2014 Recruiting: Bryan Mone Comment Count

Brian July 16th, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Previously: Last year's profiles, CB Brandon Watson, CB Jabrill Peppers, LB Jared Wangler, LB Chase Winovich, LB Noah Furbush, LB Michael Ferns, DL Brady Pallante.

Salt Lake City, UT – 6'4", 315

Bryan Fuller

Scout 4*, #88 overall
#6 DT, #1 Utah
Rivals 3*, NR overall
#23 DT, #4 Utah
ESPN 4*, #91 overall
#7 DT, #1 Utah
24/7 4*, #83 overall
#9 DT, #1 Utah
Other Suitors BYU, Wisconsin, Utah, UCLA
YMRMFSPA Alan Branch
Previously On MGoBlog Ace breaks down a Mone game. Hello post. Brief interview.
Notes Highland (Sione Houma). Believe it is pronounced mon-AY


Ace's breakdown:

Also there's some junior highlights and "highlights" from the UA game in which he mostly stalemates his guy but doesn't do anything amazing.

The guy profiled most recently in this series may have a problem becoming big enough to contribute in college. Bryan Mone will not have this problem. Mone's final couple years of high school saw him go from an almost slender kid sites projected as an SDE to a monster suited for the middle. One reason why: MEAAAAAAAAAAAT.

MEAT. Also meat.

Mone went from 245 to over 300 in a couple years, and then kept going. At some point he went too far, with 247 listing him at a whopping 338 up until Signing Day, though that was probably outdated. When Mone committed he told Sam Webb that he was at 340 with a goal of getting down to 315, and after his early enrollment that's the weight he is listed at on Michigan's roster.

So while he's still got a ways to go before he's a Mike-Martin-esque slab of beef, he's on his way. When he gets there he should be a quality player, if you're not Rivals. Scout's Brandon Huffman:

Mone is exactly how you draw it up when you're looking for an impact college tackle. He has a great frame, plays with good pad level, has plus level quickness and is relentless in pursuit. He does a great job getting off blocks, uses his hands very well and plays with a motor. He has the ability to fit in with a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme and could see the field early in college.

This probably isn't the first time I've ever seen a high school defensive lineman praised for his pad level, but it feels like it. Colleague Scott Kennedy is probably the most positive of anyone:

Huge, active defensive line prospect who is incredibly quick for his size. Actually played some defensive end in his high school's 3-4 formation at well over 300 pounds. Uses a club-like rip and swim move to knock tackles off balance. Wicked punch off snap. Changes directions well in space to adjust to backs trying to avoid him in the backfield. Gets tremendous leverage even though he's taller than most high school linemen he faced.

247 concurs:

very athletic for his size. Mone is very quick off the ball and can use his athleticism to swim around offensive lineman or use his size to bull-rush. One of Mone’s biggest assets is his hands. On film, Mone shows violent hands and uses them to gain proper leverage in the trenches. …nimble on his feet for a 300-pound athlete, showing great change of direction and the ability to avoid lineman when needed.

They list pad level as an improvement, because of course they do. Pad level. Meat.

ESPN is a little more reticent, but still positive:

flashes of a very good initial burst off the ball but you would like to see little more consistency from him there. …when he fires out low, brings his hands and uncoils at contact he is more than capable of putting a blocker on his heels and holding his ground. When he brings his hands he displays the upper-body and hand strength to extend and shed, but he needs to be more consistent with his pad level and hand usage. …needs to more consistently utilize his size and power. … Has good lateral mobility.

They also mention that his violent hands give him some upside as an interior pass rusher.

Aaand coach:

"He uses his hands very well and he has real good feet for a big guy. He changes directions really well. "

The overall picture here is that Mone is a big, explosive guy with hands that are either great or in need of improvement, depending on your point of view and whether you're comparing him to the average high schooler or a finished product.

And then there's Rivals. Rivals was always down on Mone for whatever reason—he was 180th there despite being 76th on the 247 composite in September—and took the opportunity presented by the UA game to club him down to the generic three star range. No one else did. Most thought he basically justified his rating. 247:

stout at the line of scrimmage and couldn’t be moved around by opposing offensive lineman. Mone has violent hands and good swim move, with the ability to play multiple shades along the defensive front. Mone was in on several tackles behind the line of scrimmage and looks college-ready from a physical standpoint.

