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Anthony Solomon’s road to Michigan, outlook for 2021

The new defense makes his fit interesting.

NCAA Football: Rutgers at Michigan Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

A running theme of the Michigan Wolverines defensive players we have reviewed so far typically mentions that the new system could change the outlook of how someone is used. That holds for Anthony Solomon, who has yet to make a big impact at Michigan but has an intriguing skill-set that could help him fit somewhere.

Here is a look at his career so far and what he might be able to bring to the Wolverines this upcoming season.

The Story So Far

Solomon was a star defender at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, earning him four-star status on the 247Sports Composite Rankings for the 2019 class. He was the 223rd-ranked player in the country and 14th-ranked outside linebacker and was also invited to play in the Under Armour All-American Game.

Solomon’s skill-set was tailor-made for Don Brown’s defense as the team’s VIPER, which was a hybrid safety/linebacker role. Brown and Chris Partridge were his two primary recruiters and helped secure his commitment to the Wolverines.

Solomon was seen as a valuable freshman when he hit campus in 2019, appearing in 11 games as a special teams contributor and recording one tackle. During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Solomon played in five games and made appearances as the VIPER in four of them, notching five tackles. He also was named an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

Outlook for 2021

Solomon is a prospect on the projected two-deep that has an intriguing toolbox of skills, but uncertainty on where he might fit best. The VIPER designation is gone in the new defense and outside linebackers are expected to be more of the pass rusher variety. He sits at 6-foot, 212 pounds, which might be a bit light to move inside and see him as a coverage linebacker. It certainly is not out of the realm of possibility that he bulks up between spring football and fall camp.

Knowing what we do about what he brings to the table as an athletic, coverage player, it would not be a surprise to see him carve out a role as a positionless subpackage defender. He is one of those players that might not be on the field at all times, but does a few things well and is athletic enough to be used in a variety of ways. Chess pieces like that can be valuable and with a defense in place that will seemingly place a premium on the ability to be multiple in its looks, there is a role for Solomon to be had somewhere.