Rivals.com released its first installment of the 2017 Rivals250 this week, and six players from Michigan are on the list of the top football recruits in the nation, regardless of position.
In a normal year, four or five players from Michigan make the cut, so this should bode well for Michigan State and Michigan.
The list is headed up by Donovan Peoples-Jones of Detroit Cass Tech. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound wide receiver is rated the No. 55 prospect in the nation. Peoples-Jones already holds scholarship offers from Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame, to name just a few. This week, he is participating in The Opening, which features top recruits from across the nation.
Spartans fans will be glad to know that 2017 commitment Hunter Rison is on the list, at No. 185. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound prospect has a great chance to climb the rankings as soon more people see him in action. Rison easily was one of the most dominant performers at the Rivals Camp Series in Cleveland this spring, despite being a year younger than the majority of the other prospects.
The city of Detroit always produces a lot of defensive back talent and, for 2017, Ambry Thomas of Detroit King will carry the banner. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder checks in at No. 133 on the list and already holds scholarship offers from Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State. Thomas is one of the most feared hitters in the secondary in the Detroit Public School League.
Other players on the Rivals250 list include linebacker Joshua Ross of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (No. 166), defensive back Donovan Johnson of Cass Tech (No. 155) and defensive lineman Corey Malone-Hatcher of St. Joseph (No. 223).
Wide receiver Kahlee Hamler of St. Mary’s and athlete Allen Strizinger of Warren De La Salle could move onto the list when it’s next updated.
Hamler is a bit on the small side, at 5-feet-9 and 155 pounds, but he is as fast as any recruit in the nation. Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State have offered.
Strizinger is known more for his running skills, but he likely will end up in the secondary at the next level. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound prospect could end up being one of the top safety prospects in the Big Ten region for the class of 2017. Michigan has offered, and he is high on the board for Michigan State, as well.
Matt Dorsey is a recruiting analyst for spartanmag.com and rivals.com.