Hello: Aubrey Solomon Comment Count

Ace June 18th, 2016 at 5:10 PM


[Photo: Chris Nee/247]

Before showing up to Ann Arbor for Michigan's big camp weekend, four-star Leesburg (GA) Lee County DT Aubrey Solomon was considered a Georgia lean with strong mutual interest in the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, and Ole Miss. Solomon's commitment today, unlike that of 2018 teammate Otis Reese, came out of the blue. Just look at his Twitter feed, which is SEC upon SEC upon SEC until this.

This coaching staff is rather good at recruiting. Yes, they got a head start with the Leesburg satellite camp, but this still came as a huge surprise.

Solomon helps fill a significant need at defensive tackle; he's the second DT in the 2017 class, joining in-state three-star Phil Paea, and the 15th total commit.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #9 DT,
#127 Ovr
4*, #4 DT,
#91 Ovr
4*, 84, #6 DT,
#61 Ovr
4*, 91, #14 DT,
#207 Ovr
4*, #6 DT,
#94 Ovr

While all four services have Solomon solidly in the four-star range, there's a bit of a split. ESPN is particularly bullish—as is Rivals when you go by position rankings—while Scout and especially 247 aren't quite as high on him.

He is unquestionably large. Scout, ESPN, and 247 all list him at 6'3" and 300-305 pounds. Rivals has what looks like an outdated listing of 6'4", 287.

SCOUTING

There's not quite as much scouting as I expected out there for a recruit with Solomon's rankings and offer sheet. What's out there, however, is impessive.

Solomon first emerged on the radar as a freshman who very much did not look like a freshman at the 2014 RCS Atlanta camp. Rivals's Josh Helmholdt named him one of the top underclassmen in attendance:

The 6-foot-3, 279-pound Solomon immediately caught our attention at the beginning of camp from a physical standpoint. There was a shock when he said he was still 15 years old and just a freshman. His play in one-on-ones created further intrigue as he had no trouble battling with the top interior offensive linemen from a strength standpoint. There are some technical issues to shore up, but nothing that cannot be fixed and plenty of physical gifts that cannot be taught.

247's Chris Nee scouted Solomon the following February at the Valdosta MVP Camp, and from his vantage point it sounds like Solomon made strides with his technique in the interim:

DT Aubrey Solomon - A 2017 defensive tackle from Leesburg (Ga.) Lee County who was very impressive on the day. He could have easily taken home defensive line MVP honors as well. A big, physical defender in the middle. Solomon exhibited the ability to play with leverage, drive his blocker off the spot, and finish the play. He has good quickness for a big man and was very active with his hands at keeping blockers off-balance. He reports multiple early offers.

Scout's Chad Simmons saw him at the same event and was similarly impressed:

Great frame at 6-3, 305 pounds and he does a great job of using his size and power to press offensive linemen and close the distance. Has the lateral quickness to play down the line verses high level competition.

Rivals's Woody Wommack saw Solomon in a game setting last fall, and while he got tempo'd a bit he still managed to show his potential:

Class of 2017 Rivals100 defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon looks like the real deal and was very impressive in Friday's game, even though his team took the loss. Solomon is a legit 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds with very little bad weight, and he was in the backfield all night. Ultimately, Colquitt's no-huddle offense seemed to wear him down as the night went along, but his conditioning should only improve as his career moves along. Solomon, who favors Georgia, Florida and Auburn early on in his recruitment, will be one of the most sought-after defensive linemen in his class.

ESPN's evaluation focuses quite a bit on technique, repeatedly noting that Soloman has to develop consistency—like many of their reports, "can" "shows" and "flashes" all show up often. While the hedging takes away some of the impact, ESPN ranks him higher than anyone else, and there's a lot to like if he puts it all together:

Can fire off and capable at times of disrupting with quick penetration. Can be stout as well when he wins with quickness and leverage, flashing ability to explode out and uncoil at contact. Pads can quickly rise at times and when do can give ground and needs to work on taking on the double team. Does good job of bringing his hands, but needs to improve upper body strength and do better job of extending and creating separation and work to get off blocks quicker at times.

