The University of Michigan football team is known as the winningest program in all of college sports with 944 program wins under its belt and they do not look to be slowing down under coach Jim Harbaugh.
The Wolverines and their devout fans were devastated last season after losing to the Buckeyes (62-39)in unimpressive fashion and then being man-handled by the Gators (41-15) in the Peach Bowl. Their 10-3 record was still good for second in the stacked Big Ten Eastern Division but it still did not live up to the wants and needs of the players, coaches, or die-hard fans that pack the Big House every year.
Harbaugh and his fellow coaches responded to the upheaval of the losses and went out and brought in a group of young men that will lead this team for many years in the future.
It started at the early signing period in December as 25 of the most physical and speedy high schoolers signed their letters of intent to play for the Wolverines in 2019.
The highest ranked players were Daxton Hill and Chris Hinton. They were both five star players and will be the headliners of this class. Hinton has been a longtime commit but Hill wavered right before the early signing day and was brought back into the fold days before signing his letter of intent.
Daxton Hill is a versatile player with speed at either the safety or cornerback position. He also has expressed interest to play on offense as well. Hiss is listed as the No. 14 recruit in the 2019 class and the No. 1 safety.
Chris Hinton is a defensive tackle with an incredible motor and has been a driving force to recruit for the Wolverines. He is ranked No. 31 in the country and No. 4 at his position. He will be a leader on the field and will be fun to watch for many years to come.
Zach Charbonnet is a four star running back and the No. 46 player in the country. In his four year high school career at Oaks Christian High School he had 577 carries that resulted in 4741 yards and 62 total touchdowns. He is an early enrollee and looks to make an immediate impact for a starting spot after Karan Higdon left for the NFL. Charbonnet is one of the highest moving Wolverine recruit that has a great chance of seeing significant role in 2019 on the field.
Mazi Smith is a four star defensive tackle from East Kentwood High School in Kentwood, MI. He is ranked No. 105 nationally and No. 11 at his position. Smith is an early enrollee and will get a leg up on some of his fellow commits because of his extra time with the team.
Trente Jones is a four star offensive tackle/defensive end who played at Grayson High School in Loganville, GA. He is ranked nationally No. 108 and 11th at his position. Jones played in 10 games in 2018 making 69 pancake blocks and caught a pass for 10 yards.
Nolan Rumler is the No. 174 ranked player in the 2019 class and is 10th at his position of offensive guard. Rumler played in every game of his high school career at Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, OH.
Cornelius Johnson is the highest ranked wide receiver in the Wolverines 2019 recruiting class. He is ranked No. 175 nationally and is 26th at his position. Johnson played in 31 games for Brunswick High School in Greenwich, CT. where he ran for 104 rushing yards and 1934 receiving yards. He also had 131 kick return yards, 56 punt return yards, and 29 total touchdowns. Johnson is a versatile player and has a huge upside for the Wolverines.
Offensive tackle Trevor Keegan ranks at No. 176 nationally and 16th at his position. Keegan is also the No. 1 player from Illinois. He also started in 39 games for Crystal Lake South High School in Crystal Lake, IL.
Jalen Perry is a dual threat athlete who played both sides of the ball for Dacula High School in Dacula, GA. Perry ranks No. 200 nationally and 23rd at his position of cornerback. In high school, Perry 78 tackles, 27 pass breakups, 2079 all-purpose yards on offense, and 17 touchdowns. He is also an All-Scholar athlete during his high school career. Perry has a leg up on his fellow recruits as he is an early enrollee and will go through off-season conditioning with the team.
Anthony Solomon is an outside linebacker who ranks No. 223 and 14th at his position from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Solomon made 140 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and five sacks. He will come in and compete for one of the linebacker spots with the loss of Devin Bush to the NFL.
Karsen Barnhart is a four star offensive guard out of Paw Paw High School in Paw Paw, MI. He ranks No. 266 nationally and 16th at his position. Barnhart caught 17 passes in high school for a total of 209 yards and three touchdowns. He comes in listed as an offensive guard but could easily be moved to tight end with his 6’5” 277 pound frame. Could be a multi-use player for Harbaugh on offense.
Cade McNamara is a great pick up for the Wolverines as he is a four star pro style quarterback ranked at No. 268 nationally and 7th at his position. He was also the No. 1 player from Nevada where he played at Damonte Ranch High School in Reno, NV. McNamara was a four-year starter at quarterback and put up huge numbers including throwing for 12,804 yards and 146 career touchdowns. He will get right to work as an early enrollee and learn the Wolverine offense.
Giles Jackson comes in ranked No. 302 according to the Michigan Insider and 41st at his position. Jackson attended Freedom High School in Oakley, CA. He was a dual threat guy in high school as he worked both at running back and wide receiver. He rushed for 1,817 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also caught the ball for 2,420 yards and 31 touchdowns. Jackson gives the Wolverines another option for their thin running back group or a sure handed receiver.
David Ojabo comes from Aberdeen, Scotland (born in Nigeria) but played high school at Blair Academy High School in Blairstown, NJ. He is a four star defensive lineman listed as a strong side defensive end. He ranks No. 313 and 13th at his position. Ojabo had 68 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles in his only two years playing football. He also won the 2018 prep state title in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.93 seconds according to mgoblue.com. He is also an early enrollee in the university.
Quinten Johnson is a longtime Wolverine commit that signed his letter of intent February 6th. He is a four star athlete/safety that ranks No. 316 nationally and 27th at his position. He is from St. John’s College High School from Washington D.C.
Erick All is a four star tight end out of Fairfield High School in Fairfield, OH. He comes in ranked No. 346 nationally and 13th at his position. All made 73 receptions in high school for 1,049 yards and seven touchdowns.
