Among the topics on this week’s Future Brew centered around Michigan football’s latest commit of the 2022 class — three-star defensive lineman Mason Graham. What does he bring to the table? And what does he need to work on?
Von: The 6-foot-4, 295-pounder is from Anaheim, California. He flipped from Boise State to Michigan after visiting the Big House for that game against Washington. He is ranked No. 118 along the defensive line and No. 883 overall on the composite. He was offered back on Aug. 29, so it took about three weeks from the moment Michigan offered until the moment he flipped. He joins four-star edge rusher Mario Eugenio along the defensive line for Michigan in this class. So Stephen, what do you see out of him, and why are you probably excited because he has a wrestling background?
Stephen: Yup, I was going to open with that, being a wrestler. Especially the guys on the interior defensive line. Big things about being a wrestler, especially the heavyweight level, leverage, it’s all about that. Footwork, you have to have pretty fast feet. Your hands, handwork, controlling the wrists and understanding how to use your hands to gain leverage. There are so many little things that can carry over into football. I like he’s a two-way lineman, so not only the endurance being a wrestler brings to the game, but starting both ways on his team, that’s not easy feat. So I think that speaks to his overall conditioning that he brings right off the bat. So when you’re looking at guys that are close to 300 pounds like Graham is, that’s one of my first questions — what’s his durability look like? I see a lot of lateral agility, it’s the first thing that pops off his high school film for me. He can pair that really well with a swim move, and he gets off the snap extremely well. These kind of things that I see give him that kind of Ryan Glasgow comp because he doesn’t really have that frame you’re looking for. It’ll be interesting if Michigan decides to bulk him up and use him as a nose tackle. I think he could be really good nose tackle in passing situations right away. If you’re looking for him to contribute as a freshman, that’s where you want him. There is still some work to do in terms of his upper-body strength, and I think he’s a little low at 883 in the rankings — I’m thinking anywhere between 400-500 would be appropriate. But I think the floor he has with the ability he already shows on film makes his college production probably higher than what that rank would expect out of a player.
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