Maize n Brew’s previews and outlook for each scholarship player continues today with a further look at sophomore safety Makari Paige. The 6-foot-3, 192-pounder from the state of Michigan made some noise his true freshman season in 2020 and is looking for more progression under a brand new defensive coaching staff.
Here’s a look at how he wound up at Michigan and what is in store for him this year.
The story so far
Paige was a composite four-star recruit coming out of West Bloomfield High School in the 2020 class. Michigan was among the first schools to offer him, giving him his scholarship offer in Jan. 2018. During his recruitment, he took visits to Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Penn State.
But his last visit as an uncommitted prospect was to Michigan in July 2019 for the BBQ at the Big House. Just three days after that visit, he committed to the Wolverines. He was ranked the No. 245 overall player and No. 25 safety in the class.
The two starting safeties heading into the 2020 season were set with Daxton Hill and Brad Hawkins, but the true freshman Paige found himself on the field pretty early in the opening game against Minnesota. He followed that up by playing at safety and special teams in the other five games played. In six total games in 2020, Paige compiled six tackles.
Outlook moving forward
With a new defensive coaching staff in town, all options at every position are being evaluated, including the two-deep at safety. Paige very well could be in the two-deep again, but he will have to fight off stiff competition this summer from guys like RJ Moten, Jordan Morant, Quinten Johnson and Sammy Faustin.
Hill and Hawkins are still locked in as the starters, but with a year of experience under his belt and a full offseason of normalcy, Paige should be able to find his way onto the playing field yet again in 2021.