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Three-Point Stance: QB and OL no-shows, 2025 reset, goodbye Jim Harbaugh

DJ Lagway
DJ Lagway (Karyna Aguilar)

Rivals national recruiting analyst Adam Friedman has thoughts on the future of high school all-star games, the 2025 recruiting class and the seemingly inevitable departure of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

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It was great to see many of the top prospects in the country at the Under Armour All-America Game and All-American Bowl over the last two weeks. The high-end talent on display on the practice fields and in the game was tremendous ... except at the two most important positions: quarterbacks and offensive linemen.

Twenty of the 27 five-stars, 35 of the top 50 prospects in the Rivals250 and just over half of the top 100 players in the Rivals250 participated in one of the two major all-star games but those numbers are drastically different when you focus on the quarterbacks and offensive linemen.

Of the 10 highest-ranked quarterbacks in the Rivals250, the only one that participated in the all-star games was five-star Florida signee DJ Lagway. Rivals250 quarterbacks Demond Williams, Michael Van Buren, Ethan Grunkemeyer and Dante Reno participated as well but none of them rank higher than No. 165 in the Rivals250.

Nationally, the 2024 class doesn't feature a particularly talented group of offensive linemen. Still, there are a few who could qualify as "elite" and we were hoping to see them at the all-star games. Instead just 11 of the 26 Rivals250 offensive linemen were split between the two all-star games so protection issues and missed blocking assignments plagued both games.

Don't mistake this as a shot at the Under Armour All-America Game or All-American Bowl. The overwhelming majority of the top prospects from around the country were invited to play but those prospects decided against participating. This isn't the first year of major no-shows at all-star games and it won't be the last so we'll see if the organizers behind each game can find a solution.



David Sanders Jr.
David Sanders Jr.

A few top 2025 prospects have already announced their commitments but, with the 2024 class all but finished, it's time to shift the recruiting spotlight to the 2025 class.

The East region featured top talent in the 2024 class such as Dylan Stewart, Guerby Lambert, Josiah Thompson, Quinton Martin and Jadyn Davis and there are some special prospects in the 2025 class to get familiar with.

Five-star David Sanders Jr. is the top-ranked prospect in the 2025 class. The offensive tackle out of Charlotte (N.C.) Providence Day holds the Georgia Bulldogs in high regard but Alabama, Clemson, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida State and many others are very much in the mix.

Safety Faheem Delane is ranked third at his position nationally. Look for Ohio State, Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Virginia Tech, Georgia and Texas to play a large role in his recruitment going forward.

Cornerback Blake Woodby is ranked No. 34 in the 2025 Rivals250. He committed to Ohio State over offers from Oregon, Tennessee, Clemson and Alabama.

Defensive end Zahir Mathis, No. 41 in the 2025 Rivals250, has plenty of options. South Carolina, Florida, Ohio State, Tennessee and Texas are among his top contenders ahead of what's expected to be a busy visit season.

Defensive end Bryce Davis rounds out the current top five prospects from the East region. The Greensboro, N.C., native only played in a few games his junior year but was dominant. Clemson, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina are just a few programs to watch in his recruitment.



Related: Three takeaways from Michigan's win over Washington

This has to be it for Jim Harbaugh as head coach, right?

It has been reported that Harbaugh has hired NFL agent Don Yee and multiple teams are already vetting him for the upcoming NFL hiring cycle. We all remember how close Harbaugh was to taking multiple NFL jobs last year. The odds are probably better that Harbaugh leaves for the NFL than stays at Michigan for another year.

At his introductory press conference in 2014, Harbaugh explained that Michigan is about excellence and greatness and that he was arriving for his homecoming in Ann Arbor with great expectations. The Wolverines were neither excellent nor great when Harbaugh was hired but this 2023 team accomplished something great. It went undefeated in the regular season. It knocked the SEC champ out of the postseason. The Wolverines weren't distracted by the multiple investigations and suspensions this season. They won the national title.

Harbaugh has accomplished his mission. He got the Wolverines back to the mountaintop. He restored his alma mater to competency and success on the field. He built a program and a foundation to carry this success forward for a decade. He can install his own coach who was born on third base if he wants. Well done.