Michigan football recruiting: Top-rated class could return Wolverines to nation's elite

USA TODAY Sports

Michigan has fallen out of the ranks of the country's top programs on the field, but the Wolverines are still recruiting like the elite. That could mean a return to the top 10 for Brady Hoke's squad.

The Michigan football program always recruits well and has started to show the results of that recruiting on the field under head coach Brady Hoke. After several sub-par years, especially by Michigan standards, the Wolverines returned to rankings and relevance in the past two seasons.

The team still has some work to be done to get back among the elite programs in the country, as their five losses in 2012 came to Nebraska, Notre Dame, Alabama, Ohio State and South Carolina. The Wolverines were able to take care of the bottom of the Big Ten, but they still fell short of challenging for a BCS berth.

The good news for Michigan is that it has one of the top recruiting classes of 2013, and these four players will look to make a huge impact in getting the program back to its top-level status:

Dymonte Thomas: The 6'1 safety prospect out of Alliance, Ohio, runs around 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and is rated at five stars by Scout. He is ranked in the top 10 nationally among all incoming safeties by all major recruiting services except ESPN, who pegs him at No. 11. He has already signed a letter of intent and will likely practice with the team in spring ball.

Shane Morris: A traditional pocket passer who rates at five stars by all major recruiting services except ESPN, the 6'3 prospect is among the top five quarterbacks available in the 2013 class, and he is likely Michigan's best commitment this year. He still has some weight to put on in order to handle the punishment of a full Big Ten season

Patrick Kugler: Kugler is a versatile offensive lineman who could play center, tackle or guard in college. He is listed as the top overall guard prospect on Scout, the sixth tackle prospect on Rivals and the second center at 247 Sports. At around 280 pounds, Kugler could definitely add some weight, but he will likely be a rock on the Wolverine line for years to come.

Henry Poggi: He's a consensus four-star defensive lineman recruit with decent speed but likely to step inside and play defensive tackle for the Wolverines. Rated as the No. 5 DT prospect in the country by Rivals, Poggi may work as more of a rushing interior lineman than a gap-filler unless he adds about forty pounds.

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