The recruiting calendar moved up significantly with the introduction of the early signing period last year. Now recruits can sign their letters of intent over a three-day span in December. This has quickly become the new signing day, with schools expecting their commits to put their name on the dotted line if they’re serious about joining the program.
This has also meant there are more opportunities to enroll early for these athletes. Now that about 75 percent of the decisions are made in December instead of February, there’s a greater pool of candidates to get a kick-start on their college careers and start working out and practicing with the team a semester early.
After Michigan’s small 2018 class, there are plenty of open spots for players to enroll early at the university. Even though the NCAA caps the amount of scholarships given to players in a class at 25, schools can fudge the numbers a bit by backdating scholarships to the previous class if the recruit enrolls early.
The Michigan staff is aggressively pursuing this strategy this cycle, given the growing class size. We tracked down information on every Michigan commit to see if they’ll be enrolling early or not. Here’s the complete list of who will be graduating high school early and enrolling at the University of Michigan for the winter semester.
4-star quarterback Cade McNamara
4-star running back Zach Charbonnet
4-star tight end Erick All
3-star offensive tackle Jack Stewart
4-star defensive tackle Mazi Smith
4-star defensive end David Ojabo
3-star defensive end Gabe Newburg
4-star cornerback Jalen Perry
3-star athlete Mike Sainristil
Not enrolling early
4-star wide receiver Giles Jackson
3-star wide receiver George Johnson III
3-star wide receiver Quintel Kent
4-star offensive guard Nolan Rumler
4-star offensive tackle Trente Jones
4-star offensive guard Karsen Barnhart
3-star offensive guard Zach Carpenter
4-star defensive tackle Chris Hinton
3-star defensive end Mike Morris
3-star linebacker Charles Thomas
3-star cornerback DJ Turner
3-star safety Joey Velazquez
3-star athlete Amauri Pesek-Hickson
4-star safety Quinten Johnson (He wants to, but his school may not allow him to graduate early)
There are plenty of reasons athletes may not want to enroll early: they play basketball or baseball, their school doesn’t let them, they enjoy high school, etc. But it’s still exciting to see many recruits joining the team early and getting an extra five months to train at college facilities. This small move can pay great dividends down the road in building depth and experience.