With the 2017 college football season drawing near, it’s time to take a look at which incoming freshman will make the biggest impact for the University of Michigan in 2017. According to 247 Sports, Jim Harbaugh and his staff had a very successful recruiting cycle once again, putting together the No. 5 ranked class in the nation.
Let’s take a look at which of Harbaugh’s newest recruits will make the biggest impact on the field in 2017.
1DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES, WR
The highest-ranked recruit the Wolverines landed in their 2017 recruiting class is Donovan Peoples-Jones out of Detroit Cass Tech. Peoples-Jones, according to 247 Sports, is the top-ranked prep receiver in the nation and he is poised to become a household name while playing at Michigan.
With both Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson having graduated from school and moved on to the NFL, Peoples-Jones will be given every opportunity to step in immediately and contribute to the Wolverines offense. At this moment in time, it’s safe to expect the talented wide receiver out of Detroit to start immediately and to be Michigan’s leading receiver in 2017.
UP NEXT: The next Jourdan Lewis?
2AMBRY THOMAS, CB
In case you have not heard, Michigan is going to have to rebuild on the defensive side of the football in 2017. One player who will need to be replaced is All-American cornerback Jourdan Lewis.
Ambry Thomas out of Detroit King has a serious chance at starting for Michigan as a true freshman. Thomas, who is the No. 13 cornerback recruit in the class of 2017 (per 247Sports), will have some big shoes to fill when he walks into the Big House for the first time.
UP NEXT: Big man in the middle
3CESAR RUIZ, C
Cesar Ruiz is the top-ranked center in the class of 2017 and he will likely get a chance to prove his worth right off the bat at Michigan, though it may be as a guard for his first season.
Senior Cole Mason will likely get the nod at starting center to start the year, but offensive line coach Tim Drevno has been known to say that he wants his best lineman to play together, which could point to Ruiz playing some guard.
If that’s the case, it’ll be a nice ‘grooming’ year if you will for Ruiz moving forward as he (presumably) transitions into that starting center gig full-time.
UP NEXT: Defensive line help
4AUBREY SOLOMON, DT
When Jim Harbaugh officially stole Aubrey Solomon from the hands of Nick Saban on National Signing Day, Wolverines fans rejoiced and other fans around the country lost their mind. As stated earlier, Michigan will be forced with the task of completely rebuilding their defense and it all starts with the defensive line.
Solomon was rated as the No. 2 DT in the Class of 2017 and there is little question that he will be in the Wolverine’s defensive line rotation to start off the season. He’ll play along side last year’s top-ranked recruit and Sporting News’ preseason All-American Rashan Gary.
UP NEXT: Look out quarterbacks!
5LUIJI VILAIN, DE
Looking for a true freshman to watch develop into one of the best players in the nation? Look no further than DE Luiji Vilain.
Vilain is the No. 5 ranked DE in the Class of 2017 and he has a chance to wreak havoc in the backfield immediately for Michigan. By the time all is said and done, do not be surprised at all if Vilain is a top 10 NFL Draft pick.
**Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports
**Player/Team stats courtesy of Sports-Reference
**Team depth chart courtesy of Ourlads.com