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Here are 20 recruits Michigan football is expected to lock up during early signing period this week

College football recruits can sign from Wednesday to Friday this week

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh (Getty Images)
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh (Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – After a quiet first half of December for college football, things are starting to heat up again with bowl games and recruiting news.

The early signing period for recruits will be Wednesday through Friday, and Michigan is expected to sign most of its excellent class during that period.

Jim Harbaugh has secured commitments from 25 scholarship players this recruiting cycle, and 20 of them are expected to become early signees this week, according to 247 Sports. That includes the team's three top-ranked commits and a 11 four-star players.

Here's a look at the 20 players who are expected to sign with Michigan this week.

RB Zach Charbonnet

Recruiting ranking: Four-star, No. 42 overall, No. 3 running back

Michigan's top recruit comes at a major position of need as Karan Higdon moves on to the NFL. Zach Charbonnet has steadily climbed the rankings since committing to Michigan on June 24, and he sits among the top 50 players in the nation.

As an early enrollee, there's a good chance Charbonnet will earn major playing time in 2019, especially following an excellent senior season for Oaks Christian.

DT Chris Hinton

Recruiting ranking: Four-star, No. 49 overall, No. 5 defensive tackle

In the last rankings update that saw Charbonnet rise dramatically, Chris Hinton dropped from the five-star ranks and became a high four-star. He's the top defensive player in the class and the latest Georgia product to spurn the likes of Alabama and Georgia for the Maize and Blue.

Hinton is joining a defensive line that has plenty of talent returning, but after the effort against Ohio State, it's obvious Michigan needs more elite players at the position.

DT Mazi Smith

Recruiting ranking: Four-star, No. 137 overall, No. 9 defensive tackle

One of only two in-state players committed to Michigan this year, Mazi Smith is expected to sign and enroll early over the next few weeks. Smith and Hinton are both top 10 defensive tackles in the class and should boost Michigan's defensive line from the inside.

Smith is from East Kentwood High School and the No. 4 player in the state of Michigan.

OLB Anthony Solomon

Recruiting ranking: Four-star, No. 193 overall, No. 10 outside linebacker

Michigan's most recent commitment came this weekend, when Anthony Solomon flipped from Miami to the Wolverines. Solomon could be the replacement for Khaleke Hudson at viper in 2020 because of his quickness and sound tackling.

Solomon was a major steal for Don Brown and the defensive staff, as they plucked him out of Fort Lauderdale despite scholarship offers from Miami, Florida, Florida State and Central Florida.

CB Jalen Perry

Recruiting ranking: Four-star, No. 194 overall, No. 22 cornerback

Cornerback is the biggest question mark on Michigan's roster at the moment, as it's unclear whether star juniors David Long and Lavert Hill will be back for their senior seasons. Harbaugh has signed seven cornerbacks in the last two classes, specifically focusing on guys with a combination of size and speed.

Jalen Perry is the highest ranked of three cornerbacks in the 2019 class. He has decent size at 6-foot-1, but should be an excellent cover corner in Brown's aggressive scheme. Perry is expected to enroll early, which could help him get in the mix for reps next season should Long and Hill declare for the draft.

QB Cade McNamara

Recruiting ranking: Four-star, No. 275 overall, No. 11 pro-style quarterback

Harbaugh has landed four-star pro-style quarterbacks in each of his Michigan recruiting classes: Zach Gentry in 2015, Brandon Peters in 2016, Dylan McCaffrey in 2017 and Joe Milton in 2018. Cade McNamara continues that trend.

The No. 1 player in Nevada has been committed since March and is expected to join the loaded quarterback room within the next month as an early enrollee. Right now Shea Patterson is the starter, McCaffrey appears to be the heir and Milton is the heir in waiting.

McNamara will fall into line behind Milton by default when he arrives, but the order could be upset if someone performs above or below expectations.

WR Giles Jackson

Recruiting ranking: Four-star, No. 298 overall, No. 43 wide receiver

Giles Jackson has been the spokesperson for the 2019 recruiting class since committing on Sept. 10. Michigan had to beat out half the Pac-12 Conference to lock up the Oakley, California native.

Jackson is the pure speed guy Michigan's offense lacked against Ohio State this season. While teams such as Purdue had success against the Buckeyes on the ground and in the short passing game, Michigan's pro-style attack played right into OSU's hands.

Jackson ran a 4.43-second 40-meter dash at The Opening Finals and has surpassed 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in high school. He will be a dangerous offensive weapon for Harbaugh, who loves to capitalize on versatility.

SDE David Ojabo

Recruiting ranking: Four-star, No. 312 overall, No. 22 strong-side defensive end

David Ojabo completes a trio of four-star defensive line commits in Michigan's class and continue the New Jersey to Ann Arbor pipeline.

Ojabo was primarily a basketball player before getting into football as a junior in high school. His potential yielded scholarship offers from many of the top programs in the country, including Notre Dame, Ohio State, Clemson and Penn State.

OG Karsen Barnhart

Recruiting ranking: Four-star, No. 344 overall, No. 20 offensive guard

Michigan's top three offensive line commits -- Nolan Rumler, Trevor Keegan and Trente Jones -- aren't expected to sign during the early signing period, so Karsen Barnhart will be the only four-star offensive lineman to officially join the Wolverines this week.