Can quickly get off the ball and get up-field and disrupt, flashing an effective club and swim. Shows flashes of attacking half-man and working a rip, but can look to lean on the swim move and if doesn't win with initial move can get stalled and needs to continue to develop pass rush arsenal. Has power to drive blockers back and collapse the pocket with bull rush when stays lows, but needs to work to clear and finish. Has tools to be disruptive interior rusher, but needs to continue to refine and be more consistent.

They conclude he can be a "very good, if not excellent Power-5 DT," most likely as a three-tech who needs a little time to develop.

Scout's free evaluation is one of the better ones I've read on a defensive tackle; it puts the technique issues in the context of his overall physical ability:

Evaluation

An athletic defensive lineman who knows how to get off the ball. He is most effective with his quickness. He has good anticipation and he reacts quickly in the trenches. Really gets up the field. Can make plays in the backfield. Gets consistent penetration. Can use his hands, but needs to improve that, and his moves to counter offensive linemen. When he struggles, he tends to play high, so he can work on bettering his pad level. Just a quick defensive lineman who can make plays. Plays hard and plays fast for a guy his size.

Strengths

  • Athleticism
  • Lateral Range
  • Quickness off Ball
  • Suddenness

Areas to Improve

  • Pad Level

That's a 305-pound high school defensive tackle with "lateral range" and "suddenness" as strengths. I very much like the sound of that.

OFFERS

Solomon holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State, UNC, Ohio State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and USC. I probably don't need to tell you that is an excellent list.

HIGH SCHOOL

Rivals completely destroyed the functionality of their database so I don't have as much here as usual. Lee County also features fellow new Michigan commit Otis Reese.

STATS

None that I could find.

FAKE 40 TIME

Solomon's Scout profile lists a verified 40 time of 5.47, which gets zero FAKEs. With DTs, short-range quickness and agility is much more important than running 40 yards fast in a straight line. In that regard, Solomon looks quite good.

VIDEO

Junior highlights:

Sophomore highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Michigan will have to replace Ryan Glasgow, Chris Wormley (expected to play 3-tech this year), and possibly even Mo Hurst after this season, which will provide ample opportunity for freshmen to find a way onto the field. Solomon has that potential if he's technically sound enough; if he's not, he should quickly find his way into the rotation after a redshirt year, and he's got the look of a multi-year starter with NFL potential.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Michigan can probably use another DT or two in the class in addition to Solomon and Paea, but Solomon's commitment makes that need far less dire. The 2017 class is now up to 15 commits, and that number is expected to get into the mid-to-upper 20s by Signing Day. Positions of need include offensive linemen of all sorts, WR, TE, SDE, CB, and S.

I'll leave this here:

Here's the class as it currently stands:

Comments

Perkis-Size Me

June 18th, 2016 at 5:26 PM ^

Winning football games always starts up front on both sides of the ball. I have a feeling that after last year's OSU game, Harbaugh is going to place a big emphasis on DL recruiting.

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JonnyHintz

June 19th, 2016 at 8:10 AM ^

The problem wasn't even so much the DLine. It was attrocious game planning.

Durkin switched up schemes to more of a 3-3-5 look against Ohio State who CONTINUOUSLY ran the ball. That puts more responsibility on the linebackers, which was the weakest part of our defense, and it exposed that weakness to a large degree. It showed the lack of athleticism at the position.

Another factor is the injuries to Ojemudia and Glasgow. Anytime you lose two starters along the DLine, the unit will struggle a bit. But that has nothing to do with recruiting. That's all on injuries. Recruiting isn't going to make our DLine any more deep, as we already have one of the deepest DLines in the nation.

If the Ohio State game taught Harbaugh anything he didn't already know, it's that we needed more athleticism at LB. Enter Jabrill Peppers and Devin Bush. I know we haven't seen much of them, but id be willing to wager that Gedeon and McCray are also more athletic than Bolden and Morgan, who are pretty much thumpers.

rob f

June 18th, 2016 at 5:27 PM ^

on Solomon, Ace. The sparks musta been a-flyin' from your fingers as you typed and clipped and pasted to put this 'Hello' post together.

