Michigan Football Recruiting: Biggest Playmakers to Commit to Wolverines

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2013

Pickerington Central's Taco Charlton  is one of Michigan's top recruits. (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)
Pickerington Central's Taco Charlton is one of Michigan's top recruits. (Photo courtesy of 247sports.com)

The Michigan Wolverines will need to adjust to life without Denard Robinson, so Derrick Green and other recruits will be expected to lead the team in the future.

After having a big 2011 season that featured a win over Ohio State and a BCS win, the team took a step back in 2012. They started out as preseason No. 8 but got tested immediately.

Alabama embarrassed them in the season opener, and three of the team's losses came to teams that ended the regular season in the top four of the AP poll. 

Michigan will be able to rely on Devin Gardner at quarterback next season, but they are in need of playmakers on both sides of the football to win the Big Ten next season.

The Wolverines will have one of the nation's top recruiting classes, according to Rivals.com. Coach Brady Hoke will need the recruits to live up to expectations in order to get to the BCS. 

Here are some of the highlights of this year's recruiting class:


Derrick Green, RB

This is arguably the best signing of all. He was Scout.com's No. 1 recruit at his position, and he will fill a hole that has been empty for years.

Michigan fans got spoiled with the likes of Chris Perry and Mike Hart. They have been lacking a premier back for the past few seasons, which was evident when Robinson lined up at tailback in the Outback Bowl against South Carolina.

Green has the ability to break tackles and use his physical style to gain the extra yards. His speed isn't anything special, but his power will be tough to stop.

With Robinson graduating, Michigan will need to change its style a bit. The addition of Green allows the Wolverines to line up and run straight at teams. They have gotten away from that in recent years, but Green's style will be fun to watch.

Michigan is now ready to play some Big Ten football, and this could turn into an explosive offense with Gardner and Green.


Taco Charlton, DE

On the other side of the football, the Wolverines could use some help up front. With the style of football in the conference, it's crucial to have a solid defensive line.

Taco Charlton (Scout.com #21 DE) will be a force to be reckoned with in passing situations. He has the ability to use his athleticism to get to the quarterback.

The defensive end from Pickerington, Ohio played at a top high school. He helped lead his Tigers to an appearance in the state championship game.

He needs to get stronger as he gets older, but he still can wreak havoc on the opposing quarterbacks. Teams with mobile quarterbacks, like Ohio State, will have to be cautious when trying to run the option to the outside.


Jourdan Lewis, CB

In high school, Jourdan Lewis (Scout.com #9 CB) played wide receiver and cornerback. His lack of size will most likely result in him playing corner at the next level.

The 5'9" recruit has great hands and can become a top cornerback as he gains experience. Michigan's defense has been the issue for the past few seasons. They have made strides recently, but the additions of Charlton and Lewis will give them some playmakers.

Lewis is a 4-star recruit and doesn't have any major weaknesses. He can play the run as well as the pass. 

His lack of size will make it easy for teams with big receivers to pick on him, but he has the talent to keep up with anyone.