Michigan Football Preview 2017

2017 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 176 of 179

THE WOLVERINE 2017 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 175 MICHIGAN TOP 10 why the talented safety never picked up an offer from the Wolverines. At 5-10 and 180 pounds, he is not the biggest safety in the country, but he's very savvy and always puts himself in the right position. Those less-than-ideal measurable com- bined with his top-notch football instincts have him ranked as the No. 32 safety in the country. He committed to Wisconsin last summer. 8. Jason Whittaker, QB Rockford High School Whittaker's recruitment was pretty smooth, and it led to him committing to North- western back in December. Michigan and Michigan State did not offer the in-stater. Considered the No. 15 pro- style quarterback nationally, Whittaker is a bit thin at 6-5 and 195 pounds heading into his senior year, but he's got a great frame for bulking up and shows the ability to make all of the throws. He's also got solid athleticism to keep defenses honest and is extremely intelligent. 9. Kolin Demens, LB Beverly Hills Country Day As the younger brother of former Wolverine Kenny De- mens, Kolin was offered by U-M but never really received a ton of attention. Michigan State has offered as well, but Demens seems destined for somewhere out West. Kenny still resides in Arizona so Kolin has interest in being near his brother, potentially at Arizona or UCLA. At 6-2 and 200 pounds, Demens is longer and rangier than his sibling and exhibits more natural athleticism. He's accurately listed as a three-star prospect and is considered the No. 36 outside linebacker in America. 10. Theo Day, QB Dearborn Divine Child The 6-5, 185-pound Day is an extremely smart pro-style quarterback with a bit more athleticism than the previ- ously mentioned Whittaker. The three-star player is able to use his feet, combined with a very solid arm, to make defensive coordinators at the high school level uneasy. All of his skills have him ranked as the No. 17 pro-style quarterback in the country. A high school teammate of Michigan commit Aidan Hutchinson, Day will be a rival at the next level as a Michigan State commit. ❏ Michigan's coaches have only offered five of the state's top 2019 prospects, but a couple of them seem to be a priority. 1. DEVONTAE DOBBS 6-4, 270 • OL • Belleville High School Dobbs is already one of the most coveted prospects in the Midwest. He's not quite as long as some of- fensive tackle prospects, but he's very strong and ex- tremely athletic. He's considered a four-star talent and is included in the early Rivals100 for the 2019 class. He already holds offers from the likes of Ala- bama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee and Wisconsin. 2. LOGAN BROWN 6-6, 270 • OL • East Kentwood High School At 6-6 and 270 pounds, Brown has a much more tackle-like build than Dobbs, but isn't quite as fleet of foot or strong. He's also a four-star prospect and an early member of the Rivals100. He has a very respectable offer list that includes Alabama, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin. For a while it seemed like Michigan had a lot of momentum, but as more and more of- fers have trickled in he seems content with taking his time his recruitment. 3. JULIAN BARNETT 6-2, 180 • WR • Belleville High School Barnett is an ultra-athletic wide receiver who can also play defensive back. Defense may actually be where he lands at the next level, but he's got the abili- ties to succeed on either side of the ball. He is a four- star prospect and an early member of the Rivals100. Michigan State, along with Arizona, Auburn, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri, plus a few others, had offered the talented athlete heading into the summer. 4. MARVIN GRANT 6-2, 190 • S • Detroit Martin Luther King High School Grant is slowly starting to pick up momentum on the recruiting trail with offers already in hand from the likes of Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Notre Dame and Syracuse. The King standout is close with Michigan freshman Ambry Thomas, giving the Wolverines a potential early lead for the rangy safety prospect. At 6-2 and 190 pounds, Grant has great length at the safety position and shows excellent ball skills. He also excels at running back for King. 5. SPENCER BROWN 6-6, 295 • OL • Walled Lake Western High School A prototypical offensive tackle prospect, Brown checks in at 6-6 and 295 pounds with extremely long arms and legs. He's still raw, and thinks he's a defensive lineman, but his future is certainly on the offensive side of the ball. With early offers from Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri and Virginia Tech, among many others, Brown has plenty of options before even starting his junior ye ar. 6. JAREN MANGHAM 6-1, 185 • RB • Detroit Cass Tech Listed at 6-1 and 185 pounds, Mangham may be a little bigger than that and could eventually outgrow the running back position. For now, he's a handful with the ball in his hands and also shows outstanding ability at linebacker. With great speed, solid vision and exceptional balance for a big back, Mangham is starting to get attention wherever he goes in terms of camps and other performance-based events. Arizona, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan State, Mis- sissippi State, Missouri and UCLA, among others, have offered the Cass Tech product. 7. DWAN MATHIS 6-4, 185 • QB • Oak Park High School One of the best overall athletes in the entire 2019 class, Mathis is listed as a dual-threat quar- terback at 6-4 and 185 pounds. He could realisti- cally play wide receiver at the next level, which he did as a freshman at Belleville. Only Akron, Central Michigan, Cincinnati, Ken- tucky, Toledo and Iowa State have offered, but Mathis saw enough and pledged to the Cyclones. It'll be interesting to see if bigger programs get involved with the rising junior, but for now he's an Iowa State commit. 8. LEW NICHOLS 6-2, 201 • RB • Detroit Cass Tech Another big back from Cass Tech, Nichols looks closer to his physical ceiling than Mangham and likely stays at running back regardless of how much more he grows. He has a stockier build and isn't as long as Mangham. He too has very good vision and a solid burst through the hole, showing the ability to win with speed and power. On the recruiting trail, he's picked up offers from Akron, Indiana, Ken- tucky, Missouri and Toledo, but will certainly add to that list as he enters his junior season and beyond. 9. SAMUEL JOHNSON III 6-3, 174 • QB • Walled Lake Western High School Johnson is a thin, pro-style quarterback pros- pect, but he's been a hot name on the recruiting trail since he was a rising freshman. Quite polished for a sophomore, Johnson is very mature, studies the game and is an intense competitor. His arm strength isn't elite, but he throws a nice ball and knows where to put passes. Cincinnati, Indiana, Syracuse and Temple, along with most of the Mid-American Conference, have offered the lanky quarterback. 10. XAVIER GOLDSMITH 5-8, 150 • CB • Detroit Cass Tech One of the smaller cornerbacks in the class to hold offers, Goldsmith is as scrappy and techni- cally sound as they come. He's never going to be the biggest, fastest, strongest or most athletic corner on the field, but he rarely gets beat and knows how to use his hands to break up passes. With offers from Army, Cincinnati, Colorado, Mississippi State and Temple, along with several MAC schools and Division II programs, Goldsmith has done very well while being limited physically. On Deck: 10 To Watch For 2018 A look ahead at the state's best rising juniors

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