By JACK VANASSCHE, Sports Editor and PHILLIP LUTZ, Guest Writer
After last year’s celebrity-studded Signing of the Stars event that welcomed celebrities Ric Flair, Derek Jeter, Tom Brady and Migos, the University of Michigan scaled back their event in its second season to focus on family and the university itself.
The glamor and bravado of last year’s Signing of the Stars was a distant memory on Wednesday, Feb. 1 as Jim Harbaugh and company turned focus to the school, the parents and the people that are touched by the University of Michigan.
Introducing signees and other guests to the stage were women’s gymnastics coach Bev Plocku, volleyball coach Mark Rosen, Olympic hurdlers Jeff and Tiffany Porter and the winningest coach in U-M history, softball coach Carol Hutchens.
Michigan’s recruiting class welcomed in on Wednesday is the best in recent history, coming in with the fifth best class in the country. Only Ohio State has a better recruiting class in the Big Ten with the second best class in the nation.
The most noteworthy recruits welcomed in rounded out all others at the event, with five-star wide receiving prospect Donovan Peoples-Jones of Detroit Cass Tech joining four-star wide receiver Tarik Black on stage with Harbaugh and Edwards.
The Sklar brothers were co-emcees of the event and welcomed guest performances from the university’s marching band, drum line and drumming group, The Groove.
Guests welcomed to the stage were all players or personalities with ties to the university, including former wide receiver Braylon Edwards, current NFL wide out Devin Funchess, 1997 captain and champion Jon Jansen, and recent graduates Jake Rudock and Graham Glasgow of the Detroit Lions.
The closest the event got to a celebrity appearance was a short message on the video board at Crisler Center from the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps.
Overall, the players of the past and future held the floor for much of the two-hour ceremony to discuss the bright future ahead of the team.