Michigan Wolverines Football

Michigan Football Recruiting: Meet the Wolverines' 2014 Class

Phil CallihanContributor IFebruary 5, 2014

Michigan Football Recruiting: Meet the Wolverines' 2014 Class

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    Brady Hoke hopes this recruiting class will fill crucial gaps on his roster
    Brady Hoke hopes this recruiting class will fill crucial gaps on his rosterAssociated Press

    2014 has been rough for Michigan head coach Brady Hoke—first he fired offensive coordinator Al Borges, replacing him with Doug Nussmeier, formerly of Alabama. Then earlier this week he had to address the dismissal of kicker Brendan Gibbons.

    According to Matt Slovin and Adam Rubenfire of The Michigan Daily, Gibbons was dismissed from the university for violating its Student Sexual Misconduct Policy during an incident that occurred in 2009.

    The disappointing result caused discontent among Michigan fans, but athletic director David Brandon went on the record on mgoblue.com to support Hoke’s leadership.

    As Michigan prepares for the 2014 season, the pressure is on.

    Fans hope that this recruiting class will fill key gaps in Michigan’s roster and propel the team past a disappointing 7-6 campaign where it dropped five out of its final six games and was swept by rivals Ohio State and Michigan State.

     

    All recruiting information courtesy of 247 Sports.

Drake Harris

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    Drake Harris
    Drake Harris247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 185 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star WR, No. 67 Overall

    High School: Grand Rapids Christian (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

    Senior Year Stats: Missed senior season due to a hamstring injury


    Other Finalists: Originally committed to Michigan State and had offers from Oregon, Florida State and Wisconsin


    Commit Date: 4/14/2013, Early enrollee

    The graduation of go-to receivers Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo means that quarterback Devin Gardner will need new targets for next season. Drake Harris, a dual-sport star, has the speed and hands to fill the gap left by Gallon and Dileo.

    Harris missed the bulk of his senior high school football season because of a hamstring injury but enrolled earlier this month and is working to be ready for next season. If Drake can recover from injury and take part in spring practice, he has a good chance to see the field and potentially make a big impact in 2014.

Jabrill Peppers

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    Jabrill Peppers
    Jabrill Peppers247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 205 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 5-star DB, No. 3 Overall

    High School: Paramus Catholic (Paramus, N.J.)

    Senior Year Stats: 57 tackles, 4 interceptions


    Other Finalists: Received offers from Alabama, Stanford, Ohio State


    Commit Date: 5/26/2013

    No recruit in recent history has more potential for immediate impact than Peppers. He has no shortage of talent or confidence—declaring his intention to follow in the steps of Michigan Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson.

    The Michigan secondary struggled last season, and Peppers is expected to compete immediately on defense and special teams. Eclipsing Woodson is a tall order, but as one of the top recruits in the nation, Peppers has the potential to be a special player in his own right and should see the field in 2014.

Bryan Mone

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    Bryan Mone
    Bryan Mone247Sports

    Bryan Mone

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 338 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star DT, No. 111 Overall

    High School: Salt Lake City (Highland)

    Senior Year Stats: 70 Tackles, 10 TFL, 3 sacks


    Other Finalists: Received offers from Stanford, UCLA and Oregon State.


    Commit Date: 2/12/2013 Early enrollee

    The Michigan defense struggled to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks and struggled to contain the run late in the season. It usually takes a defensive lineman a season to acclimate to the collegiate game, but Mone may be the rare exception.

    As an early enrollee he will get instruction during spring practice from defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, who favors rotating defensive linemen during games. Mone has an opportunity to break into the defensive rotation which faded at the end of last season.

Mason Cole

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    Mason Cole
    Mason Cole247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 285 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star OT, No. 126 Overall

    High School: East Lake (Tarpon Springs, Fla.)

    Other Finalists:
 Received offers from Wisconsin, Tennessee and Louisville

    Commit Date: 2/25/2013 Early enrollee

    A major factor in last season’s 7-6 record was the inconsistency of the Michigan interior offensive line that failed to protect quarterback Devin Gardner or open up holes for the Michigan running game. Cole has enrolled early and is looking to compete at offensive guard.

    The graduation of tackles Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield means that every position on the line is up for grabs heading into next season. Offensive linemen usually require a year to bulk up for the collegiate game, and Cole is likely to redshirt this season.

Lawrence Marshall

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    Lawrence Marshall
    Lawrence Marshall247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 225 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star DE, No. 176 Overall

    High School: Southfield (Southfield, Mich.) 

    Senior Year Stats: 79 tackles, 15 sacks, 4 interceptions

    Other Finalists: Received offers from Florida, Michigan State and Ohio State

    Commit Date: 5/11/2013

    The Michigan defensive line struggled late in the season, and Lawrence Marshall has the potential to make an immediate impact this season. A strong player with explosive push into the backfield, he has the skills to be a marquee defensive lineman for Greg Mattison's defense.

Michael Ferns

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    Michael Ferns
    Michael Ferns247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’3”, 238 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star LB, No. 158 Overall

    High School: Saint Clairsville, Ohio (St. Clairsville)

    Senior Year Stats: 133 tackles


    Other Finalists: Received offers from Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan State


    Commit Date: 8/8/2012 Early enrollee

    Michigan was able lure Ferns from Ohio, and he has the physical skills to be a major force on defense. Michigan has good depth returning at linebacker, but Greg Mattison has shown that he has no reluctance to giving young players a shot—if they have the skill to get the job done.

    Ferns is such a player, and Ohio State may rue the day that it let this disruptive player escape up north to play for Michigan.

