by DONNIE VAPHIDES Staff Writer
Michigan football has been a top school for high school athletes to go to for their college career for years. This year, they have made it back to the top, as they are ranked number one by ESPN.
Michigan has always been a school with high prestige in the college football rankings. Last year, they were as high as number 8 in the country. Their campus also attracts high school athletes to the school because it is known as one of the nicest campuses in the country. The academics is one of the best, making it a great place for students to start their career elsewhere if they do not make it to the pro level.
There have been 27 high school students that have committed to Michigan so far. They only have one five-star recruit in a player named Derrick Green. They have 16 four-star and nine three-star recruits.
Green, from Hermitage High School in Richmond, Virginia, has been their best signing so far. He is a 6’0″ 215 pound running back who is the fifth best running back this year. His ability to break tackles and quickness has made him a great option for Michigan to use in any situation his freshman season.
For the 2014 season, Michigan has already recruited the top cornerback in next year’s recruiting class named Jabrill Peppers. Peppers is 6’1″ 205 pounds that is from Paramus Catholic High School in Paramus, New Jersey. He is very quick, has a great jumping ability, and can catch a football very well. He has all the skill sets to make it to the professional level of football. Peppers brings a similar style of football as the starting running back in Michigan Fitzgerald Toussaint. Michigan would like to use the both of them as a two backfield offenses that continues to get better.
“With all the talent Michigan has already, they have a team that can compete for the National Championship once again. With the added players, they have an even bigger chance. The odds are stacked in their favor,” said senior Josh Roth.
Dymonte Thomas, from Marlinton High School in Alliance, Ohio, is a special player coming into his college career. He is considered an all around athlete, which means he has the ability to play multiple positions on the football field. Michigan wants to further evaluate him to decide where he will play, but, as of now, it looks like he will either be a cornerback, safety, or free safety.
Jake Butt, from Pickerington North High School in Pickerington, Ohio, is a towering 6’6″ 231 pounds. He plays the tight end position, which is a great fit for his height and weight. He specializes in breaking tackles and powering his way through the line to gain the extra yards.
Jordan Lewis, a top 15 cornerback is from Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan. He is at a disadvantage being only 5’10” and 159 pounds. He makes up for it as he has a very high jump to defend the ball when it is thrown. His speed makes it easy for him to have the extra step on the receiver, which makes a very big difference on a play. Play recognition helps him determine where the ball will be.
Logan Tulley-Tillman, a offensive linemen from Manual in Peoria, Illinois, is a very big talent. He is 6’7″ and a massive 314 pounds who has a great feel for his position. He is tough to get past as he does not let defenders get by him easily. He will most likely be a starter next year, and he said that he is prepared to jump into the starting role next season.
Wyatt Shallman is the number one fullback in the recruiting class. From the Detroit Catholic Central High School, he is 6’3″ 250 pounds. His strong point is carrying the football, but he can play the role as a blocker just as well. He does a good job getting extra yards as he trucks through the line and fights for the extra yards.
“Growing up a fan of Michigan, it makes me happy to see where the program is headed. They have a lot of potential headed into the season and are looking like they can repeat the 2011 season with a championship trophy in hand,” said senior Lauren Allen.
As the season begins on August 31 for Michigan, they are making a strong push for the National Championship that they have not won since 1997. The new talent will help spark an offense that finished only 78 last year, dropping off because of injuries.
The team is preparing to work the rookies into the mix to help out the offense. They have brought in three wide receivers for quarterback Devin Gardner to throw to.
The defense also got stronger by recruiting eight new defensive players. It will make the defense that was dominant last year even better, turning Michigan into a defensive powerhouse.
There are many expectations surrounding the Michigan football team and staff. They know they have to do well to give the program a chance at the National Title once again.
How far do you think the new players can take the football team this year?