Wednesday’s National Signing Day brought about a flurry of commitments for the Michigan football program.
The Wolverines carried over their recent on-field success to the recruiting trail, reeling in five new commitments on Wednesday — three of whom are four-star prospects. In total, Michigan signed 22 commits to their 2022 class, which currently stands as the ninth-ranked group in the nation, according to the 247Sports composite score. The Wolverines also boast the third-best class in the Big Ten, trailing Ohio State and Penn State.
The class includes one five-star recruit — Will Johnson, a defensive back from Grosse Pointe — along with nine four-stars and 12 three-star prospects.
Twelve of the commits play defense, including six defensive backs, bringing a refreshing splash of talent and athleticism to the secondary. Meanwhile, ten recruits play offense, headlined by four-star receivers Darrius Clemons and Tyler Morris, who was a high school teammate of freshman quarterback J.J. McCarthy at Nazareth Academy in Illinois.
Top-100 safety Keon Sabb, who recently decommitted from Clemson and visited Ann Arbor for the Ohio State game, faxed in his letter of intent by 11 a.m. A four-star out of IMG Academy in Florida, Sabb chose the Wolverines over Georgia, Ohio State and LSU.
Later in the afternoon, two more four-star prospects entered the fold. Clemons, who grew up alongside freshman receiver Andrel Anthony in East Lansing before moving to Oregon, chose Michigan over four other schools.
“We sat in Coach Harbaugh’s office Sunday night, my Dad asked Coach Harbaugh to promise him he’ll take care of me,” Clemons told reporters. “And he did that. So I’m confident in what he can do for me. He told me if I love football, I’ll love my time at Michigan.”
Top-100 defensive lineman Derrick Moore decommitted from Oklahoma in November after Lincoln Riley fled for USC; on Wednesday, Moore signed with the Wolverines. In doing so, he is reunited with Michigan associate head coach Biff Poggi, who coached Moore at St. Frances Academy in Baltimore.
Johnson, the crown jewel of Michigan’s class, is the lone in-state signee. Three-star linebacker Aaron Alexander, who hails from Belleville, did not sign on Wednesday, despite verbally committing in June. Cass Tech lineman Deone Walker, one of the Wolverines’ top in-state targets, committed to Kentucky Wednesday morning.
Michigan managed to flip three-star receiver Amorion Walker, a Louisiana native who had been committed to Notre Dame since March, and Alex Orji, a three-star quarterback who previously committed to Virginia Tech. On the flipside, the Wolverines lost a commitment from three-star edge rusher Ethan Burke, who submitted his Letter of Intent (LOI) to Texas after originally committing to Michigan earlier in December.
The Wolverines’ recruiting success follows the departure of Courtney Morgan, who returned to Ann Arbor in April as the new director of player personnel. Early last week, though, Morgan left to assume the same role with Washington, an inopportune exit given the imminent nature of National Signing Day.
But the only apparent impact of Morgan’s departure occurred with four-star edge rusher Kevonte Henry. On Tuesday, Henry announced that he will be signing in February; Washington is considered a likely destination, should Henry ultimately flip his commitment.
Michigan also received a LOI from Andrew Gentry, a four-star offensive lineman who recently decommitted from Virginia. Gentry originally committed as a class of 2020 prospect, but has spent the last year-plus on a mission trip rather than playing for the Cavaliers.
Last year, Michigan netted the 13th-ranked recruiting class in the nation. Of Harbaugh’s seven recruiting classes during his tenure at Michigan, this year’s group currently ranks in the middle as the fourth-highest.
The Wolverines are still in pursuit of a few more players, including five-star offensive lineman Josh Conerly Jr., who will be signing in February.
A number of Michigan coaches took to Twitter to express their enthusiasm for the incoming class.
“What a day!” offensive coordinator Josh Gattis wrote. “Some ballers are headed to Ann Arbor to keep Michigan on top. Some big time ballers on offense to add to an explosive team already!!”