Too much of a good thing?
Even a cursory glance at Michigan’s 2018 recruiting haul will tell you they added a lot of cornerbacks and safeties. Another cursory glance at the roster will tell you they’re not losing any this off-season, unless Brandon Watson isn’t invited back for a fifth year (which is unlikely, as he was quite solid).
But unless you like relying on freshman or redshirt freshman defensive backs, then it’s important to look at the attrition over the next off-season or two, and here’s where it matters that Michigan stocked up with at least a few DBs in this cycle. (Five, I’ll admit, seems a bit high, but they’re essentially ‘borrowing’ one or two slots from the 2019 cycle. Adding more now gives Michigan a more experienced secondary for the next several years.)
Tyree Kinnel has one year of eligibility remaining, so he will almost certainly be gone after this next season. The other two known entities at safety - Josh Metellus and Jordan Glasgow - are likely gone the year after that. After that you have the trio of J’Marick Woods, Jaylen Kelly-Powell and converted wide receiver Brad Hawkins at safety, and this class gives the team more depth behind those guys and/or competition for a starting role when some of these guys are in their second and third seasons.
Meanwhile, at cornerback, Michigan is leaning on a pair of starting juniors next year (Lavert Hill and David Long), with a fifth-year senior providing depth (Brandon Watson). Behind those guys you have a couple promising young’uns, Ambry Thomas and Benjamin St-Juste, and not much after that. This class similarly restocks the depth to give Michigan a full two-deep of players who will have at least a year under their belt before our current starters are gone.
Michigan has relied on more and more younger players, but the staff clearly wanted to not rely on freshmen and sophomores as much as they did the last couple years with Lavert Hill, David Long, and Josh Metellus. With that said, let’s see what Michigan added in the 2018 class.
Myles Sims, four-star CB (6’2.5”, 173)
Sims is a fantastic all-around prospect; he’s got the speed, quickness, length, and football instincts to be a great player. He was also Michigan’s fourth-highest commit in this cycle.
Sammy Faustin, three-star CB (6’2”, 190)
Faustin is an interesting guy; he looks more like a safety on film with his willingness to hit and instincts defending the run. He’s another lanky guy with good footwork, but his hips and short-area quickness aren’t exactly elite. I love his top-end speed, though, and think he might be destined at safety.
German & Gemon Green, three-star DBs (6’2”, 165-168)
As many of you know, German is less highly ranked because of an ACL injury in his junior year of high school. But both twins have the same lanky, play making approach.
Gemon has more experience at corner, and his footwork reflects that. I think German will get a chance to come on campus and show the coaches what he can do
Vincent Gray, three-star CB (6’2”, 180)
Vincent Gray is a hidden gem. I like him quite a bit at safety and even more at corner; he’s got a hard-hitting, impose-myself-on-the-enemy style in the run game, but then switches and turns into a ball hawk who’s able to make plays against the pass with ease. (Him being a high school wide receiver has something to do with that.)
I’m looking forward to seeing what these guys can do, and it’s clear Michigan is going for more length and experience over the coming years. The secondary is now at the back of the line for 2019 cycle priorities.