IL OT Kyle Bosch, listed as 6'5, 285ish, has committed to Michigan on his unofficial visit. Bosch also claimed offers from the likes of Alabama, Notre Dame, Florida, and Wisconsin (not listed on any of the premium sites, but claims one here). In a year where offensive line will, once more, become an area of top concern, landing a top100 caliber player is certainly no small feat.
Bosch began the recruiting process earlier than some of his peers, following an impressive sophomore campaign. Over the summer, he reeled in offers from the likes of MSU, Iowa, Wisconsin, and West Virginia, among others. He took a tour around the Big Ten, visiting most of the perennial powers, and gathering information for his upcoming recruitment. After landing an offer from Notre Dame, most considered to the Irish to be his unspoken favorite (as his family was 'full of Irish fans'). Come September, he had offers from most of the Big Ten, and had visited Michigan for the night game against Notre Dame, which exceeded his expectations. He had a strong junior season, which was followed by an offer from the soon-to-be national champions, Alabama.
After visiting the Tide, it seemed like Bosch would be interested in dragging out his recruitment a bit, at least through the summer. However, if you trust Tremendous (which, you know, I do), Michigan vaulted up to his favorite because of the trust he had in Coach Hoke, saying he'd do 'anything' for him. Bosch came into his visit prepared to commit, and did so this morning.
It goes without saying that this is a huge pick-up for Michigan. Bosch is an out-of-state top 100 kid from the Midwest, with offers from most everywhere. Better than that, perhaps, is his versatility. While most scouting services have him listed as a tackle, I think he could slide into OG, or even OC, a huge position of need if Michigan missed out on Alex Kozan. His potential for early playing time is largely dependent on which positions the 2012 class ends up, as well as his future position, but he now has a year to focus on getting big enough for the Big Ten. If a RS Senior like Ricky Barnum slides into OC this offseason and wins the job, we'll once more be discussing and open competition for the spot at this time, next year. Although Jack Miller might have the upper hand, as far as experience goes, Bosch appears to have a higher ceiling. Playing time at OG could be a little bit harder to come by, with players like Kalis, Bryant, and Bars a couple (or fewer) classes ahead of him, but Bosch is a competitor.
The thing that sticks out most, about his play, is his violence. There are kids that go hard until the whistle, but few have such nasty intent as Bosch. He's especially good at landing the initial punch with his hands, setting the tone for the rest of the play. That's definitely one of his strengths- his hand use. Some guys, like Kalis, thrive off their leg drive, but Bosch really bullies his opponents with his quick hands. He also does a good job of finishing the block, then moving along to another guy, instead of simply staying satisfied. MnB's own Jeff Contizano adds his two cents:
Bottom line, this is a huge pickup for Michigan. Any time you can get a player from the likes of Florida, Notre Dame, and Alabama early, it's huge for your program. Bosch is listed as a tackle by most recruiting sites but at 6"5, 285 he'll probably slide in to guard or center at the next level. You've got to love his toughness and that mean streak on the field. Among all the recent Michigan OL commits this seems to be a very common theme.
In short, Jeff just summed up my entire post in a much more concise manner. Well played, Jeff, well played.
So there you have it, folks. A lot of teams will offer (and take) some more project-like guys (like Ben Braden, last year) early on in the process, in order to stock up at a position of need. IMO, we could see that happening at the WR position this year. Bosch, however, bucks that trend. This is a high-profile, surprisingly well polished kid, who seems to be just as much of a Michigan man on the field as he is off the field.