The word "lanky" comes to mind. [Isaiah Hole/247]
Michigan added a legacy to the 2018 class this evening when four-star Dearborn (MI) Divine Child DE Aidan Hutchinson, son of All-American defensive lineman Chris Hutchinson, committed to the Wolverines over the likes of Louisville, LSU, and Michigan State.
It's great to be a Michigan Wolverine pic.twitter.com/WS4UzDddUb
— Aidan Hutchinson (@aidanhutch28) February 22, 2017
Hutchinson is Michigan's third commit in the class, joining IN OG Emil Ekiyor and GA S/OLB Otis Reese.
4*, #16 DE,
4*, 83, #11 DE,
4*, 93, #5 SDE,
4*, #9 SDE,
It's still early in the 2018 evaluation process and Hutchinson is a prospect who requires quite a bit of projecting from a physical standpoint, so it's not a big surprise to see a significant split in his rankings. ESPN and 247 both consider him a fringe top-100 prospect; Scout has him as an early four-star; Rivals considers him the #14 prospect in the state—in a down year compared to 2017, at that. Rivals' Josh Helmholdt had a positive evaluation of Hutchinson after yesterday's Best of the Midwest Combine, so we could see these rankings tighten up before long.
Hutchinson is listed anywhere between 6'4", 227 (Rivals) and 6'6", 245 (Scout). He told The Wolverine's Brandon Brown this week that he's at the high end of that range and may still be growing. When he fills out, he should land at strongside defensive end, though if he gets much taller he may merit a look at offensive tackle.
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This is an all-timer.
I've written this post before. Then-four-star Lee County (GA) DT Aubrey Solomon committed to Michigan on June 18th, 2016, catching everyone, including his own mother, off guard. He rescinded that pledge in August after receiving a note from Michigan thanking him for attending the BBQ at the Big House—an event he did not attend—that, to add insult to carelessness, contained multiple misspellings of his name. His mother, who didn't accompany him on the visit to Ann Arbor when he made his initial commitment, would be playing a larger role in his recruitment, he said. In-state Georgia was now the favorite. Since then, Solomon:
- Took a September unofficial to Georgia, after which his mother gave an extensive, glowing interview to UGA's 247 outlet.
- Told 247 "I love the Crimson Tide" and said he knew of three official visits: Alabama, Clemson, and Georgia.
- Missed a planned visit to Georgia to take the SAT.
- Said Georgia "sticks out."
- Set a Michigan official visit out of the blue, took it, and named them his new leader.
- Said he'd been to Georgia enough that he no longer needed to take an official there but was considering multiple unofficials to Athens.
- Officially visited Alabama for the Iron Bowl, a trip he'd later call "eye-opening."
- Set official visits to USC, Florida, and Georgia for January.
- Arrived at the Army Bowl, where he said Bama held a "huge" lead.
- While at the Army Bowl, said "f*** Michigan" on the Periscope stream of Georgia commit (and one-time Michigan commit) Jeremiah Hollomon.
- Apologized for the above.
- Still at the Army Bowl, his mother gave a multi-part interview to Sam Webb in which she said Michigan and Alabama were "neck and neck" while strongly insinuating she preferred the academics in Ann Arbor.
- Hosted multiple Alabama coaches the day before his USC OV.
- Hosted Jim Harbaugh, Jim Harbaugh's daughter Addie, and Chris Partridge for an in-home visit that featured family go-karting.
- Hosted Alabama coaches on two more occasions in January, including a visit from Nick Saban, Tosh Lupoi, and two more Bama assistants just before the dead period.
- Committed to Michigan.
Oh, and somewhere in there, Solomon had a dominant senior season and Army Bowl week that resulted in his ascension to five-star status.
Needless to say, this recruitment defied convention and expectation. Solomon's Crystal Ball tracker is reminiscent of a KenPom win chart from a wild late comeback:
Solomon is Michigan's 28th commit in the 2017 class and the third at DT, joining James Hudson and Phil Paea. SDEs Donovan Jeter and Deron Irving-Bey could also slide inside if needed. Solomon slots in behind early enrollee Donovan Peoples-Jones as the second-highest rated recruit in the class.
5*, #2 DT,
5*, #2 DT,
4*, 84, #5 DT,
5*, 98, #3 DT,
5*, #2 DT,
Hot damn. Solomon is a five-star to every site save ESPN, which has barely moved Solomon since his initial commitment (he was #61 at the time), probably because they haven't updated his evaluation for his senior season. Fire-and-forget at its finest.
