In college football recruiting, international prospects are a bit of a gamble. There’s simply not too much to go off of to make anything more than a slightly educated guess on whether or not the player will make the leap effectively.
Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh has never shied away from taking those gambles, however, and Aymeric Koumba out of France is — physically, anyways — one of the less risky gambles he could make.
Here’s the breakdown on his intercontinental journey to Ann Arbor and where he’ll fit in the Wolverines’ 2023 plans:
The story so far
Koumba’s commitment to Michigan happened thanks to Brandon Collier and PPI Recruits, an organization dedicated to finding opportunities for international athletes to play college football in America. If Collier’s name sounds familiar, it’s because another one of his past prospects committed to the Wolverines (Julius Welschof). Collier also has ties to defensive line coach Mike Elston from Elston’s time at Notre Dame, leading to a match made in heaven between Koumba and Michigan.
The headliner pieces of Koumba’s profile are his physical traits. Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 254 pounds, Koumba boasts a 7-foot-1 wingspan and runs a blazing 4.7 40-yard dash time, in addition to a 10-foot-5 broad jump. In short, he’s explosive as all hell, and it shows in his film.
Outlook for 2023
Physically, Koumba is everything you could want in a edge rusher. That being said, he’s probably one of the rawest talents you’ll ever find in a scholarship player. The level of competition and coaching Koumba was getting in Europe is simply not the same caliber as an American high school recruit, so he will need time to learn and re-learn aspects of the position.
A redshirt in 2023 isn’t so much a possibility as it is a guarantee, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he sees little time in 2024 either. There are far worse situations for Koumba to be getting a crash course, considering the collective brainpower of Elston and linebackers coach Chris Partridge. The potential for him to be a force in the future is certainly there; just remember, it took David Ojabo time to become a beast, too.