From Jake Long and Taylor Lewan, all the way to Jalen Mayfield and — hopefully — Ryan Hayes, the Michigan Wolverines have had strong success in recent years at pumping out left tackles. Tristan Bounds hopes to be the next in line as he joins the fray in Ann Arbor this fall. The 6-foot-7.5 freshman is still raw but has the frame and potential to be a future star.
The Story So Far
Bounds are originally from Alexandria, Virginia, where he played at Episcopal High School, where former Wolverine Luiji Vilain also played. Bounds played both football and basketball, which helps to explain his relatively light 285-pound frame given his height. Before 2020, he transferred to Choate Rosemary Hall, a prestigious boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut where his senior season was canceled due to the pandemic.
A boom-or-bust type prospect, Bounds compiled quite an impressive offer sheet. Big-name programs such as Indiana, Notre Dame, Texas, and UCLA all offered, as well as in-state Virginia and Virginia Tech. Additionally, he garnered Ivy League attention from Dartmouth, Princeton and Yale. Clearly, coaches took notice of his immense size and potential.
After striking out on some higher profile offensive line targets, the Michigan coaching staff came calling for Bounds. Following his June 1 commitment to the Wolverines, he became one of the more vocal proponents of the class and actively recruited others to join the fold.
From a scouting perspective, Bounds enters college a bit raw. He tends to play too high and lose leverage, though he has a mean streak and overwhelmed undersized high school competition routinely. 247Sports rated him as a three-star, the No. 416 overall prospect, No. 35 offensive tackle and No. 2 player in the state of Connecticut. The only higher-rated prospect from Connecticut in 2021: defensive lineman Kechaun Bennett, Bounds’ teammate in Ann Arbor.
Outlook For The Future
Bounds will almost certainly redshirt, as is the norm for offensive linemen in the Big Ten. He needs time to learn how to get better leverage, as well as add weight. However, Michigan’s depth chart appears to provide Bounds with the time needed to develop.
When he becomes an upperclassman, the sky is the limit for Bounds. He certainly has the potential to be the next great left tackle at Michigan. He’s my sleeper prospect of the year in the class of 2021.
Our very own Stephen Osentoski profiled Bounds as a part of the Freshman Feature series, which I’d highly recommend. Take a peek at the video below: