Class Update: What Michigan’s historic 2016 class is up to

By Nate Wiggins ,

Football, Recruiting

 


The 2016 recruiting class has certainly been the most interesting class during Jim Harbaugh’s time in Ann Arbor. It has produced stars such as Rashan Gary and Devin Bush but a few have left the program.

Let’s take a look back on that class and see where they are now and what their expectation is for this season and beyond.


Khaleke Hudson improves by becoming better leader


Rashan Gary, 5-star DT

The No. 1 player in the 2016 class has met all expectations since arriving in Ann Arbor. Gary has wreaked havoc on offensive lines, and, along with Chase Winovich, has been the cornerstone of Michigan’s dominant pass rush. Even when he doesn’t make a TFL or get a sack, Gary’s impact on the field cannot be minimized.

Ben Bredeson, 4-star OT

Bredeson was second-team All-Big Ten in 2017 and named captain for the 2018 season as a junior. Despite the struggles of the offensive line this season, Bredeson has been the unit’s bright spot, including an important block to create a hole for Karan Higdon on a 67-yard touchdown run in Week 2 against Western Michigan.

Brandon Peters, 4-star QB

Despite coming into 2017 as the third-string quarterback, injuries to Wilton Speight and John O’Korn pushed Peters into the starting job for four games before an injury knocked him out. During his time as the starter, Michigan enjoyed some of its best QB play of the season. Peters looks to be third-string QB again this season with the transfer of Shea Patterson and growth of Dylan Mccaffrey.

David Long, 4-star CB

Having to fill a large void in 2017 left by All-American corner Jourdan Lewis and NFL corner Channing Stribling, Long had a very successful sophomore season. He came into 2018 as the highest-ranked returning corner in opposing QB passer rating when targeted. Expect another season for Long as one of two Wolverine shutdown corners.

Devin Asiasi, 4-star TE

Asiasi transferred to UCLA before the 2017 season. In 2016 with the Wolverines, he caught a touchdown vs Penn State, his only collegiate touchdown. He has yet to see the field with the Bruins this season after sitting out 2017. He transferred due to proximity to home reasons.

Michael Onwenu, 4-star OG

Much like Bredeson, Onwenu has been a part of an offensive line this season that has had its fair share of struggles and must improve as the team gets further into conference play. Currently, he holds the starting right guard position ahead of Stephen Spanellis.

Kareem Walker, 4-star RB

Walker transferred to Fort Scott Community College in Lawrence, Kansas this past summer. During 2017, Walker ran for only 68 yards and 1 touchdown. At one point, he was a 5-star prospect that Michigan had flipped away from Ohio State.

Kekoa Crawford, 4-star WR

Crawford, like Walker, didn’t live up to his ranking during his time at Michigan and transferred during the summer. Crawford never found a footing at Michigan even after the injury to Tarik Black in 2017. There’s no info as to where Crawford is headed next.

Lavert Hill, 4-star CB

Hill was named second-team All-Big Ten in 2017. Along with Long, Hill expects to cause more havoc for receivers in 2018. Michigan had one of the best pass defenses in 2017 and despite the struggles in the first half vs Notre Dame, the secondary is expected to be dominant again in 2018.

Ron Johnson, 4-star DE

Johnson has yet to see very much of the field since he arrived at Ann Arbor but this is not surprising given Michigan’s depth at d-line. Johnson was a part of the group that Michigan’s staff heavily recruited in New Jersey.

Carlo Kemp, 4-star DE

Kemp has moved around position-wise during his time at Michigan. Coming in as a an end, he was moved to linebacker and has now found his place as an interior defensive tackle. He got his first start last Saturday against Western Michigan due to injuries to starter Aubrey Solomon and 5th-year senior Lawrence Marshall. Kemp impressed and could overtake the starting position no matter the injury situation.

Devin Bush, 4-star LB

Bush has emerged as not only one of the best linebackers in college football but as one of the best defensive players in the nation. He was named an AP preseason All-American. Despite leaving the Notre Dame game with cramps, he managed to come back into the game and record a sack. Bush was named to NFL.com’s list of college players to watch this season and is the latest linebacker to flourish in the Don Brown system.

