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Battleground States: Michigan's Deepest Class Ever

Battleground States:  Michigan's Deepest Class Ever

Battleground States: Michigan

Welcome back to another addition of Battleground States. In this series we discuss states that could see the most intense recruiting battles come June.   This week we will focus on Michigan, which is home to 7 D1 Programs.

State of Michigan Division 1 Programs (7)

  • Central Michigan University (MAC)- Mount Pleasant, MI
  • Detroit Mercy (Horizon)- Detroit, MI
  • Eastern Michigan (MAC)- Ypsilanti, MI
  • University of Michigan (Big 10)- Ann Arbor, MI
  • Michigan State University (Big 10)- East Lansing, MI
  • Oakland University (Horizon)- Rochester, MI
  • Western Michigan University (MAC)- Kalamazoo, MI

Michigan and Michigan State are the state's Power 5 schools, however, they battle in the rugged Big Ten and both are building programs.  Michigan’s only above .500 finish in the conference over the past 5 years came when they went 11-9 in 2021. 

State of Michigan’s Recruiting Trends


State’s #1 Player Committed: Nebraska

State Top 10’s Prospects Signed In-State: 0

State Top 10’s Prospects that Signed with “Big 3”: 1

State  Top 10 Prospects that Committed to Traditional Top 25 Programs: 2


State’s #1 Player Committed: Western Michigan

State Top 10’s Prospects Signed In-State: 4

State Top 10’s Prospects that Signed with “Big 3”: 0

State  Top 10 Prospects that Committed to Traditional Top 25 Programs: 0


State’s #1 Player Committed: Nebraska

State Top 10’s Prospects Signed In-State: 0

State Top 10’s Prospects that Signed with “Big 3”: 1

State  Top 10 Prospects that Committed to Traditional Top 25 Programs: 2

State of Michigan Recruiting Label 2026 = NATIONAL DESTINATION

Michigan’s past recruiting classes have been top-heavy and have not included a deep list of Power 5 prospects, but that changes with the 2026 Class.  Deep in high-end talent and nationally recognized this is the most talented class in Michigan’s recent memory.

The three year trend has been for most of Michigan’s top prospects to head to neighboring states and D1 schools in those areas. Unfortunately (for in-state fans) 2 of the past 3 years the State’s #1 Player has headed to National Power Nebraska.  

Outside of the crazy 2024 class, most players in the top 10 have gone to Big 10 and Big 12 schools in neighboring states like Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. 

MICHIGAN Class of 2026 Recruiting Prospect Notes

Gabby DiVita, OH, Legacy

DiVita is the first on our list and the first of many from Legacy. DiVita is a top 2 prospect in the state. In VBAdrenaline’s Power 30, we had her ranked as the #7 prospect in the country. (and that may be low). She is the best passing OH in America and that makes her a prized target for every D1 coach.  Her competitiveness is unmatched so you are getting an Impact Player Day 1.

DiVita will get looks from EVERY top 50 program in the country.  She is on everyone’s list make no mistake and competition for her will be intense. 

Kayla Nwabueze, MB, Legacy

A top three middle in the class (and we have talked numerous times how deep this MB class is), Kayla is a Top 15 National Player on everyone’s list.  Her dominance was on display as she was dominating in leading Legacy to a 16 Elite Championship at the TC NIT. 

Nwabueze is ranked 14th on the VBAdrenaline Power 30 and is one of the best blockers in the country, but it’s her offense that sets her apart from other Middles, she has some of the best power in the class. She was the only 10th grader on Michigan’s D1 First Team All-State Team last year. She is also a high-academic athlete and that will provide additional interest from certain schools.  Like DiVita, Kayla will be on everyone’s radar as all of the top programs (Big Ten and nationally) look to take advantage of this deep class of athletic middles. 

Ella Andrews, MB, Legacy

Speaking of dominant middles and like Legacy wasn’t already deep enough with DiVita and Nwabueze, Andrews is right there in terms of talent. The other half of the All-American MB core for Legacy, Andrews provides the size at 6’4, she’s incredibly talented in big moments and also shares Nwabueze’s gift for offensive talent. She can beat anyone in the middle, and is a Setter’s dream when she’s waiting for the ball in the center, but she can also hit from the outside and with sharp angles. VBAdrenaline has her at #18 on our Power 30, but Ella will be right in the mix for top MB in this class and will be another that will gain interest from all Top 30 programs local and nationally.

Emma Keeping, S, MI Elite Volleyball

Our first MI Elite player is also the top Setter in the state. Keeping is a beast for MI Elite and will be a sought after Setter in this class.  She camped all over the Midwest last year and has more stops planned for June. 

She’s an incredible leader on the floor with the ability to also take over the offense and attack. Which will give top D1 teams a lot of options with her on the floor. Being a the top Setter in the state has meant big offers recently with 2 of the past 3 going to Nebraska and Kentucky, and I guarantee you Keeping won’t be any different. She will be at a top school in 2026.  The guess is Midwest, but look for her to land at a Top 25 program.

