquill in that the numbers crunch at the position could prevent him from receiving an offer. Still, he may be one to keep in mind if the Wolverines decide that they still have space.
Our Take: This is an interesting position to look at from a recruiting perspective, because Michigan has three commitments already, but is still in the running for a lot of good players. Given the recent recruiting classes, there was a major focus by the Wolverines on the outside linebacker position. Any of the three commitments could play there, though Ferns will almost certainly focus on one of the two inside spots when he arrives.

It would not be a huge surprise to see the Wolverines try to grab another player at linebacker, especially if it is someone that can play on the inside. However, there is not a huge need for that, so we aren’t really expecting it.
Cornerback
Jabrill Peppers alt

Paramus (NJ) Catholic
6-1, 205 pounds
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Peppers grew up following the Maize and Blue, but kept his recruiting options open, visiting several programs during his junior year. He ended up selecting the Wolverines over the likes of Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Notre Dame and Stanford. He plans to run track at Michigan as well.
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Elkton (MD) Eastern Christian
5-11, 185 pounds
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While not the most well-known prospect entering Michigan’s summer camp, Watson earned an offer from the Wolverines at the event along with his wide receiver teammate Freddy Canteen. A little over a week later, both players announced together that they would play for the Maize and Blue.
Parrker Westphal

Bolingbrook (IL)
6-1, 185 pounds
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Westphal has visited Michigan a number of times and has the Wolverines in his top nine along with Northwestern, Michigan State, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Florida and Arizona State. While he has a strong relationship with the Michigan staff, he is not in a hurry to trim his list or decide.
Marshon Lattimore

Cleveland (OH) Glenville
6-0, 180 pounds
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Among the top prospects in the nation, Lattimore lists a top seven of Alabama, Oregon, USC, Tennessee, Ohio State, Michigan, and Louisville, and hopes to see each of those schools through either official or unofficial visits. While most consider Ohio State the team to beat, the talented athlete is keeping an open mind.
Adoree Jackson

Gardena (CA) Junipero Serra
5-10, 175 pounds
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Jackson has a top 10 of Michigan, Notre Dame, Illinois, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Southern Cal and UCLA. He has shown a fairly consistent interest in the Maize and Blue and could make an unofficial visit before the end of the summer. He could also play wide receiver in college.
Our Take: Michigan loaded up on numbers at the cornerback spot in the 2013 class, but several of those players could end up playing safety. In fact, three of cornerbacks in the freshman class either played safety in high school or were considered safety prospects by evaluators and other coaching staffs. If in fact a couple of them do move back to that position, then it could still leave room for another cornerback in the class. Of course, it is also possible that Peppers could outgrow the corner position to play at safety as well. Regardless, Michigan will continue recruiting a few elite level corners for the class with Westphal being the best chance player from the remaining options.
Safety
John "JuJu" Smith

Long Beach (CA) Poly
6-1, 205 pounds
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While not completely set in stone yet, Smith is planning to take official visits in the fall to Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Alabama and Ole Miss. The Wolverines appear to be a fairly strong player in his recruitment, with the trips likely determining which school emerges on top.
Montae Nicholson

Monroeville (PA) Gateway
6-3, 200 pounds
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Nicholson camped at Michigan prior to his junior year and returned for the BBQ the following month. He continues to name the Wolverines as part of a long list that also includes Stanford, Oregon, Miami, Virginia Tech, Michigan State, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Penn State, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Erick Smith

Cleveland (OH) Glenville
6-1, 185 pounds
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While somewhat overshadowed by Marshon Lattimore in the Glenville secondary, Smith is also very highly regarded, having pulled in wide variety of scholarship offers, including one from the Wolverines. He is looking at Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee, Alabama, Cincinnati, Louisville and others.
Steven Parker

Jenks (OK)   
6-2, 185 pounds
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Parker has shown a consistent interest in Michigan through the process and would like to make a Midwest swing to check both the Wolverines and Buckeyes. He is also strongly interested in in-state programs Oklahoma and Oklahoma State as well as a variety of others.
Our Take: While the safety spot is one of very few areas in Michigan’s 2014 recruiting class where there are no commitments, it is also the position where few prospects appear to be in a hurry. All of the Wolverines’ remaining top targets at safety plan to take official visits and only JuJu Smith has really narrowed his focus much from among that group.

If the Wolverines are unable to secure any of the names mentioned above for the safety spot, then it will increase the odds of players like Delano Hill and Reon Dawson ultimately shifting from the corner positions where they are starting out.

 
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