Hallo: Julius Welschof

Submitted by Ace on December 20th, 2017 at 2:27 PM


[Isaiah Hole/247]

Harbauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugh:

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.

GURU RATINGS

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.]

SCOUTING

As mentioned above, Michigan's coaches got a chance got see Welschof in person at one of this summer's camps, and The Wolverine's Brandon Brown was in attendance:

A true German hailing from Bavaria, 2018 strongside defensive end Julius Welschof looked very impressive at 6-6, 245 pounds. He was long and athletic but also appeared to have solid power while working on the sleds.

His size and power also stood out to 247's Isaiah Hole:

As he participated in drills led by Rashan Gary, Aubrey Solomon, Carlo Kemp and Luiji Vilain, when he attacked the sled it didn't look too far off from the true freshmen who participated. He showed good poise and explosiveness -- and obviously has the size, which you can't teach.

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. 

247's Barton Simmons praised his athleticism while noting its rather unlikely source:

Welschof hails from Germany and he's on a summer vacation of sorts. He's been hitting the camp circuit hard, making stops at Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and others and he's been turning heads. The German native is raw but freakishly athletic. At that size he clocked a 4.73 40 at Ohio State and has gone as fast as 4.5 back home with fresh legs. He's got great bend and flexibility. He's got a long, powerful frame.

His unique athleticism can be traced back to his first sport of downhill skiing. His ability as a freestyle mogul skier has developed his hip and ankle flexibility, his bend, coordination and body control. His backward flips on skis offers some additional flair.

Yes, there's video evidence:

I'm pretty sure a ski moguls video is a Hello post first.

Finally, Scout's Brian Dohn gave a detailed evaluation when Weischof committed to Georgia Tech in October:

In a lot of instances, he uses speed and an ability to dip his shoulder to get around the edge. At his size, his ability to get around the corner and remain balanced shows his flexibility and his body control.

He can pursue to the sideline and he runs well, especially given his size, but he needs to work on disengaging more quickly and also be faster with his hands.

There are times he pops up too straight and it costs him in the leverage battle, but much of that is coaching. He needs to be patient and fire out instead of up. He does a good job with his change of direction.

As Dohn concluded, most of what Welschof needs to work on is technique, and that will improve when he starts working with a college coaching staff. Meanwhile, there's a lot to work with; Dohn thought Welschof could be a defensive end, defensive tackle, or even potentially an offensive lineman.

While it's difficult to take too much away from Welschof's film given the competition, it's apparant Michigan got a big, athletic, talented prospect to mold. Since he's already 20 years old, Welschof could develop grown man strength in a hurry, too, and maintain that edge against his younger classmates through his career. 

OFFERS

Welschof held offers from UConn, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Minnesota, Rutgers, Syracuse, UCF, Eastern Michigan, UMass, and Tulane, among a handful of others. He drew interest but no offer from the likes of Arkansas, Louisville, Maryland, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Pitt, and Tennessee.

HIGH SCHOOL

Is in Germany. Welschof broke into the game with the club team Munich Cowboys. No, the competition level isn't great.

STATS

Couldn't find any.

FAKE 40 TIME

I've seen various times listed for Welschof, from 4.76 at OSU's camp (one FAKE) to a couple in the 4.5 range (five FAKEs), which would be completely bonkers for a player his size. That's not to knock his athleticism; 4.76 is a great time that would've ranked him just outside the top 15 among DL at the last NFL Combine. This unsourced quote from his coach in Germany whiffs of urban legend but also speaks to his explosiveness:

“Julius came to my home and stayed with me for 2 days and he was a great kid. I took him to a field and he performed in the snow. He was 6’6 250lbs and ran a 4.6 40 with a 10’3″ Broad Jump IN THE SNOW” after this day I knew we discovered something special.

His athleticism is apparent on film.

