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Class of 2021 Prospect Profiles: Giovanni El-Hadi

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Michigan’s first commit in the class could be a leader for the program.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 21 Michigan at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Giovanni El-Hadi

Position: OT

High School: Sterling Heights Stevenson (MI)

Measurables: 6-foot-5, 285 pounds

Ranking: Four-star (.9619 composite), No. 85 overall, No. 12 OT

Other finalists: ?

Accolades: Under Armour All-American, 2x 1st-Team All-State, 2x Metro Detroit Dream Team

Recruitment

Every cycle, Michigan lands a top-ranked guy that ends up being forgotten about because he committed so early in the cycle. That recruit this year is Giovanni El-Hadi, who was Michigan’s first commit in the class.

El-Hadi committed the day after he received his offer in March of his sophomore year. He was unranked at the time, so fans weren’t quite sure yet how to feel about it. But he was coming off an excellent showing at a Rising Stars event that netted him his first five offers. He was ranked in the top 100 soon after and fans were much more lavish in their praise.

Since then, his ranking hasn’t changed much and neither has his commitment status. He committed to Michigan so early he only has seven offers listed on his 247Sports profile page and I didn’t even know who to include as his other finalists.

After J.J. McCarthy committed in May, the two had to wait almost a year for another member of the class to join. It takes a lot of faith to stick in a class with so few members for that long, not sure if the vision the coaches pitched to you is accurate or not.

But for someone who committed the day after receiving his Michigan offer, it’s clear El-Hadi loves the school regardless of who is in charge. The discussion surrounding El-Hadi often transcends football. He is talked about as a future captain and representative of the program, like Grant Newsome. So even if football doesn’t work out, Michigan will have someone to be proud of as an alumni.

Stats

Junior (13 games): 53 pancakes, 1 sack allowed (138 pass attempts)

Senior (9 games): 81 pancakes, no sacks

Scouting

Pros:

  • Explosive first step helps him transfer power and strength
  • Agile feet help him mirror rushers in pass protection
  • Moves well in space
  • Versatile frame can play at any spot on the line

Cons:

  • Needs to engage with defenders better to stay on blocks longer
  • Has to get more depth on pass sets
  • Lack of length may limit his ceiling at left tackle

El-Hadi burst onto the scene after an outstanding performance at a Rising Stars event where he was praised for his athleticism and flexibility. He has a powerful first step that keeps him low and translates his strength well to the field. When coming in contact with defenders, El-Hadi could do a better job of locking on and keeping them occupied longer.

El-Hadi’s athleticism and agility allow him to move well in space. He’s adept at getting downfield on screens. He’s not asked to pull much in high school, but he would do well in a scheme that moves him across the formation.

This agility also helps El-Hadi in pass protection. In slide protection, El-Hadi is excellent at getting out in front of pass rushers and staying in front as they counter. He does need to work more on getting depth when he kick steps.

Throughout his four years as a varsity starter, El-Hadi has played at both tackle and guard spots. He’s listed at 6-foot-6, but may not have the requisite length to stick at left tackle long-term. He has great size for right tackle, where he plays most often in high school, or could be a powerful guard with his athleticism and power.