Meet The Commits: Overview Of Michigan's Top-10 2022 Recruiting Class
The Michigan Wolverines' 2022 football recruiting class has 15 pledges and is ranked as the No. 9 haul in the country. We've provided background info on each commit below (in chronological order from the newest pledge to the oldest) and will update as the cycle continues.
Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood four-star cornerback Myles Pollard
Quick Biography: While Michigan went from Mo Linguist to Steve Clinkscale as Pollard's primary recruiter and position coach back in early May, the change didn’t hurt the Wolverines at all. After all, Clinkscale, while at Kentucky, was the first D-I coach to offer Pollard a scholarship, and they've had a great relationship for some time.
“He’s like family to me now,” Pollard said of Clinkscale. “That’s the best relationship I have with any coach. We went over film. Most of the stuff he did at Kentucky is carrying over. They are still doing the [defensive coordinator] Mike Macdonald stuff, but the way he teaches his players is the same at Michigan.”
That relationship, coupled with the opportunity to play big-time football in the Big Ten makes for a great fit.
“I like the big stage,” Pollard said. “They have 110,000 fans in their stadium. I learned they have the biggest alumni base in the country. Those are big factors.”
Pollard also has a strong bond with former teammate Michigan freshman linebacker Junior Colson, who is also a product of Ravenwood High, and has grown close to five-star Michigan cornerback pledge Will Johnson. Head coach Jim Harbaugh got extremely involved in this recruitment as well, another reason why it culminated with a commitment to the Wolverines July 7.
Tampa (Fla.) Gaither four-star defensive end Mario Eugenio
2020 Stats: 42 total tackles and 20 tackles for loss in 10 games
Quick Biography: Eugenio was in town for Michigan's 'Victors Weekend' June 18, which featured plenty of other top targets and most of the Wolverines' 2022 commitments, and he left with a great feeling of the potential of playing in Ann Arbor. Shortly thereafter, he let the staff know he wanted to join the fold.
Eugenio picked Michigan over offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa State, Miami, Mississippi State, Missouri, West Virginia and others.
It came down to relationships for Eugenio when making his decision, which he made public July 5.
"It's a day-to-day basis with Coach Oz [analyst Ryan Osborn] and [defensive line] Coach [Shaun Nua," Eugenio told RIvals.com recently. "We're always talking and they recruited me like this before I blew up. They didn't offer me just because other schools were offering.
"They didn't join the party late and they've been keeping up with me on everything and always texting me or calling. They really just show me that they care."
Gooding (Idaho) High three-star tight end Colston Loveland
2020 Stats: 69 receptions for 816 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games.
Quick Biography: While he's ranked as a high three-star, Loveland's tape screams 'four-star' — it's important to note that he hasn't gotten many in-person evaluations due to where he plays. His offer list — which includes Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, Colorado, LSU, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah and others — says the same.
TheWolverine.com's EJ Holland wrote that Loveland is "an athletic pass catcher that dominates lesser competition in a state that lacks DI talent," adding that "Loveland should be able to split out wide a ton for Michigan and be a mismatch nightmare on the outside for the Wolverines. His production is a little nuts. Over the past two seasons, Loveland has hauled in 160 passes for 1,963 yards and 19 touchdowns."
Loveland visited Michigan during its last visit weekend of the June period, and loved his time in Ann Arbor, so much so that he gave the coaching staff a silent verbal commitment before he left town. He made his decision public July 4.
Windsor (Conn.) three-star offensive tackle Alessandro Lorenzetti
Quick Biography: Lorenzetti was going to wait until July to pledge, but he couldn't wait any longer. He worked out for the Michigan coaches on campus earlier in the month, the way he had for other schools in playing way above his ranking as a relative unknown, and impressed so much he immediately earned an offer.
The long-armed tackle prospect, a product of Canada, was back on campus last weekend and was blown away on his official visit. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Georgia, Penn State and others, having previously cited a desire to play in the Big Ten.
"I'm looking for a school that has good academics and good football and a place where I can see myself progressing," he said. "I love football, but I still want to get a good education.
"It seems like for me, my dream has always been to play in the BigTen since I was young. But right now I'm keeping my options open, and it's really cool to talk to all of these coaches."
He'll shut it down now, having found his perfect fit.
Lawndale (Cali.) Leuzinger three-star DE/OLB Kevonte Henry
Quick Biography: Henry committed to Michigan over offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, San Diego State, USC, Utah, Washington State and others after an outstanding official visit earlier this month.
The Wolverines were looking for an edge rusher and found it in Henry, who will come off the edge for the Wolverines in their new 3-4 defensive scheme. Some believe he'll prove to be an established four-star prospect based on his potential.
