In 1991, the University of Michigan basketball team brought in what is still considered to be one of the greatest recruiting classes of all-time. In fact, if you’re a Michigan fan (and even if you’re not) you can probably recite the names of each of the players who made up what was (and is) simply known as the ‘Fab Five.’
But now it’s time for a whole new era and this time we are talking about Michigan football and specifically about the Wolverines incoming class of five highly ranked wide receivers. From here on out, they will be referred to as the Fab Five 2.0. The only question is, how far can Jim Harbaugh take this talented group?
Let’s take a look in order according to the 247 Sports rankings.
1Donovan Peoples-Jones (No. 1 WR overall)
If you had the opportunity to watch Donovan Peoples-Jones play in high school, you saw a man playing amongst boys. At 6-2, 193 lbs, Peoples-Jones not only looked the part but played the part of a 5-star receiver. Look for the talented athlete out of Detroit Cass Tech to start and produce immediately for the Wolverines.
2Tarik Black (No. 17 WR overall)
Tarik Black (6-4, 208 lbs), is even bigger than Peoples-Jones and could end up being the best NFL prospect out of this group, especially if he can work on his top end speed. According to most scouting reports on Black, he is a sure-handed player who has great ball skills. Like Peoples-Jones, Black should see the field early and often for the Wolverines in his freshman campaign.
3Nico Collins (No. 23 WR overall)
Like Tarik Black, Nico Collins has intimidating size for a freshman. At 6-5, 195 lbs, he is an absolute nightmare for most defensive backs. Collins will have to battle for playing time, but when he gets in the game, he will certainly become a big-time red-zone threat for the Michigan quarterbacks.
4Oliver Martin (No. 28 WR overall)
At 6-1, 190 lbs, Oliver Martin is considered to be an excellent route runner with outstanding hands. Though Martin may not be as big physically as some of the bigger wide outs in this class, he makes up for it with his understanding of the game and his unique ability to get open and then make a play on the ball. Before all is said and done, Martin could be a huge weapon in the Wolverines offense.
5Brad Hawkins (No. 63 WR overall)
Brad Hawkins, who is listed as 6-2, 205 lbs, may be the lowest ranked “Fab Five 2.0” receiver, but he should not be overlooked. Not only is Hawkins extremely physical after the catch, but his athletic ability allows him to out jump many defenders in jump ball situations. He may not start for Michigan out of the gate, but when he gets his shot, look out!