The Wolverine

2022 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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150 ■ THE WOLVERINE 2022 FOOTBALL PREVIEW FOOTBALL RECRUITING BY EJ HOLLAND M ichigan's 2022 recruiting class saw a strong finish during De- cember's early period when the Wolverines added key players like Top 100 Portland (Ore.) Westview wide receiver Darrius Clemons and Baltimore St. Frances edge rusher Derrick Moore, On3 Consensus four-star Garland (Texas) High athlete Alex Orji and former Notre Dame athlete commit Amorion Walker from Pon- chatoula (La.) High. With a late surge at various positions of need, Michigan moved up the On3 Consen- sus national recruiting class rankings and finished with the No. 9 overall group of incoming freshmen with a total of 22 sign- ees. (It was actually 23 when you include Andrew Gentry who came out of high school with the 2020 class but flipped to U-M from Virginia after completing two years of ser- vice as a Mormon missionary.) The Wolver- ines finished with 23 in each of the previous two recruiting cycles as well. Class size always seems to fluctuate, so it's tough to give an exact prediction of how many prospects the Wolverines will take in 2023. Ideally, it would be 25, which is con- sidered by most to be a "full" class. In late June, Michigan had seven verbal commitments in the 2023 class, so there is a long way to go in terms of filling it out. U-M is hosting several top targets for of- ficial and unofficial visits throughout the summer and with a coaching staff rejuve- nation, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Wolverines build some momentum and have a similar close as last cycle. Jim Harbaugh and his staff always seem to finish with a Top 15 class nationally — no matter the circumstances. In late June, Michigan had the No. 17-ranked 2023 class nationally, per the On3 Consensus, but again, there is plenty of time to climb the rankings. Here is a position-by-position look at Michigan's needs and where the Wolverines stand with top targets as we get into the meat of the 2023 recruiting cycle: Quarterback Need: 1 Commits: 0 Michigan has just one quarterback on the board — On3 Consensus five-star prospect Dante Moore. Ranked as the No. 4 quarter- back and No. 8 overall prospect nationally, Moore has elite arm talent and led King to a win in the Michigan DIII state championship this past season. While Michigan has made contingency plans and flirted with Arch Manning, relative of former NFL stars Peyton and Eli Manning and the nation's top overall prospect, it's clear Moore is the guy. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and company are doing everything they can to keep him home and have hosted him for sev- eral visits throughout the offseason. However, winning over Moore isn't go- ing to be easy. Rival Notre Dame emerged as the leader for Moore in the spring. While momentum dropped off after the Fighting Irish added highly touted 2024 signal-caller CJ Carr, Notre Dame remains in play here. Oregon may be the biggest threat. Moore called Oregon his best visit and has an ex- tremely close relationship with Ducks offen- sive coordinator Kenny Dillingham. South- ern programs like LSU and Texas A&M remain firmly in the mix as well. Moore is looking to make his decision at some point this summer. Running Back Need: 2 Commits: 2 Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart only landed one prospect at his posi- tion group last cycle in three-star signee CJ Stokes. It was an extremely weak year at the position, making running back a top priority for the Wolverines in 2023. Hart got off to a fast start — literally — notching a commitment from Dexter (Mich.) High running back Cole Cabana in early February. The local prospect is a speed demon, who clocked a 4.34 40 at a camp this summer and ran a 10.69 in the 100-meter dash as a sophomore. The three-star ball carrier, who is ranked as the No. 247 prospect and No. 11 running back in the country by the On3 Consensus, can be used in a lot of different ways — in the backfield, out of the slot and as a kick and punt returner. Hart also landed a power back in three- star Kennesaw (Ga.) North Cobb prospect Benjamin Hall. At 5-foot-10, 227 pounds, Hall is a built like a tank and has a bowl- ing ball running style in the same mold as former Atlanta Falcons star Michael Turner. Dante Moore of Detroit King High remains QB1 on Michigan's priority list for the class of 2023. He is ranked as the No. 4 quarterback and No. 8 overall prospect in the On3 Consensus. PHOTO BY CHAD SIMMONS/ON3.COM Wants And Needs Analyzing Michigan's Recruiting Priorities For The 2023 Class

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