Preview 2018: Defensive End

Preview 2018: Defensive End Comment Count

Brian August 30th, 2018 at 11:56 AM

[Eric Upchurch]

Previously: Podcast 10.0A. Podcast 10.0B. Podcast 10.0C. The Story. Quarterback. Running Back. Wide Receiver. Tight End And Friends. Offensive Tackle. Interior Offensive Line. Defensive Tackle.

  Depth Chart
Rashan Gary Jr. Aubrey Solomon So. Mike Dwumfour So.* Chase Winovich Sr.*
Kwity Paye So. Bryan Mone Sr.* Lawrence Marshall Sr.* Aidan Hutchinson Fr.
Ron Johnson So.* Donovan Jeter Fr.* Carlo Kemp So.* Luiji Vilain Fr.*


good luck




now [Bryan Fuller]

It's the payoff year for landing the #1 recruit in the country. RASHAN GARY was real, real good as a sophomore. Here he is dismissing Martez Ivey, a second-team All SEC tackle last year, with one arm:

#3 DE to bottom

PFF has various stats demonstrating his effectiveness. Here's one:


Gary lit up UFR charts as well, although it was a little time in coming. Gary led off Bruce Feldman's annual "freaks" article because he may have evolved beyond the strictures of humanity:

The 6-foot-5 Gary is at the same weight he was at this time last year — 287 pounds — and his 40-yard dash time is the same at 4.57 seconds. His 3-cone drill at 6.79 was a touch behind last year’s 6.70, although his time this year still would beat every defensive lineman at this year’s NFL scouting combine. His 4.22 pro agility shuttle time also would top every D-lineman at the combine. Next best was 4.32. Another really impressive feat: his 10-4 broad jump, which was 8 inches better than what he did a year ago.

You can't throw a brick without hitting a mock draft that projects him in the top ten.

... built like a defensive tackle and runs like a linebacker. As a pass rusher, he explodes out of a four-point stance and can easily convert speed to power off the edge....flashed the ability to bend and wrap the edge, which is very unsusual for a 280-plus pound defensive end. ...versatility is a huge asset. He can line up at any position on the defensive line and, believe it or not, he's athletic enough to stand up on the edge if needed.

Yes, actually. This was as a freshman:

Now Gary is fully weaponized and ready for his close-up.

[After THE JUMP: chicken from the sky]


Unverified Voracity Returns To Explain Monkey Thing

Unverified Voracity Returns To Explain Monkey Thing Comment Count

Brian July 26th, 2018 at 12:23 PM

Freaks. Bruce Feldman's annual list of people who should not be that size and be able to dance like that leads off with Rashan Gary. These lists always have combine porn:

The 6-foot-5 Gary is at the same weight he was at this time last year — 287 pounds — and his 40-yard dash time is the same at 4.57 seconds. His 3-cone drill at 6.79 was a touch behind last year’s 6.70, although his time this year still would beat every defensive lineman at this year’s NFL scouting combine. His 4.22 pro agility shuttle time also would top every D-lineman at the combine. Next best was 4.32. Another really impressive feat: his 10-4 broad jump, which was 8 inches better than what he did a year ago.

Incoming freshman Julius Welschof is #37 because he's very flippy. Three different Badgers (Olive Sagapolu, Jonathan Taylor, and D'Cota Dixon) make the list as well. If Hornibrook stops throwing so many picks, could be a breakthrough for the Badgers.

(Probably) nothing to see here. The Big Ten Network is up for renewal on the Comcast, and as is standard practice there is now a dual-sided PR campaign going on. BTN's like "dang!" and Fox is like "I mean cumong," and that's what's going on right now in these streets. Wetzel:

...cable giant Comcast is threatening to pull the Big Ten Network (as well as FS1, which shows league games) off basic cable packages. It already did outside the league footprint on second-tier packages. Now it is saying BTN will no longer be on basic cable in communities in the league area as of September 1.

Hence, Silverman’s alarm.

“BTN is now facing our biggest challenge since the launch of the network,” Silverman said at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago. “Our 10-year agreement with Comcast expires at the end of August. A few months ago, BTN was removed from out-of-market cable systems on Comcast, which is the leading cable provider in the country. … It’s extremely concerning.”

This strikes me as much ado about nothing. While Wetzel points out that cable's monopoly is mercifully crumbling and there's pressure to keep bills down, I have a hard time believing Comcast is going to send a significant section of its Big Ten footprint subscribers into a contemplation of cord-cutting. A deal will be reached at the last minute, both sides will claim victory, and the slow bleed of cable subscribers to over the top services will not get a sudden kick in the pants.

