College Football
What Jadyn Davis' commitment means for the future of Michigan football
College Football

What Jadyn Davis' commitment means for the future of Michigan football

Updated Apr. 5, 2023 8:06 p.m. ET

The recent commitment of Jadyn Davis gives us reason to believe Michigan will be a mainstay in the College Football Playoff for the foreseeable future. The five-star QB prospect out of Providence Day School in Charlotte is a tremendous player to build a team around, one that is capable of winning a national title.

That's who Michigan is now — a team we talk about in the same breath as programs we expect to win national titles in the CFP era.

Davis, who is the No. 28 ranked prospect in the 247Sports Composite, committed to Michigan last week over the likes of Clemson, Tennessee, North Carolina and, pointedly, Ohio State. It was a massive win for offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore and recently-elevated QB coach Kirk Campbell. 

Davis is the fourth-ranked QB in the Composite rankings and the No. 2 QB in 247Sports' rankings, behind Dylan Raiola, who is the top overall player in the class.


While Davis is the 10th commitment in Michigan’s class during this cycle, he is the Wolverines’ first five-star pledge since cornerback Will Johnson in 2022. That sounds odd given Michigan’s success on the field over the past two seasons. During that span, the Wolverines beat rival Ohio State twice, won the Big Ten title twice, made the CFP twice, and have put together a 25-3 record. However, the program didn't sign a single top-100 recruit in the 2023 cycle and has signed just one five-star — Johnson — during that run.

Michigan finished 12th in the team Composite rankings for the 2022 cycle and not one of team's assistant coaches ranked among the top-25 recruiters in the sport for that cycle. 

In fact, as FOX Sports college football writer Michael Cohen has written, former Wolverine offensive coordinator Josh Gattis ranked 28th and sixth in the Big Ten, even after winning the Broyles Award in 2021. Defensive line coach Mike Elston was the second-best finisher on the staff, ranking 36th.

In the 2023 recruiting cycle, Steve Clinkscale finished highest among Michigan coaches at No. 33, while Elston finished second on the staff again, but this time at No. 47.

It's still early in the 2024 cycle, but Clinkscale already ranks No. 5 with six of Michigan’s commits coming with him as the primary recruiter, and five of those recruits being blue chip prospects. Moore is up to No. 21, while Elston is up to No. 30.

The commitment of Davis gives Michigan fans hope that the Wolverines can not only keep up this level of success, but can also finish it with a national title in the near future. And while recruiting doesn't win national championships, it certainly matters. 

The Wolverines have had three straight recruiting classes that rank between No. 9 and 17 in the country. That's a far cry from Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State, three programs that would lead every sports talk show in the country if they finished a cycle outside of top 10 after playing in the CFP — let alone in back-to-back years.

Reaching the CFP in back-to-back years is an impressive feat for this Michigan program, but winning a national championship is the next step. The Oklahoma Sooners made it to the CFP four out of five years from 2015 to 2019, but could never get over the hump. Oklahoma's ceiling is what Michigan has bumped up against for consecutive years, and that's with less talent than the Sooners had during that stretch. 

By 2020, Oklahoma fans were aching to play in a bowl game they knew they could win. That same year, the Sooners went up against a dejected Florida team in the Cotton Bowl, which felt like a group that should've been playing for a national title or not at all.

The air among national title winners in the CFP era is thin, and it takes the most talented programs in the sport to win it all. And let's not be coy — Ohio State, Alabama and Georgia is the company you keep now, Michigan. That's who your fight is with, and if you're not recruiting with them, you can still expect to rent a room at the CFP and suffer the same fate you have for the last two years — dejection, worry, regret.

Ask Oklahoma how that feels. 

RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast "The Number One College Football Show." Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to "The RJ Young Show" on YouTube.

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