The 2014 Michigan football recruiting class will soon be setting foot on campus in Ann Arbor. While it was a small haul this time around (only 16 players), there is no doubt that the Wolverines brought in a group that not only will provide solid depth for both now and the future, but it is also one that has guys who can make an immediate impact on this team.
Follow us through the jump to see where we ranked the members of the 2014 class.
1. Jabrill Peppers, Cornerback, 6-1, 210 lbs, Paramus, NJ (Five-star)
Peppers is the prize of this recruiting class and quite possibly the most physically gifted player that Brady Hoke and staff has ever brought in. He is rated as the top cornerback in the class and third-best player overall, according to the 247 Sports Composite. Peppers has the ability to play on both sides of the ball, but projects as a college corner, where he should make an immediate impact this season, likely playing in nickel and dime coverage packages. The Wolverines have a Swiss Army Knife here that they can use wherever they please, and he looks to be primed to make a splash in his freshman year.
2. Bryan Mone, Defensive Tackle, 6-4, 315 lbs, Salt Lake City, UT (Four-star)
Mone comes in and will join a position group that does have some depth there, but he may have the highest upside of any defensive tackle on the roster. Often times, it’s tough for a freshman lineman to see the field, but Mone boasts both the power and athleticism to become a force on the defensive line down the road, and his skill set will make it tough for coaches to keep him off the field.
3. Freddy Canteen, Wide Receiver, 6-1, 170 lbs, Elkton, MD (Four-star)
An early enrollee, Canteen made noise early this offseason when he stated that he planned on getting a ton of playing time this fall. Well, he went out and backed it up during spring practices and had a good showing throughout. He looks to be at the very least be a third/fourth receiving option as of now, with the possibility for more. He is a speedy guy who can move the chains in the slot and also has the ability to go over the top of a defense.
4. Mason Cole, Offensive Tackle, 6-5, 275 lbs, Tarpon Springs, FL (Four-star)
Cole is a player that has a chance to factor into a starting spot right out of the gate this year. He was an early enrollee and received reps at left tackle throughout camp and in the spring game. He will be a good player on the offensive line in time, but whether or not he gets many reps with the current group they have remains to be seen.
5. Michael Ferns, Linebacker, 6-3, 235 lbs, Saint Clairsville, OH (Four-star)
Ferns has the ability to be one of the leaders in this position group in time. He was instrumental in getting the attention of many of the guys during the recruiting process, and it appears he has the intangibles that teams like in their players. The linebacker rotation is pretty deep this year, so it will be a battle for him to receive playing time right out of the gate, but he is a great prospect at this position. He had 144 tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles in his high school senior season.
6. Drake Harris, Wide Receiver, 6-4, 180 lbs, Grand Rapids, MI (Four-star)
Harris is one of the more intriguing players in this recruiting class. The one-time Michigan State commit decided to join the Wolverines after determining he did not want to play both football and basketball at the next level. He was hampered by a hamstring injury in his senior season, but still had 136 career receptions for 2,996 yards and 33 touchdowns in his high school career. He was an early enrollee, but was again held back by injury. He may be the player with the most upside at this position in the class, but his impact this season is to be determined.
7. Lawrence Marshall, Defensive End, 6-4, 230 lbs, Southfield, MI (Four-star)
Marshall was thought of as a near lock to end up at Michigan State prior to his commitment to the Wolverines, but he was able to shock everyone when he chose to play in Ann Arbor. He is the fourth-ranked player in the state of Michigan and the 10th best weakside defensive end in the country. His athleticism and knack for getting in the backfield often will make him a very good player down the road for the Wolverines.
8. Chase Winovich, Linebacker, 6-3, 216 lbs, Clairton, PA (Four-star)
Winovich has the skill set and mentality to be a force at the linebacker spot in time for the Wolverines, and with the depth they have at the position, they can afford to be patient with him and allow him to bulk up a bit before he is ready for game action.
9. Ian Bunting, Tight End, 6-7, 223 lbs, Hinsdale, IL (Four-star)
This is a player who could slide up the depth chart in training camp due to lack of depth at the position. With Jake Butt out for a bit with a knee injury, this kind of opens things up for Bunting to get some early playing time in year one. He is a tall target who in time could be a great safety valve in the middle of the field for Wolverine quarterbacks.
10. Wilton Speight, Quarterback, 6-6, 243 lbs, Richmond, VA (Three-star)
Speight has the size, intangibles and arm that coaches covet in a pro-style offense. Some have named him a dark horse in the starting quarterback competition, but that does not seem too likely this season, barring a disaster. Down the road, he could develop into just what this team needs at the position in Doug Nussmeier’s offense.
11. Maurice Ways, Wide Receiver, 6-4, 195 lbs, Franklin, MI (Three-star)
Ways is a taller target that might just have the best ball skills of any receiver in Michigan’s 2014 class. He has a ton of upside, so his development is something to keep an eye on. He is a possible candidate to redshirt this season.
12. Noah Furbush, Linebacker, 6-4, 229 lbs, Kenton, OH (Three-star)
Furbush is a tackle-for-loss machine who has a nose for the football. The outside linebacker could be a diamond in the rough for Michigan down the road.
13. Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Offensive Tackle, 6-5, 295 lbs , Paramus, NJ (Three-star)
JBB, a teammate of Jabrill Peppers in high school, will provide solid depth in time for the Wolverines on the offensive line. He is another possible redshirt.
14. Jared Wangler, Linebacker, 6-2, 215 lbs, Warren, MI (Three-star)
Brother of wide receiver Jack Wanger and good friend of quarterback Shane Morris, Jared decommitted from Penn State to join the Wolverines as their fourth linebacker of the class.
15. Brandon Watson, Cornerback, 5-11, 185 lbs, Elkton, MD (Three-star)
Earned a scholarship offer along with teammate Freddy Canteen during a camp at Michigan last summer. He reportedly had a good spring, but looks to be a redshirt candidate.
16. Brady Pallante, Defensive Tackle, 6-1, 255 lbs, Naples FL (Three-star)
Pallante had originally joined the class as a grayshirt commit, meaning he would enroll during the winter semester and count towards the 2015 class, but then he became a full-fledged member of the 2014 haul. He was a state championship wrestler in high school. He is a definite project.