High School: Mater Dei Prep (NJ)
Measurables: 6-foot-4, 274 pounds
Ranking: Three-star (.8160 composite), No. 2010 overall, No. 100 WDE
Other finalists: Army, Ivy League
Accolades: 1st team All-State, 2x 1st team All-League
Under Jim Harbaugh, Michigan has had some surprising commitments from under-the-radar players. During Harbaugh’s run of summer camps in his first offseason at the helm, he picked up a ton of low-rated guys who committed soon after getting offered. Very rarely did they stick, getting pushed out by higher-ranked prospects later in the cycle.
Dominick Giudice is the epitome of this strategy in a couple different ways. First, he was the quickest to commit after receiving his offer. Giudice reported his offer on Twitter on March 25 last year. He committed on the spot, only waiting for an edit to be made before he announced it publicly a few hours later.
This wasn’t totally out of the blue, though. Former defensive assistant Anthony Campanile, also a New Jersey native, found Giudice and was recruiting him before he left for the Dolphins. When Shaun Nua took over, he liked what he saw and decided to pull the trigger. Growing up a fan of the Wolverines, Giudice didn’t hesitate and jumped at the chance.
The other way in which Giudice stretches the limits of Harbaugh’s recruiting is he is the lowest ranked prospect to commit to Michigan under his leadership, excluding specialists. Even if you include kickers and punters, only Brad Robbins was ranked lower.
When you look at his stats, it’s baffling how he could be ranked this low. As a junior, Giudice put up insane numbers, making 43 tackles for loss and leading the state with 24 sacks. But digging deeper, you can learn that the competition he faced was dismal, absent of any Division I quality offensive linemen.
He also accomplishes a lot of this production based on pure effort. This relentless motor makes him a great part of any team, as evidenced by his offers from all three Service Academies and six Ivy League schools, but it does put a ceiling on his potential.
From the examples above, you can see that Michigan’s hit rate on these types of players is above what you’d expect given their ranking, if they played in the winged helmet or not. It’s always a crapshoot recruiting low three-star guys without any offers, though, especially when you expect him to grow from a defensive end into a defensive tackle. Giudice will be out to prove the haters wrong.
Junior (12 games): 24 sacks, 43 TFLs
Senior (7 games): 46 tackles, 6 sacks, 7 TFLs
- Relentless motor, never gives up on a play
- Uses hands well to disengage from blockers
- Has a good inside pass rush and swim move
- Lacks quick twitch or burst
- Plays too high, standing up out of stance
- Quality of opponents severely lacking
Watching Giudice’s tape can be like watching Khaleke Hudson’s eight TFL game against Minnesota. You wonder how nobody is blocking him play after play. Giudice is able to get into the backfield a ton without having a very quick first step or suddenness off the line.
When Giudice gets off the line, he stands up too high, halting his momentum and giving a big target for blockers to engage with him. If a blocker does get his hands on him, though, Giudice is great at stacking and shedding them to get off and make the tackle.
While rushing the passer, Giudice will often start off outside and cross their face inside to get to the pocket quicker. It’s very effective, but without great speed or change of direction, I worry about how well it will work against Big Ten linemen with better footwork. Giudice also uses a swim move and a rip move which are both effective.
Giudice reports himself already weighing 274 pounds, which doesn’t put him far off from defensive tackle size. His frame looks pretty slender, so I question how much weight he’ll be able to put on. Playing against better competition and shaping his body are going to be major adjustments he needs to make before seeing playing time.