Rashan Gary Announcement: No. 1 Prospect Picks MichiganBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
The nation's top college football prospect has made up his mind and chose to join Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh's elite incoming recruiting class.
Defensive tackle Rashan Gary appeared on ESPN's "SportsCenter" to reveal his choice. Reports earlier in the day indicated Gary narrowed his final choices down to Michigan and Clemson, though some were split on which way he was leaning.
— Bobby Kunz (@UofMDieHards) February 3, 2016
No. 1 recruit DT Rashan Gary chooses Michigan (@umichfootball); only No. 1 player to pick Big Ten school in ESPN 300 era (since 2006) — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 3, 2016
Adam Friedman, of Rivals.com, predicted Gary would choose Michigan while his colleague Mike Farrell believed Gary was leaning toward Clemson "slightly."
Good news bad news #Wolverines -- Asiasi does seem to be leaning towards #GoBlue -- Rashan Gary I think leaning #Clemson slightly — Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) February 3, 2016
Still, 247 Sports' "Crystal Ball," which is a compilation of multiple experts' predictions, gave Michigan an 83 percent chance to land Gary's commitment.
The consensus top overall prospect in the 2016 class, Gary will likely have a major impact on how this year's class rankings stack up. Michigan has hovered around the middle of the top 10 of both ESPN and Rivals' class rankings. By 247 Sports' composite ranking, Harbaugh's class eighth overall, though Gary's commitment should give him a boost.
While defensive tackle can often be an unglamorous position on the football field, Gary is a rare talent that can play multiple positions on the defensive line and can affect the opposing offense's run and pass game.
SB Nation's Ian Boyd summed up: "You can see the lightning quick shuttle time reflected by his lateral quickness and ability to play in space on the edge or stunt across multiple gaps as a blitzer.
"When he's had the opportunity to beat opposing OL to a spot, he's truly dominated. His hands swat away their feeble attempts to control them, and then he closes on the ball carrier with the lateral quickness to swallow up attempted jukes."