So. It's done. Michigan's 2005 recruiting class would be the most exciting Wolverine class since I started following recruiting but for one guy: Justin King. It's still very good. I ran 'em all down except for Criswell, who I'll get to in a bit. To recap:
- Offensive Backfield: Got a QB for depth who looks promising and is a program kid. Added Grady to form Big Thunder and Little Thunder backfield. Simpson and Criswell may contribute, may not.
- Wide Receivers: Yow. A year after getting three 4-star prospects, Michigan picks up two gamebreakers in Antonio Bass and Mario Manningham plus a promising possession guy in Laterryal Savoy. Carson Butler is a 6'6" basketball player with questionable motor... and Braylon-esque athleticism.
- Offensive Line: Two guys who will play a lot in Zirbel and Schifano, plus another nasty interior lineman in Moosman. Two project tackles with athleticism in Ortmann and McAvoy.
- Defensive Line: Holy crap. The pure hotness. Four (FOUR) top-100 recruits: Marques Slocum, James McKinney, Terrance Taylor, and Eugene Germany.
- Linebackers: Disappointing. One guy, Chris McLaurin, who projects as an edge rushing DE and an undersized three-star in Brandon Logan.
- Defensive Backs: A lot of potential, but no star. Chris Richards and Johnny Sears are two Cali sleepers in the true sense of the word--guys who have good reason for not being hyped as stars. Brandon Harrison is a good bet to play early. Nic Harris is the kind of athlete that will have Michigan fans screaming about the defensive coaches' ineptitude in four years.
- Punter: BEST EVER.
My overall grade? A-. Michigan picked up a class with five guys who I think can be difference makers: Grady, Bass, Manningham, Slocum, and Taylor. Six if you want to include Mesko. And I do. The offensive line class is strong. The QB is the exact right QB. The defensive line class is ridiculous. Everything is perfect except for the back seven on defense. Even there there is a top-100 safety, a four-star CB, and two guys with potential, but there's no sure thing. Combine that with a questionable set of linebackers and there's your minus. But it's just barely a minus.