The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2018 THE WOLVERINE 23 he's definitely the most underrated prospect in the group. Despite win- ning several major awards on the gridiron, including The Thomas A. Simone Award, given to the best high school football player in the Kansas City area, Bell is modestly rated as a two-star prospect and was barely recruited as a football player. The 6-1, 174-pounder caught 89 passes for 1,605 yards and 21 touch- downs as a senior, but still was viewed as a Missouri State basket- ball commit before Michigan came calling. The U-M staff loves him and can't wait until he proves people wrong about his abilities on the foot- ball field. BEST POSITION GROUP Michigan inked five defensive backs in the 2018 class, including four-stars Myles Sims and Gemon Green out of Atlanta Westlake and DeSoto (Texas) High, respectively. The Wolverine staff also inked Ge- mon's twin brother German, in-state two-way star Vincent Gray and Naples High combo defensive back Sammy Faustin. All five prospects are 6-2 or taller and can really run. Michigan cor- nerbacks coach Mike Zordich and defensive coordinator Don Brown love long, athletic defensive backs, and they'll have four new ones to play with this fall (Sims is already on campus as an early enrollee). ROOKIE STAR VanSumeren, the Essexville (Mich.) Garber three-star athlete, isn't ranked very high as the No. 34 athlete in the country according to, but because of his size (6-3, 232 pounds), build, work ethic and versatile skill set, he's just about a lock to see the field in 2018. At the very least, he should be valuable on special teams. But be- cause Jim Harbaugh plans to use him as a fullback/H-back, he'll likely get on the field as a part of the offense as well. BEST INTERVIEW Because of his background, Wel- schof made for a very interesting in- terview. The three-star defensive end from Germany has spent the last few years working in a factory, giving him an interesting perspective as a recruit and incoming student-athlete. He speaks phenomenal English, but the German accent certainly added intrigue to his answers when asked about why he chose Michi- gan and how the recruiting pro- cess played out for him. The 6-6, 253-pounder will be 21 when he ar- rives in Ann Arbor and will likely give more interesting takes during his time at U-M. MOST TALKATIVE This award doesn't necessarily go to the commit that speaks the most during interviews, but rather the most reliable source of information. In today's day and age of recruiting, prospects can get worn down and don't like to speak as National Sign- ing Day approaches. That was never the case with Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point four-star tight end Mus- tapha Muhammad. The 6-4, 244-pounder was ex- tremely reliable throughout the pro- cess and always responded within minutes of being questioned. He also provided information about other commits, campus visitors and what the coaches had been telling him about the rest of the class. RIVALS.COM ANALYST ROUNDTABLE: MICHIGAN'S 2018 CLASS Michigan's 2018 recruiting class lacked star power and finished No. 24 in the country and fourth in the Big Ten behind Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska according to Ri-'s team rankings because of it. There are definitely some solid players in the class, but it is nowhere near as loaded on paper as the 2016 and 2017 groups that both finished fourth in the country. Because Jim Harbaugh and his staff recruit nationally, the Rivals. com recruiting analysts all paid at- tention to U-M's 2018 class on some level. Each expert took a look at the class from top to bottom and gave their opinion. They shot straight and identified weaknesses in the group, but also pointed out bright spots in Michigan's 19-man haul. National recruiting director Mike Farrell "It's not a sexy class when you're comparing it to the first couple of classes under Harbaugh. There's not as much attention being paid to this class. Harbaugh isn't out there climb- ing trees or doing sleepovers, so it's been quiet. They weren't involved with as many kids down the stretch up to signing day either. "I think it hit some needs. Defen- sive back, obviously, they got a lot of quality kids at that position. De- fensive end, they got some guys that maybe could end up playing on the inside. I think they did pretty well there with [Dearborn (Mich.) Divine Child four-star defensive end Aidan] Hutchinson in particular. [Indianap- olis Lawrence Central four-star line- backer] Cameron McGrone can really play and tackle at linebacker. "I think the biggest thing is going to be [Orlando (Fla.) Olympia four- star quarterback] Joe Milton. Will he pan out? That's the most important position in any class and he could be a big one if it clicks." National recruiting analyst Adam Gorney "It's not in the top five like it was the last two years, but I think it's a very good class. Jim Harbaugh went into Texas and Georgia, and did pretty well. A lot of those kids could play at places like Georgia, Clemson or Alabama, so it's good to land kids like that. "Signing [Westlake four-star cor- nerback] Myles Sims out of Atlanta was impressive. Aidan Hutchinson dominated at the Army Bowl, and I think he fits exactly what Michigan is looking for at defensive end. "There are some wild cards in the class too. Joe Milton is a boom or bust kind of kid. He has all of the 2018 Team Rankings Rivals ESPN 247Sports 1. Georgia 1. Georgia 1. Georgia 2. Ohio State 2. Ohio State 2. Ohio State 3. USC 3. Texas 3. Texas 4. Texas 4. Penn State 4. USC 5. Penn State 5.Clemson 5. Clemson 24. Michigan 20. Michigan 20. Michigan

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