The Michigan Wolverines signed one of the best recruiting classes in the country this past season. ESPN has them ranked 6th, but I am not personally buying into that. Their class is pretty loaded and will help them out tremendously in a hurry.
Michigan signed the #1 recruit in the country this past season in Rashan Gary of Paramus, New Jersey. Gary
Naturally, Gary was also the top player in New Jersey.
The 2nd ranked player in Jersey was Kareem Walker of Wayne, New Jersey. Walker was a one time commitment to Urban Meyer and Ohio State, but he switched to Michigan and Jim Harbaugh.
The 4th rated player was Ronald Johnson from Camden and Michigan grabbed him.
Ranked 6th was Brad Hawkins also of Camden and he joined the rest at Michigan.
The 7th ranked player in the state was Ahmir Mitchell of Egg Harbor City and he also inked with the Wolverines.
15th ranked Michael Dwumfour was committed to Penn State before he switched to Michigan.
5 out of the top 7 in the state of New Jersey signed with Michigan including the nation’s best player. Michigan’s great Defensive Line coach Greg Mattison says that Rashan Gary will start as a true freshman and the Wolverines have a lot of talent returning on the Defensive Line. Gary is just that good.
The out of state Michigan Wolverines signed 7 out of the top 15 players in New Jersey. While Rutgers struggled.
Out of the top 10, Tennessee grabbed the 3rd rated guy who was Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano. The Vols got a strong armed Quarterback that can run and he could challenge for playing time immediately after Joshua Dobbs is done.
Ohio State grabbed 5th ranked athlete Jordan Fuller. As already noted, the Buckeyes once had Kareem Walker committed and that’s why you can never celebrate these guys until they show up for classes.
Nebraska grabbed the 8th ranked Quayshon Alexander a Defensive End from Wayne and a quality player with quickness off of the edge.
Michigan State grabbed the 9th and 10th ranked guys. The 9th rated guy was Wide Receiver Cameron Chambers who should play early. At 10th was giant Offensive Tackle Thiyo Lukusa. He has the size and the talent to play early for the Spartans and that may be an area of need for them.
It’s not until the 23rd player that the home state school Rutgers begins showing up on the list.
But, even then, Rutgers was the choice of only 5 out of the top 44 players in the state of New Jersey. That’s got to change dramatically if the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers are going to compete with the big boys.
For years, Miami, USC, Penn State, Nebraska, Notre Dame and so many other top programs have come into New Jersey and taken a lot of the state’s best players. Guys like Greg Olsen, Brian Cushing, Franco Harris, Mike Rozier, Irving Fryar, Jabrill Peppers, Lydell Mitchell, Joe Theisman, Rich Glover, Ron Dayne, Rocket Ismail, Christian Peter, Jack Tatum, Andre Tippett and so many more have been leaving the state for decades. Penn State, in particular, has had a lot of great players from New Jersey. It’s like their second home.
New coach Chris Ash, the former Defensive Coordinator at Michigan rival Ohio State, took over the program and hit the ground running hiring a staff and recruiting. It’s tough to sell a program like Rutgers with only a few weeks.
His mission, like most coaches in most states, is to build something of a wall around their state and try to keep as many of the great ones as possible. Ash didn’t have enough time this season, and he may never be able to do that. But, that’s how a lot of great programs were built over the years.
But, for now, New Jersey is open season for the wolves of the nation and in this case mostly the Wolverines.
Michigan probably grabbed several future starters from the state of New Jersey in the 2016 recruiting class. Rashan Gary is about as sure of a sure thing as they come.
Michigan signed 28 players this past season.
They signed 6 each out of New Jersey and Florida. They signed 3 each out of their home state and California. They grabbed 2 from Alabama and 1 each from Wisconsin, Maryland, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Georgia and Indiana. They got the top guy out of Wisconsin, Indiana and Colorado.
This was a great recruiting class for Michigan and expect another one either equal or better in 2017.