Rivals's Mike Farrell seems to be the main skeptic, listing Mone amongst droppers:

lacked the athleticism and quickness at the snap needed to be the No. 185 player in the country. He struggled more than any other defensive tackle short of three-star Lamont Gaillard and three-star O.J. Smith.

Nothing else suggests a major drop on their site. But then a Rivals guy who was more focused on the Michigan guys provides a potential explanation:

…Mone's main drawback at this time is in his conditioning and body composition. On some days at practice, Mone looked unbelievable for several reps before starting to run out of gas. While those were his better days (on others, he was having trouble adjusting to the quality of competition), the fact that his better performances featured an obvious weak point is a negative. Fortunately, he shone on gameday.

Hell, Rivals even named him one of his team's top performers:


Mone was very active during the third practice. The Michigan commit was quicker off the ball today and more aggressive with his arms. When he combined those violent arms and his great lower body strength, Mone was able to generate a lot of push in the middle on the defensive line. During pass-rushing drills, Mone was able to make the offensive guards open their hips and finish where the quarterback would be.

With Mone's quick emergence this seems more like an overreaction to limited reps by a guy who doesn't really know much about the prospect. It's Junior Hemingway again. Hemingway is now an NFL wide receiver; Rivals bashed him down to three stars because someone saw him bad at an all star game. Farrell gonna Farrell.

Mone enrolled early and this has paid off for him. He emerged as contender on the line. While he has the potential to be a nose tackle at his size, Michigan sees him as a three tech:

The 3-tech is where Michigan will play the Salt Lake City (UT) Highland native next season.

"That's where they want me to play," he said. "I can use my power, which is what I am best at. Michigan wants me to get down to somewhere a little over 300 pounds, so I have some work to do there, but I can get it."

That was at the UA game, where he said he was 326. Michigan played him at the three this spring; he and Maurice Hurst Jr were both impressive enough to blast Willie Henry, who flashed buckets of promise during the second half of last year, down to third string. Motivational or not (clearly motivational), that's a good sign. Collectively the freshmen seemed to have cleaned out the three-tech depth chart. In the spring pratice thing he "flashed into the backfield regularly," sayeth this site.

Mone should be able to hit his weight goal by fall, as his balloon period was more a function of a lack of experience being huge than anything to do with his work ethic. Coach quote:

“The kid never comes off the field. To be 300 lbs. and yet be able to do that, it says a lot about him as a player and his work ethic. He works his guts out in the weight room and does a real good job for us. He is big, strong, powerful, and tenacious. He flat gets after it."

Mone is also a sterling example of The Pattern, as he cares for his disabled brother and maintains a 3.3 GPA. If he misses practice at some point it'll probably be for church.

Etc.: TTB take. SBN's Bud Elliot says he's not "one of the few game-changing DT that come along every other year or so" but he is in the next tier.

Why Alan Branch? Branch was another guy who was unnaturally agile for a guy his size; like Mone he was able to get into the backfield with regularity from a three-tech spot. Branch's height seemed like it might be a problem for the ol' pad level but in practice he was just too enormously strong for it to make much difference.

Bonuses: Branch was ranked in approximately the same place by most services, and came from a relatively obscure Western state (in his case, New Mexico).

Guru Reliability: Moderate. Near consensus except for Rivals, All Star appearance. Weight fluctuation makes things a bit difficult and Farrell gonna Farrell.

Variance: Low. Already college-sized and pushing for playing time, Mone's floor is a legit four-year contributor.

Ceiling: High. Easy to see him going high in the NFL draft as a 315 pound guy who can run.

General Excitement Level: High. Serious breakout potential either this year or next. College sized already, great work ethic and smarts, just needs to reshape his body a little bit and then it's time to come out and play.

Projection: Will play this year, and I won't even complain. Will be part of the three-tech rotation with Hurst and Wormley unless he gets sucked over to nose tackle. That's unlikely unless Pipkins does not recover well from his injury.

