NJ OT Grant Newsome committed to Michigan this week after stringing out his recruitment since his National Signing Day offer. The athletic lineman chose the maize and blue over offers from the likes of Alabama, Penn State (his other finalist), LSU, Ohio State, Georgia and plenty of others. It continues the trend of Michigan's kickass offensive line recruiting- at the beginning of fall camp, Michigan will have 11 linemen on the roster that achieved four stars on at least one site and another (Newsome) committed. In fact, the only big uglies NOT achieving a fourth star will be Jack Miller, Ben Braden, and assorted walk-ons. We are dangerously close to put up or shut up time.
Newsome becomes the third New Jersey product to commit to Michigan in the past 3 years as well as the second out of stater to choose Michigan over Penn State this year, alleviating some of the hurt from losing out on PA OT Sterling Jenkins. It also shows that despite some fret and panic from fans, the program is not, in fact, caving in on itself. In fact, it's a rather encouraging sign- that in spite of fan sentiment, Hoke is still able to pull in top prospects nationally.
Watching Newsome's tape is an adventure in upside, perhaps even along the lines of Michael Schofield (not saying he's the same type of player, just that the general career arc of Schofield seems obtainable). The athleticism and bare bits of technique are there- he has quick feet and good lateral agility, and when his feet get churning it's hard to stop the big man. He's a bit top heavy in his technique, but as I'm sure everyone knows by now, high school offensive linemen are literally never ever not technically sound.
When he gets on campus, he will have to face competition from RS JR Erik Magnuson and RS SO Logan Tuley-Tillman for the blindside tackle position. Most likely, he'll redshirt and aim to replace Magnuson once he graduates- if that's not plausible, it still seems likely that he starts by the time he's an upperclassman. He comes into a very good situation, so long as Funk can prove that most of the offensive line problems were youth and scheme, and not his coaching. He'll have plenty of veteran wisdom in his ear by the time he gets onto campus and a good deal of time to grow into his own player.
He becomes the seventh player in what's quickly becoming a substantial, yet likely small class. Among the top players on my wish list are Keisean Lucier-South, Justin Hilliard, Tyrone Wheatley and Mikey Weber. It seems likely that I'll get less than half my wishes.
(Ed Note: Our former recruiting editor Anthony Mammel had this to say about Newsome:
I haven't had the chance to watch Newsome's film yet; I'm typing this from work and YouTube isn't easy to hide from the boss man. All that aside, I have read some of the scouting reports on his game, and there's one obvious theme: Newsome is a tackle all the way. This jumps out to me because Michigan's grinding guard to long tackle ratio is way too high for any team that wishes to compete in big games against opponents with elite edge rushers (Ohio State immediately comes to mind here), something that is being overlooked by much of the fan base and media alike. Although Newsome comes across as a long-term blindside investment, he has the potential to pay large dividends. The fact that Michigan landed him over a long list of outstanding programs makes his commitment that much sweeter.