Allen Trieu of 247Sports breaks down Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class for The Detroit News.
Per the 247Sports Composite, defensive end Aidan Hutchinson is the class' highest-ranked recruit. Hutchinson is a big-framed 6-foot-6, 260-pound Dearborn Divine Child product who starred in January's U.S. Army All-American Bowl. The son of former Michigan defensive lineman Chris Hutchinson, he has great flexibility and motor in that frame. He projects as a strong-side end who can rush the passer as well as play the run, and his combination of size and intangibles should help him compete early in his career.
Best recruiting win
Michigan offered Indianapolis Lawrence Central linebacker Cameron McGrone last summer, which does not seem too late, but at the time, he was already narrowing his list with Notre Dame as the school many believed would land him over Tennessee, Wisconsin and others. Michigan moved up his list extremely fast once it entered the recruitment, got him up on campus, and eventually got his commitment, despite starting in trail position. 247Sports upgraded McGrone to a five-star as a senior.
On the rise
Despite having a father in the NFL, defensive end Taylor Upshaw did not play football until his junior season. Even before he played a real game, schools were lining up for the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Bradenton (Fla.) Braden River’s frame and ability. Michigan received his commitment after he de-committed from Florida late in the fall, and the opportunity to develop his skills under Don Brown and Greg Mattison were a big part of that decision.
Jim Harbaugh traveled up to Essexville (Mich.) Garber just before the Early Signing Period to try to convince their star athlete, Ben VanSumeren, to re-think his Iowa commitment. He was successful, and landed VanSumeren that weekend. Once committed to Iowa as a linebacker, VanSumeren’s speed, strength, and hands made the Wolverines covet him as an H-back, and the depth chart sets up for him to have a chance to compete early there.
Julius Welschoff’s workout videos show a kid 6-foot-6, 240 pounds walking tight ropes and performing athletic tasks usually reserved for much smaller people with gymnastics backgrounds. A native of Germany, Michigan flipped Welschoff from Georgia Tech and get a frame and athleticism that could have him playing beyond college. He will have to adjust to football at the major college level, so we project his biggest impact to come down the line, but his physical tools could speed that up.
Aidan Hutchinson’s father Chris Hutchinson was a captain at Michigan and Aidan has a similar set of intangibles. A hard-working, hard-playing individual, Hutchinson also has measureables, and he had a dominant performance in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Bet on more of that at Michigan along with potentially being a captain like his dad one day.
Walk-on with best chance
Pittsburgh Mount Lebanon’s Jack Young was committed to Columbia when Michigan offered him an opportunity to walk-on, which he accepted. Young is a smooth 6-foot-2, 185-pound athlete who could play wide receiver or safety, but he is a high-end walk-on who has the tools to be a surprise.