The Michigan recruiting class is strong with 22 members (cornerback Benjamin St-Juste has reclassified from 2016 to 2017 and will join that group instead), and several of the Wolverines’ top needs are filled. The class ranks No. 6 in the nation.
What U-M could use most to round out the group is an infusion of star power. Fortunately, there are some five-star prospects still on the table.
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy tight end Isaac Nauta is the No. 18 overall player in the country, and he plays a position that has seen plenty of action over the years in Jim Harbaugh’s offenses. The Georgia native recently decommitted from Florida State and will officially visit Ann Arbor on Oct. 17, for the Michigan State game. He has family connections to U-M through his uncle Joel Smeenge, who played at Western Michigan under U-M defensive line coach Greg Mattison.
Fresno (Calif.) Clovis West linebacker Caleb Kelly will make his way to Ann Arbor for the UNLV game this weekend. The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder is an athletic outside linebacker who brings a safety’s skill set, making him the No. 17 prospect nationally.
Bowman (Ga.) Elbert County athlete Mecole Hardman is a relatively new name on the radar — at least when it comes to the Wolverines having a realistic shot. The 5-10, 171-pounder is explosive enough to excel on offense or defense at the next level and will visit for the season-ending Ohio State game. He is the No. 16 prospect nationally.
Paramus (N.J.) Catholic defensive tackle Rashan Gary is the big fish, but he’s also the only one who doesn’t have an official visit to Ann Arbor planned. And one doesn’t look likely at this point. The 6-5, 290-pounder played for U-M director of player personnel Chris Partridge at Paramus Catholic, and the Wolverines’ New Jersey connections are strong. Still, the No. 2 overall player in the country has plenty of options and hopes to check out as many as possible before National Signing Day in February.
Tim Sullivan is the football recruiting editor of The Wolverine magazine and thewolverine.com. He is also a contributor to national football recruiting coverage on the rivals.com network. You can follow him on Twitter @tims_wolverine.