Chris Evans, 4-star RB

After an extremely successful 2016 and 2017, Evans was perplexingly not involved very much vs Notre Dame leaving many Michigan fans bewildered. He was much more involved vs Western Michigan, running for two touchdowns, and will be a huge part of the offense going forward, splitting carries with Karan Higdon.

Nick Eubanks, 3-star TE

Eubanks is part of a very deep tight end group, and because of this, has yet to feature as a huge part of the offense. However, don’t be surprised if he begins to feature a bit more in the offense as the season goes on given Michigan’s history of using tight ends in their offense. Eubanks is a vertical threat that showed what he can do in 2017 before getting injured.

McDoom’s signature chant has been replaced by Tru Wilson’s new ‘TRU’ chant. (Photo by Andy Shippy)

Eddie McDoom, 3-star WR

After seeing the field in 2016 and 2017, McDoom transferred to USF this summer. At least he can say he had his own chant. McDoom was once an Oregon commit before deciding to commit and sign with the Wolverines.

The wrath of Khaleke continues. (Photo by Andy Shippy)

Khaleke Hudson, 3-star S

Hudson was a force on defense in 2017, breaking the single-game tackles for record against Minnesota. He continues to do so in 2018. He was all over the field vs Western Michigan and added a blocked punt. Hudson has gained some traction from NFL scouts as a Day 1 or 2 pick in the 2019 draft.

Elysse Mbem-Bosse, 3-star LB

Mbem-Bosse was removed from the team during the spring and then made national headlines for a series of threatening tweets about Jim Harbaugh which prompted a police investigation. There’s no update as to where or if he’ll play football.

Nate Johnson, 3-star WR

A Tennessee native, Johnson was a nice grab for Michigan over Notre Dame. His stay at Michigan didn’t last long, as he was suspended and ultimately dismissed from the team in 2017 for assaulting a female student in September of that year.

Quinn Nordin, 3-star K

Nordin had an up-and-down year in 2017, which began with hitting a 55-yarder against Florida but missing field goals late in the season. Nordin did miss one on Saturday but he should not be a problem for the Wolverines this season. He was a long time Penn State commit before signing with the Wolverines on National Signing Day.

Josh Uche, 3-star LB

Uche received praise from defensive coordinator Don Brown in August who was upset at Brown at the end of the season last year due to his playing time. Uche was one of the standout players of spring and fall practice and looks to have a more prominent role on the defense. He excels in pass rush packages.

Kingston Davis, 3-star RB

Davis transferred from Michigan in 2017 and was featured in season 3 of Last Chance U before transferring to UAB.

Stephen Spanellis, 3-star OG

Spanellis got one snap at center vs Notre Dame when starting center Cesar Ruiz had to come out for a play when he helmet came off. Then had plenty of snaps with the second-team offensive line against Western Michigan. Spanellis is a backup this season, but a push to a starting role at year’s end (perhaps at right guard) wouldn’t surprise anyone as he had a great offseason.

Josh Metellus, 3-star S

Metellus remains the starting safety for the Wolverines for the second-straight season, despite being ejected for targeting against Notre Dame. Sophomore Brad Hawkins has impressed in given time and is already pushing Metellus for the starting role. Metellus is a part of three different starters from the same high school (Flanagan, Fla.) along with LB Devin Gil and LB Devin Bush.

Sean McKeon, 3-star TE

McKeon featured well in Michigan’s offense last season as its leading receiver and expect him to do the same this year. He caught a touchdown vs Western Michigan and figures to be a key player in the red zone, and on third down, along with Zach Gentry.

Michael DwumFour, 3-star DT

DwumFour should see plenty of snaps this season in the DT role following an impressive offseason. Michigan will rotate players in and out as they normally do on that side of the ball. DwumFour was a Penn State commit before flipping to the Wolverines, along with his childhood friend, Rashan Gary.

Devin Gil, 3-star S

Coming in as a safety, Gil made the transition to linebacker and got his first career start vs Notre Dame and figures to be a big part of the defense this season. Gil said in an in an interview that sitting behind helped him a lot in his transition from safety to easier. Gil, as mentioned before, was a part of a the three teammates from Flanagan, Fla. that Michigan discovered via a satellite camp.


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