Though controversial and the first time in history it has been done, Michigan reaped many benefits during the December signing period. A total of 16 recruits signed during the early signing period. Among those 16 were a couple of surprises.
Four-star tight end Mustapha Muhammad gifted the Wolverine nation this holiday season with signing his national letter of intent in December rather than in February, which he had previously announced he was planning to do. This does not come to many as a surprise though. Since his commitment to Michigan in October, Muhammad has been unwavering in his commitment and has even taken to Twitter to help recruit other Michigan prospects. Muhammad is currently Michigan’s highest ranked commit of their 2018 class.
Another surprise was the commitment of 3-star strong side defensive-end German football player Julius Welschof. Originally committed to Georgia Tech, Welschof flipped to Michigan the morning of Wednesday, December 20, the first day of the early signing period. Welschof has had his eye on the Wolverines for a while. He traveled to the neighboring country of Italy to watch Michigan’s open practice during the team’s trip to Rome in Spring 2017. The German recruit was offered by Michigan on December 16 and chose to flip to Michigan in just four days.
There were only two Michigan commits who did not sign during the early signing period: Kevin Doyle and Otis Reese. Doyle, a 3-star quarterback, chose not to sign in December because he wants to partake in a February signing day ceremony with his fellow classmates put on by his school, St. John’s College High School.
Reese, on the other hand, has a different reason for not signing early: a bulldog dressed in red and black. Though the 4-star linebacker has been committed to Michigan since June of 2016, the Georgia Bulldogs have not let up on their pursuit of the Georgia state-champ linebacker. Reese has not been in Ann Arbor since the 2017 Spring game back in April, but the recruit has unofficially visited Georgia three times this season. This is one commit to keep an eye on throughout January.
Three of the 16 signees will be on campus starting in January. Quarterback Joe Milton, defensive end Taylor Upshaw, and cornerback Myles Sims will be in Ann Arbor ready to start off-season workouts with the Wolverines starting in 2018.
The Wolverines, however, are certainly not done crafting their 2018 class. Michigan hopes to add their first wide receiver to the 2018 class with Ja’ Marr Chase. The Louisiana native decommitted from Florida and is now considering LSU, Michigan, and Auburn.
Nicholas Petit-Frere, a 5-star offensive tackle from Tampa, Florida, is also on Michigan’s watch list. While in Tampa for the Outback Bowl, the Wolverines moved their practices to Petit-Frere’s high school, Berkeley Prep, where the recruit observed practice.
As well, Michigan is in pursuit of 4-star defensive tackle Tyler Friday. He took official visits to Michigan, Alabama, and Ohio State this season.
With just over a month until the February signing day, Michigan and many other schools will have to roll up their sleeves and get ready to fight for the remaining unsigned recruits.
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