Solomon, who's listed at either 6'3" or 6'4" on the four sites, played at over 300 pounds in his junior year, then shed some bad weight and played at closer to 285 in his senior season. He's ahead of the game in the process of building himself up to ideal weight and build.
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Michigan has its second Signing Day commitment from a blue chip recruit hailing from deep in SEC country. After five-star GA DT Aubrey Solomon pledged this morning, Pinson (AL) Clay-Chalkville WR Nico Collins closed out the class by choosing the Wolverines over Georgia.
While Collins didn't quite have as dramatic a recruitment as Solomon, his took similar twists and turns; he was long considered a Michigan lock until a late Georgia surge that the Wolverines managed to overcome. He's the 30th commit in the 2017 class and the fifth at wide receivier, joining Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black, Oliver Martin, and Brad Hawkins.
4*, #24 WR,
4*, #17 WR,
4*, 82, #21 WR,
4*, 92, #29 WR,
4*, #23 WR,
After Rivals briefly had Collins in five-star territory, there's now a strong consensus on his ability; all four sites have in a relatively tight range in both the overall and position rankings, with Rivals still on the bullish end and 247 on the bearish.
Collins is a tall, burly receiver. He measured in a 6'5", 202 pounds at The Opening finals last July.
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Michigan reeled in one of their top remaining targets when four-star Iowa City (IA) West WR Oliver Martin announced his commitment on 247Sports, going public with a decision he'd already made.
Iowa City (Iowa) West Top247 receiver Oliver Martin was soaking wet.
Martin’s little sister Ruby, a world-class swimmer was in the pool getting her workout in as family surrounded the four-star recruit as he made the decision to play for the Maize and Blue.
Martin choose the Wolverines over Michigan State and Notre Dame, among many others.
The Spartans were, in fact, Martin's first major offer, getting in on him before he blew up at The Opening finals. Martin appeared destined to go to Michigan once they offered and began serious pursuit, then looked headed to South Bend when it appeared Nico Collins would take the last WR spot. Michigan rekindled interest as Collins looked more likely to stay in the South. At one point recently, 247's Steve Lorenz reported the coaching staffs at Michigan, MSU, and ND all believed they would land Martin. In-state Iowa was hanging around. Ohio State briefly emerged as a threat after Tyjon Lindsay's decommitment but Martin never made his planned official visit there.
After visits from Jim Harbaugh, the guy who once hit Jim Harbaugh with a mail truck, and Pep Hamilton, as well as a final trip to Ann Arbor, Martin decided to join the 2017 class. He's the 27th commit in the class and the fourth at receiver, joining Donovan Peoples-Jones, Tarik Black, and Brad Hawkins. With the way his recruitment is trending, Michigan may very well add Collins to that number, too. They haven't had a better group of receivers in one class in recent memory.
4*, #30 WR,
4*, #35 WR,
|4*, 80, #60 WR||
4*, 97, #7 WR,
4*, #28 WR,
Martin was a relative unknown on the recruiting trail until a breakout performance at The Opening last summer, which took him from a three-star to a nationally ranked prospect in most places. Scout and Rivals settled on ranking him ~200th overall and there's an outlier on each side. ESPN has him as a four-star but well outside their top 300 (the last WR to make the cut is 41st in the position rankings), while 247 shot him into the top 100 after The Opening and moved him up again after the Army Bowl.
Martin is listed at 6'1" (or 6'0.5" in 247's case) and 185-192 pounds on all four sites. While he's generally regarded as a slot, he could play inside or outside in college.
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[Photo: Michael Bruntz/247Sports]
Michigan added a huge piece to their 2017 class in four-star Aledo (TX) offensive tackle Chuck Filiaga, who announced his commitment to the Wolverines over fellow finalists Nebraska and Oklahoma live at the Army All-American Bowl this afternoon.
Filiaga is Michigan's 27th commit in the 2017 class and the sixth along the offensive line. Given Michigan's depth at offensive tackle, he'll have the chance to make an immediate impact as a freshman.
4*, #15 OT,
4*, #16 OT,
4*, 83, #14 OT,
4*, 94, #13 OT,
4*, #14 OT,
Filiaga's rankings are in a remarkably tight bunch; all four sites place him within a four-spot range in the offensive tackle position rankings and just outside the top 100 overall prospects.
