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Scouting new Michigan commit — 2021 four-star OL Raheem Anderson

Ed Warinner lands another classic lineman with a mean streak.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 08 Western Michigan at Michigan Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan added its second member of the loaded 2021 in-state recruiting class on Sunday when four-star center Raheem Anderson joined the fold. There were some questions about whether the staff would take Anderson or not after gaining a commitment from fellow interior offensive lineman Greg Crippen. Now it seems like Anderson will be taking the nominal center slot for the 2021 class, while Crippen may start out at guard.

If you read my scouting report on Crippen after he committed, you’ll figure out I am in favor of this development, as I think his skills are better suited for guard. Anderson, meanwhile, is slated to be a four-year starter at center for Cass Tech, which is a rare feat at the Michigan powerhouse.

On tape, Anderson is mean and nasty, always looking to finish the block. A large reason he is able to continually pancake guys is because he keeps his feet moving on contact to drive backwards and not lose his momentum.

Jonathon Simmons

One of my critiques of Crippen was his tendency to jump his feet backwards while shotgun snapping. Anderson, though, takes steps forward on the snap. Once he targets his man with good hand placement, he continues to chop his feet and pushes him backwards, eventually falling on top of him.

Jonathon Simmons

Anderson also plays with pretty good pad level for a high school lineman. He is able to stay low and get under the pads of defenders for good leverage, which is why he can pancake them more effectively.

In this next clip, Anderson is going after a defensive lineman in a low four-point stance. However, Anderson is still able to get under the guy and into his shoulder pads. From there, the lineman folds pretty easily for another pancake.

Jonathon Simmons

There are times where Anderson bends at the waist instead of the knees, causing him to lunge at players instead of maintaining a solid base. Here, he lunges head-first into the defensive lineman, knowing he’s going to chip and move on to the next level.

Jonathon Simmons

If he was going against that lineman one-on-one, it could lead to an easy pass rush move that gets Anderson off balance and the defender into the backfield.

Speaking of facing a pass rush, there aren’t many clips on Anderson in pass protection on his highlight reel. In the one that was easiest to see clearly what was going on, his punch was a little late, allowing the defensive lineman to get up into his pads. However, Anderson’s strength and anchor nullified any penetration.

Jonathon Simmons

Most other scouting on Anderson talk similarly about his advanced play at the center position. Michigan has been able to land a number of guys who play center in high school, leading them to be more ready to get on the field early.

The biggest knock against Anderson is his testing numbers, which aren’t great. He posted a 5.28 shuttle time as a sophomore at an Opening Regional. His time was worse the next year, clocking in at 5.38. He’s also not going to jump out of the room, with a 19.7-inch vertical. I couldn’t find a verified 40-yard dash time for Anderson, but that matters less for offensive lineman.

Anderson seems like a return to the classic maulers Ed Warinner recruited in the 2019 class like Nolan Rumler and Zach Carpenter. While they’re not flashy or have superior athletic genes, they are reliable performers and simply get the job done. Now, Rumler and Carpenter look to be in line for starting positions as redshirt freshmen. Carpenter will probably block Anderson for a couple of years, but he will battle Reece Atteberry and others for the center position as soon as his redshirt sophomore season.