“I can just adapt to any situation and play real quick," Henry said. "Even if I don’t know the play, I will play like I know it. I’m known for my speed when I get off the edge.
"The O-line has a hard problem because I get off too quick. They always tell me like, ‘4-4, you’re too fast. You have to slow down.’
New Michigan Director of Player Personnel Courtney Morgan led the charge for Michigan in this recruitment with new defensive analyst Ryan Osborn and defensive line coach Shaun Nua also involved.
Apple Valley (Cali.) three-star QB Jayden Denegal
Quick Biography: Denegal committed to Michigan over offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan State, Utah and others, shortly after coveted target Nate Johnson committed to Utah. He worked out in front of head coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterbacks coach Matt Weiss June 23 and impressed so much that he earned an offer.
"Jayden is a super sharp kid," quarterback trainer Danny Hernandez said. "He's a big kid. He's a prototype NFL guy. He has a big arm. He's highly intelligent and a great student in the classroom. He's smart on the football field, as well. He had some big offers early on."
He decided to wrap it up after the U-M offer, though, and will be a Wolverine.
"I have a big arm," he said. "I think that’s the big thing for me. I stay in the pocket and that’s my game. I can move, but I’m a pro-style passer."
Belleville (Mich.) High two-star linebacker Aaron Alexander
Quick Biography: Alexander committed to his favorite school June 19 during his official visit over an offer from Marshall.
"Michigan has been my favorite college since I was a little kid," Alexander said. "It meant the world to me when they offered. I like the family dynamic. They'll have your back no matter what. It just seems like a great place to be."
An under-the-radar prospect who missed most of last season with a thumb injury , Alexander worked out for Michigan at both of its on-campus camps this month as well as its satellite camps in Big Rapids and Nashville. Michigan decided to offer after strong performances.
"It was great getting to work with them," Alexander, a speedy linebacker, said. "I got to see what they were about and how hard they worked. They saw what I was about, and they pulled the trigger. But they are all great coaches, and I've learned a lot from them."
Quite a few Michigan coaches were involved in the recruitment of Alexander. New Michigan linebackers coach George Helow offered, but fellow assistants Steve Clinkscale and Ron Bellamy, who botth have strong ties in the Detroit-area, were also heavily involved.
Columbia (S.C.) Hammond School three-star running back CJ Stokes
Quick Biography: A speedster who has 4.41 40-yard dash speed, Stokes was quick to pull the trigger during his official visit from June 18-20, and made his pledge Saturday (June 19). With that, he became new Michigan running backs coach Mike Hart's first commit at the position since taking the job.
He chose the Maize and Blue over Duke, Louisville, Minnesota, Missouri, Penn State, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, West Virginia and others.
"Ann Arbor, I'm coming," Stokes posted on social media along with his commitment graphic.
An undersized back himself, Hart is high on Stokes' game, and Stokes believes he can be developed by Michigan's all-time leading rusher and the rest of the staff.
LaGrange Park (Ill.) Nazareth Academy four-star wide receiver Tyler Morris
2021 stats: 22 receptions for 419 yards and three touchdowns (his squad's 2020 fall season was pushed back to the spring of 2021)
Quick Biography: He pledged to Michigan April 20, after originally having planned on making a decision in the summer of 2021. Morris had been in the midst of planning official visits to Florida, Michigan and Notre Dame, but decided to scrap those plans to commit to the Maize and Blue.
“They have a great culture,” he said. “I think they have a bright future ahead of them. I like the family feel and the way they make me feel like they really want me. They showed me how I’m going to be used, and that’s big for me.”
U-M took a laid-back recruiting approach with Morris and it wound up paying dividends. He cited his budding relationships with co-offensive coordinators Sherrone Moore and Josh Gattis as one of the primary reasons for his pledge, and the topics they discuss together.
“They are great guys,” Morris said. “They seem real. I say this all the time, but it’s not just about football with them. They always ask how I’m doing, how my family is doing, how school is going and things like that. It really shows a lot.”
Morris is also former Nazareth Academy teammates with current Michigan freshman quarterback J.J. McCarthy.
Eastpointe (Mich.) High four-star wide receiver Tay'Shawn Trent
2020 Stats: 32 receptions for 548 yards and 11 touchdowns
Quick Biography: He pledged to Michigan March 3, becoming the first wide receiver commit in U-M's 2022 class. Michigan State was actually viewed as the leader for Trent throughout much of the process, but U-M offensive coordinator Josh Gattis helped turn the tide in the Maize and Blue's favor.
