Hello: Anthony Solomon Comment Count

Brian December 18th, 2018 at 11:58 AM

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.


Rivals ESPN 24/7 Composite
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.


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.


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.


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.



December 18th, 2018 at 12:22 PM ^

Happy he's on board, and excited that Michigan continues to get some kids from Florida at good programs.

I do wonder if they try to move Velazquez to another spot.  He's basically the same height as Solomon and 15 pounds heavier (at least per 24/7, so I'm assuming that he could also gain some more weight if you assume normal weight gain in college).  If they slotted Solomon in at ILB in their evaluations then Velazquez might be a possible fit there as well.  


December 18th, 2018 at 5:10 PM ^

No inside info here but I doubt Velazquez ever plays a meaningful down for Michigan.  Not because he doesn’t have the talent but he is a much bigger baseball recruit/talent.  In the world of college players making “business decisions” I can’t imagine picking the sport with much less longevity, higher injury rates and no guaranteed contracts (although that could change in the next NFL CBA).  The only similar big baseball guy I know of currently is Kyler Murray, and he’s probably only still in CFB because he won the starting QB job at OU.  

I’d love to be wrong and have him play big on the football field but I’m doubtful.  


December 18th, 2018 at 12:27 PM ^

Everybody is talking about fast this kid is and how great he is in coverage, and then he runs a slower 40 than Mike McCray. I don't know how to reconcile that information. Seems like this kid will be a bust.


What's he going to do when asked to cover the next Curtis Samuel or Saqoun Barkley or Dalvin Cook?


December 18th, 2018 at 12:31 PM ^

40 times are the biggest misconception among fans. Every kid “claims” he runs a 4.4 and people slurp it up. And who knows how accurate his even is or if it was hand timed as a 16 year old.  If he is a LB and runs in the 4.6-4.7 range he will be plenty fast. It’s better to trust your eyes then to trust a number.


December 18th, 2018 at 5:47 PM ^

And as an add on to your point. The 40 is very much a training item for the first 10 yards.  With solidstraining and oracticepyou  ocan easilyedrop .2 from your time. A lot of pro teams will look at the splits to get a measure for a more accurate "top end speed".


December 18th, 2018 at 12:44 PM ^

Can I subscribe to your newsletter?  I mean you must have decades of experience evaluating high school linebackers and I would like access to your wisdom.

The services say he is a 4 star, maybe a 3 star.

Don Brown wants him.  And yes, I did watch The Game.  But for 11 games this season the defense was excellent.

So, while your hot take isn't complete shit, you reach a conclusion way too early.

btw - Why don't you take a look at the recruiting rankings for Devin Bush?

matty blue

December 18th, 2018 at 3:33 PM ^

i would also say, re: the first 11 games vs the ohio state experience?  we looked pretty lost defensively against penn state in 2017, then dominated them in 2018 after don brown spent a year obsessing about what had happened.  if you think he won't tune his approach for 2019 you haven't been paying attention.

and if don brown thinks he can use this guy?  i'm all in.


December 18th, 2018 at 1:28 PM ^

Speed does matter, but for comparison Devin Bush was timed at a 4.65 40-yard in HS and is one of the faster LBers I've seen at Michigan.  Yes, he's heavier than Solomon but I also don't know when those various 40 times are taken; he already is apparently 10-15 pounds heavier than his listed HS weight if you believe his comments.  

My point is that people get really caught up in the raw numbers and sometimes forget that there are lots of guys huddled together in that same little band of "speed" that might not prove particularly relevant during a game.  Solomon probably isn't the fastest guy in the world (though his shuttle time of 4.24 is pretty solid and probably highlights the "quick vs. fast dichotomy you see in these reports), but the idea that you assume he's a bust because of it lacks a ton of context.


December 18th, 2018 at 6:00 PM ^

Please do explain how you think we'll be beating Ohio State in the future if toxic, shitty "fans" like you constantly attack players and recruits?  Or do you not think having assholes online who talk shit about you would maybe turn off a 17-18 year old from going to that school?


December 18th, 2018 at 8:40 PM ^

We're certainly not going to beat them by pretending our three star recruits are God's gift to football.  Don Brown's strategy of pretending we could cover crossing routes sure worked wonders for us in November.  I promise you Ohio State is not burying their heads in the sand to ignore our weaknesses like you're so wont to do.  

toxic, shitty "fans" like you

I prefer the phrase "wealthy alumni."


December 18th, 2018 at 1:06 PM ^

How many Vipers do we need?  This is why I didn't understand the early offer to Velazquez who seemed like a kid we could have picked up late if need be.  Maybe the staff liked that Joey was close to Harrison, but that obviously is not going to pan out.  

Mr Miggle

December 18th, 2018 at 4:29 PM ^

I thought Viper was the thinnest position on the roster. Hudson and Glasgow and they're both upperclassmen. 

Barrett was a possibility, but the last word was that he was moved back to offense. Maybe someone else could be moved there, but recruiting two seems like a really good idea to me and both may be able to move inside.

Blue Sharpie

December 18th, 2018 at 1:10 PM ^

Good flip!  If we close with Cornelius Johnson and flip another running back, this class will finish strong.  Not top five, but should be top 10.


Not going to hold my breath for Harrison or Hill.


December 18th, 2018 at 1:37 PM ^

Huh, kinda undersized linebacker from Florida, that we had to fight off a historically elite but recently kinda butt Florida program for.  If recent history is any indication,  this will go well for us...

Ron Utah

December 18th, 2018 at 2:18 PM ^

Looks like another future NFL LB.  If he can add size and continue to add strength and speed, watch out.  He has great eye discipline and always seems to be in the right spot to do his job.  Flashed the ability to bend on a blitz and understands angles.  Very well-coached--he'll have a head start on some other guys.

S.G. Rice

December 18th, 2018 at 2:34 PM ^

We saw a few plays this season where both Khaleke Hudson and Jordan Glasgow were on the field ... maybe this is a sign that Don Brown plans to feature more ZOMG DOUBLE VIPER defenses

Or maybe not and we're just signing high ceiling football players.


December 18th, 2018 at 2:37 PM ^

I was negative about this kid relative to his earlier tapes-he was so tentative. But when his senior tape came out it was "Whoa, what happened to this kid!"...take him. 


December 18th, 2018 at 3:35 PM ^

Just like Darron Lee...


Solomon: 6', 180lbs, 4.8 40

Darron Lee: 6'2", 195lbs, 4.6 40 as a recruit (ending up at 6'3", 225lbs, 4.43 40 at the combine)





December 18th, 2018 at 11:15 PM ^

The good news is SPEED - that can't be taught. I loved Watson as a team player but his lack of speed vs. OSU wasn't his fault but got exploited all day long. 

Hudson has speed as does Bush while we have him for 1 more game.