The Wolverine

March 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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18 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2019 BY JOHN BORTON J im Harbaugh's Wolverines continue their ascent toward the top of the Big Ten. A na- tional top-10 recruiting class always fits into such a move. Michigan pulled it off again for 2019, bringing in a 26-member crew buttressing a strong returning corps of offensive players and mitigating big defensive losses. While the coach- ing mantra of we'll know about this class in four years remains generally true, there's little doubt this group will begin its impact as early as next fall. "I love the entire class," Harbaugh said. "They're not allergic to work. They're coming in to make Michigan and themselves great, and I couldn't be happier with the group." Harbaugh never met with the me- dia following the early signing pe- riod Dec. 19-21, but did speak about the group several times on his "At- tack Each Day" podcast, and around the time of the traditional National Signing Day Feb. 6 he broke down the elements he seeks in a new group of Wolverines. He stressed identifying a strong track record in both football and aca- demics, along with extensive supple- mental information to identify their chances for long-term success. "Attendance is an important one to me," he said. "We talk to their high school coaches and ask them what their evaluations are of the players, and they'll tell you what kind of worker they are, along with whether or not they like to practice and how they are in the weight room. "We can tell how much love is in the home from their parents, and if they've been held to a high standard. We also see what our current play- ers' opinions are of the recruits when they're on campus — we want to see if they want to find out who the pret- tiest girl on campus is, or if they want to learn route trees." Rising-senior quarterback Shea Patterson is banking on the latter, after announcing his return for the 2019 campaign. He'll give the Wol- verines a veteran signal-caller with a now-experienced and talented backup in redshirt sophomore Dylan McCaffrey. They'll operate with a trio of vet- eran wideouts in juniors Donovan Peoples-Jones and Nico Collins, along with redshirt sophomore Tarik Black and others. Four-fifths of the starting offensive line from 2018 also returns. What that means for the class of 2019 is simply this: it can come in and compete, without extensive pres- sure to take over crucial roles right away. That is, with a couple of poten- tial exceptions. Here's a more in-depth look on both sides of the ball, along with Harbaugh's comments about the newcomers: OFFENSE Cade McNamara, the 6-1, 206-pound quarterback out of Damonte Ranch High School in Reno, Nevada, checks in as a four-star who switched his commitment from Notre Dame to Michigan last spring. McNamara piled up the numbers in Reno, but Harbaugh likes the fact that he's unafraid and willing to at- Three signees represented the Wolverines in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio (from left to right): five-star defensive tackle Christopher Hinton, four-star wideout Cornelius Johnson and five-star safety Daxton Hill. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN 2019 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE TOP-10 TALENT Michigan Pulls In A 26-Man Roster Booster

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