The Wolverine

March 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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74 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2019 BY BRANDON BROWN T here were no surprises for Michi- gan on National Signing Day because all of the work was done during the early signing period. The Michigan staff signed 26 prospects on its way to the top class in the Big Ten and the No. 10 class in the coun- try according to Based on committed scholarships for returning players and including the six verbal pledges for 2020, U-M has only six more roster spots available in the upcoming class. When Michigan started this process at the same time last year, it only had room for six pros- pects as well. It originally looked like the 2019 class would top out at 16-18 prospects, and it ended up being 26. The same type of fluidity can be expected for the 2020 group, and it will almost certainly be north of 20 signees by this time next year. As of Feb. 15, U-M had six com- mitments in the 2020 class, which was good for No. 10 in the nation. Alabama is off to the best start in the country with 10 commitments, including eight four-stars, and is No. 1 overall through mid-February. Ohio State (No. 4 with seven com- mitments) was the only other Big Ten program in the top 10. Wiscon- sin (No. 14 with six commitments), Penn State (No. 16 with four commit- ments), Iowa (No. 19 with five com- mitments) and Northwestern (No. 20 with four commitments) are the other Big Ten teams inside the top 25. There are going to be many changes by Feb. 5, 2020, but it never hurts to get off to a good start. U-M is definitely doing that with its six junior pledges. Here is a position-by-position look at Michigan's needs and some options for filling them (eligibility listed is for 2020, unless otherwise noted, and all rankings are from QUARTERBACK Scholarship Players In 2020: 5 Need: 1 Commits: 1 Michigan has its guy in Phoenix Pin- nacle three-star pro-style quarterback JD Johnson. The 6-4, 187-pounder com- mitted to the Wolverines Dec. 21, and the Michigan coaches have been con- tent with that as evidenced by no new offers going out to junior signal-callers. Johnson is going to be a first-time starter next fall, but did get a chance to play quite a bit last year as five-star Spencer Rattler's backup when he was suspended. For the time being, there don't seem to be any other quarterback targets in the crosshairs. RUNNING BACK Scholarship Players In 2020: 5 Need: 2-3 Commits: 0 Michigan might finally have its bell- cow running back in Zach Charbonnet. He'll be just a true freshman in 2019, but he has everything necessary to be the guy. Senior Chris Evans may be done at Michigan, meaning second-year player Christian Turner and former walk-on Tru Wilson will be the only returning backs with any experience. The door is wide open in 2019 and should make for an ap- pealing depth chart for 2020 prospects. Harbaugh and Co. will be looking to land an every-down stud and/or a change-of-pace back like: Detroit Martin Luther King four-star running back Peny Boone As a local product, the recently offered Boone has to at least be on the list. He probably isn't U-M's top target at run- ning back, but he's capable, close and familiar with Ann Arbor. The No. 22 run- ning back and No. 245 overall prospect nationally is nearing 20 offers, and has shown interest in Cincinnati, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State and Purdue, among others. Dublin (Ohio) Coffman four-star all- purpose back Michael Drennen II At 5-11, 190 pounds, Drennen is the scat back on U-M's realistic target list. He's the No. 4 all-purpose back and No. 149 overall prospect nationally, and is very high on the Wolverines. As an Ohio kid, he also likes the Buckeyes, and it feels like a battle between intense rivals for Drennen's signature. Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe four-star running back Bijan Robinson Robinson is a 6-2, 205-pound, every- down kind of back. He's considered the No. 7 running back and the No. 54 overall prospect nationally. He seems to be wide open but has been linked to programs like Arizona, Michigan, Notre Dame and UCLA.   MICHIGAN RECRUITING A Look Ahead At The Class Of 2020 The Wolverines are competing with Arizona, Notre Dame and UCLA to land Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe four-star Bijan Robinson, who is rated as the country's No. 7 running back and No. 54 overall player by PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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