Michigan Football Recruiting: Recapping Early Signing Day Developments

Jadyn Davis Off Season
Jadyn Davis Off Season / Aubrey Lao/GettyImages

Early signing day was relatively quiet for Michigan football, but also positive. The Wovlerines picked up two important commitments on the day in four star EDGE Lugard Edokpayi, whom 247 Sports ranks as the 169th best player in the nation, and Maryland linebacker transfer Jaishawn Barham.

Barham was seen as a big loss for Maryland, and was a leader on the defense. As a recruit in 2022, Barham was ranked as the 130th best player in the nation. With Michael Barrett set to leave and Junior Colson possibly joining him, Barham is going to be an instant impact player next season.

Diving a bit deeper into Lugard Edokpayi, he's someone I'm extremely excited about. He was virtually unheard of before his senior season, and is the true definition of a senior riser. Lugard is unlikely to make an instant impact at Michigan, but has the potential to be a superstar down the line.

At 6'6, 230lbs, he's likely going to have to put on close to 50 pounds before he's able to make an impact, but there's nobody in the nation I trust more than Ben Herbert and Michigan's staff to help Lugard reach his ceiling. When it's all said and done, this kid has true first round pick potential. You just can't teach size.

Early Signing Day around the Big Ten

Around the Big Ten, it was a relatively quiet day. Ohio State had an okay day that could have been downright horrendous. Early in the morning, the Buckeyes lost top 50 wide receiver Jeremiah McClellan to future Big Ten school Oregon. Following that, there were rumors that the number one player in the nation, wide receiver Jeremiah Smith, would flip from the Buckeyes. Along with that, there were actual predictions made for five star defensive lineman Eddrick Houston to flip to Alabama.

Both of those (unfortunately) didn't happen. Michigan football hasn't had any drama in their class, and it seems that most recruits are going to be signed by the end of the day. Honestly, while Michigan's class is ranked 16th in the nation and Ohio State's is third, I like Michigan's class more. The Buckeyes have elite receivers and a great quarterback, but they're still not building depth where they've gotten beat recently.

The Buckeyes have one linebacker commit and two defensive line commits. That's not going to cut it against a Michigan football program that has been the more phyiscal team for the past three seasons. The Wolverines have a great group of kids - some VERY underrated - and addressed the trenches extensively.

While it is very underwhelming for a Michigan team that has made the playoffs three years in a row to have the 16th ranked recruiting class, all is not over yet. There's going to be plenty of drama, as there always is, and some schools will move down in the rankings. Along with that, Michigan leads for the top uncommitted recruit in Gatlin Bair, and a commitment from him would propel the Wolverines near the top 10.

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All in all, if the Wolverines are able to land Gatlin Bair and possibly another kid or two, they're going to be right around the top 10, and hopefully inside of it. While we all hoped for a top 5 class, 2024 is definitely an improvement from 2023. Hopefully the trend will continue, but for now, all Michigan can do to help its case is keep winning. A win against Alabama and more importantly a national title would allow Michigan to reach greater heights. Go Blue, beat Bama!