The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 21 of 99

22 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 BY BRANDON BROWN M ichigan's 2018 recruiting class finished at No. 24 in the final team rankings, making it a bit of a down year for Jim Harbaugh on the recruiting trail. Still, the class has some talented players as well as some interesting characters. MOST ATHLETIC Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central four-star offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield may not be able to win a race or a vertical jump contest against the rest of the signees, but he has the most unique blend of size and athleticism in the group. At 6-5, 275 pounds and with an extensive basketball background, Mayfield moves around like a skill player at times and could provide depth despite needing to add some additional strength. MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED (ON AND OFF THE FIELD) On The Field: Despite not being Michigan's highest-rated commit in the 2018 class, Indianapolis Law- rence Central four-star linebacker Cameron McGrone fits perfectly into Don Brown's scheme. The 6-1, 225-pounder has a solid built, is very fast, extremely intelligent and has a knack for blitzing. Those skills should allow him to excel at Michigan and might give him a chance to find the field early, even at a stacked position. Off The Field: There's a lot of po- tential upside in Bradenton (Fla.) Braden River three-star defensive end Taylor Upshaw on the field, but he might have even more potential off of it. The 6-4, 240-pounder has been home schooled throughout his scho- lastic career and is already on cam- pus at Michigan. Academics were a big factor in his decision and that's why's No. 25 strongside defensive end nationally is at U-M. FUTURE TEAM CAPTAIN As the son of former Michigan All-American defensive lineman and team captain Chris Hutchinson, Dearborn (Mich.) Divine Child four- star defensive end Aidan Hutchinson comes by the necessary captain traits naturally. Even though he's the youngest commit in the class, Hutchinson car- ries himself in a very mature way and has the same kind of work ethic and motor that allowed his under- sized father to thrive at U-M. His background has shaped him to be great at Michigan and he should have no problem earning the respect of his teammates and coaches. BIGGEST STEAL As the only four-star prospect that Michigan flipped, Mayfield wins the Biggest Steal superlative by default. Granted, he was a three-star prospect when he decommitted from Minne- sota and pledged to U-M, but he fin- ished the cycle as U-M's biggest theft from another program. Michigan also flipped Upshaw from Florida, Vincent Gray from Mis- souri, Julius Welschof from Georgia Tech, Ben VanSumeren from Iowa and Ronnie Bell from Missouri State, where he was committed to the Bears' basketball program. MOST UNDERRATED Speaking of Bell, the Kansas City Park Hill two-star wide receiver, 2018 SIGNEE SUPERLATIVES Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central four-star tackle Jalen Mayfield is one of the best athletes for an offensive lineman in the country. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE

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