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25 players on Michigan football roster who got scholarship offers from Minnesota

Several Michigan starters were also recruited by P.J. Fleck

Cam McGrone, Chris Evans, Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield all received scholarship offers from Minnesota before enrolling at Michigan.
Cam McGrone, Chris Evans, Ryan Hayes and Jalen Mayfield all received scholarship offers from Minnesota before enrolling at Michigan. (Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – There are 25 players on the Michigan football roster who received scholarship offers from Minnesota during their recruiting processes. But which of those players will get a chance to play against the Golden Gophers this weekend?

Since P.J. Fleck took over as Minnesota’s head coach in 2017, he’s locked up the No. 38, No. 45 and No. 38 ranked recruiting classes. So far, Minnesota ranks No. 26 in the 2021 cycle.

During that span, Michigan and Minnesota have offered dozens of overlapping players. For example, Michigan offered Gophers cornerback Miles Fleming a scholarship last cycle, according to 247 Sports.

In today’s college football landscape, a scholarship offer doesn’t necessarily mean a school invested a lot of time and resources into a player’s recruitment. Fleck might have offered some of these players without much hope of them ending up at Minnesota.

Michigan football vs. Minnesota: Which team lost more talent from last year?

Either way, more than two dozen current Wolverines chose Michigan over Minnesota, according to 247 Sports player pages. Here’s a look at how likely they are to see the field when the teams meet Saturday night in Minneapolis.

NOTES: Scholarship offer and recruiting rank information gathered from 247 Sports. Each player’s likelihood rating is contingent on that player being healthy and available for the game.

TE Erick All

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 346 overall in 2019, No. 13 TE, No. 10 in Ohio

Likelihood to play Saturday: Guarantee

Michigan doesn’t use tight ends as much as it used to now that Josh Gattis has taken over as offensive coordinator, but All appeared in 11 games as a true freshman last season and figures to be up with Nick Eubanks atop the depth chart.

OL Karsen Barnhart

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 266 overall in 2019, No. 16 OG, No. 7 in Michigan

Likelihood to play Saturday: Very likely

When Jim Harbaugh revealed the starters on the offensive line earlier this week, he said he considers Barnhart a sixth starter. Barnhart isn’t likely to get as many reps as the other starters, but it sounds like he’ll be part of the game plan in some way, even if it’s just on special teams or as part of the O-line rotation.

OL Zach Carpenter

Recruiting profile: 3-star, No. 554 in 2019, No. 33 OG, No. 20 in Ohio

Likelihood to play Saturday: Likely

By all accounts, Carpenter was expected to be right there with Andrew Vastardis in the battle for Michigan’s starting center job, but an injury that caused him to miss some time gave Vastardis a leg up. Warinner said this week that Carpenter has been getting some run with the starters, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in the game at some point on offense or special teams.

RB Chris Evans

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 338 in 2016, No. 9 APB, No. 4 in Indiana

Likelihood to play Saturday: Guarantee

Even though he missed 2019 due to university-related issues, Evans will be right back in the mix at running back this season. He’ll have to share carries with Zach Charbonnet, Hassan Haskins and freshman Blake Corum, but Evans is a perfect fit for the Gattis offense, so he won’t be parked on the bench.

DL Jaylen Harrell

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 294 in 2020, No. 14 WDE, No. 49 in Florida

Likelihood to play Saturday: Not likely

Michigan will definitely play some of its true freshmen this weekend, but Harrell probably won’t be one of them. He’s working toward a spot on the defensive line or at the SAM linebacker position, and Michigan has some depth at those spots.

LT Ryan Hayes

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 335 in 2018, No. 23 OT, No. 5 in Michigan

Likelihood to play Saturday: Guarantee

Hayes is Michigan’s starting left tackle, so he’ll be on the field for every offensive play Saturday as long as he’s healthy. It’s his first year as an official starter, but he filled in at left tackle when Jon Runyan Jr. was banged up last season.

WR A.J. Henning

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 102 in 2020, No. 18 WR, No. 2 in Illinois

Likelihood to play Saturday: Very likely

Other than Ronnie Bell, none of Michigan’s wide receivers are proven at the college level. Henning is a true freshman, but he’ll likely see the field in some capacity Saturday. Gattis isn’t shy about using his versatile weapons, especially when they have Henning’s speed.

LB Nikhai Hill-Green

Recruiting profile: 3-star, No. 393 in 2020, No. 25 OLB, No. 17 in Maryland

Likelihood to play Saturday: Possible

Hill-Green is the type of player who would probably only see the field in four games of a regular season so Michigan could preserve a redshirt. But since 2020 isn’t counting against eligibility, Hill-Green could very well get into the game as a reserve linebacker or on special teams, since he was reportedly battling for playing time during fall camp.

DE Aidan Hutchinson

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 112 in 2018, No. 6 SDE, No. 1 in Michigan

Likelihood to play Saturday: Guarantee

Maybe the favorite to be Michigan’s MVP this season, Hutchinson has been a beast on the defensive line his first two years in the Maize and Blue. Coaches said he’s gotten even better this offseason.

OL Trevor Keegan

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 176 in 2019, No. 16 OT, No. 1 in Illinois

Likelihood to play Saturday: Likely

This is a very similar situation to Carpenter’s. Warinner said Keegan has been mixing in with the starters at practice, so he has a chance to see the field at some point.

RT Jalen Mayfield

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 268 in 2018, No. 16 OT, No. 4 in Michigan

Likelihood to play Saturday: Guarantee

Mayfield didn’t opt back into the 2020 season to sit on the bench. He’ll be Michigan’s only returning O-line starter and work opposite Hayes on the right side.

