I did not make this headline up
#52 in white (via Tremendous)
Per Sam Webb and others, Michigan landed its third commitment of the 2014 class this afternoon in four-star Salt Lake City (UT) Highland DT Bryan Mone. A former high school teammate of current Wolverine fullback Sione Houma, Mone was the first player to be offered by Michigan in the 2014 class, way back in December of 2011($).
4*, #7 DT,
4*, #12 DT,
4*, 93, #8 SDE,
With the early rankings just being unveiled on all of the services save ESPN, Mone is a consensus top-200 player overall and among the top defensive tackles in the country. All four sites list him at 6'4", 315 pounds, which makes 247's ranking of him at strongside DE seem a little odd—this guy is destined for the interior.
There's little in the way of scouting out there on Mone, not a surprise given he's a rising senior from Utah—not exactly the most rigorously scouted region in the country. What we have at this point is his film, his offer list, and a quote from his coach back when Michigan offered ($):
Bryan right now is probably 6’4” maybe 6’4 ½”, 255 pounds. He’s a kid who put on about 15 pounds during the season. He’s real long – big strong, physical kid. He’s a smart football player; just phenomenal character. He’s a lot like Sione. In fact, the church that both of them go to is run by Bryan’s dad. He’s a Methodist minister. So, he comes from a great family and he’s of good moral character, which you love to have that on your team. Truly, he was a leader on the line this year. He’s young, he’s raw, but he’s really developed over the season into a force defensively. He’s 255 right now, I see him next year being probably close to 280. He has that ability to put on that kind of size. And he’s a good athlete… he’s a real good athlete. He runs well, he changes directions, he’s long, got huge hands, huge feet, so he’s definitely still a puppy.
If he gets up to 300 pounds, obviously I think he’ll be inside. If he can stay around 280 then and keep his quickness, then he has a chance to play on the edge. He’s so long, and he is a good athlete, but we’re going to play him at D-End next year as well. We’ll play him at D-End, three-technique, so we’re going to move him around and not let teams get comfortable with him.
You'll note that Mone has made remarkable gains physically since his sophomore year, bulking up to 315 pounds—despite adding the weight of a small child, his body still looks good on film and he's retained his athleticism, which is probably why he's considered such a strong prospect.
Mone was mentioned as an "underclassman to watch" by Rivals analyst Rob Cassidy last fall when he was scouting West region prospects ($):
DT Bryan Mone, Salt Lake City Highland: Mone is a junior with some high-profile scholarship offers. Michigan is in the mix. So is UCLA. The buzz around him has been tempered due to his location and the fact that his high school coach has just recently started circulating his film. All indications are that the 315-pounder is a star in waiting. There will be plenty made of his talent as his senior year approaches.
Not much informative there, but Mone is generating quite a buzz for an underclassman from a region that doesn't produce a ton of national-level prospects.
Mone held offers from Boise State, BYU, Ole Miss, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Utah State, and Wisconsin in addition to his Michigan offer. Rivals lists interest but no offer from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Stanford, possibly indicating that Michigan got in early on a prospect who was on the verge of blowing up.
Highland is one of the better programs in the state of Utah, producing nine players who signed with FBS schools since 2002, per Rivals. Most notable among those is class of 2002 five-star DT Haloti Ngata, who had a dominating career at Oregon before moving on to NFL stardom with the Baltimore Ravens. Two other former Rams—Latu Heimuli (Utah) and Victor Filipe (Oregon)—earned four-star ratings, both at DT, but neither panned out at the college level.
Per 247, Mone recorded 70 tackles, ten TFLs, and three sacks as a junior en route to first-team all-state honors.
FAKE 40 TIME
No 40 time listed.
There's also a more extensive junior highlight reel on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
The evidence is flimsy indeed with the lack of scouting, but Mone's film shows a player with real promise. He's got a great frame, impressive athleticism and burst off the line, strength that proves dominant at the high school level, and solid play recognition. I could see him lining up at either defensive tackle spot at the next level; Michigan has placed an emphasis on athletic, disruptive tackles that can get into the backfield (think Mike Martin) in the last couple classes, and Mone fits that mold. He looks very impressive on film, and the fact that he's getting this much attention this early despite being from an under-scouted region lends credence to the idea that Michigan found themselves a potential star early in the process.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Michigan now has three commits—joining Mone are LB Michael Ferns and QB Wilton Speight—in a class currently projected to be around 16 players (that number will almost certainly rise with attrition). Down the line I'd expect them to take another defensive tackle, and the big needs in this class remain at wide receiver and strongside DE.