Thanks to Filiaga's participation in the Army Bowl, we have up-to-date and detailed measurables:
The strength and conditioning program at Aledo High School has served Chuck well. He's trimmed down from the summer and he's looking lean at 326 pounds. He's massive at 6-foot-5 1/8 with 36-inch arms and the biggest hands in attendance at 10 3/4 inches. Oklahoma, Michigan and Nebraska are finalists.
6'5", 326 with long arms (second-longest at the Army Bowl) and big hands screams tackle, which is almost certainly where Filiaga will play at Michigan.
Filiaga was initially regarded as a two-way prospect. The first scouting report on him, from his sophomore year at Vista Murrieta (CA), mentions he played both offensive tackle spots and was a "powerful" run blocker. At the RCS and Opening Los Angeles regionals the next spring, however, he worked out at DT; 247's Barton Simmons said he was "extremely raw" but with "elite" length and size.
After his junior year, Filiaga began focusing exclusively on the offensive side of the ball, at least in camp settings. While still quite raw, he stood out to Simmons at this year's Opening LA regional because of his size and potential:
While Chuck Filiaga didn't make the final five on the offensive line, he remains one of the most intriguing prospects out west. He's gained 60 pounds in the last year and is embracing offensive tackle but he's extremely raw. The athleticism and movement skills are there, as is the size.
He used his power to earn a top performer mention at the RCS LA:
Filiaga has an excellent frame to play offensive tackle and the Murrieta (Calif.) Vista Murrieta four-star is physical, has tree-trunk legs and a powerful base. Sometimes, he lets defensive ends get into his body too much, but because Filiaga is so strong that usually doesn’t matter and he wins with power and technique.
247's Texas outlet did detailed film evaluation of their top offensive line targets and continued the theme—Filiaga showed great size and potential in his junior film but has a ways to go to reach that potential, especially in pass protection:
STRENGTHS: Shows good athleticism, size, quickness and agility for a big kid. Good bounce with good feet and mobility. Shows good hand placement, can lock out defenders, steer and control. Plays with excellent leverage and leg drive to overpower defenders. Has the ability to punish defensive tackles when he is asked to secure a down block. Excellent athlete with good upside.
AREA TO IMPROVE: Pass protection. Lines up in the back field at times and doesn't have a true kick slide, most of the time he just mirrors his opponent at the line of scrimmage. Does not play with great technique.
They mentioned that he has "good knee bend and flexibility," which is encouraging to hear; that can be a significant issue with bigger OL prospects and it's not something that's easy to develop.
Filiaga displayed improved technique at this summer's Rivals Five-Star Challenge. Rivals's USC outlet said he "had great technique and was very productive," while their Oklahoma site went into a little more detail:
You'd struggle to find a bigger player inside the GeorgiaDome but Filiaga isn't just a huge mauler. He didn't take many reps but when he did he showed an ability to move his feet and battle players on the edge though clearly he is a guy best built to operate with his hands locked onto a defender and running his feet.
That suggests he could be better-suited for guard.
Scout got out to see him play live in November and saw a player who could make a big impact sooner rather than later:
The big man who transferred in from California plays with a chip on his shoulder and has the size and dominant nature to enforce his will and that is why you quickly see why there are so many top-tier college trying to convince him to come to their campus. What I really like about his game is that even though he is massive right now he still has a very high upside from a frame potential. He is going to be an absolute beast in a year or two from now.
He moved up to #125 overall in their postseason rerank:
On his senior tape, he has shown great strength and close-quarters power as a drive-blocker. He plays with a high motor and finishes blocks with his unusual tenacity. He could still improve his body control and balance, but that's a common trait for prospects who are as massive as Filiaga is.
At the Army Bowl, Filiaga has had some trouble in practice with elite edge-rusher Jaelen Phillips, the #5 player in the composite rankings, but otherwise performed well on day one, per TMI's Josh Henschke:
He has all the tools to be a good one at the next level. The first thing that stood out was how massive of a kid he is. He lined up versus five-star defensive end and UCLA commit Jaelan Phillips for several reps, winning only twice. Phillips is a monster, and beat Filiaga with his speed. Our scouts are bullish in their opinions that Filiaga is a great run blocker (mauler), but suggest his technique needs to improve as a pass blocker. Now don't get things twisted, he dominated in all his other reps. Again, it’s just a matter of him learning to play with consistent technique. The coaches had Filiaga pulling and trapping, so that kind of gives you an indication that he moves well.
