2014 Recruiting – What’s Next? (Offense)

Michigan inked a very impressive 2013 recruiting class and the 2014 class in starting to take shape as well. So far the Maize and Blue have verbal commitments from Wilton Speight (3* QB – Virginia), Drake Harris (5* WR – Michigan), Maurice Ways (3* WR – Michigan), Ian Bunting (4* TE – Illinois), Mason Cole (4* OG – Florida), Michael Ferns (4* LB – Ohio) and Brian Mone (4* DT – Utah). The Wolverines also picked-up Brady Pallante (NR DT – Florida), who received a greyshirt offer, which means he’ll count against either the 2014 class or the 2015 class depending on how the numbers shake out. NOTE: Juwan Bushell-Beatty (3* OL – New Jersey) committed on 4/29.

Quarterback (1)

Wilton Speight – 6’6” 220lbs. Richmond, VA.Wilton Speight - Richmond Times-Dispatch

Running Backs (1)

Talented depth is being built, but it is also young and unproven depth at this point. I could see the staff taking one RB in this class, but it wouldn’t be all bad if they missed out mainly because the 2015 has a few big time prospects that love Michigan.

Dravon Henry – 5’11” 180 lbs. Aliquippa, PA. Dravon is a longish shot at this point and has a top 4 schools of Ohio State, Pitt, PSU and West Virginia. He did however say that this list could change and is somewhat fluid. IF he visits UM there’s a shot there, but I just don’t see it at this point.

Jonathan Hilliman – 6’1” 210lbs. Jersey City, NJ. Hilliman just released his list of top 10 schools, with a top 3(in order) of Ohio State, Michigan and Alabama. He had planned on visiting in the spring, but nothing has been set in stone yet. If he does indeed visit, Michigan should be there until the end.

Joe Mixon – 6’0” 195lbs. Oakley, CA. Mixon is one of the most heavily recruited kids in the country regardless of position with somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 offers. He recently cut that list to a more convenient 16 which includes Michigan. He will likely take all of his officials and wait until the all-star games in January to decide. Michigan’s chances in snagging Mixon will again come down to whether or not he makes it to Ann Arbor.

Bo Scarborough – 6’2” 215lbs. Tuscaloosa, AL. The Alabama verbal claims that he’ll visit Michigan sometime in May. Never say never in recruiting, but pulling a kid from out of the backyard of Bama will be tough. Very, very tough.

Damien Harris (2015) – 5’11” 200lbs. Madison, KY. Harris is likely to be a top 5 running back in the 2015 class and has said numerous times that he grew up a UM fan. He has made several visits and has Michigan and OSU atop his current list. Michigan is in tremendous position here.

Jaques Patrick (2015) – 6’1” 212 Orlando, FL. This kid is a beast. Having north of 24 offers already, Patrick is one of the most heavily recruited kids in the country regardless of class. He has named Florida as his leader, but had connections in Michigan and plans on visiting this summer. He’ll likely stay in the south, but with a good visit you never know.

Mike Weber (2015) – 5’9” 190lbs Detroit, MI. Will the Cass Tech pipeline continue? Michigan will be there until the end with Weber, but he does have a few other nice offers and will take a little time. Michigan did get on him early which is always a plus nowadays.

Mike Weber - 247 Sports

Wide Receiver (3)

Drake Harris – 6’4” 180lbs. Grand Rapids, MI.

Maurice Ways – 6’4" 185lbs. Detroit, MI.

Drew Dileo, Jeremy Gallon and Jeremy Jackson all graduate after this season so 2 or 3 seems to be the number right now. Depth is being built, and with Harris and Ways now in the fold, it will be interesting to see if Scott or Williams feel the pressure and expedite their timelines.

Mark Andrews – 6’6” 220lbs. Andrews is a really nice looking prospect and at 6’6” he’s a bit of a WR/TE tweener, but he prefers to stay at wide out. At the moment he’s pretty open and has visiArtavis Scott - Rivalsted a handful of schools. He made a Midwest swing last week, with visits to OSU, Michigan and Notre Dame so we’ll see where it goes from here. I just don’t see him coming to Michigan.

Brian Cole (2015) – 6’2” 190lbs. Saginaw, MI. Cole will possibly be the highest rated prospect in Michigan for the 2015 class and has early offers from Michigan, MSU and Ohio. He likes Michigan, but his recruitment is very young at this point.