GREAT pickup by the staff.
I am ecstatic about our DT recruiting. This kid looks like such a hustler too. Great pickup!
The "Michigan got in early on a prospect who was on the verge of blowng up" is essentially accurate. Mone has slowly been adding better offers as time goes on, and Michigan got in on the ground floor. You're not seeing SEC power exactly knocking down his door....at least not yet. You seem to take it as an insult to get on a kid early. I think precisely the opposite is the case. A good recruiting staff can evaluate talent. Your chances at landing a prospect dramatically improve if one can identify talent and develop relationships early. You really do not want to use other programs staffs as your evaluators. That typically doesn't work out in the longrun (unless you are Alabama and they are famous for doing it).
I personally don't see much of the Mike Martin comparison as I think Mike was more athletic than Mone but Mone is a LOT bigger. If they stood next to each other, you'd wonder how they could be playing the same position.
No one is saying that he's a super recruit. I don't think he's ever going to be a top 5 DT. But, some staffs DO get on prospects earlier than others do. That fact doesn't cease to be the case just because "under-the-rader" recruites are becoming rarer.
I agree that it looks like we got in pretty early on a guy that is going to start garnering some bigger offers. I like his size and his use of hands is surprisingly good. I don't see great athleticism on film and he doesn't look like a penetrating type DT at the next tackle. I see him as more of a 2-gap player that would fit in well on a 3-4 team. At Michigan, I think he's a 1-tech all the way. Looks strong as an ox, and a guy that is going to maintain leverage.
With all the LB recruits and mattison coaching a 3-4 in bmore,could michigan be moving more to a 3-4 base defense?
Not sure. I do think Michigan is starting to get personnel to give them the opportunity to be more 3-4. I don't think it'll happen formally. Mattison, I believe, wants to become more multiple. I could very well see more of a 3-4. I see a heck of a lot more 5-techs on this roster than 9-techs.
I think Mattison prefers the mix of the two and only had the personel to show it a few times this last year. There will be times in the future where we'll show true 4-3 and true 3-4 but most of the time you'll see the hybrid of the two by simply subbing in an end who can play rush end or OLB, etc. Mattison is a self proclaimed 4-3 guy but it's not a basic "old school" 4-3 as the defense has evolved much like offenses. Consider what we'll run the defensive equal to the multi-pro offense (flashes of both, as stated above). The one absolute is PRESSURE and he (all) want that with just the front 3/4 DL/rush ends. Fact is that maybe 1% of starting CBs can truly island cover a WR. So, you get tall/long CBs, ranging safeties who can also come inside and attack with 4, giving you 7 to react to pass or run. Look at our recruiting and it's exactly what we're doing. Mattison isn't just recruiting as the ex-Ravens DC.....he is building our defense in that mold as it is equally suited to stop power pro teams and more athletic spread teams if you have the right guys. Mone fits perfectly.
Wow, it's been a while since I've heard that asked, maybe 2 recruit classes, now. No, Mattison moved us from a 3 man front to a 4 (sometimes 5) man front. He said recently on signing day he'd like us to be able to get good enough up front that we can get pressure with just 4, and thinks we're getting close. Actually we've taken more D-Linemen than linebackers.
Edit: I replied to the comment you replied to, but it posted me down here. Oh well.
Oddly, reply still fits. haha. As I also said, the ultimate goal of any defense is pressure with the front alone with the only difference being how each coach goes about it. Actually, it's very rare to do but his scheme does a great job with the right guys playing in it and we've recruited very well to his system (which we've yet to truly see in full).
We still very much lack natural pass rushers on this team. Ojemudia is still at least another full year and half away from contributing effectively. Taco is the one I'm looking forward to seeing.
Very confident assertion regarding Ojemudia - what the hell is it based on? Kid saw the field as a freshman and flashed the ability to make plays in that time. Are you basing your prediction on his recruiting rankings and high school scouting rather than what he's done on the field at Michigan?
On the plus side, the kid made 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 interception as a true freshman defensive end.
