The Wolverine

March 2024

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2024 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ 32 THE WOLVERINE ❱ MARCH 2024 BY ZACH LIBBY M ichigan finished Na- tional Signing Day with 26 signees in its 2024 recruiting class, includ- ing 14 four-star additions. According to the On3 Industry Ranking, the Wolver- ines' class ranked No. 15 nationally. We assembled three recruiting experts to share their thoughts on key members of the class. The panel included Tom Lem- ming from CBS Sports Network and Prep Football Report magazine, On3 director of scouting and rankings Charles Power and The Wolverine's recruiting editor EJ Holland. BIGGEST RECRUITING WIN Lemming: I think Jadyn Davis, the quarterback out of North Carolina, be- cause I saw him as a freshman in South Carolina and saw him in Charlotte. I have him as a five-star. I just think he's a fan- tastic player. I like the way he plays the game and is better than what people say he is. Power: I think it's Jordan Marshall. Going into the state of Ohio and getting the top running back in the state. A run- ning back Ohio State coveted. When you look at just the factors that played into his recruitment, that's a significant win. It's certainly notable to take an in-state top target from your rival. Holland: Definitely Jordan Marshall. Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart is a legend but hasn't exactly been an elite recruiter during his time in Ann Arbor. The fact that Hart went into enemy territory and straight up beat Ohio State for Mr. Ohio is monumental. The Mar- shall recruiting win shows a change in the times in college football's greatest rivalry and also provides U-M with an elite-level ball carrier that can do Hart-like things as a true freshman. There was no bigger win this cycle than Marshall. MOST IMPORTANT ADDITION Lemming: Probably Jadyn Davis be- cause he's a quarterback. That's always the most important position. Power: I would say Jadyn Davis because when you look at the depth chart at quarterback, bringing in a blue-chip quarterback behind J.J. McCarthy after previous cycles where guys were more developmental types, with Davis being opposite of that, adds a safe depth to the quarterback room moving forward. It's important to continue supplementing that in the quarterback room, which is the most important position on the team. He's the most important from a sheer player value perspective and what the quarterback room could look like in the future. Holland: Michigan needed a nose tackle this cycle and looked like it was heading toward signing day with zero op- tions. However, [former] Michigan defen- sive line coach Mike Elston worked ag- gressively behind the scenes and was able to flip Deyvid Palepale away from USC. Yes, Palepale is just a three-star prospect, but he was a Plan A for the staff since the beginning of the cycle. At 6-foot-3, 305 pounds, Palepale is a massive human, but he's also athletic and can play mul- tiple positions along the defensive line if needed. Just a great late addition for the Wolverines. BIGGEST STEAL Lemming: Owen Wafle. He was com- mitted to Notre Dame and I think they lost interest in him, but he's a powerhouse. This kid is super strong and dominates the inside. He's a lot better than people say. He has a wide frame and isn't super tall, but when I went to see him at The Hun School, I was really impressed. He looks like he's 30 years old because he has a muscular frame of someone that age as opposed to a 17-year-old. Power: I'll go with Cole Sullivan. He's a guy from Western Pennsylvania and is in the heart of Big Ten country. He's one who's looked better and better the more we watched him and continued updat- ing the rankings. He's super instinctive and is one who I think has a lot of positive indicators. He's just a really good foot- ball player. It's a deal where you can look back and say that he was a guy who'll have people say, "I can't believe we got him out of Pennsylvania." Holland: Michigan straight up stole Owen Wafle away from rival Notre Dame. Wafle gave the Irish an early verbal pledge, but Elston and area recruiter Grant Newsome never stopped pushing. Michigan was able to get him on campus for an official visit in the sum- mer and completed the flip. Wafle is also a steal from an on-the-field standpoint. EXPERT ROUNDTABLE National Recruiting Analysts Discuss U-M's Class Landing Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller run- ning back Jordan Marshall may have been the Wolverines' biggest win of this year's recruit- ing cycle. He was named the 2023 Ohio Mr. Football, the first Wolverine to take that honor since Charles Woodson in 1994. PHOTO COURTESY OHSAA SPORTS

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