Michigan signed 20 players during the 2021 cycle so far giving the Wolverines the No. 2 class in the Big Ten behind Ohio State and the No. 12 class in the country, both per the 247 Sports Composite.
Even though the class scores well on paper, there is something missing — a defensive tackle. In fact, Michigan hasn't signed a defensive tackle in three of the last four classes. In 2019 the Wolverines inked Christopher Hinton and Mazi Smith, but that's it over the last four cycles.
That simply won't cut it.
Luckily, the 2021 cycle isn't over and there are still a few options on the table.
Oak Park (Mich.) High defensive tackle Rayshaun Benny
Benny was one of Michigan's top targets at the position and it looked like he was going to pick the Wolverines throughout a big chunk of his recruitment. That was before U-M's loss to Michigan State and the eventual string of poor performances. Benny ultimately ended up committing to the Spartans but he did not sign on Wednesday giving U-M a chance to get back into the mix. Benny is a big, athletic kid at about 6-5, 275 pounds and would definitely help round out U-M's already solid class.
Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peters Prep defensive tackle George Rooks
Rooks isn't a big talker so it's hard to get a bead on him. It's reported that Penn State may be leading the pack for him but Michigan has been involved for a long time and wants him pretty badly. Boston College is also involved, as is Pittsburgh, but it feels like a two-horse race between the Wolverines and Nittany Lions.
Despite recently listing Michigan in his top group along with BYU, Colorado, Florida State, Penn State and Vanderbilt, Westlake Village (Calif.) Westlake defensive tackle Victory Vaka is no longer being recruited my Michigan. The former Texas A&M commit appears to be leaning towards Vanderbilt at this time, but regardless, won't be pursued by the Wolverines.
Finally, the Wolverines will absolutely be shopping the transfer portal for potential contributors at defensive tackle. The portal is buzzing these days with 26 new names going in yesterday including a few interior defensive linemen. It's going to take some time and monitoring different platforms to identify who the Wolverines may be looking at, but don't be surprised if U-M adds at least one transfer who can contribute in 2021.