There hasn't been much else on Filiaga from this week but there should be more to come after today's game. Based on the above, this week has confirmed the scouting reports: while Filiaga has the requisite physical ability to be a dominant tackle, he's going to need to improve his technique before he's going to be reliable in pass protection. While that's not at all unusual for a high school prospect with Filiaga's build, it could be an issue if he's pressed into immediate playing time.
Filiaga took his other official visits to Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Oregon, and he also held notable offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, BYU, Cal, Colorado, Florida, Ole Miss, South Carolina, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, USC, Utah, and Washington, among others.
Filiaga is a California native who transferred to Aledo (TX) for his senior season, so this isn't your normal recruitment from that state. Filiaga is the second-highest-ranked prospect to come out of Aledo in the Rivals era (2002-present) after 2012 five-star RB Johnathan Gray, who signed with Texas. Filiaga is the first Aledo prospect with a three-star or better rating to go to a school outside of Texas/Oklahoma.
OL, no stats.
FAKE 40 TIME
Filiaga has a SPARQ-measured 40 time of 5.59 seconds, which gets zero FAKEs out of five. He did relatively well in the more relevant testing results for an offensive tackle with a 4.66 20-yard shuttle and 39-foot powerball throw.
Junior highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
As we discussed extensively on Thursday, Michigan's razor-thin depth on the offensive line is going to provide Filiaga the opportunity to see the field right away, especially if Grant Newsome isn't healthy enough to play. If Michigan wants to keep Mason Cole at center, the only other competitors at tackle will be Juwann Bushell-Beatty, Nolan Ulizio, perhaps Ben Bredeson (if M can find another starting guard), and Filiaga's fellow freshmen. Filiaga is the incoming freshman most likely to be college-ready from a size and strength standpoint; he and Andrew Stueber have the best chance among the current commits of cracking the 2017 starting lineup. That battle should come down to how far Filiaga has progressed with his pass pro technique; if it's at an acceptable level, he should win the job.
Even if Filiaga doesn't earn a starting job, Michigan may have no choice but to play him as an extra tackle in 2017, much like they did with Newsome, in preparation for a potential starting role as a sophomore.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Filiaga is Michigan's 27th commit in the class and the sixth along the offensive line, joining Cesar Ruiz, Kai-Leon Herbert, JaRaymond Hall, Andrew Stueber, and Joel Honigford. Herbert's standing in the class is far from certain; he's taking visits to Auburn, Florida, and Miami (YTM) this month, with the Gators emerging as a serious threat to flip him. Expect the Wolverines to go after at least one more lineman in the class, with Virginia three-star OT Mekhi Becton the most likely addition to the class.
Other top targets include CA RB Najee Harris, GA DT Aubrey Solomon, UT DT Jay Tufele, AL WR Nico Collins, MS OLB Willie Gay, and CT CB Brandon Sebastian. With Georgia making a strong push for Collins, none of those guys are locks to Michigan, so expect some new names (and/or some old names with renewed interest) to emerge on the board, especially if M can't bring in one of the two DTs.
Here's the class as it currently stands:
Singleton already has experience playing in the Big House. [Patrick Barron]
This is the first tab I opened when preparing this post:
Paramus (N.J.) Catholic 2017 linebacker Drew Singleton is a “no doubt” prospect when his time comes, according to his head coach Chris Partridge.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Singleton played as a freshman in a run to a state championship last fall, and will blossom this fall as a starter.
“He’s special,” Partridge said. “He’s a freak.”
Chris Partridge would move on to Michigan, where he's now the linebackers coach, after Drew Singleton's sophomore season. This evening, Singleton announced that he'll once again be Partridge's pupil, choosing Michigan over Clemson, Michigan State, and a host of top-tier offers. Even though Singleton missed the vast majority of his senior season with an ACL tear, his rankings suggest he's still regarded as a "no doubt" prospect.
Here's his video announcement:
4*, #4 OLB,
4*, #4 OLB,
4*, 82, #3 ILB,
4*, 95, #5 OLB,
4*, #3 OLB,
Singleton has maintained a lofty standing in the rankings despite missing the majority of his senior season. Only ESPN has him outside the top 100 overall; they ranked him 201st in their initial release and had him as high as #125 in their April update. Encouragingly, the site that has by far the most scouting available on Singleton, Rivals, is the one that ranks him the highest; he made it as high as #33 overall in their rankings before sliding back while sidelined with the knee injury.
There's a tighter consensus on Singleton's size: he's listed at 6'2" and 214-218 pounds on each of the four sites. He'll probably be a WILL at Michigan, though he's got the range and coverage ability to potentially play SAM.
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