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The safeties: Michigan 2018 position rundown

The depth chart article already went into great detail. Here’s what you need to know about the incoming freshmen.

NCAA Football: Michigan at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It seems I got overly zealous in my depth chart predictions. For analysis of the elder safeties, check out that article. In the meantime, here are the incoming freshmen.

Michigan garnered commitments from five seemingly interchangeable defensive backs in 2018.

Myles Sims, Sammy Faustin, Vincent Gray and the Green brothers all stand 6-foot-2 (ish) and the 165 to 185-pound range. It further emphasizes how Don Brown wants his secondary — whether at corner, safety or nickel — to slide down and use massive wingspans to disrupt in man coverage.

Right now, Sammy Faustin and German Green are your freshmen safeties entering this fall.

Sammy Faustin

Don Brown definitively called the Naples, Fla. product a safety during spring practices.

“Sammy has played corner,” he said, “but I’ve told him that he will move in and be a safety. We like the ability that he has. He likes to stick you. He likes to knock people on the ground. That, coupled with his length, and giving him the option and ability to cover the slots was a big piece.”

Certainly sounds like a rover, right?

Nebraska, Maryland and Virginia also courted the former 3-star, who ultimately choose the Wolverines last August. He ended up in the top 600 overall for 247 Composite, No. 54 as a cornerback and No. 93 in the state.

The highlights show a prospect who will make up for merely solid foot speed with his long arms. While he swivels his hips out of his back pedal well, he might get torched if he’s not anticipating a receiver’s route well. His closing speed is average.

Bill Kramer, Faustin’s coach at Naples, knows that Brown will utilize his skills well.

“I’ve known Don for a long time and we do a lot of what they do,” Kramer said to Allen Trieu at the Detroit News. “We’d move him to safety, but the nice thing is, he’s got the length to play either position. He can press to the outside to the wide side of the field, he can play Cover 2 on all the fast-twitch type guys on the rubs, option routes, he can do both and he’s a big enough body to hit a gap in the run-fit, so I think that’s the deal for him is he’s got Cover 0 skills with the body and physicality to play in the box.”

An ankle injury and the horrendous weather last fall in Florida limited opportunities for scouts to see Faustin at his full potential. Seeing as Brown zeroed in on him, certainly not as a fallback plan, there’s confidence he will outgrow his ranking.

German Green

Like Faustin, the lower-ranked of the Green brothers suffered from an ACL injury at the worst possible evaluation time — the summer camp circuit right before his junior year.

He ended up as a generic 3-star outside the top 1000 overall on the Composite, whereas his healthy brother Gemon is a four-star corner.

Nearly all of his evaluations — the few that exist — point him towards playing safety.

247Sport’s Texas scout Greg Powers: “A guy who can be a center field type. … not afraid to come down and stick his nose in on a tackle.

247Sport’s Mike Roach: “...showed off his own unique skill from the safety position. Green was able to make big plays from the slot position, and he organized the defense from the back end.”

A few factors contribute to his low ranking. First of all, the injury. Second, the consolidation of recruiting services, as Scout merged with 247, and ESPN largely downsized.

Despite this, strong programs such as Tennessee and Oklahoma State offered German. Whether they did that just to persuade his brother or not, I don’t know.

What we do know is he shares nearly identical genes to his brother, who fielded offers from elite programs like Texas. When healthy, the less-touted brother may be ready to break out.

Don Brown has succeeded with flyers before.