The Wolverine

January 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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46 THE WOLVERINE JANUARY 2019 L ast year 's recruiting class con- sisted of just three early enrollees — quarterback Joe Milton, corner- back Myles Sims and defensive line- men Taylor Upshaw. Only Milton saw the field as a true freshman, and his minutes were hardly meaningful. Still, all three made solid gains in the weight de- partment and got a head start on the rest of their classmates in terms of football and life as a student at U-M. Michigan is expected to welcome eight early enrollees in the 2019 class, and only one of them looks like a lock to receive playing time next fall. Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian four-star running back Zach Charbonnet is the one player who looks like he'll be on the field as a true freshman. The 6-2, 219-pounder got bumped all the way up to the No. 4 running back and No. 39 overall prospect in the country during the most recent update. He's got size, speed, vision and balance, and also catches the ball very well out of the backfield. Be- yond Chris Evans and former walk- on Tru Wilson, Michigan won't have any proven depth at running back next fall. Charbonnet will be the big- gest tailback on the roster as soon as he sets foot on campus and looks poised to step into a meaningful role as a freshman in 2019. Fairfield (Ohio) High four-star tight end Erick All likely won't be needed in 2019 with guys like Zach Gentry, Sean McKeon, Nick Eubanks, Luke Schoonmaker and Mustapha Muhammad all ahead of him, which is perfect for the 6-4, 223-pounder. He's still a bit slight and learning the nuances of blocking since he played out wide so much in high school. The No. 18 tight end in the country is long, lean and very athletic, and has a ton of upside as well as room to add good weight to his lanky frame. Reno (Nev.) Damonte Ranch four- star pro-style quarterback Cade Mc- Namara will benefit greatly by en- rolling early because of how loaded U-M's QB room could be. He defi- nitely won't be called upon to play, but he has the potential to learn from Shea Patterson and Brandon Peters — should they stay at Michigan — as well as Dylan McCaffrey and Milton. That's just about a perfect storm for the 6-1, 202-pounder. McNamara is considered the No. 8 pro-style quarterback in the country and the top player in Nevada. He'll obviously want to hit the field, but he'll be much better prepared when he actually does because of enroll- ing early and studying with such a stocked position group. Clayton (Ohio) Northmont three- star weakside defensive end Gabe Newburg is also getting to Michigan in January. The senior wants to get into everything that comes with be- ing an early enrollee and knows that he's ready. "I chose to early enroll so I could get a head start," said Newburg, who is ranked as the No. 34 player in Ohio. "I wanted to take every chance I could to improve my game and be- come bigger, faster and stronger. I'm 6-5, 233 pounds, and they're looking to get me to around 260. "I'm just ready to be a part of the great tradition of Michigan football." Another prospect that will ben- efit greatly from getting to Michi- gan early is Blairstown (N.J.) Blair Academy three-star strongside de- fensive end David Ojabo. The 6-5, 240-pounder is still very new to foot- ball and knows that he's going to develop by leaps and bounds once in Ann Arbor. "I hope to grow, not only physi- cally, but as a football player over- all," he said. "I'm only two years into this sport. I can use all the experience and training I can get." Ojabo is the No. 38 strongside de- fensive end in the country, but he seems destined to outperform his rating and ranking. He's got a great build and is extremely athletic and, as he said, doesn't really know what he's doing yet. He has a chance to re- ally explode as an early enrollee. One of the newest members of Michigan's class is also enrolling early. Dacula (Ga.) High four-star cornerback Jalen Perry has only been a member of U-M's class since Nov. 19, but he's going to get a jumpstart on a lot of his classmate by getting to Ann Arbor in early January. The No. 15 cornerback and No. 170 overall prospect nationally was once com- mitted to Georgia, but seems far more eager to be a Wolverine. "I'm most excited about competing to get better every day and excelling   MICHIGAN RECRUITING Early Enrollees Are Ready For Ann Arbor Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian four-star Zach Charbonnet, the nation's No. 4 run- ning back and No. 39 overall talent, is one of eight players in the 2019 recruiting class that is expected to enroll early at Michigan this January. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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