Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines have scored a major victory in the college football recruiting landscape after four-star athlete Brandyn Hilliman committed to the program. Hilliman, who was initially committed to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, will join the Wolverines, having requested a release from his national letter of intent from his former program earlier this month.
The 6-foot-1, 191-pounder, who hails from Churchland High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, had been fielding scholarships from other high-profile programs like Ohio State, Wisconsin, and USC since his de-commitment from Notre Dame. Hilliman is ranked No. 130 overall and was the seventh-ranked athlete in the previous cycle.
According to 247Sports, Hilliman is expected to compete for playing time on the defensive side of the ball as a safety, but he also played quarterback at Churchland, a testament to the athlete’s versatility.
Hilliman’s addition marks the 32nd player recruited by Harbaugh for the most recent cycle, with the Wolverines aiming for a third consecutive appearance in the College Football Playoff during the 2023 season. Despite this impressive haul, Michigan only ranks no. 19 in 247Sports’ team recruiting rankings.
This move has significantly boosted the Wolverines’ defensive backfield, where they had previously lost out on several high-profile targets. Hilliman’s addition could help solidify the position, giving Michigan more depth.
Harbaugh, who has been subject to mounting pressure in recent seasons for failing to win big games, is expected to pull out all the stops this upcoming campaign. The Wolverines are hoping that adding Hilliman to their roster will be one of the final pieces to make a serious run at the College Football Playoff.
One of Hilliman’s strengths is his physical style of play. He’s considered an aggressive defender and an excellent tackler, making him a good fit for Michigan’s scheme. On the offensive side, Hillman has excellent accuracy and a strong arm, which should prove valuable if Michigan chooses to utilize him as a backup to starting quarterback J.J. McCarthy.
Hillman’s addition also promises to shake things up in a Big Ten conference that has seen a lot of movement in the offseason. Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Minnesota have all recruited well in the run-up to the season, and the race for the conference title will be tight.
Ultimately, the Hillman signing is a significant win for Michigan, who are looking to build on their positive momentum from the 2022 campaign. He will add depth, skill, and versatility to both the Wolverines’ offensive and defensive strategies, proving that Harbaugh is willing to take risks and prioritize winning over everything else.