Jim Harbaugh has made it a priority since he arrived at Michigan to build up the trenches, and he added another strong — figuratively and physically — piece to that puzzle Tuesday.
The Wolverines were able to pull off the flip of 2018 offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield—the No. 1 player in Michigan and No. 10 player at his position nationally.
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound prospect from Grand Rapids Catholic Central, originally committed to Minnesota, committed to the Wolverines via a live video feed on Twitter Tuesday night.
Here is what Mayfield brings to the Maize and Blue:
Strengths: The first thing that jumps out about Mayfield when watching him on tape is his motor. Whether he is lining up at tackle or guard, he gives 100 percent every single play and does not stop until the whistle. Mayfield will bury his opponent to the ground and stay on him until the play is officially over.
As previously mentioned, Mayfield is very versatile and can play almost anywhere on the offensive line and even plays very well at defensive tackle for Grand Rapids Catholic Central. His ability to pull at guard and always find his man in the whole is brilliant and watching him pancake defenders at tackle would bring a tear to Jake Long’s eye. His long arms and huge frame make him perfect for pass protection and even run blocking.
Besides being bigger than anyone on the field, he also appears smarter and more determined on almost every play — which is rare to find.
Weaknesses: While he is physically dominant, his technique could definitely use some work. While watching his film you can see Mayfield doesn’t always use his hands on his defenders, which at the college level is asking for trouble. He is so much bigger and stronger that he tries to ram through guys at a full head of steam, when in reality he would be more effective putting his hands on them and avoiding penalties.
Speaking of which, it often appeared he held his opponent at the line of scrimmage, which may not get called in high school, but we know how the refs like to call everything against the Wolverines these days.. Luckily, these are all easy fixes, especially with Greg Frey and Tim Drevno working with him in the future.
Player that he could turn into: While I hate comparing past and future Michigan players, the comparison to Taylor Lewan is too great to ignore. Mayfield is an absolute beast, and like Lewan, is confident and plays with a certain swagger. He will not only bury you to the ground, but he will make sure you know about it going forward. I love his ability to take on multiple defenders in a single play and he appears to be a true leader on the field.
The addition of Mayfield to the small 2018 class was crucial because Harbaugh can now focus on other positions of need with the limited scholarships available. Mayfield will most likely redshirt his freshman season, but expect him to make an impact in year two and eventually be an all-conference type of player.
Yes, he is that good.