The Wolverine

March 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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72 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2022 BY EJ HOLLAND M ichigan orchestrated a strong finish to its 2022 recruiting class during December 's early period when it added top-100 recruits in Portland (Ore.) Westview wide re- ceiver Darrius Clemons and Balti- more St. Frances edge rusher Derrick Moore, as well as consensus four-star Garland (Texas) High athlete Alex Orji and former Notre Dame wide receiver commit Amorion Walker of Ponchatoula (La.) High. With a late surge at various posi- tions of need, the Wolverines moved up the On3 Consensus team rankings and finished with the No. 9 overall group of incoming freshmen nation- ally and a total of 23 signees. Class size always seems to fluctu- ate, so it's tough to give an exact pre- diction of how many prospects U-M will take in 2023. Ideally, it would be 25, which is considered by most to be a "full" class. The Wolverines currently had five verbal commitments in the 2023 class as of Feb. 14, so there is a long way to go in terms of filling it out. Michigan is fresh off landing a trio of in-state prospects so far in the cycle, and with a coaching staff reju- venation it wouldn't be surprising to see the Wolverines continue to build momentum on the recruiting trail throughout the offseason. Jim Harbaugh and his staff always seem to finish with a top-15 class na- tionally, but the U-M has a chance to enter the next tier. The coach has brought in a staff full of young, en- ergetic recruiters and made it clear his focus is to continue to close the gap with rival Ohio State by winning some big battles for top talent. As of mid-February, Michigan had the nation's No. 6-ranked 2023 class per the On3 Consensus, and should contend for a spot in the top five when it's all said and done. The right staff is now in place to do so, but the team obviously has to build off a spe- cial season on the field to help make that happen. Here is a position-by-position look at the Wolverines' needs and where they stand with top targets as the at- tention fully turns to the 2023 cycle. (All rankings are from the On3 Con- sensus.) QUARTERBACK Need: 1 Commits: 0 Michigan is putting all its eggs in one basket early in the cycle. After landing two project types under cen- ter last cycle — Alex Orji and Jayden Denegal — the Wolverines are look- ing to land an elite quarterback and have their eyes set on Detroit Martin Luther King product Dante Moore, the No. 18 overall recruit nationally. Moore is right in Michigan's back- yard and is the biggest must-land of the class. He has elite arm talent and led King to a win in the Michigan Division 3 state championship this past season. The Wolverines are high on his list early on, but they will have to battle Ohio State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State and a slew of schools in the South. The borderline five-star prospect is the really the only true target at the quarterback position. In fact, the Wolverines have just one other active offer out, and that's to five- star New Orleans Isadore Newman product Arch Manning, the No. 1 overall recruit nationally. Manning Michigan Aims To Put Together A Top-Five Class In 2023 Detroit Martin Luther King quarterback Dante Moore, the No. 18 overall recruit nationally, is considered a must-land recruit for Michigan to achieve a top-five class. PHOTO BY EJ HOLLAND

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