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Thursday, February 7, 2013
Michigan: 2014 prospects to watch

By Tom VanHaaren

Now that signing day has come and gone, Michigan's full attention is set on the 2014 class. With two excellent prospects already committed, WolverineNation looks at five prospects who will be an integral part of Michigan's 2014 recruiting efforts. LB Michael Ferns
St. Clairsville, Ohio/St. Clairsville

Michael Ferns
Michael Ferns cuts a nice figure in maize and blue.
Ferns is already committed, but he remains on this list for a reason. For one, he is a huge pickup for Michigan, but he is also hot on the recruiting trail for Michigan. Ferns is building on what Shane Morris did in the 2013 class, trying to develop relationships with other top Michigan targets. That could end up being a bonus for Michigan if Ferns can help reel in other prospects.

DT Bryan Mone
Salt Lake City/Highland

The defensive lineman out of Utah came away from his Michigan visit raving about the trip and what he experienced. Mone's head coach says schools are coming in from all over to get in on his recruitment. Mone would be a huge addition to the defensive line, and Michigan currently leads. He plans on making a return trip with his father, and if all goes well, Mone could be joining his former high school teammate Sione Houma at Michigan.

DE Malik McDowell
Detroit/Loyola

Michigan needs to keep the top in-state prospects at home. At 6-foot-6, 290 pounds, McDowell would literally be a huge get for the Wolverines. If the coaches were able to score Mone and McDowell, it would make a big impact up front. It will be a tough battle for McDowell, but Michigan is right in it.

DB Parrker Westphal
Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook

The Michigan coaching staff lost out on in-state defensive back Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech), so Westphal might have become a must get for Michigan. He has been targeted by Michigan, Ohio State and Florida, among others, and it's not likely to stop there. Westphal says that Michigan has set the standard in his recruitment, but he plans on taking his time.

WR Drake Harris
Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian

Since Harris has decided to open up his recruitment and focus only on football, rather than football and basketball, Michigan is in the conversation. The Wolverines have missed on big wide receiver targets the past few years with Laquon Treadwell and Stefon Diggs. If Michigan was able to pick up Harris, it would be the first big wide receiver commit for Brady Hoke and his staff. It would not only be a big pickup but also a huge boost to the offense.