The Wolverine

2020 Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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156 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2020 FOOTBALL PREVIEW FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY EJ HOLLAND M ichigan held a whopping 19 ver- bal commits in its 2021 recruit- ing class as of June 25. Despite an extended dead pe- riod — a time when no on-campus visits were permitted by NCAA rules — due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wolverines have been on an unprecedented roll on the recruiting trail. In fact, 17 of U-M's 19 verbal pledges have come since the abrupt dead pe- riod started in March. At press time, Michigan's class was ranked No. 4 in the country and second in the Big Ten behind rival Ohio State's top-rated group. U-M's excellent haul is headlined by Ri- vals100 prospects like Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy quarterback J.J. McCarthy, Ded- ham (Mass.) St. Sebastian's tight end Louis Hansen, Sterling Heights (Mich.) Stevenson offensive lineman Giovanni El-Hadi and Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood linebacker Junior Colson. The Wolverines have a nice blend of elite- level recruits and high-upside prospects going into the most important stretch of the recruit- ing cycle. While spots are becoming limited, Michigan is still after top talent at several positions. The following is a position-by-position breakdown for how Michigan is expected to proceed for the remainder of the recruiting cycle. All information is through late June. All rankings are from unless oth- erwise noted. QUARTERBACK Committed: 1 (Bradenton [Fla.] IMG Academy four-star J.J. McCarthy) Projected Take: 1 Synopsis: McCarthy gave Michigan a ver- bal commitment last spring and has been completely solid to the Wolverines. The four-star prospect is a leader in the class and will have an opportunity to get on the field early in his career. The nation's No. 5 pro-style quarterback and No. 33 overall prospect passed for 2,820 yards and 34 touchdowns as a junior at La Grange Park (Ill.) Nazareth Academy last season. Simply put, he is the crown jewel of the class. The Wolverines will not be exploring any other options at the position this recruiting cycle. RUNNING BACK Committed: 0 Projected Take: 1-2 Synopsis: The Wolverines are going all in for Rivals100 West Bloomfield (Mich.) High prospect Donovan Edwards. The No. 2 running back and No. 61 overall recruit na- tionally is slated to make his decision in De- cember. Michigan was considered the team to beat in late June. He is a former teammate of 2020 Michi- gan signees Cornell Wheeler and Makari Paige, and plays for ex-Wolverine Ron Bel- lamy at West Bloomfield. Keeping Edwards home is one of Michigan's top overall pri- orities this recruiting cycle, but it must fight off schools like Georgia, Notre Dame and Ole Miss. Aside from Edwards, Michigan is look- ing at a couple of secondary backs such as three-star prospect Tavierre Dunlap of Aus- tin (Texas) Del Valle and three-star Alton McCaskill of Conroe (Texas) Oak Ridge. However, the main focus is on Edwards. WIDE RECEIVER Committed: 2 (Clayton [Ohio] North- mont three-star Markus Allen; Santa Ana [Calif.] Mater Dei four-star Cristian Dixon) Projected Take: 3-4 Synopsis: The Wolverines already have a pair of big wide receivers committed in Allen and Dixon, who are both listed at 6-2 and 185 pounds. Allen is ranked as the nation's No. 76 wide receiver, while Dixon checks in at No. 32 in the positional rank- Next Class Up A Position-By-Position Look At Michigan's Recruiting Efforts In 2021 ranks quarterback commitment J.J. McCarthy as the No. 5 pro-style quarterback and No. 33 overall player in the country. PHOTO BY EJ HOLLAND

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