[After the JUMP: employees, monkeys... really too long spent talking about monkeys]


2018 Recruiting: Julius Welschof

2018 Recruiting: Julius Welschof Comment Count

Brian July 10th, 2018 at 1:03 PM

Previously: Last year's profiles. S Sammy Faustin, S German Green, CB Gemon Green, CB Vincent Gray, CB Myles "Spider" Sims, LB Cameron McGrone, DE Taylor Upshaw.

Miesbach, Germany — 6'6", 248


24/7 4*, #376 overall
#17 SDE, #1 GER
Rivals 3*, 5.5 rating
ESPN 3*, 78 rating
#66 DE, #1 GER
Composite 3*, #647 overall
#28 SDE, #1 GER
Other Suitors GT, ISU
YMRMFSPA Kemoko Turay, but thick
Previously On MGoBlog Hello post from Ace.
Notes Twitter. GT decommit.



Camp stuff with a bit of one on ones a couple minutes in:

Like Taylor Upshaw, Julius Welschof is a mighty Dave Kingman swing for the fences that Michigan took once it became clear that last year's class was ending with a thud. Welschof is another large athletic person with scanty football experience who could be anything from an instant washout to an All-American. The twist ending in Welschof's case is that he's a German dude. He invented the frankfurter! [/throws shoe at VW ad on TV]

I digress. As a result of the Germany thing, the first thing anyone ever published about Welschof was an Isaiah Hole article from Michigan's summer camp last year. Welschof was in attendance and intriguing:

Michigan hasn't offered Welschof -- yet. I spoke with some sources close to the program who said that they are very high on him, but that there could be some academic hurdles (since he's coming from Germany) and they just want to see more of him. The sources corroborated what Welschof himself told me: the staff does not want him to commit or sign with any other program while they get serious about his evaluation process.

That didn't quite work out as Welschof understandably jumped on a Georgia Tech offer, but when Michigan came back around it didn't take very long for him to flip. This is probably thanks to Don Brown's connections; Welschof's trainer is Brandon Collier, a former Brown DL at UMass.

The sheer unlikeliness of a giant German guy wandering across the pond to play football caused an outburst of human interest stories about him around about signing day, so his background is well documented. Bruce Feldman had an SI article detailing his modest early hopes—walking on at South Dakota—and subsequent camp tour that changed his profile drastically:

Last summer, Welschof and 14 other international football prospects came with Collier for a tour of several camps that included Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Old Dominion and Wayne State. Each player was responsible to pick up the tab for his own travel and hotel costs. Collier, who says he spent about $8,000 of his own money on the trip, recalls that Welschof was dominant: “I think he only lost one one-on-one battle the whole trip.” ...

“He’s really raw but his upside is tremendous,” said one of the coaches at another program that had him in camp last summer. “This is a really good get for Michigan. He’s a beautiful kid. He’s going to be 6'6", 280 pounds before too long. His athleticism is really legit.”

That school had Welschof measured at 6'6" and 242 pounds, with a 4.87 40, a 10-foot broad jump and an impressive 4.38-second 20-yard shuttle.

[After the JUMP: 6'6" backflip on skis!]


Jimmystats: The 2018 Class in Context, Part II: Defense

Jimmystats: The 2018 Class in Context, Part II: Defense Comment Count

Seth March 2nd, 2018 at 10:22 AM


Very different types of 3-stars [Eric Upchurch, 2013]

This is take two (take one got deleted) of Part II of my attempt to put the recruiting rankings of this year’s commits in context within the ~500 previous Michigan commits we have Part I: The Offense lives here.

Since the last one I’ve been dealing with a health thing. In fact I’m writing this from the hospital, where they’ve had me holed up since last Friday. Between tests, consultations, vitals, and literally almost 100 needle pokes into my vascular system, I’ve had time to complete a substantial update to my roster database, which now goes all the way back to Gary Moeller’s first year, plus some long overdue tweaks to how I value position and regional rankings.*

I’ve also been playing around with interactive charts on Tableau:


Click to get to the chart since I can’t figure out how to get embedding to work yet. I’m new at these so bear with me as I learn.

* [Methodology for stat nerds: I averaged the 247 composites of each rank for each position, then plotted it on a graph and used the logarithmic formula]




Young Wormley was 70 percent potential, 30 percent hair [Upchurch/Bryan Fuller]

After Michigan loaded up with linemen last year and secured two one of the top DEs for 2019, they could afford to get picky in 2018. They still got one potentially immediate contributor and two excellent choices for sleepers of the class. Aiden Hutchinson got a late ratings bump from the sites which pushed him up from a near-perfect Ryan Van Bergen comp to “not just a four star” range.


