Michigan Football: Top Positions the Wolverines Must Still Recruit in 2012

Adam BiggersSenior Analyst IISeptember 27, 2012

Michigan Football: Top Positions the Wolverines Must Still Recruit in 2012

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    The Michigan Wolverines already have one of the top recruiting classes of 2013.

    With Warren De La Salle quarterback Shane Morris—the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the nation—headlining the offense's newcomers, Michigan's situation under-center should be taken care of by the crafty, mobile southpaw.

    The Wolverines have a respectable crop of wide receivers on its way for the 2013 season, a stable of husky linemen and a pair of four-star linebackers, too.

    How do you improve on the fourth-ranked class? The addition of one or two positions here and there would do the trick.

WR: York and Dukes Might Be Enough, but It Wouldn't Hurt to Add Another

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    Chandler Park Academy star wide receiver Csont'e York is—for lack of a better term—an athlete.

    The 6'3", 185-pound three-star rated recruit will add speed and hands to a Wolverines wideout corps that's losing Roy Roundtree. Luckily, for Michigan, there are guys like sophomore Jerald Robinson, and juniors Jeremy Jackson and Drew Dileo returning next fall, not to mention junior Jeremy Gallon. 

    Depending on if Michigan decides to keep him there, Devin Gardner could be another target for either will-be sophomore Russell Bellomy or freshman Shane Morris. It's possible that Gardner might move back to quarterback since Denard Robinson graduates this year.

    Decisions, decisions.

    Michigan has York locked in for 2013, along with Jaron Dukes, a 6'4", 197-pound three-star recruit from Marion Franklin High in Columbus (Ohio).

    So, in theory, Michigan's wide receiver crew could look like this, depending on redshirts, etc.

    Seniors

    Dileo, Gallon, Jackson, Gallon, Gardner

    Juniors

    Robinson

    Freshmen

    York, Dukes

    Possible?

    Ever heard of Southfield Blue Jays star wideout Brandon Bean? The kid has hands comparable to any receiver in the state, maybe even comparable to the country's upper-echelon receivers. Not only is he talented, but he's also quite humble.

    I interviewed Bean earlier this season at the Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State in Detroit. Michigan State is also interested in him, along with, but not limited to, Iowa and Wisconsin. At 6'2", 196 pounds (that's what he's listed at, but appeared bigger), Bean would be a great get for Michigan.

    Quick list

    Laquon Treadwell

    The Wolverines offered Illinois' second-rated player of the 2013 class; he's the top-ranked receiver. The 6'3", 198-pound four-star wideout has offers from top-tier programs like Florida, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

    And the guys in East Lansing offered him, too. Winning over Treadwell would be a double-victory for the Wolverines.

    Devon Allen

    Arizona's fourth-ranked 2013 prospect has offers from Texas, Stanford and UCLA. However, Michigan also offered the 6'1", 190-pound four-star recruit who is the 26th-ranked wideout in the nation.

    Robert Foster

    The eighth-ranked receiver in the country has offers from a who's-who of college football, including Notre Dame, Ohio State, LSU, Florida and, of course, Michigan. He's a four-star rated, 6'3", 170-pounder out of Pennsylvania.

RB: Michigan Has to Improve Backfield (Derrick Green)

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    Thomas Rawls will be a junior next year; he'll be expected to produce after battling shoulder injuries and inconsistent play. He is a "Michigan" back, make no mistake about that.

    The Flint Northern grad has the attitude to be successful. This year just doesn't appear to be his year.

    Fitzgerald Toussaint will be a senior in 2013, but he's been a slow starter in 2012. Vincent Smith graduates this spring, leaving a void in a Wolverines backfield that has been unproductive through the first four games of 2012.

    Michigan has Deveon Smith of Warren, Ohio's Howland High coming in next year. The three-star rated recruit fits the mold of what the Wolverines look for in a running back: 5'11" and 218 pounds -- a very Mark Ingram- and Rawls-like build.

    That's a win for the Wolverines offense, whether it be immediately or within the next two years.

    Who else could Michigan land?

    Berkley Edwards

    The younger brother of former Wolverines star receiver Braylon Edwards, Berkley Edwards is a quick, athletically-gifted force of nature -- but he's small (5'9", 189 pounds) for the type of running game Michigan needs to get back to. He could, however, play as a slot receiver. The three-star rated Chelsea High (Michigan) has offers from Mid-American Conference schools, Michigan State and Minnesota.