"He's a coach that you can look at as a friend," Trent said of Gattis. "But you don't necessarily treat him as a friend. He's a best friend but a coach at the same time. He likes me as a big guy on the outside and sees me as a strong, physical receiver. We have a great relationship.
“We actually talk about stuff like the food he’s had down south, and the food we have up here. I want to try some of that down south food. But he’s just a cool dude and a good coach."
When asked which NFL receiver Trent compares his game to, he singled out Tennessee Titans wideout Julio Jones.
Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South five-star cornerback Will Johnson
2020 Stats: 14.5 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups
Quick Biography: Johnson committed to Michigan Feb. 28, becoming the Wolverines' first (and to date, only) five-star prospect in the class. He chose the Maize and Blue over his other two finalists, Ohio State and USC, pledging a little over three months after a visit to The Big House during U-M's November showdown against Wisconsin.
“I think it was definitely a big visit for me,” Johnson said of his November trip. “They impressed me a lot. I definitely connected with a lot the commits. It was a big weekend for Michigan. I liked getting to see the dorms, but really it was being able to connect with everybody.”
Johnson's father, Deon Johnson, also played for Michigan in the 1990s. The younger Johnson also cited his relationship with Michigan's staff as one of the reasons for his decision.
“They said it’s not going to be a lot of man [defense],” Johnson said of the schematic philosophy. “They are going to have a lot of different coverages and take a more pro-minded approach.”
Germantown (Tenn.) High four-star safety Kody Jones
2020 Stats: Shelby County Schools did not have a football season this past fall
Quick Biography: He pledged to Michigan Feb. 5, just two and a half weeks after picking up an offer from the Maize and Blue. Jones said the primary reason for his commitment was due to the relationship he had built with former Michigan co-defensive coordinator Maurice Linguist, who departed the program in April.
“Really, it’s Coach Mo," Jones explained while discussing his pledge. "The relationship we have is crazy. What we talk about and how we talk about it is real. I felt it in my heart.
"That’s where I want to be. I know it in my heart, so why wait?”
New defensive passing game coordinator Steve Clinkscale and the Michigan staff are now continuing to recruit him and keep him in the class.
Jones committed to Michigan over other impressive offers from the likes of Auburn, Florida State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Penn State, Tennessee and Texas A&M. His pledge also came without ever having visited Ann Arbor, though he did visit the weekend of June 18-20.
Monument (Colo.) Palmer Ridge three-star offensive tackle Connor Jones
Quick Biography: He pledged to Michigan on Christmas Eve night (Dec. 24), standing as U-M's first offensive line commit in the 2022 class. The 6-7, 285-pounder chose the Maize and Blue over other Power Five offers from Indiana, Northwestern, Oregon State, Virginia and West Virginia.
Jones admitted he's been a Michigan fan his entire life, and cited his relationship with now former offensive line coach Ed Warinner as one of the primary reasons he committed.
“Overall, he’s a great coach,” Jones said of Warinner. “He’s put a lot of guys in the league. That’s one thing I’m going to take into consideration when making a decision. It definitely makes me super excited. The NFL is Plan A.”
Jones also took a self-guided tour of Ann Arbor in mid-December a week before he committed, marking the first time he'd ever been to campus.
River Rouge (Mich.) High three-star defensive end Davonte Miles
Quick Biography: He committed to Michigan Dec. 18, serving as just the third pledge in the Wolverines’ 2022 class. Miles had 17 scholarship offers at the time of his commitment, including other notable ones from the likes of Kentucky, Michigan State and Pittsburgh.
“I feel like I wanted to stay home and help Michigan win, become that top-caliber program,” Miles told Rivals.com’s Josh Helmholdt. “They were one of my favorite programs [growing up].
"It’s a huge blessing and a dream come true.”
Miles also cited his relationship with defensive line coach Shaun Nua as one of the primary reasons for his pledge.
Rabun Gap (Ga.) Nacoochee three-star tight end Marlin Klein
2019 Stats: 15 catches for 335 yards and four touchdowns
Quick Biography: He pledged to Michigan on Sept. 22, becoming the first offensive commit in the Wolverines' 2022 class.
Originally hailing from Germany, Klein chose Michigan over other notable offers from Florida State and Georgia.
The 6-6, 220-pounder cited how much Ann Arbor reminded him of Germany when explaining why he chose to pledge.
"As soon as I stepped on campus, it felt like home, and that is when I started thinking about committing," he said. "I did not go up there thinking about doing this, but I know that I found my place.
"When I was up at Michigan, I felt like I was at home in Germany. The weather reminded me of home, and it just felt right. The campus was great, the people are nice, and Michigan is the whole package."
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