With 10 commitments from 10 different states, Michigan has caught fire on the recruiting trail over the last couple months, setting up for a strong finish to the 2017 class.
The expectation is that U-M will sign 27 to 33 prospects in this class, a big class for the second straight cycle.
In order to finish strong, the staff will be focusing on:
Michigan’s BBQ at the Big House: The BBQ at the Big House has been an annual recruiting event that has survived from the Rich Rodriguez days. It continues to be one of the biggest recruiting days of the year for the program, and Aug. 6 might the biggest one of them all.
On Monday, the M-Den announced that the new Nike football jerseys will not be released Aug. 1 with the rest of the Jumpman line and instead will be held until the barbecue. This is not a coincidence.
Expect many of Michigan’s top targets to be on campus for the event. Among those who have confirmed are in-state recruits Donovan Peoples-Jones (Detroit Cass Tech) and cornerback Ambry Thomas (Detroit King).
The Nike effect: It’s somewhat related to the release date, but expect the U-M staff to utilize the apparel switch to Nike and Jumpman to the fullest extent.
Some fans are turned off by the Jumpman logo on the football jersey. But what matters for Jim Harbaugh and U-M is that recruits are going to love it. Many already are talking about it. Oregon has built a successful program in major part because of the jerseys on the players’ backs. Michigan has more than that to offer, but will have the uniform box checked off, as well.
A narrower focus: With the 18 verbals on board, the coaching staff will be able to direct its manpower toward the cream of the crop.
The foundation of the class has been built, as Michigan has at least one verbal commitment at every position of note except for wide receiver, where it sits in strong position with its top two targets (Peoples-Jones and Alabama four-star Nico Collins). Because of that, the Wolverines can put more effort into the guys they really want.
Win: Coaches all over the country put almost as much time and effort into recruiting as they do preparing the team they coach. Michigan spent the entire month of June traveling the country, planting the Wolverine flag at every corner. The irony is that winning on the field is still the single biggest thing that makes a program attractive to prospects.
The stage is set for U-M to win some games in 2016. If it follows through and has a big season like some expect, the recruits will follow. They always have.