The Wolverine

February 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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58 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2018 BY BRANDON BROWN A s of Jan. 22, Michigan had 20 to- tal commitments in its 2018 class with room for two to four more, de- pending on additional attrition and possible changes to the status of the four verbal pledges that have not signed a letter of intent yet. Excitement is down a bit in ad- vance of the traditional National Signing Day Feb. 7 because of the new early signing period, which — for the most part — seems to have smoothed out a normally hectic stretch on the recruiting trail. A couple of late offers by Michigan resulted in commitments and ulti- mately in letters of intent that weren't expected until minutes before they were faxed into Schembechler Hall, and some of the signees are already on campus in Ann Arbor. THE EARLY SIGNING PERIOD This recruiting cycle, committed seniors were allowed to sign a na- tional letter of intent over a three- day stretch from Dec. 20-22. A large majority of committed prospects chose to take advantage of the newly implemented period, including 16 of Michigan's 19 pledges at that time. Naples (Fla.) High three-star cor- nerback Sammy Faustin, DeSoto (Texas) High three-star safety Ger- man Green and four-star cornerback Gemon Green, Eureka (Mo.) High three-star running back Hassan Haskins, Traverse City (Mich.) West three-star offensive tackle/tight end Ryan Hayes, Dearborn (Mich.) Di- vine Child four-star defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central three-star offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield, Indi- anapolis Lawrence Central four-star linebacker Cameron McGrone, Or- lando (Fla.) Olympia four-star quar- terback Joe Milton, Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point four-star tight end Mustapha Muhammad, Hamden (Conn.) Hall Country Day School three-star tight end Luke Schoon- maker, Atlanta Westlake four-star cornerback Myles Sims, Buford (Ga.) High three-star running back Chris- tian Turner, Bradenton (Fla.) Braden River three-star defensive end Taylor Upshaw, Essexville (Mich.) Garber three-star athlete Ben VanSumeren and Miesbach (Bavaria) FOS Altoet- ting three-star defensive end Julius Welschof are all signed and sealed. Kansas City (Mo.) Park Hill two- star wide receiver Ronnie Bell picked up his Michigan offer Dec. 16 and committed just two days later. He planned to sign with U-M Dec. 20, but because he had already commit- ted to and signed with Missouri State to play basketball, he was unable to sign with Michigan in 2017. Instead, he'll wait until Feb. 7 and ink his let- ter of intent on the traditional Na- tional Signing Day. Washington (D.C.) St. John's Col- lege High three-star quarterback Kevin Doyle was planning to sign Dec. 20, but said that his high school coach would rather he wait until February. The 6-4, 210-pounder said that he and U-M head coach Jim Har- baugh are both fine with that plan. However, Doyle may end up tak- ing an additional year at a prep school before packing his bags for Ann Arbor. If he and his parents are on board with that plan, he won't be signing with U-M until February 2019. Rochester (Mich.) Adams three-star cornerback Vincent Gray was plan- ning to sign with Missouri Dec. 20, but an offer from Michigan changed his situation. He decommitted from the Tigers, took an official visit to Ann Arbor and ultimately commit- ted to Michigan Jan. 21. The 6-2, 165-pounder will defi- nitely sign with the Wolverines Feb. 7 and won't entertain any other schools. Finally, there's Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County four-star outside linebacker Otis Reese. The 6-2, 195-pounder is U-M's longest standing commit with a pledge date of June 18, 2016. Geor- gia has been aggressively recruiting him since then and is the main threat to U-M, while LSU and Clemson are also in pursuit of's No. 56 overall prospect nationally. He took a mid-January official visit to Ann Arbor, but also plans to check out the other programs as well. Ev- eryone is anxiously waiting to see which school Reese signs with Feb. 7. LATE OFFERS AND FLIPS The Michigan coaching staff of- fered and flipped three prospects within a week of the early signing period, creating a bit of excitement that would normally take place in early February. U-M also flipped a player in late January and one back in late November, taking the total to five in a class of 20 as of Jan. 22. Upshaw got the flips started after decommitting from Florida following the firing of Jim McElwain and an offer from the Wolverines. He rolled into Ann Arbor for an official visit for the Ohio State game and com- mitted almost immediately. The 6-4, 235-pounder is already on campus as an early enrollee. A little less than a month later, Van- Sumeren backed off of his pledge to Iowa once his childhood-favorite Wolverines got involved. The 6-3, 235-pounder was planning to sign   FOOTBALL RECRUITING The State Of Michigan's 2018 Class Kansas City first-team all-state wide receiver Ronnie Bell had signed to play basketball at Missouri State before pledging to play foot- ball at Michigan. NCAA rules do not allow a student-athlete to sign with two schools in the same year, so Bell will formalize his agreement with U-M on National Signing Day Feb. 7. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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