Happy Thursday, folks. Welcome to Morning Brews. This morning we’re doing part two of the bye week recruiting recap. We’ll be tackling defense today (yes, something was done there), taking a look at who the commits are and what their film tells us about their strengths and weaknesses. It may be a year before these guys are able to walk around campus with that big Michigan seal upon their jacket, but it’s never too early to get a look at what’s coming.
Michigan’s 2018 recruiting class has seven defensive players at present. There is a bias toward the secondary and linebacker position groups, as those are where six of the seven current commits play. I suspect the position groups will even out as we get closer to National Signing Day, but it is nonetheless informative to see what the coaches are prioritizing at this point in the recruiting cycle.
As usual, there is a musical theme to this morning’s Brews. There are at least three clues in today’s edition. These clues may be words, phrases, or photos and may be or reference lyrics, the artist, or album. If you think you know what the song may be, just go ahead now and leave your guess in the comments.
Let’s get to it:
Aidan Hutchinson (SDE) - Hutchinson is currently the only defensive line prospect in Michigan’s 2018 class, and is ranked as the No. 10 SDE and No. 211 prospect overall - good enough for a four-star rating. He checks in at 6’5” 234 lbs., which means he’ll benefit from a college strength and nutrition plan (Chase Winovich plays at 253 lbs.). Hutchinson’s film shows a prospect with great quickness and athleticism. If he can add weight and improve his technique, he may remind people of the active, wild-man-esque Winovich.
Otis Reese (OLB) - At 6’4” and 206 lbs., Reese already has the size of a college linebacker - and that’s reflected in his ranking as the No. 7 OLB and No. 135 prospect overall (four-star). His film shows a very active, very athletic, and very powerful player. One thing is clear, Reese hits HARD. He’s very aggressive, coming down hill on blitzes and to blow up run plays like a missile. He also shows the ability to drop back in coverage, and has film playing DB in high school. He might need to improve his coverage technique once he gets to Michigan, but this is a hard-nosed Don Brown defense type player.
Cameron McGrone (OLB) - Not far behind Reese in the rankings (No. 14 OLB and No. 205 overall), McGrone checks in at 6’1” and 215 lbs. It’s also worth noting that 247Sports is significantly higher on McGrone than the composite rankings (No. 3 OLB and No. 41 overall). McGrone’s film shows that he has a good feeling for the game, timing blitzes well and reading plays quickly. He takes on and sheds blocks well, quickly moving on to make a play on the ball carrier or QB. Like Reese, McGrone is most effective when coming down hill.
Myles Sims (CB) - Checking in at 6’2” and 173 lbs., Sims projects as a CB at the college level. He’s ranked as the No. 17 CB in the class, and the No. 126 recruit overall (four-star). Sims does a great job of high-pointing the ball in coverage. He has a tendency to sag off the receivers he covers, but has the length and athleticism to close the distance and consistently make plays on the ball. In this regard, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the coaches experimented with him at free safety. He has the body type and speed to play an effective center fielder.
Gemon Green (CB) - Gemon, one of the two princes of the Green family, is a three-star prospect ranked as the No. 34 CB and No. 341 overall recruit in the 2018 cycle. At 6’2” and 165 lbs., Green plays the part of a physical, lock-down corner. He plays well at the line of scrimmage, stays tight with his man, and has a nose for the ball. When playing in zone schemes, he has good recognition and closing speed. Green has some developing to do before meriting this comparison, but he reminds me a little of Jourdan Lewis.
Sammy Faustin (CB/S) - Faustin is a three-star prospect who doesn’t get a lot of love from the recruiting services, but I think he should. At 6’2” 190 lbs., Faustin has the body type to play corner or safety. I think he projects best at strong safety, as his film is full of him stepping up to make plays on defense and on special teams. He’s a hard hitter with a nose for the ball, and I have little doubt that Don Brown can develop him into a big time playmaker.
German Green (S) - The brother of Gemon Green, German is a little hard to get a feel for. He’s ranked as a three-star prospect and has offers from Stanford, Tennessee, and Texas, in addition to Michigan. The 6’2” 168 lbs. safety suffered a knee injury that took the lion’s share of his junior season, so there isn’t much film out there on him. What film there is shows a player who reads the ball and closes down receivers and ball carriers quickly. We’ll have to wait and see how his senior season goes to get a better handle on the type of player he is.
I’m going to bring Thursday Brews to a close with the mini movie from the game against Purdue. Since the team is on a bye week, I don’t think there will be another one released until after the MSU game, so enjoy it.