DL Braiden McGregor

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 123 in 2020, No. 5 SDE, No. 2 in Michigan

Likelihood to play Saturday: Not likely

If it wasn’t for an injury that erased most of his senior season, McGregor would have been the highest ranked recruit in the team’s 2020 class and a definite contributor this season. But it’s hard to know what to expect from him after missing so much time, and Michigan has plenty of options ahead of him at defensive end if he’s still recovering.

LB Cam McGrone

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 118 in 2018, No. 7 OLB, No. 2 in Indiana

Likelihood to play Saturday: Guarantee

One of the best linebackers in the country, McGrone will be cemented in the middle of Michigan’s defense all season, as long as he stays healthy. His ability to replace the injured Josh Ross rescued Michigan’s defense in 2019.

QB Joe Milton

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 204 in 2018, No. 9 PRO, No. 35 in Florida

Likelihood to play Saturday: Guarantee

Harbaugh can talk about the competition between Milton and Cade McNamara all he wants, but everyone knows who the starter will be when the offense trots onto the field Saturday. Milton waited two years, and now he has a chance to show what he can do at the helm.

S R.J. Moten

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 256 in 2020, No. 26 S, No. 7 in New Jersey

Likelihood to play Saturday: Possible

Michigan has no reason to hold back young players since everyone essentially gets a free redshirt for 2020. Moten is a fast, athletic freshman who could help on defense or special teams.

LB David Ojabo

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 314 in 2019, No. 19 SDE, No. 7 in New Jersey

Likelihood to play Saturday: Possible

Ojabo hadn’t played much football when he got to Michigan, and he’s still behind Ben VanSumeren at SAM linebacker. But he didn’t see game action as a true freshman and 2020 is an opportunity to gets his feet wet. Look for him to get in on special teams or if Brown uses a deep pass rushing rotation.

DL Phillip Paea

Recruiting profile: 3-star, No. 459 in 2017, No. 38 DT, No. 13 in Michigan

Likelihood to play Saturday: Possible

When Paea got to Michigan, he was moved to the offensive line and appeared in two games as a sophomore. Now he’s back on defense, but it’s unclear how he fits into the mix. He didn’t see the field in 2019, so we’ll have to wait and see what his role is this season.

S Makari Paige

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 245 in 2020, No. 25 S, No. 6 in Michigan

Likelihood to play Saturday: Likely

The West Bloomfield High School graduate was reportedly in the mix for a starting spot at safety when Michigan was mulling a move to cornerback for Daxton Hill, but now he’ll be one of the primary backups. Whether he gets in on defense or not, Paige should at least contribute on special teams.

OL Nolan Rumler

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 174 in 2019, No. 10 OG, No. 5 in Ohio

Likelihood to play Saturday: Not likely

Rumler isn’t one of the redshirt freshman O-linemen coaches are talking about this offseason, but that doesn’t guarantee he won’t see the field. He was right behind Trente Jones for the highest-ranked lineman in the 2019 class, but there isn’t a clear path to playing time for him right now.

DT Mazi Smith

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 105 in 2019, No. 11 DT, No. 4 in Michigan

Likelihood to play Saturday: Very Likely

Michigan could really use a lift from Smith and Chris Hinton at the defensive tackle spot this season. It was the team’s weakest position in 2019, and both players were highly ranked members of the 2019 recruiting class. Smith figures to at least be part of the rotation after appearing in a couple of games late last year.

RB Christian Turner

Recruiting profile: 3-star, No. 508 in 2018, No. 22 RB , No. 54 in Georgia

Likelihood to play Saturday: Not likely

Even though he carried the ball 44 times last season, Turner probably won’t be much of a factor for the Wolverines this year. Not only did he miss some time during a temporary opt-out, but he also has to contend with Evans and Corum in addition to Charbonnet and Haskins.

CB D.J. Turner

Recruiting profile: 3-star, No. 400 in 2019, No. 40 CB, No. 49 in Florida

Likelihood to play Saturday: Near guarantee

Harbaugh named four players who are still in the mix for the No. 2 cornerback spot behind Vincent Gray, and D.J. Turner is one of them. Even if he doesn’t win the job, he’s almost a guarantee to rotate into the secondary at some point.

DL Julius Welschof

Recruiting profile: 3-star, No. 645 in 2018, No. 50 SDE, No. 1 in Germany

Likelihood to play Saturday: Likely

The Michigan coaching staff was excited about landing Welschof out of Germany, even though he figured to be a bit of a project. After two seasons in the system, he’s one of the players in the rotation as a backup defensive lineman. Look for him to play in some capacity.

DL Luiji Vilain

Recruiting profile: 4-star, No. 57 in 2017, No. 5 WDE, No. 3 in Virginia

Likelihood to play Saturday: Very likely

Vilain’s college career has been a story of bad luck so far, as injuries derailed his first two seasons on campus. He was finally healthy last year and played in seven games, but never quite got fully into the mix. This season, he should have opportunities to prove himself as a rotational defensive lineman.

LB Cornell Wheeler

Recruiting profile: 3-star, No. 471 in 2020, No. 22 ILB, No. 15 in Michigan

Likelihood to play Saturday: Possible

Like Paige, his West Bloomfield teammate, Wheeler has a chance to get in on the action his very first college game. He won’t be a starting linebacker, but coaches said he’s ready to contribute early. We’ll see if that’s on defense or special teams.


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