clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Which non-early enrollee freshman can make a big impact this fall?

New, 3 comments

Six talented 2017 recruits and non-early enrollees that can make a quick impact

NCAA Football: Michigan Spring Game Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan had a program record 11 freshman on campus as early-enrollees since January. While the extra time on campus has helped them get acclimated to college, train and workout, a few players that arrived in Ann Arbor over the summer have also been competing for starting spots in fall camp.

There are six guys in particular from the non-early enrollee freshman group that have impressed this coaching staff and may make a quick impact. We break them down here and explain why they have an opportunity for early playing time.

Aubrey Solomon | DT | 6-3 | 288 lbs

Okay, so no surprise with this selection. One of the best overall defensive players in the 2016 recruiting class out of Georgia, ranked No. 2 by his position and No. 2 in the state.

Solomon will get playing time as a backup for guys like Bryan Mone in the starting rotation. He will likely be a guy to keep the intensity high on the field when the starters rotate off for a break.

Oliver Martin | WR | 6-0 | 188 lbs

The entire Freshman WR group is loaded with talent, but Oliver is one who can separate himself from the pack. He has quickly shown his speed and ability to catch tight passes on the run. Scroll through the Instagram post below, all the way to the far right of the post, for one of his latest great catches. Martin holds off the corner and adjusts to the ball like a veteran receiver.

Luiji Vilain | WDE | 6-4 | 242 lbs

The one that is very similar in size and talent to Kwity Paye. Coach Mattison is very impressed with him so far. He recently told Sam Webb of Scout.com that he’s, "Really, really impressed with him and play with the same speed as [Kwity] Paye." Vilain could utilize this speed to see the field as a Freshman, disrupting plays from the DE position.

Josh Ross | ILB | 6-1.5 | 221 lbs

Coach Mattison was recently asked about fall camp and a few plays that impressed him. He replied, "I saw one with Little big, Josh Ross, he will hit you now, that was one that I was like, wow."

Senior linebacker Mike McCray also spoke recently about Ross and why he’s been able to succeed in fall camp. "He comes in, he knows what he’s doing and figured out the defense, he plays hard. Of course he’s going to make mistakes, he just got here, but he goes hard every play, he makes plays." Jim Harbaugh also commented about what he’s seen so far in Ross. "He’s a real hitter. It’s hard to imagine. I mean, what was he like in high school when he’s hitting guys out here in the college game like that?"

Kwity Paye | WDE | 6-4 | 247 lbs

The Rhode Island native was the fourth-lowest rated prospect in Michigan’s 2017 recruiting class, but is competing at a very high level. Despite not getting love from the recruiting services (Rhode Island doesn’t get a lot of respect from analysts), Paye could make a big impact this fall. Coach Mattison had high praise last week for Paye based on his performance in camp. "I never thought he was so strong as he is. He understands it and is right there with Luiji."

Chuck Filiaga | OT | 6-6 | 335 lbs

The four-star recruit out of Texas was rated No. 13 overall by his position, according to the 247Sports Composite. The coaches have been very impressed since he arrived, as we heard recently from Coach Drevno. "A tall tackle with long arms and good size, he has great measurables, great turnover speed and is very, very physical."

His senior film shows his size and speed.

* * *

While Jim Harbaugh brought in a strong recruiting class top to bottom, watch out for these six players from the group of freshman that arrived this summer. Even though they are new to campus they very well could see the field in the coming season. The 2017 recruiting class was highly ranked, now we get to see how quickly they can mature and develop at the college level.