This weekend netted Michigan six new commitments in their 2019 class. That group included several highly ranked players, players at positions of need, and prospects Wolverine fans long had been waiting for to join the class.
There was particular excitement over the addition of running back Zach Charbonnet from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian. Charbonnet had largely stayed out of the recruiting spotlight. He did very few interviews, attended no camps, and thus, of all the commitments over the weekend, his might have come as the biggest surprise. His film, which shows his agility and ability to break tackes in a 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame, had fans even more excited about the addition.
The Michigan Insider’s Steve Lorenz said he believes Charbonnet is the best running back prospect the Wolverines have recruited under Jim Harbaugh.
“Charbonnet is a huge pickup for Michigan for a lot of reasons,” 247Sports’ West Coast analyst Greg Biggins said. “For starters, he’s a big-time talent and looks like a top-five back nationally, and is definitely in line for a big rankings bump the next time rankings are updated.”
Oaks Christian is a perennial power which always has a roster full of talent.
Charbonnet had gotten his feet wet on the varsity as a freshman, but was not a known quantity outside of the school going into his sophomore year. Teammate Mycah Pittman was already on the recruiting radar as were several other offensive standouts, but in one of the first games of the season, against an outstanding Murrieta Valley team, Charbonnet broke out with six touchdowns and 169 yards.
That game helped propel him onto the radar.
At that time, he listed USC, UCLA, Oregon and other West Coast programs as ones he had interest in and from. Michigan was able to change that through diligent recruiting. They had him up on an unofficial visit earlier this year and then this weekend’s official visit sealed the deal.
“He did take unofficial visits to Michigan and Washington earlier in the year and raved about his time in Ann Arbor,” Biggins said. “Locally, both UCLA and USC were involved as well, but we got the sense Charbonnet favored the out-of-town schools, and the Wolverines were able to seal the deal after another great visit to campus.”
Charbonnet would finish his sophomore season with 844 yards and 23 touchdowns. Last season, he saw more of the offensive load and rushed for 2,049 yards and 23 touchdowns on 265 carries. Also an excellent receiver, he caught 27 passes.
He is ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the No. 15 running back in the country and is rated a four-star prospect.
Michigan now enters the recruiting dead period with 16 commitments and the No. 1 class in the Big Ten, according to the 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Rankings.
The official visit weekend was a massive success, but several players left campus without committing, so the Wolverines will continue to work on them.
Among them are offensive tackle Trevor Keegan, defensive end Zach Harrison, safeties Lewis Cine and Quinten Johnson, running back/slot Wandale Robinson, running back Eric Gray, and all-purpose back Giles Jackson.
That does not include a number of other targets who already have been to campus or could still take official visits this fall.
During the dead period, the coaches are not allowed to have recruits on campus or go visit see them at schools, practices or other events. Written and electronic communication is still allowed. This dead period will go until July 24, then a quiet period will begin where recruits can visit college campuses, but the college coaches may not go to high schools.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. 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 detroitnews.com.