Trieu: Back 7 could be strength of UM recruiting class

Allen Trieu
Special to The Detroit News

The new early signing date where college football recruits can put pen to paper and officially become bound to the school of their choice is Dec. 20. With that date looming, here is a look at Michigan’s class as it stands.

Strength of the class

The back seven. The highest-ranked player in the class via the 247Sports Composite is Otis Reese, who will play full-time linebacker or “viper” at Michigan. The Wolverines still are holding off Georgia for Reese, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound striker from Leesburg, Ga., who has been a varsity starter since his freshman season, but turned in one of his best years as a senior.

He is joined by an explosive, aggressive linebacker in Cameron McGrone of Indianapolis Lawrence Central.

Then in the secondary, there are four commits — Myles Sims, German Green, Gemon Green and Sammy Faustin — who all could play cornerback or safety, but all stand over 6 feet, and have the kind of length and athleticism college coaches covet in defensive backs.

Work to be done

Michigan will sign most of their class on Dec. 20, but there are some players the Wolverines will keep recruiting into January.

Defensive tackle Tyler Friday of New Jersey is a top target. The Wolverines currently do not have a defensive tackle committed in the class, although ends Taylor Upshaw and Aidan Hutchinson have the size to move inside at times. Friday, a true tackle, is a key target.

Despite having a couple of talented offensive tackles committed in the class, the Wolverines still need more bodies on the offensive line. Five-star Nicholas Petit-Frere, former Arizona State commit Jarrett Patterson, and Georgia native Jalen Goss remain on the board.

Best bets

The Wolverines sit in good position for several of the aforementioned players, but the odds-on best bets to join the class are two others, tight end Tommy Tremble and athlete Michael Barrett.

Both are from Georgia and both are planning to announce their decisions soon and sign on Dec. 20. Tremble has set a commitment date of Thursday, while Barrett has talked about that date, but has not firmed it up yet.


When he committed, quarterback Kevin Doyle seemed like a strange take. It was known Michigan wanted two quarterbacks, and they had strong-armed Joe Milton already, but Doyle went from off the radar to committed fairly quickly.

Quarterback, with the addition of Ole Miss transfer Shea Patterson, becomes a crowded room, but do not count out Doyle.

He had a fantastic senior season at Washington (D.C.) St. John’s College against a schedule that was one of the toughest of any high school in the country. In those spotlight games against nationally recognized programs, he played excellent football. It was those performances, in fact, which led Michigan to pick their recruitment of him back up.

Doyle is battle tested, he is confident, and he showed excellent touch and accuracy this season. For that reason, he may be the sleeper of this class, a guy who quietly put together an excellent final stanza in his high school career.

More information

Michael Barrett profile

Tyler Friday profile

Tommy Tremble profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at