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Kechaun Bennett’s road to Michigan, outlook for 2021 season

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The true freshman may have to wait his turn.

Notre Dame v Michigan Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines are installing a new defense this offseason, which creates different fits for everyone on the roster. This applies doubly to players like freshman Kechaun Bennett, who was recruited to play defensive line in Ann Arbor and might now have a bit of a different look to his outlook.

Here’s a trip back through his recruitment and how he might factor in moving forward.

The Story So Far

Bennett attended Suffield Academy in Connecticut and was a four-year varsity player, though his 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19. He recorded 100 total tackles (25 for loss) and 10.5 sacks during his sophomore and junior seasons.

The four-star prospect and No. 352 player in the country committed to Michigan in May 2020 and signed with the program in December. He was primarily recruited by defensive line coach Shaun Nua and former defensive coordinator Don Brown to come to Michigan.

Here is the scouting report from 247’s Brian Dohn, who’s outlet ranked him as a three-star recruit:

Thin build but has length and frame to add 30 pounds and play at 250. Accomplished wrestler. Fires off ball quickly with low pad level. Gets up field. Disruptive against the pass. Uses speed to slip inside but flourishes getting around edge. Speed to chase plays down from behind. Stays true to assignment. Able to re-direct down line of scrimmage. Is flexible and bends at knees. Has to add strength and mass in upper and lower body. Has to be stronger to stack and shed. Must improve in run defense. Relies heavily on speed and must develop technique. Multi-year starter at Top 20 program.

Outlook for 2021

Bennett is an edge rusher originally projected to play the defensive line for Michigan but likely will now play more of a rush linebacker role given the new 3-4 base defense run by Mike Macdonald. This is almost certainly going to be a redshirt year for him as he puts on more weight and gets acclimated to the speed of the college game. He is another classic Don Brown East Coast project, but he still has traits that could make him a diamond in the rough and a potential gem down the road for Michigan.

We do not quite know the plan for him yet, as he did not enroll early and go through spring football. Fall camp will be his first taste of the college game, but Bennett has the tools to be someone that plays a role for Michigan a few years down the road.