National Signing Day 2014 Coverage: Michigan Football Recap

Posted on Posted in Recruiting

Michigan has a nice haul of prospects heading to Ann Arbor this fall. Headlined by Jabrill Peppers and Drake Harris, Michigan has a handful of playmakers to add to their team, and they are more than welcomed.

Get to know each prospect a little better after the jump.

Jabrill Peppers: I had the pleasure to watch Jabrill Peppers live. He is the real deal without question. Pepper’s plays fast, and hard. He’s a DB that has big play ability anytime he touches the football, regardless of where he is located on the field. Whether it be at running back, defensive back, or returning kicks, he is electric when the ball is in his hands. I’m sure Coach Nussmeier and Coach Hoke will find a way to get him in space with the football. 

Player Comparison: Charles Woodson.

Drake Harris: Many people do not realize the talent that Drake Harris possesses. Harris could have been the most decorated player from his state in quite some time, however a hamstring injury prevented him from playing his senior year. Harris, a one time Michigan State commit, has an unbelievable amount of potential, and I think if you compliment him with some other players in this class, he will have a shot to be a Mario Manningham clone. 

Player Comparison: Mario Manningham.

Michael Ferns: Ferns is a linebacker that is a nice addition to the University. He was a great leader in getting this class together and as a player recruiting other players. I’ve seen the tape of Ferns and if believe he has a nice flow to his game. He plays his position well, and I think that he is all in with this program. Ferns is a player who adapts well to situations on the field, and will be a nice fit for Coach Mattison and his defense. 

Player Comparison: Desomond Morgan. 

Ian Bunting: Bunting is an interesting prospect to me. He is a TE but I think he could help as a WR as well. He is fast, he is big and he is physical. Maybe he will be Funchess’s replacement at TE if Funchess moves to WR, but if Devin Funchess remains at TE, Bunting could learn a lot. He will also learn from Jake Butt, a second year TE who shined in moments of his freshman year. If he ends up learning the “ins and outs” of life as a college football player, he can be a nice addition as well. 

Player Comparison: Jake Butt

Freddy Canteen: Canteen is a player that is the most underrated player for the University of Michigan’s recruiting class. He played very well his senior year, and he makes a strong case to see playing time his first year. I really like what he as to offer, and when he gets to campus, he will improve ten-fold. He is a late bloomer, and has his best football ahead of him. 

Player Comparison: Jeremy Gallon

Wilton Speight: A quarterback is absolutely essential to a recruiting class, and the Wolverine’s got their man in Speight. He was a player that was sold to Michigan very early in his recruiting, and he, like Ferns, was a big help in bringing in a lot of the players in the 2014 class. He is a leader, and has a good head on his shoulders. He was named the starting QB for his team during the Under Armor All-American Game. 

Player Comparison: Ben Rothelisberger 

Mason Cole: Let me refrain from being grammatically correct for a moment; Dude can flat out ball. Thank you, back to analysis. Cole is a mammoth of a man and he really has a knack for beating his opposing player off the ball and winning at the point of attack on the OL. He manhandles men and he will do a nice job solidifying the offensive line when he gets to campus. 

Player Comparison: David DeCastro

Noah Furbush: Along with Ferns, Furbush is a player that will improve the LB core tremendously. As of late, Furbush has gain a lot of attention nationally, so it’s nice to see him get some attention. He is going to be playing OLB when he arrives, so he will more than likely learn behind Jake Ryan, if he stays. 

Player Comparison: Jake Ryan

Bryan Mone: Salt Lake City, Utah native Bryan Mone is a large recruit in terms of build. He is 6’4, 315 pounds, a nice starting weight for a young defensive tackle. He will be a player DC Greg Mattison will toy with on the defensive line. I won’t make the Haloti Ngata comparison, they aren’t in the same category, but could potentially get to a similar player at some point in his career. I would say more of a Mike Martin type player. 

Player Comparison: Mike Martin

Lawrence Marshall: Coach Hoke added another pass rusher in the 2014 class. Marshall is disruptive defensive end, and he can contribute heavily to a defensive line that will have high expectations during his career. He will have to improve his hands and gain some weight, but he can hold his own. 

Player Comparison: Justin Tuck

Juwann Bushell-Beatty: Living in New Jersey, I also was able to see Bushell-Beatty play live. He is a player that could possibly still grow, which would be unreal considering he already is 6’7. His football is ahead of him, and he could possibly be on the same line as David Dawson, Kyle Kalis, and Mason Cole further down in his career. That is a nice feeling considering the potential of the group as a core. 

Player Comparison: Michael Oher

Maurice Ways: Ways is a player that will be more of an outside threat than a slot guy. He’s a big receiver that is a nice option for the QB to find on 3rd downs and to move the chains. He has good hands and he could have a nice tenure in Ann Arbor. I compare him to Braylon Edwards, but I mean that more in terms of build and frame. He could end up being compared to Edwards if Speight or Morris use him appropriately, and if he adds a bit more mass to his frame. 

Player Comparison: Braylon Edwards 

Chase Winovich: Winovich is a 3 star prospect out if Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania. He stands at 6’4, 215 pounds, and will only add to that in time. Winovich is one of 4 LB commits in the 2015 class, and he will provide good depth for Michigan. 

Player Comparison: Sean Crable

Jared Wangler: Wangler is the 4th LB on this list. This is something Hoke focused on big time during this recruiting class, and Wangler is a nice addition to the program. Like Winovich, he will provide depth at the LB position. 

Player Comparison: Chase Blackburn

Brandon Watson: Watson is another DB added in this recruiting class, and that was also stressed, much like the linebackers. Michigan was ranked 66th in the nation in Defensive Pass Yards. Letting up 231 yards a game will kill any team, and Watson will have to be a player that helps a DB core that desperately needs reinforcements. 

 Player Comparison: Kyle Wilson

A lot of Michigan fans were up in arms about this class, mainly due to the disappointment of losing out on Da’Shawn Hand and Malik McDowell, but I don’t see why. This recruiting class is a solid group of guys, and they all are very close. They’ve dealt with coaching rumors and losing seasons this year, and they haven’t even stepped on campus. They’ve stuck together and I think that chemistry could be huge for Michigan, and Coach Hoke. Missing out on big time guys in your own backyard stings, but there is nothing to frown about in this class. A lot of these players have potential to be solid football players, and they remind me a lot of Mike Hart and company, and that could pay dividends for Michigan. 
David Mormino
Best in the World at The Big House Report
David Mormino is a 23 year old journalist for Graduate of Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Previously worked for and MLBAM. Podcast Host on WolverineSounds for The Book of Mormino.