    His size is the obvious concern. But his athleticism and Wolverines pedigree might be worth the risk.

    Derrick Green

    Green is more of an ideal "Michigan" back; he's 6'0" and 220 pounds. The five-star recruit out of Virginia is the country's 13th-ranked player of the 2013 class. Obviously, he has offers from every top-tier school imaginable.

    Green is scheduled for a visit to Ann Arbor on Oct. 19, according to Rivals.com.

    Eric Moate

    The Tampa Spoto High star is just 5'11" and 170 pounds. He hasn't been offered by Michigan (as of Sept. 27), but he could be a late get if Michigan fails to get Green. Edwards would be a better option than Moate, who has an offer from Louisville.

DE: Craig Roh Graduates, Leaving Brink and Black as Only Seniors in '13

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    Craig Roh's respectable career at Michigan comes to an end this season. His experience and leadership will be missed, obviously, but the Wolverines have to move forward.

    Nathan Brink and Jibreel Black return as Michigan's only senior defensive ends next season, but there will be two juniors in Brennan Beyer and Frank Clark on hand to add balance. Former Detroit Catholic Central star Matt Godin could see more action in 2013, too.

    Michigan landed Taco Charlton -- a 6'6", 249-pound, four-star recruit out of Pickerington, Ohio -- in February, solidifying at least one end of the defensive line -- in theory -- for the next few years.

    But Charlton will need some help.

    Who could lend the big-bodied end a hand?

    Glad you asked.

    Oh, the possibilities

    Joe Mathis

    The 6'4", 254-pound Upland High (California) star has a mixture of speed and power that has 41 schools interested. According to Rivals, Michigan -- along with Nebraska and Washington -- is of high interest to Mathis. The four-star recruit is ranked No. 151 in the nation.

    D'Angelo Reynolds

    Reynolds might be a hidden gem not yet approached by Michigan, according to Rivals.com.The 6'5", 225-pound, three-star rated Miami product has athleticism to spare and has been offered by South Carolina and Arkansas. Given the debacle going on at Arkansas, that could leave Michigan to compete with South Carolina (if interested) for the weakside defensive end.

    Al-Quadin Muhammad

    No offer from Michigan yet, but don't count out Muhammad, New Jersey Don Bosco Prep's star defensive end. At 6'4" and 225 pounds, the four-star rated recruit has the build to be an efficient pass-rusher and double as an oversized linebacker in various packages.

    Notre Dame, South Carolina and Tennessee have extended offers. Like Reynolds, Muhammad could be a late grab.

DT: Will Campbell Leaves Big, Big, Big Void After Graduation

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    The Wolverines should be OK after Will Campbell graduates. The 6'5", 322-pound senior is a great run-stopper and lane-clearer for linebackers.

    But there are other successors waiting in the wings like Ondre Pipkins, a 6'3", 340-pound freshman who will complement a group that includes Richard Ash, Jibreel Black and Nathan Brink next fall. 

    The defensive tackle position isn't weak for Michigan, but it could be addressed in the upcoming class of recruits.

    Possibilities?

    Justin Manning

    Manning has an offer from Michigan, but according to his Rivals.com profile, he's not interested in joining the Wolverines. Those "interest" columns aren't always accurate, though. Let's say Manning likes Michigan as much as he reportedly likes LSU, Oklahoma and, among others, USC. Well, that would be great news for Michigan football, wouldn't it?

    The 6'2", 275-pound, four-star rated Kimball High (Texas) standout is the 94th-ranked player in the 2013 class; he's visiting LSU and TCU in October, so Michigan want to get in the mix and lure him to Ann Arbor.

    Justin Moody

    Moody isn't being sought after by all the top-tier programs like other potential Michigan targets, but that doesn't mean he's any less talented than the rest. The 6'4", 264-pound, three-star rated defensive end has offers from Syracuse, Buffalo, and Old Dominion, among others.

    It's possible that Michigan is sitting back, waiting to see how things shake out for Moody, a product of George Washington High (Philadelphia).

    Rod Crayton

    An offer from Michigan is on the table for Crayton, a 6'1", 290-pound, four-star rated defensive end out of Dadeville High (Alabama). Crayton also has offers from Tennessee, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, among others.

    Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81