Mike Morris is a four star strong side defensive end out of American Heritage High School in Belle Blade, FL. He comes in ranked No. 395 nationally and 27th at his position. Morris had 173 tackles, 56 tackles for loss, and 22 sacks. He will need to step up to fill the voids left by Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich.
DJ Turner II is a three star cornerback out of IMG Academy High School in Bradenton, FL. He is ranked at No. 399 nationally and 40th at his position according to the Michigan Insider. Turner had 95 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and four interceptions including one for a 100 yard return for a touchdown.
Zach Carpenter is a three star offensive guard from Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, OH. He comes in ranked at No. 554 nationally and 33rd at his position. He was part of an offensive line that combined for 2,300 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. Carpenter also made three tackles and half a sack on defense in his limited snaps on defense.
Jack Stewart is a three star offensive lineman who comes in ranked No. 575 nationally and 44th at his position. He was apart of an offense that put up over 4,500 yards of offense his senior season and also made 31 tackles, five sacks, and a fumble recovery on defense. Stewart played at New Canaan High School in New Canaan, CT. Stewart will be another versatile option for the Wolverines being able to play both sides of the ball. He could see time on the defensive line.
Mike Sainristil is a three star cornerback from Everett High School in Everett, MA. that comes in ranked at No. 597 overall and 59th at his position. He was also the 2018-19 Gatorade Player-of-the-Year for Massachusetts. Sainristil played both sides of the ball as he went for 1,740 receiving yards and 28 receiving touchdowns. He also ran the ball for 56 yards and 11 touchdowns. Sainristil made four defensive touchdowns, two special team scores, 10 interceptions, and 33 tackles. He will be a welcome addition to the defensive backfield of the Wolverines with the possible loss of David Long. Sainristil is an early enrollee.
Gabe Newburg is the No. 774 player nationally and 51st as a weak side defensive end who played at Northmont High School in Clayton, OH. He made 150 tackles, 32.5 tackles for loss, and 18.5 sacks. He also forced two fumbles and recovered three fumbles. Newburg returned a fumble for a touchdown. Newburg is the all-time leader in sacks for Northmont. He is also an early enrollee.
George Johnson III is a three star athlete ranked at No. 881 nationally and 60th at his position. He is listed on mgoblue.com as a wide receiver. He attended Martin County High School in Stuart, FL. Johnson played quarterback in high school as he threw for 4,034 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also ran for 1,594 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. Johnson caught 64 passes for 1,339 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns.
Quintel Kent is a three star wide receiver out of St. Edward high School in Lakewood, OH. and is ranked nationally at No. 960 and 117th at his position. He caught 110 passes for 1,628 yards and 17 touchdowns. He will help out with depth for the Wolverines.
Joey Velazquez is listed as a three star athlete out of St. Francis De Sales High School in Columbus, OH. He was the first recruit to get his letter of intent in on the first signing day in December. Mgoblue.com has him listed as an athlete but will most likely play at the safety position. He made 151 tackles, 10 pass breakups, seven forced fumbles and two interceptions. Velazquez also made strides on offense as he carried the ball 160 times for 1,173 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was also a threat at wide receiver as he caught 14 passes for a 103 yards. He had a total of 20 touchdowns on offense. Velazquez is also a committed member of the University of Michigan baseball team. He will be a threat all over the field for Harbaugh and is versatile enough to play anywhere.
The Wolverines have also added some players as preferred walk-on players.
Ricardo Macon Jr. has experience as a quarterback and running back.
Evan Brunning is from Oxford High School in Oxford, MI. He played at offensive tackle, defensive tackle, and defensive end for the Wildcats. He made 25 tackles including 11 for loss, an interception and a forced fumble.
Mathew Harrison from Ortonville Brandon High School in Ortonville, MI. He completed 53 passes for 1,340 yards and 12 touchdowns as a quarterback. Harrison also ran the ball 52 times for 230 yards and five touchdowns. Harrison also has experience as a safety.
Karl Kerska the No. 1 kicker in the country out of Dexter High School in Dexter, MI. He ranks No. 22 in the 2019 recruiting class among all kickers. Kerska is ranked as a 4.5 star kicker and is the NO. 35 punter in the 2019 class. He comes into a crowded Michigan kicking room with three other kickers already on the team.
William Wagner a five star long snapper that ranks at No. 14 nationally at his position. According to WolverinesWire.com, Wagner has very high academics and had previous offers from Brown University and Mercer University.
Ren Hefley is a dual threat quarterback out of Bryant High School in Bryant, AR. He played in 19 games in his high school career completing 150 passes for 2,049 yards and 22 touchdowns. Hefley also had 34 carries for 70 yards and two touchdowns. He caught 13 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns. He gives the Wolverines depth at several positions.
Tommy Friberg played at State College High School in State College, PA. Was 22-5 as the quarterback for the football team. He is a multi-sport athlete and has a 4.0 GPA.
Caden Kolesar is a safety from Saint Edward High School in Lakewood, OH. He is a safety that tested at 4.09 on the 20-yard dash. He is not ranked nationally but could be a good player for the Wolverines.
Mica Gelb is an offensive lineman from Wilson High School in Washington D.C.
The 2019 recruiting season is now in the books and the Wolverines finished at No. 8 nationally. This class seems one of the fastest and biggest for a Harbaugh team. This is also the first time in nearly a decade that they sit atop the Big Ten rankings.
What these young men do in the future will really be the true test of this classes merit and how good they really are. We will see together starting with the Spring Game and then the Middle Tennessee State on August 31.