During Wednesday’s “Signing of the Stars” show at Crisler Center, the show’s hosts, the Sklar Brothers joked that Michigan “only” secured the top six players from the state of Michigan.
The joke continued that maybe next year they should try for the entire top 10 and the few thousand fans attending laughed.
But they couldn’t understand how rare the sweep was.
Since 247Sports has been compiling the state’s top prospects in 2000, only twice did a school (Michigan) have the top-three players, in 2004 and 2005. Every other year, no school had more than the top two.
Yet Michigan had six in one of the most bountiful years in recent state history, plus the No. 8 and 13 players. The class in-state was led by Cass Tech receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, whose overall rating was No. 4 in the state’s modern history (since 2000.)
Two of the other top-five players in that time – Saginaw’s LaMarr Woodley and Detroit Crockett’s Brandon Graham – were part of the reps at “Signing of the Stars.”
The last time a school had the state’s top two players was in 2013 when Michigan snagged Shane Morris and David Dawson.
This class is boosted by one of the strongest years from Detroit in recent memory with three of the top-five prospects (Peoples-Jones, No. 2 King’s Ambry Thomas and No. 5 Cass’ Jaylen Kelly-Powell.)
“We always talk about how good we’re going to be this year and next year, even though we’re young, we’re going to be real good,” Kelly-Powell said. “We’ve got a great bond and we all know each other for real so when I know what the next man is doing, we’ve already got that bond and relationship.”
The defensive backs Kelly-Powell and Thomas, who are cousins, spent a lot of time working out with U-M’s former All-America cornerback Jourdan Lewis.
“He never pressured me into coming here at all,” Kelly-Powell said. “He wanted me to make a decision for myself and when I came here he was kind of happy and (said), ‘Ok, now we’re going to turn it up a notch, I’m going to show you some more stuff and get better.’ He wants nothing but the best for me.”
Continuing Lewis’ cornerback legacy is important also.
“It means a lot,” Kelly-Powell said. “Teaching me and the other DBs here, we’ll be pretty good. We’re young but we’re still going to be pretty good.”