The only relatively recent guy Michigan captured in this range was Craig Roh, but if Rivals hadn’t been so contrarian with Wormley I think that would be your closest comp. 247 was the highest on Wormley and came out about the same on Hutchinson’s kid. He’s supposed to be coming in to play defense but if you want to project him at guard, well, here’s the closest comp:


We have to scroll down to the mid 3-stars for Taylor Upshaw and Julius Welschof:


Note that’s not “generic three star” like Greg Brooks/Rondell Biggs, but neither is it “just missed a fourth star” like Carlo Kemp and Jibreel Black. As I said, I love the potential with both of these guys. Upshaw is the son of an NFL player who didn’t start playing football until recently. Welschof is a German athletic freak and mogul skiier who gathered a lot of interest from the big-time schools he camped at. The recruiters were always playing catch-up there too. Rivals didn’t take to Welschof—otherwise the sites placed them in the same range as some other position-switchers or needs-to-gain-weight types with high ceilings to unwrap in a few years.

Defensive end is a position where the talent apparent in high school translates more directly to an NFL career:


(and that’s totally the reason I showed this)

Fortunately for our hopes here the only guy from the three-star bin considered an athlete on the level of Upshaw and Welschof was Shelton Johnson, and his career crumbled for off-field reasons.

[After THE JUMP: used to be better before I had to rewrite all of it]



Early Signing Day Presser: Jim Harbaugh

Early Signing Day Presser: Jim Harbaugh Comment Count

Adam Schnepp December 21st, 2017 at 10:39 AM



“Am I late?”

[light laughter]

“Should have come and got me. I was busy doing something. Sorry if I’m late.”

Tell us what you like best about the guys you got on the dotted line.

“Um…the thing I like best…I like a lot of things, but the thing I like best…football players, good students. I think the thing I like best is there’s guys that really wanted to be at Michigan and appreciate what Michigan has to offer. They can understand it both as a football powerhouse and an academic powerhouse. That it provides both of those things.

“Nobody in there that really thinks they’re doing us the favor. It’s equal. So I think that’s what I like the most.

“I like the production in football games. Guys that are record-setters. There’s state champions. Very productive, and they’re productive in the classroom. They’re coming here to get a degree. The parents expect that they will get a very good degree. They’re not going to college to major in eligibility. They understand that they’re going to major in a legitimate discipline. There’s going to be rigor here, and they welcome that. Multiple things I like about this class so far.”

You guys announced yesterday Shea Patterson. What are your thoughts about him coming in and what his role could be?

“To compete. To…like everybody in the program, he has the license and the ability to be a starter. As I told all three of the quarterbacks at the same time, the only thing that’s guaranteed here is an opportunity. If I was the mindset of Brandon Peters, I would say, ‘Brandon, this is how you should think.’ He’s the starting quarterback, he should take this job and run with it and nobody’s going to take that away from him.

“If I was Dylan McCaffrey I would have the mindset of being on the scout team, being the scout team player of the year, now he’s going to get stronger. Doesn’t matter how many quarterbacks are on the roster, nobody’s going to beat him out.

“And if I was Shea Patterson, I would have the mindset of ‘Wait till they get a load of me.’ So all three have the license and ability to be great.”

[After THE JUMP: an MGoFriend stonewalls a minor violation, Hurst’s bowl-game decision, and a bit on some of the incoming freshmen]


Hallo: Julius Welschof

Hallo: Julius Welschof Comment Count

Ace December 20th, 2017 at 2:27 PM

[Isaiah Hole/247]


When college football’s early signing period commences for the first time Wednesday morning, it will already be well past Julius Welschof’s scheduled lunch hour at the Krones manufacturing plant in Rosenheim, Germany. The 20-year-old has worked at the factory for more than a year, building machines that fill plastic bottles with water, but he hopes his boss will let him have some time off in the afternoon to celebrate perhaps the most important occasion of his life.

Bavarian defensive end Julius "Juice" Welschof is Michigan's latest 2018 commit, and now an early signee, only a few years after learning football from YouTube videos. Despite the rather sudden flip from his Georgia Tech commitment, Welschof has been on Michigan's radar for a while; he camped with the Wolverines over the summer as part of a two-week US tour, and he was even in Rome during the team's spring break trip, per 247's Steve Lorenz.

Welschof is Michigan's 19th commit in the 2018 class and the third in the last four days. He joins early signees Aiden Hutchinson and Taylor Upshaw (who's additionally a planned early enrollee) in the class at defensive end.


Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
3* SDE 3*, 78, #64 DE 4*, 90, #12 SDE,
#323 Ovr
3*, #25 SDE,
#624 Ovr

The only chances to evaluate Welschof have been at team camps or off his German league highlights, so it's not surprising there's a wide spread in his rankings. Rivals handed out a cursory 5.5 rating and hasn't given him a position ranking. On the other end, 247 liked his potential enough to make him a bona-fide four-star.

