Michigan’s Moore adds 4-star safety to first class

Sports

Sherrone Moore’s inaugural recruiting class at Michigan gained its highest-ranked commit Friday when four-star safety Kainoa Winston, No. 42 in the 2025 ESPN 300, announced his pledge to the Wolverines.

Winston, who plays for Washington, D.C., power Gonzaga College High School, took an official visit to Ann Arbor late last month and chose Michigan over Penn State, Oregon and North Carolina. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound defensive back is the No. 3 safety in the 2025 class.

For the Wolverines, Winston’s commitment marks a recruiting win over conference rival Penn State, where Winston’s cousin, safety Kevin Winston Jr., made 13 starts in the Nittany Lions’ secondary last fall. According to ESPN’s rankings, Kainoa Winston is Michigan’s highest-ranked pledge since the Wolverines inked defensive end Derrick Moore (No. 19) in the 2022 class.

Winston joins defensive tackle Jaylen Williams (No. 24 DT) as Michigan’s second commit of the week and marks the latest spur to the momentum of Moore’s first recruiting work in charge of the Wolverines.

With Winston, Michigan has four ESPN 300 prospects committed in its 2025 class, including defensive tackle Nathaniel Marshall (No. 78 in ESPN 300) and quarterback Carter Smith, the No. 14 pocket passer in this cycle. Offensive tackle Avery Gach (No. 296) rounds out the group of top 300 recruits currently headed to Ann Arbor in 2025.

Other high-profile commitments could follow in the coming months with visits expected from safety Jordan Young (No. 33), offensive tackle Andrew Babalola (No. 44), outside linebacker Nathaniel Owusu-Boateng (No. 73) and running back Jordon Davison (No. 88). The Wolverines also remain in the running for Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) offensive linemen S.J. Alofaituli and Douglas Utu, the No. 10 and 11 overall prospects in the ESPN 300.

After a slow start, the 38-year-old Moore is picking up steam on the recruiting trail, with Winston’s addition the latest indicator of upward movement for Michigan in 2025.

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