Can't wait to see this kid wearing the Winged Helmet lining up with Gary and Luigi Villain and Mone and the rest of the Sheriff's defense.

rob f

June 18th, 2016 at 5:29 PM ^

on Solomon, Ace. The sparks musta been a-flyin' from your fingers as you typed and clipped and pasted to put this 'Hello' post together.

Can't wait to see this kid wearing the Winged Helmet lining up with Gary and Luigi Villain and Mone and the rest of the Sheriff's defense.

(Edit: so excited that I had to say it twice!)

Prince Lover

June 19th, 2016 at 2:37 AM ^

It's not that same hope of "yeah, but in two years..." we became accustomed to under Hoke.

And for the record, I lived in that hope longer than the majority around here.
And an even bigger admission.....under RR too.
There I said it. Albeit, at 2:30 in the morning, but at least I can admit it.

Space Coyote

June 18th, 2016 at 6:45 PM ^

Needs more work to play NT but that may be his best spot eventually (and will be in my opinion). He Has the frame to carry 310-325 and still move well and be a Mike Martin style NT.

YoOoBoMoLloRoHo

June 18th, 2016 at 6:24 PM ^

Aubrey on a great choice.

Lee County plays some strong competition like Valdosta and Colquitt. Intense, physical football in south GA - schools that take pride in beating metro Atlanta teams in the playoffs.

Great addition to a front 7. Solomon, Dwumfour, Vilain, Uche, Gary ...

carlos spicywiener

June 18th, 2016 at 6:38 PM ^

  • in the last 6 months, he's had OSU, Florida, Bama, and georgia lead for him
  • he's the type of guy to give over-the-top recruiting quotes from every visit
  • his mom in interviews, seems expecially intent on him staying in Georgia
  • Mom and son have developed a "very close relationship" with UGA DL coach Tracy Rocker
  • This committment came out of nowhere.

 

if I had to give an educated guess, I don't think it will stick. 

Gentleman Squirrels

June 18th, 2016 at 7:16 PM ^

Definitely. But I think Harbaugh will give it his all to develop a relationship with Solomon's mother and make sure that she is comfortable with Michigan as well. She really wants him to get a good education so that he can study sports medicine or become a nurse. Distance might end up playing a factor, but the fact that he is committed will make sure that they learn everything about the university athletics and education wise. 

ghostofhoke

June 19th, 2016 at 3:44 PM ^

Could be the case that this one is slippery but I'd be more skeptical at another position. I think it's becoming pretty clear that Michigan is building a lineage of DLs and he has an opportunity to be part of something special. I would imagine this is one of those guys that Gary referred to when he said he's going after all of them. We haven't really gotten a chance to hear many of the specifics of those efforts and it wouldn't surprise me if this is the kind of catch he could land with that work.

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JonnyHintz

June 19th, 2016 at 8:19 AM ^

We were already 4th before this commit. All it did was bring us closer to 3rd.

But no, "if it weren't for 3 stars," our class wouldn't be better. We would be ranked WAY lower in fact. It's not solely based on average recruit rank, it's a numbers game. More commits means more points too.

At any rate, you seem upset about Michigan recruiting 3 stars. Which shows ignorance and lack of knowledge about recruiting and college history. Not to mention the fact that you'd be questioning Harbaugh's ability to evaluate talent.

Wolfman

June 19th, 2016 at 8:43 AM ^

"This puts us at the 4th best class according to 247 composite. Could be better if it weren't for 3 stars."

It does not put us as 4th best, possibly ranked 4th highest. And please explain how our class would be better without the 3 star players evaluated and offered by one of the top 3, 4 coaches in cfb. I simply don't undertand this statement. I also must ask if you prefer a higher ranked class or the best? You do understand, don't you, that Harbaugh and staff could do exactly as you wish and replace every one of those 3 stars with a player rated as a 4. Being aware of this, why do you think he recruits in an obviously poorly thought out manner? Interested on your take.