VIDEO

German league highlights posted this spring:

Summer camp tour highlights:

More workout highlights:

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Man, I have no idea how a 20-year-old German league import is going to fare at the highest level of college football. Welschof looks the part; he's got an excellent combination of size and athleticism. That bend around the edge is hard to find in a player with his frame. I like his chances of developing into a contributor at SDE, and he appears to have a pretty high ceiling, too.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Brian covered the remaining targets in today's roundup. Eyabi Anoma just committed to Alabama, so it appears Michigan is finished at defensive end.

Michigan's 2018 class ranks 12th in the composite team rankings and third in the Big Ten. Here's the class as it currently stands:

Comments

maize-blue

December 20th, 2017 at 2:31 PM ^

His on the field highlights show that he has a tendancy to stand upright as soon as the ball is snapped. I'd say he needs a couple of years of good coaching before he will be a factor.

IndyBlue

December 20th, 2017 at 3:41 PM ^

I wouldn't worry about it too much.  He's definitely headed for a red shirt and with a few years repping techinique that should get fixed (especially with the great coaching he'll get, something I assume he's never had).  That's a problem a lot of high school players have, so it's not something unique just to him.

bronxblue

December 20th, 2017 at 2:33 PM ^

Worth a flyer. As noted, he's got good size. I could see him being some decent depth as an upperclassmen, and since he came to the game late that gives him a chance to grow more as he learns technique.

SanD

December 20th, 2017 at 2:52 PM ^

Nice update, Ace. That moguls video demonstrates how incredible olympic level skiers are. Then again, olympic skiers aren't 6'6 250.

Also great to see a old-fashioned 5 FAKES 40 time. 

IndyBlue

December 20th, 2017 at 3:40 PM ^

I'm a pretty good skier (usually head to the black diamonds after a few warm up runs) but I tend to stay away from the moguls.  It's incredibly difficult to get that quick change of direction, but man those Olympic skiers make it look so easy.

Der Alte

December 21st, 2017 at 11:10 AM ^

At about Grade 4 German school kids are tested and tracked into one of three principal  programs. The highest program, the Gymnasium, is a school building in Germany; the Sporthalle is where they play basketball. The Gymnasium comprises a university-prep curriculum that usually goes to grade 13. At grade 13, the educational attainment level is roughly equivalent to an U.S. community college associate's degree. The other two educational programs, the Hauptschule and Realschule, are geared more toward vocational and trade-school education.

Before graduation each Gymnasium student takes a series of oral and written examinations leading to a diploma-like certificate known as an Abitur, or colloquially as an "Abi." Traditionally --- I don't know if it's still true today --- the Abitur would admit the holder into any German university. The Gymnasium course of study --- in terms of science, math, language and literature courses, is so academically rigorous that Julius could gain admission into about any U.S. university. The only issue would be English proficiency, which from Julius's statements in his signing video is clearly not a problem. Note that other than Michigan, Julius was apparently admitted to Georgia Tech as well --- no mean accomplishment.

Bottom line: With his Gymnasium education, Julius shouldn't have any trouble handling the course work in Ann Arbor.

ComputerEngineer

December 20th, 2017 at 2:55 PM ^

Looks very athletic.  Seems to be worth the risk.  

 

However...

 

He's a terrible mogul skier.  He's going painfully slow, and his knees are never together.  He's honestly a worse mogul skier than a lot of people who don't compete in mogul skiing.

Navy Wolverine

December 20th, 2017 at 2:57 PM ^

The highlights of him playing football on a German soccer field are epic. One of the most intriguing recruits I can remember. I definitely trust Harbaugh, Brown and Mattison on this. They must really have liked what they saw in camp last summer. Sehr gut!

Mongo

December 20th, 2017 at 2:57 PM ^

can you imagine that frame in a college S&T program for 5 years at full manhood ?   He would be 26 yrs old in his fifth year !   I mean good Lord ... he will need to change his nickname to "The Munich Monster" as he will be mid career NFL-size by then.

 

Danny R C

December 20th, 2017 at 3:05 PM ^

Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Julius! Wir freuen uns auf Ihren Enthusiasmus und Ihre Beiträge auf und neben dem Platz hier an der besten Universität der Welt!