Redshirt Sophomore Tom Strobel, Defensive Line
Hometown: Mentor HS; Mentor, OH
Height/Weight: 6'6, 268 lbs.
Three Things To Know About Tom
1. During Michigan's recruitment of Tom, the school got a bit of help from an unlikely source: former Purdue quarterback Drew Brees.
Tom knew someone with a connection to Brees and reached out to the Super Bowl winning quarterback for advice. What he got was enough to solidify Michigan as the place for him.
"Drew Brees is such a great guy," Stroble said. "I was fortunate to talk to him on the phone when I needed advice about choosing a school. He called me and he just gave me great advice with his main point being to take football completely out of the equation and at the end of the day just choose a place you want to be if you were not playing football. For me, that place was Michigan."
2. Tom came to campus as part of a good defensive line haul. He was one of six defensive linemen including five star Ondre Pipkins and fellow Ohio commits Chris Wormley and Willie Henry Jr. With so much depth provided in the class — especially inside where Henry, Pipkins, and Matt Godin all projected, it was a bit of a surprise that Strobel took reps last year as a 3-tech defensive tackle. Not necessarily because of the position, as 3-tech is fairly interchangable with 5-tech in Michigan's former 4-3 under scheme, but rather because Strobel was only larger weight wise than Mario Ojemudia. Strobel played inside partly as an answer to injury issues, but he was not given much time on the field (just one game appearance last year).
3. Strobel's future with the switch to a 4-3 over could be somewhat up in the air. While he shifted inside last year, 268 pounds isn't enough to hold up on the interior (see: Michigan trying to use Jibreel Black against OSU for proof). Strobel also wasn't well known for his athleticism (i.e. jaw-dropping pass rush skills) coming out of high school. He could still make a splash at defensive end, especially now that the position is a bit more interchangeable and he isn't limited to just the SDE role, but he may be too much of a tweener to win out against some promising young DL talent. Hopefully Tom finds a place on the line, as he was Michigan's second highest rated DL recruit in 2012, and a steal from Ohio State. Having him pan out along with Michigan's luck with Willie Henry Jr. will help a lot with depth at a position group that needs it.