football Edit

Breaking down Michigan vs. Washington in recruiting

The national championship is Monday night and Michigan and Washington got here by recruiting elite talent – whether through the high school ranks or the transfer portal. Here’s a breakdown of how each team got here.



FINAL 2023 TEAM RANKINGS: Comprehensive (overall) ranking | High school/JUCO ranking | Transfer portal ranking

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2026 RANKINGS: Rivals100

TRANSFER PORTAL: Latest news | Transfer search | Transfer tracker/player ranking (football) | Transfer team ranking (football) | Transfer tracker/player ranking (basketball) | Transfer team ranking (basketball) | Rivals Portal Twitter


Roman Wilson
Roman Wilson (AP Images)



Jadyn Davis
Jadyn Davis

The Wolverines are sitting with the second-best class in the Big Ten and the No. 13 class overall led by high four-star quarterback Jadyn Davis and No. 2 overall running back Jordan Marshall.

Michigan has put together another balanced class but the elite players are all on the offensive side of the ball as receiver I’Marion Stewart, tight end Brady Prieskorn and offensive lineman Blake Frazier are also highly ranked. Of the 27 commits in Michigan’s class, 17 are four-stars but there are no five-star prospects.

Even through the sign-stealing allegations that were leveled against the Wolverines this season and rumors about coach Jim Harbaugh’s possible return to the NFL, Michigan’s class has stayed largely all committed. There have been no major issues keeping players locked in and now that they’re all signed, that should not change.

Four-star linebacker Jaishawn Barham, who transferred from Maryland to Michigan, is the biggest get in the portal so far for the Wolverines, who haven’t been too active there.




Jason Robinson
Jason Robinson (Jeff McCulloch/

Coach Kalen DeBoer is winning games at a 90-percent clip so he knows what he’s doing and the coaching staff clearly has a great handle on what it wants to do in recruiting.

But it is a little surprising that Washington has not capitalized more on its undefeated season and run to the national championship game in this recruiting class.

The Huskies have just 15 signees as four-star defensive end Dominic Kirks is still figuring out what he wants to do. The Huskies are fourth in the Pac-12 team rankings and No. 45 overall, sandwiched between Virginia Tech and Arizona.

Still, there are some significant positives as receivers Jason Robinson and Peyton Waters are highly talented and then defensive players Keona Wilhite and Khmori House have already put together nice careers. Signing Kirks, the highest-rated prospect in the class, will be crucial.

Quite possibly one of the reasons Washington throttled back on high school recruiting this cycle was because it’s been busy in the transfer portal. Landing quarterback Will Rogers from Mississippi State and receiver Jeremiah Hunter from Cal should make for a dynamic duo.





Eli Owens
Eli Owens

Michigan is off to a really strong start to its 2025 recruiting class as quarterback Carter Smith, tight end Eli Owens, defensive end Bobby Kanka and defensive back Chris Ewald Jr., have already committed. All four of them are four-star prospects and Ewald is one notch from five-star status.

If Harbaugh stays in Ann Arbor and things turn the right way, Michigan could really load up with elite players for the next recruiting cycle. Five-stars David Sanders and DJ Pickett are considering the Wolverines, four-star OL Micah Debose, who recently backed off his pledge to Georgia, mentioned Michigan as a top team and others to watch include Rowan Byrne, Anthony Sacca and Avery Gach.


Surprisingly, Washington had no success with the top in-state players for 2024 as the top 10 recruits there signed elsewhere. That’s a stunner considering the success the Huskies had this season but 2025 could be markedly different.

Four-star linebacker Zaydrius Rainey-Sale is the top player in Washington next recruiting cycle followed by tight end T’Andre Waverly, linebacker Jonathan Epperson and tight end Noah Flores. The Huskies should be involved with them all moving forward.

California is also going to be fertile recruiting ground for the Huskies as well so whether it’s LaRue Zamorano at Corona (Calif.) Centennial, a whole host of top players at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei, high four-star Dijon Lee or others, Washington should do well in the Golden State as well.



Rashan Gary
Rashan Gary (Getty Images)

In Jim Harbaugh’s first full recruiting class in 2016, the Wolverines landed five-star defensive lineman Rashan Gary among many other top players and finished with the fourth-best class in the country.

Harbaugh has a much longer track record than DeBoer of recruiting at the highest level as Michigan then had the No. 4 class again in 2017. The class that really has led to this run at the national title came in 2021 when it was led by high four-star QB JJ McCarthy, who finished as the fifth-best quarterback in that class.

High four-star Blake Corum was in Michigan’s 2020 class. Five-star cornerback Will Johnson came in the 2022 group. In his entire time in Ann Arbor, Harbaugh had only one recruiting class outside the top 25. Usually, the Wolverines are hovering around No. 10 in the country or better.

