Jim Harbaugh's estimation that Michigan could have 10 or more players selected in the 2017 NFL Draft might be on target, but don't shed any tears for the Wolverines coach over the losses. Not after the third-year coach reeled in a recruiting class ranked among the top five in the nation Wednesday on National Signing Day, per 247sports.com.
Michigan lost its biggest star, Jabrill Peppers, to early NFL draft entry. Beyond that, a deeply talented core of seniors exits to pursue NFL draft hopes as well, including CB Jourdan Lewis, WR Jehu Chesson, TE Jake Butt, WR Amara Darboh, DL Taco Charlton, and a host of others. In fact, scouts have told NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah that up to 24 outgoing Wolverines could get a chance in 2017 NFL training camps.
Of course, plenty of returning Michigan players will be first in line to vie for starting roles as replacements in spring practice. But some of the positions where UM sustained the most losses happen to be where the signing class is strongest. Chesson, Darboh and Butt accounted for most of Michigan's receiving yards last year, for instance, and Harbaugh officially added three top receivers Wednesday: 5-star recruit Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black and Nico Collins. Michigan also cleaned up at cornerback, where Lewis and Channing Stribling are moving on. Joining that competition in spring practice will be 4-star recruits Ambry ThomasandBenjamin St. Juste, who enrolled early.
Here are nine other things we learned on National Signing Day.
2. Seminoles land Wilson. DT Marvin Wilson was the highest-rated uncommitted recruit (No. 6, per 247sports) in the nation entering NSD, and chose Florida State late Wednesday afternoon. That helped the Seminoles cement a top-10 class.
3. Coming back home. Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County DL Aubrey Solomon, one of the nation's top recruits, came back to Michigan, after all. He had been committed to the Wolverines as of last summer, but reopened his recruitment after he received a thank-you note from UM for attending an event he didn't attend. Too sensitive? Too much drama? Maybe so, but Jim Harbaugh stayed on the case and eventually got his man, anyway.
4. Seven straight for Tide. Alabama coach Nick Saban rounded up the No. 1-ranked signing class in the nation for the seventh year in a row, per 247sports.com. With half a dozen 5-star recruits, the Tide showed why losing players to the NFL draft every year doesn't signal doom.
5. Meyer gets last laugh. LB Baron Browning, a 5-star Ohio State commitment, is also a 5-star prankster. He floored OSU coach Urban Meyer by telling him he had changed his mind and would sign with Alabama -- the kind of jest some coaches might not consider funny. But Meyer turned the tables when he duped Browning into thinking he had taken a job coaching the Los Angeles Rams, per ESPN. You can bet this prank war isn't over. And it might go on for four years.
6. Quotable: "I woke up this morning grabbing for the phone ... nobody to call, nobody to text." - former LSU coach Les Miles, who served as an NSD analyst on ESPNU Wednesday.
7. Jones was on NSD fence. Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones was asked about his recruitment on Wednesday, and the Super Bowl-bound star said he awoke on the morning of NSD not knowing what he would do. Considering he was among the nation's most high-profile recruits and was arguably Alabama coach Nick Saban's biggest recruiting target for an entire year, we find that a bit hard to swallow. Nevertheless, Jones insists he was uncertain.
8. The name game. The best name in this year's class of signees? It's often debatable. This year, it's not. Illinois State signed OL Kobe Buffalomeat. There are some other spectacular names entering the college football landscape, but c'mon. Turn out the lights -- it's over.
9. Gators take Robinson. The recruitment of WR James Robinson of Lakeland (Fla.) High ended in some controversy with Robinson signing with Florida. Robinson was cited for marijuana possession during an official visit to Ohio State over the weekend. He then dug a deeper hole on social media, and Wednesday, UF coach Jim McElwain addressed the decision to sign him.
10. Sage advice. Several NFL players, including QB Robert Griffin III, took to Twitter on Wednesday with some of their thoughts on NSD, including some words of widsom for incoming freshmen.