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2020-02-11 19:08:131 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Michigan Wolverines wide out Nico Collins after the catch against Wisconsin. (Image Source: Getty Images)
With National Signing Day official behind us, we continue to look back at Jim Harbaugh’s first five signing classes. Here’s a breakdown of the 2017 recruiting class on the offensive side of the ball:
WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (247 Composite Ranking: 12): Extremely physically gifted, Peoples-Jones had some splash plays but he never developed into an elite game-changing pass catcher the way many Michigan receivers had in the past. A superstar talent without superstar production but enough talent to declare.
Next: Peoples-Jones is expected to be selected in the 2020 NFL Draft
C Cesar Ruiz (247 Composite Ranking: 47): Coming out of high school, Ruiz was the top center in the 2017 class. A two-year starter, the IMG product steadily improved during his time in Ann Arbor and was an excellent anchor for the offensive line. The second-team All-B1G performer also declared for the draft.
Next: Ruiz is expected to be selected in the 2020 NFL Draft
OT Chuck Filiaga (247 Composite Ranking: 112): After sitting out as a true freshman, Filiaga has mostly been a special-teams contributor who also saw action at guard in four games in each of the past two seasons. With the shift from tackle to guard, Filiaga’s path to playing time was blocked by returning starters at guard.
Next: Filiaga will complete for a starting position at offensive guard in 2020
WR Tarik Black (247 Composite Ranking: 116): As a true freshman, Black was the first of this ballyhooed recruiting class of receivers to make an immediate impact. He appeared to be a future star however injuries cut short his 2017 season and he ended up just playing in just 20 games (of 39 games) with only nine starts.
Next: Black entered the transfer portal and has received several offers
QB Dylan McCaffrey (247 Composite Ranking: 123): As a redshirt freshman, McCaffrey did enough to win the backup job over Brandon Peters and he’s been the QB2 behind Shea Patterson the past two seasons. McCaffrey has a strong arm and has flashed impressive athleticism as a runner but also durability concerns.
Next: McCaffrey will compete for the starting quarterback job with Joe Milton
WR Nico Collins (247 Composite Ranking: 138): After a quiet freshman campaign, Collins was named Michigan’s most-improved player on offense as a sophomore (16.6 yards per catch) and the offensive player of the year as junior (197 YPC), both deserved. The big-bodied wide out is a great deep threat.
Next: Collins is expected to be one of Michigan’s starting receivers in 2020
WR Oliver Martin (247 Composite Ranking: 181): The Wolverines won a big recruiting battle with the Hawkeyes for the Iowa native who made a minor impact in 2018 (11 catches) after sitting out his freshman season. Beat out by Ronnie Bell as the primary slot receiver, Martin decided to return home and transferred to Iowa.
Next: Martin has two seasons of eligibility remaining at Iowa
RB O’Maury Samuels (247 Composite Ranking: 269): The four-star recruit saw limited action in each of his two seasons in Ann Arbor, before he was dismissed following his arrest for misdemeanor domestic violence charges. Samuels would have completed for a starting job had he remained. He landed at New Mexico State.
Next: Samuels has two seasons of eligibility remaining at New Mexico State
OT JaRaymond Hall (247 Composite Ranking: 301): Another recruit who is no longer part of the program, Hall decided to transfer after just one year with the Wolverines. The Detroit native remained in the Mitten State as he transferred to Central Michigan, where he has yet to see any action according to their website.
Next: Hall has two seasons of eligibility remaining at Central Michigan
OT Andrew Stueber (247 Composite Ranking: 365): After getting into all 13 games as a redshirt freshman in 2018, including a start at right tackle, it appeared Stueber was going to take over the fulltime role in 2019 until he suffered an injury (torn ACL) in training camp which knocked him out for the entire season.
Next: Stueber will complete for a starting position at offensive guard in 2020
WR Brad Hawkins (247 Composite Ranking: 425): It didn’t take long for Hawkins to switch sides of the ball and move to safety. As a sophomore, he flashed some ability as a big hitter near the line of scrimmage (3 tackles for loss) and last season started in 10 games as he was named the most-improved defensive player.
Next: Hawkins is expected to start at safety in 2020
OT Joel Honigford (247 Composite Ranking: 441): After sitting out the 2017 season, Honigford got into two games at right guard during his second year on campus. The Ohio native saw action in ten games last season, including three at right tackle in blowout victories as he moved back outside following Stueber’s injury.
Next: Honigford is expected to be a backup offensive lineman in 2020
RB Kurt Taylor (247 Composite Ranking: 918): The Georgia native did not see any game action in either of his two seasons on campus, which made it no surprise when he decided to transfer. He stayed in the Big Ten footprint and landed at Iowa Central Junior College, where he rushed 711 yards and three touchdowns (4.7 YPC).
Next: Taylor has two seasons of eligibility remaining
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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