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Breaking down Michigan's 2022 football recruiting class


Detroit News contributor Allen Trieu, who covers Midwest recruiting for 247Sports, breaks down Michigan's 2022 football recruiting class.

Highest-ranked player: Will Johnson, CB, Grosse Pointe South

Johnson is a 247Sports Composite five-star prospect and a top 50 national recruit across all the major recruiting networks. He combines size (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) with four years of varsity experience, the athleticism to have also been a standout on the basketball court, smarts, ball skills and plenty of intangibles to make for a blue-chip prospect. Given those attributes, playing early could be in the cards.

Best senior year: Jimmy Rolder, LB, Chicago (Illinois) Marist

There were a lot of choices here, but Rolder began the fall way off the major college radar. He was committed to Illinois for baseball and visited at least one Big Ten school for football who later admitted it had no idea he had been there. He played his way into being a recruit the Wolverines had to battle Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida and others for. He led his team deep into the playoffs making 115 tackles (13 for loss and four sacks), recording three interceptions (with two returned for touchdowns) and recovering two fumbles. It was not just that production, but his hard-hitting style and speed to the ball that made him a must-have for defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald and the Wolverines.

Three-star most likely to succeed: Alessandro Lorenzetti, OT, Windsor (Connecticut) Loomis Chaffee

The ranking of Lorenzetti was a difficult process for sites because he began playing football up in Montreal and when he got to the states, his junior season ended up being canceled due to COVID-19. He played as a senior, but footage is still limited. That said, through the game film as well as workout film, it is clear he is a very good athlete with twitch and change of direction at 6-6, 285 pounds. Between that and the job offensive line coach Sherrone Moore has done with the unit this year, it wouldn't be surprising to see Lorenzetti develop into a major contributor.

Biggest: Kenneth Grant, DT, Merrillville (Indiana)

At 6-4 and 335 pounds, Grant just looks big compared to his high school competition. However, he's not just a gap-plugger, showing the ability to penetrate and run down plays. He also went both ways as a senior and played well on offense, proving he had the conditioning to play the majority of games.

Fastest: Marlin Klein, TE, Rabun Gap (Georgia) Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School

It feels strange to list a tight end here, but Klein’s 10.9 in the 100-meter dash is faster than anyone else’s track times. Safety Zeke Barry has the class’s fastest verified 40-yard dash time with a 4.55.

Best recruiting win: Keon Sabb, S, Bradenton (Florida) IMG Academy and Darrius Clemons, WR, Portland (Oregon) Westview

These were two late additions that would not have been predicted to go Michigan’s way for the bulk of their recruitments. Sabb was committed to Clemson, while Clemons was favored to stay out West and choose Oregon. Late visits with both helped make the difference, as did Clemons’ Michigan roots, but these stand out as strong recruiting jobs by the staff.

Strength of the class: The defensive line

There will be an influx of size, skill and athleticism at this position. Grant is a massive, athletic prospect, the type that Michigan fans wanting more beef on the interior of the defensive line have been clamoring for. Fellow tackle Mason Graham arguably had as good of a senior year as anyone in the class and Kevonte Henry is a pass rusher with speed.

Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.