Michigan is set to have one of, if not, the best wide receiver class in 2017. The Wolverines have added not one, not two, not three, but four outstanding young talents in their receiving core before National Signing Day. Michigan has gained commitments from: Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black, Brad Hawkins, and now, Oliver Martin. The most remarkable thing about this class is that there is still potential for more talent to be added to this group. So, this leaves everyone asking, why are receivers so attracted to Michigan? Does Jim Harbaugh have some sort of magnetic force pulling young receivers to Ann Arbor?
Michigan has recently added to their collection of wide receivers, 4-star, Oliver Martin. Martin is from Iowa City, Iowa and is the first recruit from Iowa since 4-star WR Amara Darboh. He stands at 6-foot-1 and weighs just under 190 pounds. Many thought Martin would take his talents elsewhere, however, Ann Arbor was on his list and ultimately topped every other school.
Could we do a commitment story which involves Michigan that doesn’t include Jim Harbaugh? After the commitment, Harbaugh and newly acquired coach, Pep Hamilton, jumped into a pool fully clothed with Martin to celebrate. To watch the video, click here.
But what is it that attracts wide receivers to Michigan? Personally, I think that it could be Jim Harbaugh’s recent success with his quarterbacks. We all know that Harbaugh transformed Andrew Luck into a pro-caliber quarterback during his tenure at Stanford. Also, during his two years at Michigan, he developed and molded Jake Ruddock and returning starter Wilton Speight into respectable quarterbacks. But what essential position do quarterbacks need to be successful? Wide receivers (and no, I’m not bashing the hardworking O-line). High school athletes look at what Harbaugh does with his QBs and want that type of QB throwing them the ball, making their careers successful as well. Wilton Speight will definitely have the luxury of having many different options this season.
A quick look at some of the bigger and newer names in which the Wolverines have this year at the receiver position.
- Moe Ways (SR)
- Grant Perry (SR)
- Eddie McDoom (SO)
- Donovan Peoples-Jones (FR)
- Tarik Black (FR)
- Oliver Martin (FR)
- Brad Hawkins (FR)
As mentioned, there is still potential for more talent to this group. Nico Collins is set to make his commitment during National Signing Day. The top two schools looking to land Collins are Georgia and Michigan. If Collins were to choose Michigan, it would only emphasize the fact that we could be looking at the best receiving class ever.
Whether or not Michigan adds more power to this dangerous core, the receivers will all contribute in the 2017 campaign. Whichever receivers notch the starting position, look for both the starters and the bench players to have a huge role and come up with crucial catches throughout the season. Opposing defensive backs will have nightmares about whoever they’re assigned to cover.
BOLD PREDICTION: Two Michigan receivers will reach the 1000 yard mark during the 2017 season.