The No. 2 Michigan Football team is locked in on the present, with its College Football Playoff matchup looming on New Year’s Eve — but Wednesday’s National Signing Day gave the Wolverines a chance to think about their future as well.
In total, 23 players signed their letters of intent, giving Michigan the No. 17 ranked class in the 247Sports composite. All together it’s a solid haul for the Wolverines, but felt somewhat underwhelming given the on-field success that has transpired the last two seasons. Wednesday’s group is actually Michigan’s lowest rated class since 2018 and the first time it failed to land a five-star recruit since 2020.
In the evolving world of college football — where NIL continues to play more of a role — the Wolverines seemingly missed out on the most highly-rated prospects. All year, though, the coaching staff has remained confident that Michigan’s approach to recruiting doesn’t prioritize star ratings.
“I don’t recruit stars, if that makes sense,” Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart said in September. “I recruit good players. We need kids who believe in who they are and who know how good they are and who want to stay here.”
Given that mindset, the Wolverines should still be satisfied with the players they were able to pull in.
Many of Michigan’s signees had already been committed to the Wolverines, and none of them flipped last minute. On offense, four-star running back Cole Cabana — the No. 9 running back and No. 2 player in Michigan — made his addition to the Michigan backfield official. Other commitments that joined Cabana on the offensive side of the ball included four-star tight end Deakon Tonielli and three-star receivers Fredrick Moore and Semaj Morgan.
Additionally, Michigan co-offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore continued to build his back-to-back Joe Moore Award-winning offensive line. He landed a trio of four-star offensive lineman in Evan Link, Amir Herring and Nathan Efobi.
On defense, four-star defensive lineman Enow Etta out of Colleyville, Texas, formally declared his commitment to play in Ann Arbor. Etta ranks as the No. 116 player nationally and is currently the highest rated player in Michigan’s class.
Other defenders joining the Wolverines fold include four-star linebacker Semaj Bridgeman, three-star cornerback Cameron Calhoun and three-star linebacker Hayden Moore — who recently decommitted from Nebraska. The Wolverines also landed an intriguing, international prospect in three-star Aymeric Koumba, a 6-4, 230-pound athlete from France.
While the majority of recruits were expected, Michigan’s coaching staff did pull off a couple of signing day splashes. The Wolverines landed four-star receiver Karmello English — the 178th-ranked player in the nation — after he decommitted from Auburn last month. They also secured the services of four-star cornerback Jyaire Hill, ranked No. 195 overall, who chose Michigan over Illinois, Purdue and Florida.
The Wolverines class isn’t littered with five-stars but it still ranked third among Big Ten schools behind only Ohio State and Penn State. Michigan also quelled some of the concerns about the lack of top-end high school talent joining the ranks with a dominant showing in the transfer portal.
According to 247Sports, Michigan boasts the No. 1 transfer portal class. It has landed seven total commitments, including five 4-star prospects. Most recently, they added former Indiana tight end AJ Barner, who will help replace departing tight ends Luke Schoonmaker and Erick All. Those pieces could compensate for the lack of premier players among its signing day recruiting class.
Michigan also remains in the mix for five-star athlete Nyckoles Harbor, who is expected to announce his decision in February. Adding Harbor, the 16th ranked player nationally, would be a major boost to the Wolverines incoming class.
Wednesday marked an adequate day on the recruiting trail for Michigan, though not one that pops off the page. Now, the Wolverines turn their attention back to the College Football Playoff, a task few teams that dominated signing day can claim.