Longer term, Mone and Hurst should combine to shove Wormley over to SDE next year, especially if Michigan does go back to the under. Those two will fight tooth and nail for the starting three-tech job for the next four years—whoever comes out on top is likely to be real good. And substituted frequently.



July 16th, 2014 at 12:23 PM ^

I think this might be the guy I'm most excited about in the class behind Peppers. He just seems like the guy who is Ratings Be Damned, even from a #76 compositie. I just feel like he's going to be a great one for us.

Monocle Smile

July 16th, 2014 at 12:32 PM ^

Mone, Henry, Hurst, Pipkins, Wormley as our heavies sounds much better than what we had last year. Nothing against Jibreel Black, but him being forced to play nose tackle was a major issue for our defense.


July 16th, 2014 at 1:28 PM ^

Don't forget Glasgow and Godin.  Interior DL depth is very good at the moment.  For all those "why did we stop recruiting Cornell" questions, there's the answer.  If you include Pallante, that's 8 guys - 7 of them having at least 3 years of eligibility - for four spots.  If we assume Charlton and potentially Poggi will play some on the inside on passing downs, you have a lot of guys for limited snaps.  DL wasn't a priority this year.


July 16th, 2014 at 2:56 PM ^

I agree the overall DL depth is great, but I was speaking specifically of interior DL - NT and 3T.  WDE has Clark, Ojemudia, and Marshall now, but next year we'll only have two guys there.  Perhaps Furbush moves down.  In any case we'll need to pick up a top flight WDE this year.  If we'd brought in Hand at WDE, we'd be set everywhere for several years.  Note that I didn't say Malik McDowell, because he's an interior guy.  It's sucks that we lost out on him, but from a personnel perspective it wasn't an enormous loss, given I assume we'll have guys who perform at a very high level for several years at that position.  Now, from a keep him away from your rivals perspective, big miss. Makes Glasgow/Bosch/Kalis job that much harder over the next cycle.

rob f

July 16th, 2014 at 11:13 PM ^

There's something I want to add that I've not seen mentioned---the talent and depth that we now have across the D-line, especially in the interior, is why I think the coaching staff is very comfortable with the idea of moving Jake Ryan to the interior.  We weren't good enough defensively up front the last 2 seasons to even consider having JMFR go there and end up getting bogged down in traffic; this year, especially if our D-Line stays healthy, Ryan will stay clean and have plenty of room to operate inside. 

I think the coaches realized right away, with Mone being an early enrollee, that they had a man-beast ready to step right in and be a major factor. 

I have to confess---the potential of this defense has me more excited than I've been in a long time. 


July 16th, 2014 at 3:35 PM ^

LOL. Typical Lions... they picked ninth, and instead of picking Ngata (who was available) they picked FSU LB Ernie Sims. Sims proved so valuable to the Lions that they traded him before his contract was up for TE Tony Scheffler, who's now out of the NFL.

Meanwhile Ngata is All-Pro/Pro Bowl five times and helped the Ravens win a Super Bowl.

Walter E. Kurtz

July 16th, 2014 at 12:49 PM ^

I really like the way he plays and couple that with the fact that he is a gym rat makes me think the ceiling is high for Mone.  I think we all agree that it has been a while when we saw a guy who could pontentially be as disruptive as Mone.




July 16th, 2014 at 1:01 PM ^

Finally some guys that look like grown ass men. Is it me and my unscientific method of judging appearances, but do the older looking guys tend to play/contribute sooner?


July 16th, 2014 at 1:20 PM ^

I think they should be very good this year, at least in terms of B1G play.  It's a little unproven as yet, but the interior rotation is very promising.  Next year and the year after they could be among the best in the country, though that's irresponsible speculation.  I'm hoping Womley gets kicked out to SDE quite a bit this year.  In 2015, he could be there full time with Charlton moving to WDE.  Huge, highly ranked, deep.


July 16th, 2014 at 1:17 PM ^

that demand attention.  Looking forward to watching Mone play on Saturdays and develop over the course of the season.  Keep the offensive lineman occupied so our linebackers can clean up.  I love offense, but I really love a smothering defense.


July 16th, 2014 at 7:19 PM ^

turn out to be a great player but he sounds like a great person who will eventually become a great team leader. Looks to be impressive both on and off the field!