Freddy Canteen

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    Freddy Canteen
    Freddy Canteen247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 175 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star WR, No. 298 Overall

    High School: Eastern Christian (Elkton, Md.) 


    Other Finalists: Received offers from Tennessee, Maryland and UConn


    Commit Date: 6/29/2013 Early enrollee

    Graduation leaves Michigan lacking experience at wide receiver, and Canteen is another early enrollee who hopes be a prime target for quarterback Devin Gardner next season.

    If Drake Harris’ high school injury hampers his progress at Michigan, Canteen could move ahead of him for playing time. Canteen’s size makes him an ideal candidate to play slot receiver in Doug Nussmeier’s offense.

Wilton Speight

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    Wilton Speight
    Wilton Speight247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’6”, 220 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star QB,  No. 452 Overall

    High School: Collegiate School (Richmond, Va.) 


    Commit Date: 2/6/2013 Early enrollee

    Speight is a prototypical pro-style quarterback who turned heads during practice for the Under Armour All-America Game and is expected to compete for playing time in Doug Nussmeier’s offense—but not this season. The return of QBs Devin Gardner, Shane Morris and Russell Bellomy will mean that Speight is unlikely to see playing time in 2014.

Brandon Watson

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    Brandon Watson
    Brandon Watson247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’0”, 185 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star CB, No. 769 Overall

    High School: Eastern Christian (Elkton, Md.)

    Other Finalists: Receiver offers from Boston College, Rutgers and UConn


    Commit Date: 6/29/2013 Early enrollee

    Watson, the high school teammate of Freddy Canteen, has the raw talent to succeed at the collegiate level but will probably need a season to acclimate to the college game.

    But Michigan is thin at defensive back and injuries could accelerate his move into the defensive rotation. His status as an early enrollee will give him an edge on other players such as top recruit Peppers, who won’t be on campus until fall camp begins.

Chase Winovich

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    Chase Winovich
    Chase Winovich247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 215 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star LB, No. 287 Overall

    High School: Thomas Jefferson (Clairton, Pa.)

    Other Finalists: Florida State, Michigan State and Ohio State

    Commit Date: 6/1/2013

    Michigan has good depth returning at linebacker, and Winovich will probably not see the field in 2014. He has a big frame that will fill out under Michigan's conditioning program and has the speed to cover the field from side-to-side.

Ian Bunting

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    Ian Bunting
    Ian Bunting247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’6”, 210 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star TE, No. 315 Overall

    High School: Hinsdale Central (Hinsdale, Ill.)

    Senior Year Stats: 16 receptions, 412 yards, 4 touchdowns

    Other Finalists: Received offers from Florida State, Notre Dame and Ohio State.

    Commit Date: 4/23/2013

    Bunting is another player with great talent but who finds himself behind an area of strength on the current roster. He has the skills to be a prototypical tight end but will need to bulk up to be force in Big Ten play.

Juwann Bushell-Beatty

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    Juwann Bushell-Beatty
    Juwann Bushell-Beatty247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’7”, 310 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star OT, No. 329 Overall

    High School: Paramus Catholic (Paramus, N.J.)

    Other Finalists: Received offers from Florida, Florida State and Michigan State


    Commit Date: 4/29/2013

    Bushell-Beatty was a high school teammate of Jabrill Peppers and called a "road grader" by Brady Hoke. He probably won't see the field in 2014, but he's a development project who could reap huge benefits for Michigan in a few years. He will need to work on improving strength and agility to match his size before seeing game action.

Maurice Ways

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    Maurice Ways
    Maurice Ways247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 195 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star WR, No. 496 Overall

    High School: Detroit Country Day (Franklin, Mich.)

    Senior Year Stats: 55 receptions, 1261 yards, 16 touchdowns

    Other Finalists: Received offers from Iowa, Rutgers and Ball State

    Commit Date: 4/15/2013

    Graduation leaves Michigan lean at wide receiver, but Ways will need to bulk up and work on his route running to make an impact in 2014. He has the raw talent to be a good receiver but will face competition from members of this recruiting class for playing time.

Noah Furbush

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    Noah Furbush
    Noah Furbush247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’4”, 240 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star LB/DE, No. 519 Overall

    High School: Kenton (Kenton, Ohio)

    Senior Year Stats: 102 tackles, 26 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 3 fumble recoveries

    Other Finalists: Received offers from Michigan State, Missouri and Nebraska


    Commit Date: 7/1/2013

    Furbush has the potential to be a good linebacker but probably won't see the field this season. He's another player who needs to work in the weight room to be ready for the college game. 

Jared Wangler

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    Jared Wangler
    Jared Wangler247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 218 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star S, No. 779 Overall

    High School: De La Salle Collegiate (Warren, Mich.)

    Other Finalists: Originally committed to Penn State, received offers from LSU and Michigan State


    Commit Date: 8/9/2013

    Wangler was originally committed to Penn State, but as a Michigan legacy (his father played quarterback for Bo Schembechler) it wasn't surprising when he changed his commitment.

    Wangler probably won't see the field in 2014 but has good instincts to the ball, and with a year of conditioning he could work himself into the defensive back rotation in future seasons.

Brady Pallante

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    Brady Pallante
    Brady Pallante247sports

    Height/Weight: 6’1”, 255 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star DT, No. 103 Overall

    High School: Barron Collier (Naples, Fla.)

    Senior Year Stats:

    Other Finalists: Appalachian State


    Commit Date: 4/5/2013

    Michigan has a need for defensive linemen, and Pallante (who was originally going to enroll in January 2015) was brought in early to start working on his conditioning and technique. Probably won't see the field in 2014, but the coaching staff must have seen something it liked to bring him in early.

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