Michigan ended up on the right side of an up and down recruitment, as Toledo (OH) DE James Hudson picked the Wolverines after many had him heading to Michigan State. However, the MIchigan staff was able to close in on him and he joins an already solid class of defensive lineman heading to Ann Arbor in 2017. Hudson is ranked as the 340th best player in the class according to 247Sports Composite Ranking, and is just outside the 4-star range.
The 3-star defensive linemen boasts an impressive offer sheets, including some midwestern powers, as Hudson claims offers from Alabama, Cal, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, Lousiville, Miami (FL), Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State, Pitt, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
A lot, and I mean A LOT, of his film is just him overpowering left tackles with a solid bull rush. While he won't be able to do that in college, it does bode well for his ability to make plays at the next level. His get-off, while not Rashan Gary level, is pretty solid and allows him to get into the chest of opposing offensive linemen. He has a couple moves that he goes to when he wants to go outside or inside, but for the most part, it is a classic bull-rush. It makes sense for Hudson to keep it simple. He's not a Rashan Gary or Taco Charlton who is going to pin his ears back and get after the quarterback. He is going to stuff the run and make a few plays in the backfield.
Another thing about his film is his versatility, something we have seen a lot of since Jim Harbaugh became the head man in Ann Arbor. He plays both ways for his high school, also playing on the offensive line. He shows good feet and the ability to finish blocks, and could be a candidate to be moved around when he arrives on campus. However, with the amount of guys leaving after 2016, the safe bet is for Hudson to stay on the defensive side of the ball. He also lined up at tight end a few times in the goal line and caught a touchdown.
At Michigan, Hudson could see the field early on as Michigan will be losing Chris Wormley, Ryan Glasgow, Taco Charlton, Matt Godin, and Maurice Hurst Jr. could be off to the NFL with a big year. He should be a solid contributor by the time he is an upperclassmen and could contend for an honorable-mention All Big-Ten type as a 4th or 5th year guy. Think Jibreel Black's career trek.
Overall, I like Hudson's game. I think he's a great addition to the class, especially when you consider Michigan stole him from Michigan State. He will fit along nicely with Aubrey Solomon and Phillip Paea on the interior.