On the minus side, he didn't play much despite the fact that the starter (Beyer) was unproductive and the #2 guy (Clark) was inconsistent.
That's fine - I'm not saying that Ojemudia has all-conference written all over him for next year or anything like that. I just think it's silly to pull 'Ojemudia is at least 1.5 years from contributing' out of one's ass as though it's some kind of expert prognostication.
I would still say that, on balance, the production he had as a freshman outweighs his inability to push his way into the starting lineup in terms of factors predicting future success. One would expect a freshman playing an entirely new position might have some trouble with consistency and knowing the defense, and hopefully that will be corrected. On the other hand, having the innate athleticism to make those plays is something that can't be taught. Still, like you say, time will tell.
The highlight film I watched showed a 315 lb hs junior with pretty good change of direction tracking down rbs parallel to the los or in the backfield.
Hard to tell from the minimal and low-zoom highlights, but it seems like he uses his hands extremely well. Combined with his athleticism, he could be really good.
Pretty sure Hand and McDowell will say this and commit because with, Poggi, Pipkins and this fellow in the middle teams are going to have to bring in two tight ends, a full back and running back just to have a chance from stopping this line.
I'm moving to SLC in May and my wife loves high school football games... I guess I know which ones we'll be going to see.
Fellow SLCer here. Where are you moving to?
Moving from Texas to SLC. Can't wait to get there. We'd move today if we had the option but we've got to wait until May/June.
Does anyone know if the coaching staff has commented on this apparent strategy to get early commits?
It seems they are making a conscious decision to get perhaps fewer top elite five-star recruits and be happy with four-star recruits: is there a possibility that it's better to have a four-star commit early and start learning the playbook, getting coaching advice from Michigan, etc. rather than a five-star who commits on NSD?
I really hope that Hoke isn't handing playbooks over to verbal commits...
He is a force. Very welcome aboard.
This post mentions the importance of picking up an SDE in this class. Can somebody smarter than me explain the difference in the type of player you want at SDE vs. WDE? What's more important -- HT/WT, speed, power?
I look at the Depth Chart by class and see Godin, Strobel and Heitzman at SDE and Charleton, Ojemudia, Clark and Beyer at WDE. They're all returning in 2014 as well.
Based on the fall roster, the SDE group is, on the whole, taller and heavier than the WDEs. Clark is sort of an exception because he played heavier last year on the interior. Maybe he takes off a few pounds as more of a rusher. On the other hand, Strobel was tall but thin (6-6/252) in his redshirt year and I guess we should expect him to be heavier this fall.
Still, these are just generic observations and I'd love to hear a little more insight. How are the challenges and responsibilities different? If you have a tweener in terms of height and weight, say 6-4/250, what skills would make him a good WDE vs. SDE?
SDE has to be a stud against the run as he may deal with more double teams at the point of attack. WDE, not so much.
Here is decent article that explains it...kinda of:
Thanks BobbyHill. That blog post, the first I've ever seen on a pro team BTW, was helpful.
From what I can tell, the Sam tends to help out and becomes the end man on the line of scrimmage on the strong side, whereas the WDE is the EMLOS on the weak side. This in turn makes the SDE a third interior line man essentially, no where near the end of the line with contain responsibility.
Ergo, this makes Strobel a really good SDE if he bulks up and Taco and Mario great end contain guys with their leaner size more a linebacker.
Am I on the right track?
I am by no means a defensive coach, but at least at the hs level that is how we tend to determine who will play SDE vs WDE. Depending on the opposing offense (some teams in hs run a ton) sometimes we take our best athlete at DT and play him at SDE. They ideally can take much more punishment, while he weak side is generally a tad more athletic, often longer, and smarter. As the WDE you have to have patience (your responsible for counters). At the same time if your number is called you have to be an athlete. You have the right idea.
This kid is a beast. Hopefully the good karma continues in East Lansing tonight!
Bryan Mone is a stud, and his high school is a football factory in Salt Lake City. I once lived in Salt Lake for awhile, and Highland High School was ALWAYS great at football and rugby. Great pipeline to have...
314 pounds as a junior? Wow. And from the looks of it, it ain't "bad" weight and he moves really well, lining up at defensive end half the time. I mean, wow. Is he playing against good competition on film? The thought of having Mike Martin + 50 pounds makes me salivate.
My Name is Elder Mone!