Even though 2015 was a down year for senior football talent in Michigan — with only two players in the Rivals250 (Ohio State signee Mike Weber, at No. 59, and Michigan signee Brian Cole, at No. 105) — 2016 should be much brighter. The latest edition of Rivals’ rankings contains a number of players from the state.
Leading the way is a five-star prospect — the state’s first since William Gholston in 2010. Daelin Hayes, an outside linebacker from Ann Arbor Skyline, is a USC commit who played his first two years of high school ball at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, then spent part of his junior year in California before returning to Michigan. The Wolverines once were strong in his recruitment, but he is solid to the Trojans.
Behind Hayes is Detroit King wide receiver Donnie Corley, at No. 66. The 6-foot-1, 188-pound Corley holds offers from U-M and Michigan State, along with LSU, Notre Dame and several others. Corley took an unofficial visit to Michigan on Tuesday, but U-M is looking up at the Irish and Tigers, along with Michigan State, Ohio State and Tennessee on his list.
Behind Corley is Detroit Cass Tech defensive tackle Michael Onwenu, at No. 182. The 6-foot-2, 320-pounder holds several scholarship offers, including his most recent opportunity from Alabama. He has played mostly offensive guard in his high school career, but his build projects best to defense in college.
Up next is Plymouth offensive lineman Michael Jordan, at No. 247. Like Onwenu, the 6-6, 275-pounder made a big statement at Michigan’s 2014 summer camp. A little-known player at the time, he earned his first scholarship offer from the Wolverines, and the likes of Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan State followed. (Jordan actually camped at MSU before Michigan but did not receive an offer at the time.)
Farmington Hills Harrison defensive tackle Khalid Kareem closes out the state’s contingent in the Rivals250, at No. 248. The 6-4, 240-pounder has been on an upward trajectory — despite an ephemeral commitment to Michigan State in January — with offers from Alabama and others in recent weeks.
Moving outside Michigan’s borders, both currently committed future Wolverines also made the list. Downers Grove (Ill.) South offensive lineman Erik Swenson is No. 82, while Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy linebacker Dele’ Harding comes in at No. 228.
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.