The Wolverine

August 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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AUGUST 2018 THE WOLVERINE 53   FOOTBALL RECRUITING There are still a handful of 2019 prospects that could realisti- cally commit to the Wolverines. Here's a look at that group: Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic three-star outside line- backer Aeneas DiCosmo DiCosmo was in town for Michigan's big visitor weekend in late June and is as high on the Wolverines as he's ever been. The 6-3, 218-pounder is now viewed as an outside linebacker by and is No. 21 at his position in the country. The athletic linebacker has a top five, but is essentially down to Michigan and Stanford. Orange (Calif.) Lutheran four-star wide receiver Kyle Ford Ford has been high on Michigan throughout the process and maintains that he'll consider U-M until the end. The 6-3, 195-pounder has had a great offseason and would be a terrific compliment to the smaller, speedy receiver targets Michigan is pursuing.'s No. 15 wide receiver and No. 79 overall prospect nationally is also high on USC, UCLA and other Pac-12 schools. Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy Orange five-star strong- side defensive end Zach Harrison If Michigan can steal Harrison out from under the Buckeyes, it would be viewed as one of the biggest recruiting coups in a decade. The 6-5, 245-pounder is a freakish athlete and is con- sidered the No. 1 strongside defensive end and No. 17 overall prospect nationally by While Penn State is hard after Harrison, U-M and Ohio State seem to battling it out for his services. Crystal Lake (Ill.) South four-star offensive tackle Tyler Keegan At 6-6 and 310 pounds, Keegan is a true tackle and would fulfill a big need in U-M's 2019 haul.'s No. 21 offensive tackle and No. 192 overall pros- pect nationally will consider Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Mich- igan, Ohio State and Penn State moving forward. Everett (Mass.) High three-star athlete Mike Sainristil Committed to Virginia Tech since February, Sainristil snuck in a secret official visit to Ann Arbor in late-June and left ready to flip to the Wolverines. The 5-9, 175-pounder, Rivals' No. 2 player in Massachusetts, is another versatile athlete who can play multiple positions on both sides of the ball. — Brandon Brown T h e 5 - 1 0 , 1 8 5 - p o u n d e r, w h o excels in space and in the screen game, has carried the ball 553 times for 5,366 yards (9.7 yards per carry) and 83 touchdowns over the past two seasons. The Wolverines won out for Gray over top programs like Alabama, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee and Texas A&M, among others. Gray and Charbonnet form one of the most productive pairs of running backs in the 2019 class, and the Mich- igan coaches would likely be just fine without landing another ball carrier in the class. Stuart (Fla.) Martin County three- star athlete George Johnson III is committed, and Robinson and Jack- son are still being pursued, but they'd be viewed as luxuries at this point. OVERALL CLASS SIZE A big factor in how the rest of the 2019 class evolves will be determined by just how many spots are available on Michigan's roster come the 2019 season. As of July 17, Michigan was com- mitted to 93 scholarships for the fall of 2019, assuming Kekoa Crawford and Kareem Walker are no longer on the team. The duo has been rumored to be transferring but no official an- nouncement was ever made by Jim Harbaugh or the football program. That would leave the Wolverines technically eight over the NCAA's 85-scholarship limit for football. When the fall of 2019 rolls around, tight ends Tyrone Wheatley Jr. and Zach Gentry; offensive linemen No- lan Ulizio, Jon Runyan Jr. and Grant Newsome; and defensive end Reu- ben Jones will be scheduled for a fifth year of eligibility. However, several in that group may not be extended an offer to play for a fifth year. Newsome's football future is still in question, and Jones has never seen meaningful playing time. Gen- try looks like a future NFL tight end. Could a productive 2018 season push him towards the league? There are questions marks surrounding all six players for various reasons. Perhaps even tougher to figure is who might leave early for the NFL after 2018. Defensive lineman Rashan Gary is basically a guarantee, and several others will have a decision to make. Transfer quarterback Shea Pat- terson is already being mentioned as a potential first-round pick in next year 's draft because of his tal- ent. Linebackers Khaleke Hudson and Devin Bush are both expected to have monster years with a ton of tackles and could get looks from NFL teams despite both being on the small side. NFL general managers tend to overlook slight deficiencies when scouting players from Don Brown's defenses, and Hudson and Bush could be the next two in line. Finally, star junior cornerbacks David Long and Lavert Hill both graded out as higher or higher than any defensive back in the country last year and will certainly be in the discussion as the 2018 season wraps. Injuries and transfers could also af- fect the scholarship numbers. With U-M still pursuing several recruits, attrition is likely to be even higher than eight. ❏ The Five Most Realistic, Remaining Targets Michigan is still in the running for Lewis Center (Ohio) Olentangy Orange five-star Zach Harrison —'s No. 1 strongside defensive end and No. 17 overall player nationally — along with Ohio State and Penn State. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN

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