The Wolverine

January 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JANUARY 2022 THE WOLVERINE 53   MICHIGAN RECRUITING With the 2022 class nearly complete, Michigan now turns the page to the 2023 cycle, where they already hold four pledges and boast the No. 5 class in the country per the On3 Consensus rankings as of Dec. 20. The Wolverines hold commits from one of the nation's top linebackers, arguably the top kicker in the land, a four-star defensive line- man and one of Michigan's best in-state prospects. The effects of U-M's Big Ten champion- ship and College Football Playoff berth will largely be felt in the 2023 cycle, where the Wolverines have a chance to put together one of the best classes in college football LB RAYLEN WILSON The Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln line- backer committed to Michigan Dec. 8, making him the fourth 2023 pledge in the class. The 6-0, 205-pounder is one of the fastest and most explosive lineback- ers in the country. Wilson visited Michigan for the North- western game, and was primarily re- cruited by linebackers coach George Helow and defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald. He holds 33 offers, and chose the Wolverines over Georgia, Alabama and Clemson, among others. He is listed as the No. 7 linebacker and No. 84 overall player in the country by the On3 Consensus rankings. He is even higher in On3's rankings, rated as the No. 4 linebacker and No. 69 overall prospect nationally. "He's always kind of been a kid that wants to get away, kind of see how it is," his head coach Jimmie Tyson said. "So I think places that are outside of the state of Florida were something piqued his interest. I think once he went up and saw Michigan, that really kind of was something he enjoyed." WR SEMAJ MORGAN The West Bloomfield (Mich.) High three-star wide receiver committed to Michigan Dec. 1 over 11 offers, includ- ing Missouri, Ole Miss and Memphis. He visited Ann Arbor for multiple games during the 2021 season. As a junior, he caught 61 passes for 1,015 yards and 13 touchdowns, plus averaged 29.1 yards on 10 kick returns and brought one back for a score, in 13 games. The 5-9, 178-pounder is not in- cluded in the On3 Consensus rankings, but is listed a four-star recruit by Rivals. "Michigan has always been on top be- cause they never disappoint me," Mor- gan said. "Every time I'm there, I enjoy it. I have a strong bond with Coach Bell [Ron Bellamy]. I like being around him and Coach [Josh] Gattis. "I like Coach [Nate] Crutchfield, Coach [Steve] Casula and Coach [Jim] Har- baugh, too. They all try to create a bond with me." DL JOEL STARLINGS The Richmond ( Va.) Benedictine Col- lege Prep four-star defensive lineman committed to Michigan following a weekend visit to Ann Arbor, where he saw the Wolverines defeat Ohio State. He is a lifelong Michigan fan, so the Wolverines had long been the favorite to land him. The 6-5, 310-pound Star- lings is listed as the No. 230 overall prospect in both the On3 rankings and the On3 Consensus. He is also ranked the No. 25 defensive lineman nationally by both. "In my heart I feel like this is the place for me," he said. "And why wait when I already know what I want to do." K ADAM SAMAHA The Ann Arbor (Mich.) Huron kicker became the first member of U-M's 2023 class and is ranked as the na- tion's top kicking prospect by Korn- blue Kicking. Michigan was the first and only school so far to extend an offer to him. The Wolverines hosted Samaha for an unofficial visit for the BBQ at The Big House and immediately became the frontrunners in his recruitment. He gave the Wolverines a verbal pledge on Thanksgiving Day. "Thanksgiving is a holiday where you show thanks and gratitude for every- thing you have. It was a perfect time to commit to the University of Michi- gan," Samaha said. " There are great things that come with the University of Michigan such as the great academ- ics and the great football program." — Tim Verghese 2023 Michigan Commitment List Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Semaj Morgan WR 5-9 178 West Bloomfield, Mich. (West Bloomfield) Adam Samaha K 6-0 170 Ann Arbor, Mich. (Huron) Joel Starlings DL 6-5 310 Richmond, Va. (Benedictine) Raylen Wilson LB 6-0 205 Tallahassee, Fla. (Lincoln) Meet The Wolverines' 2023 Commits Four-star Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln linebacker Raylen Wilson is the early headliner of Michigan's fifth-ranked 2023 recruiting class. PHOTO BY CHAD SIMMONS/ON3.COM

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