How U-M ascended class rankings

The Wolverines have climbed the ESPN class rankings all the way to the No. 1 spot. The 2014 class for Michigan is off to a stellar start, but a lot will need to happen for the maize and blue to keep their position atop the rankings.

Here is a look at a timeline of the ascent to the top and what the coaching staff will need to do to stay there.

Michigan class rankings

April 18 (first release): No. 6

Total commits: Six

ESPN 150 commits: Six

Commits: QB Wilton Speight, OL Mason Cole, TE Ian Bunting, WR Drake Harris, DT Bryan Mone, LB Michael Ferns.

Who was ahead of U-M: 1. Texas, 2. Florida, 3. Texas A&M, 4. LSU, 5. Florida State

April 25 rank: No. 5

Total commits: Seven

ESPN 150 commits: Six

Additions: WR Moe Ways

Who was ahead of U-M: 1. Texas, 2. Florida, 3. LSU, 4. Texas A&M

May 2 rank: No. 4

Total commits: Eight

ESPN 150 commits: Seven

Additions: ESPN 150 OL Juwann Bushell-Beatty.

Who was ahead of them: 1. Texas, 2. Florida, 3. LSU

May 10 rank: No. 3

Total commits: Eight

ESPN 150 commits: Seven

Who was ahead of them: 1. Texas, 2. Florida

May 17 rank: No. 1

Total commits: Nine

ESPN 150 commits: Eight

Additions: ESPN 150 DE Lawrence Marshall.

The 2014 class for Michigan will be smaller in terms of total numbers. There will probably be 16 to 19 spots on signing day, which means Michigan will really have to close well to maintain the top spot.

Lucky for Wolverines fans there are still some major prospects on the board with major interest in Michigan.

At the top of the list is the No. 2 prospect in the country, Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic), who will be making his announcement on ESPNU on May 26. Michigan is among his finalists and looks to have a great chance at landing the No. 1 defensive back target.

Defensive end Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) is the next highest-ranked prospect the Wolverines could land at No. 4 overall. If the coaching staff pulls Hand and Peppers that would be two top five prospects in one class, which would be a huge case for Michigan to stay at No. 1.

Other prospects in the ESPN 150 whom Michigan is chasing include offensive lineman Alex Bars (55), defensive tackle Malik McDowell (69), wide receivers Corey Holmes (75) and Artavis Scott (85), and defensive back Parrker Westphal (87).

If the Wolverines close with the majority of the listed targets then it will be very hard to knock Michigan from its lofty perch.