Karis Chatfield, OH, FarOut Volleyball

Chatfield is an interesting prospect on FarOut, because of how dominant she was in the high school season. Chatfield finished the season with almost 600 kills this year, almost 600 digs and 101 aces. She was named to the Second Team All-State team. Chatfield can absolutely do it all offensively and defensively. She also has the basketball background by being the center for her high school team. She may not be as talked about as girls from larger clubs, but make no mistake she has D1 game. 

Last year’s top FarOut OH (Navea Gauthier) crossed state lines as she landed at Ohio State. Chatfield will gain heavy interest withing driving distance of her front-door. 

Meredith Martin, L/DS, Legacy

Martin had over 200 digs last year in her sophomore season. The top ranked libero, in Michigan makes the move from Orchard Lake St. Mary’s to Marian this year, which moves her from the D2 level to the D1 level. 

The state’s top ranked bro in 2023 and 2025 signed with Utah and Alabama respectively.  Playing with the highly-ranked Legacy squad guarantees that Meredith has been seen by coaches near and far.. 

Eva Long, S, Legacy

Long is the second of three Setters on this list and the leading Setter for Legacy. Eva was an All-State Honorable Mention at the D1 level last season after having almost 400 assists last year to go along with 100+ digs, 106 kills, and 48 aces. 

An undersized 5’9 Setter, doesn’t stop Long from doing it all on the floor. She is a court general for her Legacy squad loaded with offensive options, but she leads them all and that can often be a difficult job keeping talented players happy.  The question may be what level does Long take and how much attention does she gain?  She knows how to win vs. top competition at club and high school and that is something many programs will be drawn to come June. 

Liv Hosford, OH/MB, Michigan Volleyball Academy

A small-club athlete, Hosford is one that is very intriguing to me because of her success at the high school level. Sites have her listed as a top 10 Michigan prospect for a reason. Hosford was the 9th grader to make the D1 All-State Team in 2022 when she was named Second Team All-State. She then repeated that with another Second Team All-State this year. She just finished her sophomore season and is almost at 1000 kills. She transitioned from Middle Blocker to Outside Hitter this year and had almost 600 kills this season. She is tearing up the high school game and looks like someone that can transition really well to college. Athletes like this are fun because you know there are schools that have seen her production and are hoping a kid like this goes unnoticed until June.  Then a few years from now they end up being a star at the next level.  Liv is on school’s radar and she has the talent to go D1. 

Madeline Dettling, OH, Mi Elite

Dettling is the top echelon of Mi Elite’s 2026 prospects (with Keeping). The club team may not be deep, but Dettling is a strong prospect. Madeline has the ability to find the angles to get the ball on the ground, and she’s seen her role at Mi Elite and her high school team SMCC drastically increase over the past year because of how much she impacts the game when she’s on the floor. 

We actually have a pretty nice look at trends, with Jessica Costlow, who also was an OH for Mi Elite and SMCC. She ended up at Toledo. Top OH for Mi Elite have ended up at schools like Toledo, Wofford, and Austin Peay, and Cincinnati. With so many state and regional D1 programs near, Dettling will get attention from several. 

Lexie Stotenbur, S, FarOut Volleyball

The third setter in the state and the third setter on this list Stotenbur leads FarOut Volleyball and Karis Chatfield. Stotenbur surprised a lot of people this fall by leading her high school team to the state championship game in her first season and was named Third Team All-State this year. Lexie is a great example of the depth in this class and the 3rd Setter that should go D1.  

Jillian Ferrill, OH, Legacy 16-2

This kid is what we love about our job.  Talking with people that know they sport and bring up true “under-the-radar” kids that will make it big. 

Ferrill is currently on the #2 Legacy 16s team, but has D1 talent no question.  Her game is evolving and would be a star OH on most any other club in the region. This is why you don’t pay attention to rankings and lists from people that don’t know volleyball.  We have talked with multiple sources saying she is definitely going to have chances to play at the sports highest level.

Riley Copenhaver, MB, Legacy 16-2

Copenhaver is in the exact same position as Ferrill, she is currently on the #2 Legacy team (because she is slightly behind 2 Top 15 prospects in her same club).  She is pretty much in the same boat and like Ferrill, getting plenty of inquiries and interest from P5 schools and is a “hidden gem” on the list of several big programs.

State of the State

The Toll Roads in Michigan should get plenty of action come June.  Plenty of targets for In-State programs to seek to keep home, but also some top-end stars that will bring coaches from across the country.  The Legacy gym has shown it can produce superstars that can play and excel in any environment

This is the deepest Michigan class ever.  There are more names left off this list that also could’ve been included. This class will set new trends and records for most D1 and Power 5 commits.  Going to be many recruiting headlines coming out of this state.  Stay tuned.

Zachary Tipton