Takeaways from Michigan's June recruiting surge: A 2026 QB, plus rising optimism for 2025 (2024)

The alarm about Sherrone Moore’s slow start in recruiting has faded considerably the past two weeks.

Michigan landed a top-100 safety for the Class of 2025 in Kainoa Winston, found its 2026 quarterback in Brady Hart and has its biggest recruiting weekend of June underway. The Wolverines’ 2025 class is still among the smallest in the Big Ten, but it’s starting to look more like a typical Michigan class now that Moore and his staff have gotten the ball rolling.


Here are four notable developments from Michigan’s June recruiting surge.

A QB for 2026

Hart’s original plan was to release a list of his top eight schools in June, visit the top contenders in the fall to take in the gameday atmosphere and make a commitment in December.

A recent trip to Ann Arbor altered that timeline. After the visit, which included a FaceTime call with J.J. McCarthy, Hart called his quarterback coach, Baylin Trujillo, and said he had some important news.

“My whole body went into chills,” Trujillo said.

🏠 #GoBlue 〽️@Hayesfawcett3 @Cocoa_Schneider pic.twitter.com/m8JsBumhq7

— Brady Hart (@BradyHartQB) June 18, 2024

Quarterback recruiting is a game of high-stakes strategy between the blue-blood programs and the top prospects. Hart, the No. 7 quarterback and No. 92 player in the 247Sports Composite for 2026, was being pursued by Clemson, LSU and Michigan and landed an Ohio State offer earlier this week. If he waited, Trujillo said, Hart knew there was a chance those programs would take other quarterbacks and leave him with fewer options.

Hart decided to lock in his commitment to Michigan, giving the Wolverines a quarterback to build around for the Class of 2026. Hart is headed into his junior season at Cocoa High School in Florida, where he threw for more than 3,700 yards and led his team to a 14-1 record as a sophom*ore. The last blue-chip quarterback to pick Michigan this early was McCarthy, who committed in May before his junior season for the Class of 2021.

Hart’s father, Alex, was a pitcher at Florida and a fifth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hart grew up playing baseball and had a pitcher’s long windup instead of a quarterback’s quick release when he started working with Trujillo four years ago. Trujillo told Hart he could be one of the top quarterbacks in his class if he committed to fine-tuning his mechanics, and Hart has proven him right.


Hart has prototypical size at 6-feet-5 and roughly 195 pounds. He’s accurate in the pocket, Trujillo said, and his ability to throw on the run is one of his best traits. Though he’s not necessarily a scrambler, Hart has mobility and should become a more physical runner as he continues to get stronger. Trujillo said he won’t be surprised if Hart is a five-star prospect before the recruiting cycle ends.

“He’s more of a pro-style look because he’s 6-5, but he can hurt you with his legs,” Trujillo said. “Every combine he’s been at, he’s running 4.8, 4.7.The kid can go.”

Michigan adds 3-star RB

The first commitment for new running backs coach Tony Alford was Jasper Parker, a three-star prospect from Marrero, La., who announced his commitment Saturday. Parker, the No. 441 player in the 2025 composite rankings, picked up interest from several big programs over the winter, including Oregon, Alabama and USC, though the recent buzz focused primarily on Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Duke and Oklahoma State.

Parker doesn’t have one trait that jumps off the screen, but he does a lot of things well. He has good size at 6 feet and 190 pounds with the potential to be an effective between-the tackles runner. He may not have elite top-end speed, but he has the quickness to side-step tacklers and find creases in the defense. He can catch the ball, too, either out of the backfield or in the slot.

Pairing Parker with another back in the 2025 class would be the ideal scenario. Four-star running back Jordon Davison visited Michigan earlier this month, but Ohio State and Oregon are the perceived favorites. Marquise Davis, another Michigan target, committed to Kentucky last month. The verdict is still out on Michigan’s running back haul in this class, but Parker’s commitment puts the Wolverines on the board.


Big weekend on tap

Michigan has a large group of official visitors on campus this weekend, including several of its top remaining targets for 2025.

Maxwell Roy, a four-star defensive lineman from Philadelphia, visited Ohio State last weekend and could end up choosing between the Buckeyes and Wolverines. Kaden Strayhorn, a three-star offensive lineman who plays at IMG Academy, also spent last weekend in Columbus and has Michigan as his final June visit.

Strayhorn and Hardy Watts, a top-250 prospect from Brookline, Mass., are two of the top offensive linemen on Michigan’s board, along with five-star offensive tackle Andrew Babalola, who visited last weekend. Also on this weekend’s visit list are top-100 linebacker Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng, who made previous stops at USC, Ohio State and Notre Dame, and four-star wide receiver Taz Williams from Red Oak, Texas.

Michigan also has several of its committed prospects slated to visit this weekend, including quarterback Carter Smith and defensive lineman Nathaniel Marshall, the highest-rated player in the class.

GO DEEPERWhy Carter Smith is a 'Michigan man’ and a 'linebacker playing quarterback’

How high can Michigan’s ’25 class climb?

Michigan’s class has jumped nearly 15 spots in the past two weeks to go from outside the top 50 to No. 37 in the 247 Sports Composite rankings. That’s still lower than usual for this point in the cycle, but the Wolverines are No. 7 when sorting by average player ranking. That’s higher than the past two Michigan classes, which finished just outside the top 15, and on par with the Class of 2022, which was No. 9.

Michigan Class of 2025 commits


Nathaniel Marshall





Kainoa Winston





Carter Smith





Jaylen Williams





Avery Gach





Bobby Kanka





Eli Owens





Jasper Parker





For all of the concern about Michigan’s slow start coming off of the national championship, patience could end up being the key word for 2025. Rather than taking a bunch of early commitments, the Wolverines held out for players who were higher on their board. That paid off with commitments from players like Marshall, Winston, and defensive lineman Jaylen Williams.

Michigan had commitments from eight top-300 prospects in the 2024 class and is already halfway to that total for 2025. If the Wolverines hit a good percentage with their remaining targets, their class could climb into the top 20, roughly where they’ve finished in recent years under Jim Harbaugh. That’s still lower than the typical class for a reigning national champion, but it would make the early concerns about Moore’s recruiting seem a bit overblown.


The risk is that Michigan misses on some of its remaining targets and has to reach for players later in the cycle. With only eight commitments, the Wolverines need to make these official visit weekends count and build on the momentum of the past two weeks. If they can do that, the slow start will soon be forgotten.

(Top photo of Brady Hart: Craig Bailey / Florida Today via USA Today Network)

Takeaways from Michigan's June recruiting surge: A 2026 QB, plus rising optimism for 2025 (2)Takeaways from Michigan's June recruiting surge: A 2026 QB, plus rising optimism for 2025 (3)

Austin Meek covers Michigan football and basketball for The Athletic. He previously covered college sports for The Topeka Capital-Journal and served as sports columnist at The Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon. Follow Austin on Twitter @byaustinmeek

Takeaways from Michigan's June recruiting surge: A 2026 QB, plus rising optimism for 2025 (2024)


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