Michigan Football Recruiting: Breaking Down Wolverines' New Impact Players

Sean ODonnellContributor IIIFebruary 5, 2014


The Michigan Wolverines' recruiting class may be on the small side; however, it is jam-packed full of talent. Despite landing only one 5-star recruit, the Wolverines were able to land impact players who will be able to step in and contribute immediately.

After a disappointing 2013-14 season in which the team finished with a 7-6 record and suffered a blowout loss to Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, there were plenty of holes left to fill.

Michigan's recruiting class will certainly help a team that finished 51st in passing yards, 102nd in rushing yards, 47th in points for and 67th in points against in 2013. Let's take a look at the Wolverines' newest high-profile players who will help right the ship in 2014 and beyond.


Michigan's 2014 Complete Recruiting Class

Michigan's 2014 Recruiting Class
Jabrill PeppersCB5-star
Drake HarrisWR4-star
Bryan MoneDT4-star
Mason ColeOG4-star
Michael FernsILB4-star
Lawrence MarshallDE4-star
Chase WinovichOLB4-star
Ian BuntingTE4-star
Juwann Bushell-BeattyOT4-star
Freddy CanteenWR3-star
Wilton SpeightQB3-star
Brandon WatsonCB3-star
Maurice WaysWR3-star
Noah FurbushOLB3-star
Jared WanglerS3-star
Brady PallanteDT2-star


Jabrill Peppers, CB


Peppers is absolutely the crown jewel of Michigan's 2014 recruiting class. The 5-star prospect and No. 1-ranked cornerback officially became a Wolverine on Wednesday.

A two-way player in high school, Peppers played safety and running back. He will move to the cornerback position to bolster the Wolverines secondary next season. Standing at 6'1" and weighing 205 pounds, Peppers has the size and physicality to be a shutdown corner at the next level.

Not only is Peppers' size impressive, but he is as fast as he is tough. He recorded a 40-yard dash time of 4.40 seconds and has loose hips, which allow him to flourish in man coverage.

During an interview with Nick Baumgardner of mlive.com, linebackers coach Roy Manning was elated with his new recruit. Said Manning, "He's an awesome player, everyone knows that already. But an even better person, an excellent student. He's going to have a huge impact."

Peppers is the total package, and Michigan will reap the benefits.


Drake Harris, WR


The 6'4", 185-pound Harris is the elite offensive weapon that the Wolverines desperately needed. He has a long, lean frame and possesses great control over his body. His size, combined with his stellar leaping ability, makes him a big quarterback-friendly target.

Harris has fantastic ball skills as well. He is sure-handed and will not drop many passes. He is a solid route-runner and can use his deceptive speed to break away from coverage. His polished skill set makes him worthy of coming in and making an immediate impact.

After suffering an injury during his senior year in high school, Harris is working on strength and conditioning to ensure that he remains healthy in college. During an interview with Nick Baumgardner of mlive.com, Harris explained what he's been working on:

The first few weeks were tough, with the strength program and everything with school, it's a big change. This is some of the hardest stuff you'll do in your life. But now that I'm a month into it and into February, it's been going great. I love it here, I've gotten acclimated, the workouts are going well, conditioning's going well, I feel great.

He's feeling good and is ready to become a major contributor on this football team.


Bryan Mone, DT


Mone possesses the size of an elite defensive tackle at 6'4" and 338 pounds. He had solid technique and is able to use his large frame to move blockers out of the way. Mone can move laterally nicely, shedding blockers and pursuing ball-carriers behind the line of scrimmage.

He is not a pure pass-rusher, but he does have the capability to move the pocket. Mone will be best suited as a run-stuffing defensive tackle who can bolster an already solid Michigan run defense that finished 29th in the nation last season.

Mone did struggle earlier this year in the Under Armour All-America Game. The Detroit Free Press delivered a quote from Rivals.com director of recruiting Mike Farrell:

Mone came into the week a bit of an unknown hailing from Utah and being evaluated in person very rarely. But after seeing him for a week, he lacked the athleticism and quickness at the snap needed to be the No. 185 player in the country.

Although Mone may lack a certain quickness, he is still a bruiser in the trenches. He may need to be coached up a bit, but he should turn out to be a pivotal part of Michigan's defense.


All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise stated.