Welschof is listed at 6'6", 250 on Rivals; ESPN docks him an inch, 247 two pounds. He's probably ticketed for strongside defensive end.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and the rest.]


Julius Welschof Hat Sich zu Michigan Verpflichtet

Julius Welschof Hat Sich zu Michigan Verpflichtet Comment Count

Seth December 20th, 2017 at 8:58 AM

It’s a happy early signing day:

The coaches always planned to take another DE in the class, and with Oweh dropping them and Anoma almost certain to go to Alabama, Michigan didn’t wait long to move on their next target, das unglaubliche 6’6”/250 Deutsch ende Julius Welschof.

Welschof was on Michigan’s radar since impressing the coaches—particularly Mattison—at their mid-June camp. He was committed to Georgia Tech until Michigan moved on him late last week. Še das d' kemma bisd, der Moritz Wagner des amerikanischen fußballs!

More informative update kommen.


Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus

Friday Recruitin' Sneaks Onto Campus Comment Count

Ace June 23rd, 2017 at 2:57 PM

Give This Kid A Raise

Michigan hosted one of their top targets on the defensive line last week in four-star TN DT Rick Sandidge, and the word from M recruiting gurus is universal: they knocked this one out of the park. While the likes of Jim Harbaugh or Greg Mattison are normally the focus when prospects and their families discuss these visits, Sandidge's mom couldn't stop raving about a support staff member when recapping the visit with Sam Webb:

In most cases the meeting with the headman serves as the crescendo for any school’s campus visit. While that is true typically at Michigan also, it wasn’t the case this time. The visit-show was stolen by a student recruiting assistant named Sam Popper, who served as one of the Sandidge’s tour guides.

"Sam is the best ever,” Sandidge’s mom Keshia said. “He should be the superstar of that school, I promise you. He made our visit absolutely wonderful. I wish there was a Sam at every program that we've been to thus far."

“He was down to our level trying to understand how our dynamics are built as a family.  He just kind of became one of us that day and let it all hang out. Usually folks don't do that.”

I haven't ever seen something like this before:

Getting mom in your corner is always a plus. Rick himself was also impressed with the trip, per The Wolverine's Brandon Brown:

"I know that Michigan’s defense is amazing," he said. "I know that they run a four-man front which is something that I like. Those are definitely a couple of things that stand out. I also know that they don’t play all of their defensive linemen the whole game and that’s there’s a solid rotation to keep everyone fresh."

247's Steve Lorenz added that Michigan will be a "real factor" going forward in Sandidge's recruitment. Sandidge, Tyler Friday, and Michael Thompson are the top three targets at DT after Alim McNeill omitted Michigan from his top six. (No, I don't want to talk about it.)

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]


Monday Recruitin' Isn't In The Middle Of Nowhere

Monday Recruitin' Isn't In The Middle Of Nowhere Comment Count

Ace June 19th, 2017 at 3:01 PM

Happy Trails: Tyler Shough

Four-star AZ QB Tyler Shough had long been expected to join Joe Milton in Michigan's class, to the point it was unclear who was running second behind the Wolverines, but quarterback recruiting has a way of turning on a dime. That happened last week, when Shough committed to North Carolina shortly after visiting Chapel Hill.

With Milton already in the class, this was a miss Michigan could afford. At the same time, it makes Milton a bit more of a risk if he's the only QB in the class; while Milton is a boom-or-bust project, Shough is more polished and has a higher floor. While Shough had maintained that Milton's presence in the class wasn't a factor, Steve Lorenz's notes on the commitment suggest otherwise:

I'm told he felt that UNC was a better fit from a football sense than Michigan, which can basically be translated to earlier playing time opportunities being available.

As of now, there's still a possibility Michigan looks to take a second in 2018. The A4 camp on Saturday got a lot more interesting all of a sudden.

Unfortunately, Saturday's A4 quarterback camp didn't provide alternative options, and Jim Harbaugh at least indirectly blamed the new Individual Associated With Prospects rule, which prevented Michigan from even trying to bring in the star-studded coaching lineup of years past to work the camp:

“That’s the landscape we have,” Harbaugh said. “Even pro players, you have to do a complete background search on who do they know that is already on our team or we could be recruiting. So we stayed away, just college coaches and our players.” ...

“Yeah, I think it’s silly and ridiculous,” Harbaugh said of the rule. “It’s been that way for 50 years that high school coaches can work camps and college coaches could go work camps at high schools. It’s always been that way. Drastic change.”

While the other recruiting rule changes were steps in the right direction, the IAWP rule is as much of an ill-conceived disaster as expected.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]