Anthony Solomon was rumored to be a flip candidate a few weeks back; then he set up a visit and the flip became fait accompli. I am now rooting for more Miami decommits, not necessarily to Michigan but anywhere, just because this business is amazing:
Ahead of this week’s Early Signing Period, when most teams sign most of their eventual new freshmen, the Miami Hurricanes have 14 verbal commitments. Their class is No. 34 nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite, which gives it 197 rating points.
On another hand, Miami has 15 decommits who were at one point or another pledged to play for the Canes but have since, for any number of reasons, backed away. Those players, together, would make for a class with 203 rating points. They’d be the No. 32 class, as of Sunday night, a couple of notches ahead of Miami’s actual class.
That decommit class does not count the guy who decommitted and then re-upped three days later. Because that's a thing we have to clarify when it comes to Miami recruiting.
Anyway: Solomon was reputed to be a big Michigan lean after an odyssey of an unofficial visit over the summer but pulled the trigger on a Miami commitment for reasons; Michigan never let up and eventually closed.
|4*, NR overall
#16 OLB, #39 FL
|4*, #83 overall
#8 OLB, #13 FL
|3*, #402 overall
#23 OLB, #41 FL
|4*, #193 overall
#10 OLB, #28 FL
A sub-200 pound linebacker is bound to be polarizing and lo, Solomon is polarizing. ESPN has him a top 100 prospect; 24/7 has him in 3.5* range.
[After THE JUMP: viper]
First off: Solomon is a viper.
“We had time to really talk about where I fit in,” said Solomon. “He likes me at the VIPER position where Khaleke Hudson plays right now. That’s where he sees me at. “
That mitigates most of the size concerns. Hudson is listed at 205 on Michigan's roster and depending on the fidelity of his and Solomon's measurements, Solomon might be an inch or two taller. He shouldn't have a problem reaching an appropriate weight for what Michigan is going to ask of him.
Solomon seems well suited for that set of tasks. Can't throw a rock without finding someone talking about his coverage skills:
- "…hyper-athletic linebacker that shines in coverage and possesses impressive ball skills. Should he maintain his versatility as he packs on muscle, his ceiling is incredibly high."
- "…may not be the biggest linebacker but he can cover like a safety."
- "…looked great on passing downs in Friday’s game, and managed to cover a much smaller wideout in the slot to bat away a 20-yard pass. …still needs to add significant size."
- "…makes plays and he moves really, really well and he’s really great in coverage … may struggle against the run … hyper-athletic kid and he makes a ton of plays on Friday nights. … one of the more active players on a really good defense. …nice frame and long arms."
- "…very fast on the field. Solomon has been clocked at a 4.8 laser timed 40, but he plays much faster than that on film. He accelerates quickly to the ball and plays with good enough body control that allows him to strike ball carriers while running full speed. … can change direction and flip his hips well for a player at his position, which makes him good in coverage. … plays hard with a constant motor and is not afraid to seek out contact."
- "Quick, active linebacker with good pursuit speed. Productive chasing plays down sideline-to-sideline and can matchup in space. … Lacks ideal size and speed for an upper tier linebacker prospect; appears to be quicker than fast. … Possesses a high ceiling."
The size concerns that pepper his evaluations are because Solomon is a spacebacker being evaluated as an ILB. FWIW, Solomon told the Miami Rivals site that he'd reached "200, 202" by last June. If that turns out to be true when he pops up on a college roster it'll be fine; Solomon might end up being an ILB after all if Michigan can get him up to 230 down the road. Solomon had a good player comparison when asked:
Who does he compare his style of play to? “I feel like I play like Darron Lee when he played for Ohio State,” Solomon said.
Lee was another spacebacker, albeit in a bit of a different scheme, who ended up a 230-pound NFL linebacker-ish guy.
The 4.8 forty would be a large issue if it was a real representation of his speed. A lot of the scouting reports mention that he plays much quicker than that on film, and that's accurate. His highlight tapes below show a LB guy with notable acceleration who's able to track down plays even after taking false steps and closes very quickly.
Finally, coach quote:
“The great thing about him - his upside is tremendous,” Russell said. “He’s a really good football player, is really fast, quick, smart. He’s the type of kid that excels in coverage, loves to blitz, is a physical player. He plays through injuries. He’s the type of kid you want on your football team, a great character kid, great family.
Blitzing is not frequently mentioned in his reports, in part because a chunk of the above came from camp settings where the LBs spend almost the whole day covering running backs in skeleton drills. But even the fuller ones mention it in passing if at all; Solomon may not have the ability to dip around OTs like Hudson can.
In addition to Miami, Solomon had offers from Florida, PSU, Texas, VT, Oklahoma, OSU, MSU, Auburn, and several others.
St. Thomas Aquinas is in the running for the most talented school in America annually. They're going to have 15 kids sign on Wednesday. It's historically not been real friendly to Michigan. Jake Rudock is an alum; Michigan has not recruited an STA player out of high school in the rivals DB.
I couldn't find any.
FAKE 40 TIME
Apparently the only 40 Solomon ran at these camps came in at a 4.8, which gets zero fakes. He'll be at the UA game so we might get an updated time then.
The senior film looks a lot like Khaleke Hudson playing MLB.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
It is blindingly obvious why Michigan went after Solomon and kept going after him even after he'd committed to Miami. He's in the dead center of the Don Brown linebacker Venn diagram. Things are now pretty crowded at viper, though. Joey Velazquez is definitely a viper, and some of the talk about Quentin Johnson and Amauri Pesek-Hickson involves the spot. Solomon is the cleanest fit of any viper contender in this class and likely hops to the front of the line in the Khaleke Hudson replacement derby.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
Same as it was yesterday: class mostly full, a half-dozen guys left on the board, Michigan will try to get as many as they can and then maybe swing at some other guys after the early period gives them an idea of how many of those guys they've got. Viper is set.