Barnhart is the No. 9 player from Michigan out of Paw Paw, which is west of Kalamazoo. Both of Michigan's starting guards -- Ben Bredeson and Michael Onwenu -- will play their final season in 2019, so Barnhart joins a position with an opportunity for early playing time.

TE Erick All

Recruiting ranking: Four-star, No. 352 overall, No. 13 tight end

Harbaugh has recruited a ridiculous number of tight ends over the last few years, so All is the only representative from the 2019 class. He's 6-foot-4 and will benefit from enrolling early and getting eight months of workouts before his true freshman season.

There will be plenty of competition for All if he wants to see the field in his first two years, as Nick Eubanks, Mustapha Muhammad and Luke Schoonmaker will all be upperclassmen in 2020.

S Quinten Johnson

Recruiting ranking: Four-star, No. 371 overall, No. 29 safety

The No. 1 safety in the country decommitted from the Wolverines last weekend, a major gut punch for a team that sorely needs help at the position. Quinten Johnson will be the top-ranked safety to sign with Michigan this week.

Johnson is known for his speed more than his size, and Michigan had to beat out the likes of Alabama and Penn State to secure his commitment. He's the last of Michigan's current four-star commits.

SDE Mike Morris

Recruiting ranking: Three-star, No. 390 overall, No. 29 strong-side defensive end

Michigan's highest-ranked three-star recruit is defensive end Mike Morris, who also chose the Wolverines over in-state schools Florida State, Florida, Miami and Central Florida and current playoff teams Clemson and Oklahoma.

Brown needed to reload on pass rushers this year because many of his top options will be gone after the 2019 season. Morris is one of the players who will address that need.

CB D.J. Turner II

Recruiting ranking: Three-star, No. 410 overall, No. 41 cornerback

He might only be a three-star recruit, but D.J. Turner was one of the most coveted players in the state of Florida. He had scholarship offers from all four current playoff teams, as well as Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Penn State, Stanford and Wisconsin.

Turner is a 6-foot cornerback out of IMG Academy who will compete with Perry and Johnson to be the No. 1 secondary player in the class.

ILB Charles Thomas

Recruiting ranking: Three-star, No. 438 overall, No. 24 inside linebacker

Michigan has recruited more talented outside linebackers than inside linebackers the last two years, so Charles Thomas will be in the mix for playing time early in his career.

Thomas is Michigan's fourth player from Georgia in this recruiting class. Brown would love to see him become a Devin Bush-type linebacker, but he might not have quite as much speed.

OG Zach Carpenter

Recruiting ranking: Three-star, No. 546 overall, No. 32 offensive guard

Michigan offensive line coach Ed Warinner is getting a deep crop of talent to work with in the 2019 recruiting class. Zach Carpenter is the third of three offensive guards committed to the Wolverines this year, and he had offers from the likes of Clemson, Nebraska, Michigan State and Oregon.

Carpenter committed to Michigan on May 30 and stayed committed through an unofficial visit to Clemson. The Cincinnati native is 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds as a high school senior.

OT Jack Stewart

Recruiting ranking: Three-star, No. 560 overall, No. 43 offensive tackle

Michigan's six-man offensive line class rounds out with Jack Stewart, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound tackle from Connecticut. The Wolverines were one of a handful of major offers for Stewart, including Auburn, Wisconsin and Texas A&M.

The offensive line has been a weakness for Michigan over the last 10 years, but it took a huge step forward under Warinner in 2018. It's no coincidence this was Michigan's best offensive season under Harbaugh, so this loaded offensive line class shows what a priority the position is for the coaches.

CB Mike Sainristil

Recruiting ranking: Three-star, No. 705 overall, No. 64 cornerback

The commitment of Mike Sainristil flew under the radar last month, but the Michigan coaching staff made him a priority even after he committed to Virginia Tech in February.

Sainristil is the No. 1 player from Massachusetts and most of his scholarship offers came from schools along the East Coast. He's a bit undersized at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, but Michigan likes his speed and athleticism.

The Wolverines have had success recruiting the No. 1 player out of lesser-targeted states, including Kwity Paye, who was the No. 1 player from Rhode Island; Tarik Black, from Connecticut; and Oliver Martin, from Iowa, all in 2017.

WDE Gabe Newburg

Recruiting ranking: Three-star, No. 742 overall, No. 49 weak-side defensive end

Gabe Newburg is the only weak-side defensive end in this recruiting class, and he chose Michigan over a handful of Big Ten and Mid-American Conference schools.

The Clayton, Ohio, native has been committed to Michigan since April.

ATH George Johnson III

Recruiting ranking: Three-star, No. 848 overall, No. 57 athlete

Every recruiting class has athletes who are recruited above their ranking, and George Johnson is an example of that trend. He's outside the top 800 players in the country but had offers from Michigan, Florida State, Georgia, Nebraska and Oregon.

Johnson is a dual-threat quarterback in high school, but since Michigan has a loaded quarterback room and Harbaugh loves to move versatile players, he'll likely end up elsewhere for the Wolverines.

S Joey Velazquez

Recruiting ranking: Three-star, No. 1,016 overall, No. 85 safety

Joey Velazquez committed to Michigan during the summer and is the lowest-ranked player in the 2018 class. He's the type of player Harbaugh identified as a good fit and took a chance on, and it will be interesting to see if he carves out a role on the team.

Velazquez had offers from Indiana, Cincinnati and Kent State. He's from the heart of Ohio State country: Columbus, Ohio.


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