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Class of 2021 Prospect Profiles: TJ Guy

Could Michigan have another hidden gem from New England on their hands?

Indiana v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

TJ Guy

Position: DL

High School: Mansfield (MA)

Measurables: 6-foot-4, 240 pounds

Ranking: Three-star (.8552 composite), No. 926 overall, No. 50 DE

Other finalists: Boston College, Nebraska

Accolades: 1st Team All-State, 2019 State Champion

Recruitment

Michigan ended up squaring off with Boston College quite often during the 2021 recruiting cycle, which isn’t too surprising given how often the Wolverines recruit the Golden Eagles’ home turf.

One of the first shots across the bow was offering then-Boston College commit TJ Guy last January. That and an offer from Pitt caused Guy to open up his recruitment a couple weeks later. At the start of the spring, Michigan was still his best option, and Guy became the second defensive lineman to join the class, following Dominick Giudice.

In a normal year, it may have been smarter for Guy to wait a little bit before committing again. He has only played three years of football, starting when he entered Mansfield High School as a freshman. Being able to hit the camp circuit could have given Guy the chance to show off his natural athleticism and size to boost his stock. Instead, Don Brown’s key eye on the region may have nabbed the Wolverines another diamond in the rough.

While still rough around the edges, Guy has obviously flashed enough potential to garner interest from several Power 5 schools. What is even more interesting is his listed position may not even be where he has the best future. Guy also plays tackle for his team and had schools recruiting him to play the offensive line at the next level.

Either way, Guy will have to get into the weight room and nutritional program before he gets to the size he needs to play in the trenches. As the latest prospect on the grow-a-defensive tackle conveyor belt, Guy will need a few years to reshape his body and sharpen his skills. But if he can’t knock it on the defensive line, he at least has the offensive line to try.

At worst, he’s Phil Paea, who’s flipped back and forth between the lines to ever make an impact. At best, he’s the next Kwity Paye, an underscouted three-star from New England that blows up.

Stats

Junior (12 games): 30 tackles, 7 TFLs

I’d take Guy’s stats with a big grain of salt. It’s hard to find information on him and defensive stats are much more unreliable than ones for skill players.

Scouting

Maize n Brew scouting report

Pros:

  • Great bend and flexibility for someone with his size
  • Quick burst off the line
  • Has a good swim move while rushing the passer

Cons:

  • Unpolished in his technique, especially using his hands
  • Lack of motor and hustle to finish plays
  • Needs to develop more pass-rush moves

Guy has a strong, thick frame that is going to allow him to add the weight he needs to slide to the interior of the defensive line. As an end, he shows quickness off the line, blasting into offensive linemen with sudden strength that knocks them off balance.

For a stout player, Guy shows good athleticism and balance to stay low and get around the edge. He’s also a star on the basketball court, which helps his athleticism. When he engages with blockers, he too often doesn’t use his hands to gain control. This sacrifices his leverage and makes it harder to get off blocks.

While rushing the passer, Guy shows a great swim move he uses often to slip by offensive tackles. But that is the only move he has developed and he only uses it with his left arm. When he doesn’t use the swim move or it’s countered, Guy often looks like he doesn’t have a plan and is taken out of the play.

In general, Guy shows a lack of motor on film. He doesn’t continually pursue the quarterback in the pocket, even if he has a chance to still give pressure. Guy does play on both sides of the ball, so this could be a conditioning issue.

Developing Guy’s technique and putting on the requisite weight needed to play the three-tech means it will be a few seasons before he is ready. But his natural athleticism gives Guy one of the higher ceilings in the class.