On Wednesday, Kai-Leon Herbert committed to Michigan over Florida and Miami, giving the Wolverines their third offensive line commit in the past week and a half, and its most decorated commit at the position. Herbert is ranked as the 166th best player in the class of 2017, and 22nd at his position, according to the 247 Composite. Along with Florida and Miami, Herbert had offers from Auburn, Cal, Georgia, Kentucky, Lousiville, LSU, Maryland, Mississippi State, North Carolina, Ole Miss, USC, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
One thing that is very curious when you look at Herbert's recruiting ranking is the huge variance in rankings. Rivals has him as the 61st ranked player overall, while 247 Sports has him rated at 683rd. Scout and ESPN have him at 183rd and 106th, respectively.
Herbert, who stands at 6'5 and 285 pounds, holds his weight very well and has quick feet. He gets off the ball and does a good job of getting his hands into the chest of defenders. A lot of plays in his film end up with him putting a poor defender into the ground, and he does it pretty violently. He does a very good job of finishing blocks, and when he pancakes someone, he looks to move onto another defender and make a play through the whistle.
He looks raw in his pass blocking still, struggling with a quicker defensive a couple times, but beating him their last rep. At the Nike Opening Regional in Miami, Herbert made it to the finals for the offensive line, and held his own. 99% of college linemen are not ready as college freshman, let alone rising seniors in high school. He is a good athlete, and should be able to become a very, very good left tackle.
When he steps on Michigan's campus, just like I said with the last two commits, there will be an opportunity to play early, but it depends on who else is in Ann Arbor with him, with Michigan still in the race for 2 5* type OTs. He needs to get stronger, and that will come with time in the weight room with Kevin Tolbert and Co. He has the total package to be a great left tackle, when you look at his size, athleticism, and skill, he's oozing with potential.
A red shirt year seems guaranteed, but could get into the starting rotation in 2018 or 2019, and have a very good career at Michigan. This pick up is very important for Michigan after losing Devery Hamilton on NSD and the Erik Swenson saga, they needed to load up on tackles in 2017 and they are doing just that, with a couple big-time guys left on the board in Wilson and Slaton.
Herbert is the second American Heritage commit Michigan has picked up in the last 5 months, joining 2016 TE Nick Eubanks. When I spoke to Herbert in May, he said having a friend in Eubanks on campus was really important, and made Michigan feel more like home. Look for Eubanks and Herbert to stay on teammate TJ Slaton and be in his ear about Michigan.
One other thing to note: Kai-Leon Herbert had the best announcement video I have seen. If you have not seen it yet, you need to. It includes him tackling a zombie donning a Rutgers shirt, which is all you need to know.