National signing day has come and gone, which means we can begin to fully evaluate each team's recruiting haul. This week on the Big Ten blog, we're looking at which player or position group has the potential to make an instant impact for each conference team in 2017.
Up next: Michigan
Player: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones
Michigan's coaching staff made it a point to collect some of their home state's top talent this season. None from that group is expected to be a bigger addition than Detroit Cass Tech's People-Jones.
The Wolverines graduated their top three pass-catchers from 2016. Without Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson and tight end Jake Butt, the door is wide open for a first-year player to emerge as an important part of the offense. Peoples-Jones, the 22nd-ranked prospect overall, is the crown jewel of a deep, talented recruiting class. His size (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) and the speed that helped him win a city championship in the 100-meter dash (10.93 seconds) last spring made a long line of college coaches salivate over his game film in the past year.
Peoples-Jones enrolled in Ann Arbor last month to get a jump start on school and the Wolverines' playbook. He had a 3.9 GPA in high school, according to head coach Jim Harbaugh, and plans to be a pre-med major in college.
New passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton wants his young receivers to learn all three receiver positions in Michigan's offense, but Peoples-Jones projects as an outside threat. He might find himself in the starting lineup as early as September if he can beat out some of the upperclassmen who haven't produced big numbers to this point in their careers.
"First couple weeks have been great," he said last Wednesday. "We've got a great opportunity to be coached by the best coaches in the country."