DeBoer does not nearly have the track record of Harbaugh but his winning percentage is mind-boggling. The second-year Washington coach is 104-11 overall. He was 67-3 at Sioux Falls, 12-6 during a short stay at Fresno State and now 25-2 with the Huskies, their best two-year run in program history.

In DeBoer’s first recruiting class, Washington signed only 10 players and finished No. 89 nationally. Last class, 21 players signed, including six four-stars, and now this class the Huskies have a surprisingly low number but have utilized the portal more than Michigan.




Five-stars: (2)

Will Johnson, Myles Hinton

Four-stars: (44)

Darrius Clemons, Blake Corum, Fredrick Moore, Keon Sabb, Karmello English, Cornelius Johnson, Donovan Edwards, Makari Paige, Derrick Moore, Tyler Morris, J.J. McCarthy, Zeke Berry, Jack Tuttle, Kody Jones, Semaj Bridgeman, Braiden McGregor, Colston Loveland, Jyaire Hill, Kalel Mullings, Cole Cabana, Junior Colson, Rayshaun Benny, Quinten Johnson, Jimmy Rolder, Jaydon Hood, Cameron Calhoun, Amir Herring, Greg Crippen, Karsen Barnhart, Kechaun Bennett, Trente Jones, Mason Graham, Giovanni El-Hadi, Raheem Anderson, Zak Zinter, Evan Link, Tristan Bounds, Andrew Gentry, Trevor Keegan, Jeffrey Persi, Semaj Morgan, Cristian Dixon, Roderick Pierce III, Enow Etta

Three-stars: (46)

Mike Sainristil, Amorion Walker, Roman Wilson, Jayden Denegal, Micah Pollard, Josaiah Stewart, Brandyn Hillman, Rod Moore, Alex Orji, Kendrick Bell, DJ Waller, Ernest Hausmann, Marlin Klein, Ja’Den McBurrows, Tommy Doman, Jason Hewlett, Tavierre Dunlap, Michael Barrett, CJ Stokes, Myles Pollard, Tyler McLaurin, Benjamin Hall, Joey Velazquez, Jaylen Harrell, German Green, TJ Guy, Deakon Tonielli, Hayden Moore, Brooks Bahr, Nathan Efobi, Breeon Ishmail, Drake Nugent, LaDarius Henderson, Reece Atteberry, Connor Jones, Kenneth Grant, Eamonn Dennis, Zack Marshall, Matt Hibner, AJ Barner, Alessandro Lorenzetti, Aymeric Koumba, Cameron Brandt, Ikechukwu Iwunnah, Kris Jenkins, Cam Goode

Two-stars: (3)

Josh Wallace, Dominick Guidice, Adam Samaha

Portal: (10)

Josaiah Stewart, Josh Wallace, Jack Tuttle, Drake Nugent, LaDarius Henderson, Andrew Gentry, Myles Hinton, Dale Chesson, AJ Barner, Cam Goode




Five-stars: None

Four-stars: (27)

Giles Jackson, Rome Odunze, Caleb Presley, Rashid Williams, Germie Bernard, Bralen Trice, Michael Penix, Ralen Goforth, Austin Mack, Jalen McMillan, Kamren Fabiculanan, Curley Reed, Asa Turner, Daniyel Ngata, Cameron Davis, Sam Adams, Voi Tunuufi, Jacob Bandes, Geirean Hatchett, Landen Hatchett, Nathaniel Kalepo, Roger Rosengarten, Julius Buelow, Ryan Otton, Quentin Moore, Tuli Letuligasenoa, Faatui Tuitele

Three-stars: (45)

Jaivion Green, Jabbar Muhammad, Ja’Lynn Polk, Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Richard Newton, Dominique Hampton, Dillon Johnson, Will Nixon, Thaddeus Dixon, Alphonzo Tuputala, Denzel Boston, Tristan Dunn, William Haskell, Deven Bryant, Vincent Holmes, Darren Barkins, Tybo Rogers, Dyson McCutcheon, Leroy Bryant, Makell Esteen, Elijah Jackson, Diesel Gordon, Jordan Whitney, Lance Holtzclaw, Carson Bruener, Maurice Heims, Anthony James, Jacob Lane, Drew Fowler, Troy Fautanu, Zachary Henning, Gaard Memmelaar, MJ Ale, Soane Faasolo, Jalen Klemm, Parker Brailsford, Kahlee Tafai, Robert Wyrsch, Elishah Jackett, Matteo Mele, Devin Culp, Keith Reynolds, Elinneus Davis, Jayvon Parker, Armon Parker

Two-stars: (4)

Davon Banks, Seki Asoau-Afoa, Samuel Peacock, Jaden Green

Portal: (14)

Giles Jackson, Jabbar Muhammad, Ja’Lynn Polk, Germie Bernard, Dillon Johnson, Will Nixon, Michael Penix, Ralen Goforth, William Haskell, Zach Durfee, Darren Barkins, Daniyel Ngata, Jalen Klemm, Braydon Bruener