Corey Holmes – 6’2” 180lbs. Fort Lauderdale, FL. In December Holmes had Michigan in his top 2 teams along with Notre Dame, but the tea leaves are leading me to believe that ND is a clear favorite at this point. He was up north last week to visit the Irish, but unfortunately did not make the drive up to AA for another visit. We’’ see how this one goes, but right now it seems to be cooling off a bit. It also doesn’t help that one of his coaches in a former Buckeye.

Artavis Scott – 6’0” 175lbs. Tarpon Springs, FL. Artavis made his visit to AA for the spring game this past weekend with teammate and UM commit Mason Cole. Recent sentiments had Scott staying in the south, but making a third unofficial trip to Michigan shows that he is at least thinking about the Wolverines as an option. In the past he and Mason Cole had stated that they’d like to go to the same school, but Scott has since backtracked on that. I still think he stays south, but him visiting once again is a good sign.

KJ Williams – 6’3” 190lbs. Bethlehem, PA. After a great visit to Michigan KJ sent out this Tweet, letting all UM fans how much he did indeed enjoy the visit. This is obviously a great sign in the short term, but prospects sometimes are super excited after visits and need a cooling off period. It will be interesting to see how he feels in a few weeks, but things look very, very good right now for the Keystone State receiver.

Juwann Winfree – 6’2” 180lbs. Englewood, NJ. Winfree says that Michigan is one of a handful of teams that is recruiting him the hardest and wants to come for a visit.

George Campbell (2015) – 6’5” 181lbs. Tarpon Springs, FL. Campbell has already visited Michigan twice unofficially and has the Wolverines near the top of his list. There’s a long way to go in this recruitment, but things look pretty good right now.

Tight End (1)

Ian Bunting – 6’6” 215lbs. Hinsdale, IL.

Like the other positions talked about so far the depth and talent at this position is building and looking very, very solid. I think we can expect one tight end per class from here on out.

Offensive Line (3)

Mason Cole – 6’5” 275lbs. Tarpon Spring, FL.NP_362476_DAMA_ELfootball_4

Juwan Bushell-Beatty (Committed 4/29) – 6’6” 320lbs. Paramus, NJ. Visited with 5* teammate Jabrill Peppers a few weeks ago and was blown away by the experience. Shortly after the visit he said Michigan was in fact his leader. He says he’ll take a few more visits, but Michigan is in great shape here.

Hoke has stated in the past that he wants 15ish offensive linemen on the roster, next season after the graduations of Lewan and Schofield UM will have 13 if you add in Mason Cole. So the depth (quality depth at that) is getting there. We could really use a few true tackles in this class.

Alex Bars – 6’6” 265lbs. Nashville, TN. Brother of Michigan OL Blake, Alex is possibly the most talented of the Bars clan (there is another Bars at PSU). At this point he really likes ND and might want to blaze his own trail at a differently school than his brothers. He does like Michigan a lot, so it might come down to a UM/ND battle.

Tommy Doles – 6’5” 250lbs. Grand Rapids, MI. Has visited Michigan more than any other school and is very comfortable with the school and staff, but something is holding him back. Now it seems that Northwestern is in the drivers seat, so we’ll see how it goes.

Jamarco Jones – 6’6” 285lbs. Chicago, IL. Went on a Midwest tour over his spring break visiting ND, UM, MSU, OSU and Wisconsin. He says he has an idea of who will make his short list, but is unwilling to release that info quite yet. Speculation however is that Ohio is his leader. We’ll see, but don’t hold your breath.

Damian Prince – 6’7” 310lbs. Forestville, MD. Mentioned Michigan as a possibility earlier in his recruitment, but things have slowed a bit. The coaches were in his school this week so we’ll see if anything further comes of it. Maryland might be the early leader here, mainly because of familiarity.

Bentley Spain – 6’6” 295lbs. Charlotte, NC. Spain has some Michigan ties and has the Wolverines in his top 6, but things have been quiet with him since February. We’ll need to see him back on campus to have a legit shot.

Garrett Thomas – 6’6” 295. many, LA. Michigan was the first school to offer the sleeper tackle prospect and he has talked about a possible summer visit. Just by reading some interviews, he seems pretty likely to stay in the South.

Casey Tucker – 6’6” 290lbs. Chandler, AZ. Tucker had been committed to USC since July of 2012, but decided to open things back up last week. Michigan has offered the 5 star tackle, but I haven’t been able to confirm that there has been any contact there. It’s one to keep an eye on.