Hello: Bryan Mone Comment Count

Ace February 12th, 2013 at 4:29 PM

#52 in white (via Tremendous)

Per Sam Webb and others, Michigan landed its third commitment of the 2014 class this afternoon in four-star Salt Lake City (UT) Highland DT Bryan Mone. A former high school teammate of current Wolverine fullback Sione Houma, Mone was the first player to be offered by Michigan in the 2014 class, way back in December of 2011($).


Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
4*, #7 DT,
#111 Ovr
4*, #12 DT,
#172 Ovr
Watch List
4*, 93, #8 SDE,
#114 Ovr

With the early rankings just being unveiled on all of the services save ESPN, Mone is a consensus top-200 player overall and among the top defensive tackles in the country. All four sites list him at 6'4", 315 pounds, which makes 247's ranking of him at strongside DE seem a little odd—this guy is destined for the interior.

There's little in the way of scouting out there on Mone, not a surprise given he's a rising senior from Utah—not exactly the most rigorously scouted region in the country. What we have at this point is his film, his offer list, and a quote from his coach back when Michigan offered ($):

Bryan right now is probably 6’4” maybe 6’4 ½”, 255 pounds. He’s a kid who put on about 15 pounds during the season. He’s real long – big strong, physical kid. He’s a smart football player; just phenomenal character. He’s a lot like Sione. In fact, the church that both of them go to is run by Bryan’s dad. He’s a Methodist minister. So, he comes from a great family and he’s of good moral character, which you love to have that on your team. Truly, he was a leader on the line this year. He’s young, he’s raw, but he’s really developed over the season into a force defensively.  He’s 255 right now, I see him next year being probably close to 280. He has that ability to put on that kind of size. And he’s a good athlete… he’s a real good athlete. He runs well, he changes directions, he’s long, got huge hands, huge feet, so he’s definitely still a puppy.


If he gets up to 300 pounds, obviously I think he’ll be inside. If he can stay around 280 then and keep his quickness, then he has a chance to play on the edge. He’s so long, and he is a good athlete, but we’re going to play him at D-End next year as well. We’ll play him at D-End, three-technique, so we’re going to move him around and not let teams get comfortable with him.

You'll note that Mone has made remarkable gains physically since his sophomore year, bulking up to 315 pounds—despite adding the weight of a small child, his body still looks good on film and he's retained his athleticism, which is probably why he's considered such a strong prospect.

Mone was mentioned as an "underclassman to watch" by Rivals analyst Rob Cassidy last fall when he was scouting West region prospects ($):

DT Bryan Mone, Salt Lake City Highland: Mone is a junior with some high-profile scholarship offers. Michigan is in the mix. So is UCLA. The buzz around him has been tempered due to his location and the fact that his high school coach has just recently started circulating his film. All indications are that the 315-pounder is a star in waiting. There will be plenty made of his talent as his senior year approaches.

Not much informative there, but Mone is generating quite a buzz for an underclassman from a region that doesn't produce a ton of national-level prospects.


Mone held offers from Boise State, BYU, Ole Miss, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Utah State, and Wisconsin in addition to his Michigan offer. Rivals lists interest but no offer from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oregon, and Stanford, possibly indicating that Michigan got in early on a prospect who was on the verge of blowing up.


Highland is one of the better programs in the state of Utah, producing nine players who signed with FBS schools since 2002, per Rivals. Most notable among those is class of 2002 five-star DT Haloti Ngata, who had a dominating career at Oregon before moving on to NFL stardom with the Baltimore Ravens. Two other former Rams—Latu Heimuli (Utah) and Victor Filipe (Oregon)—earned four-star ratings, both at DT, but neither panned out at the college level.


Per 247, Mone recorded 70 tackles, ten TFLs, and three sacks as a junior en route to first-team all-state honors.


No 40 time listed.


Junior highlights:

There's also a more extensive junior highlight reel on his Hudl page.


The evidence is flimsy indeed with the lack of scouting, but Mone's film shows a player with real promise. He's got a great frame, impressive athleticism and burst off the line, strength that proves dominant at the high school level, and solid play recognition. I could see him lining up at either defensive tackle spot at the next level; Michigan has placed an emphasis on athletic, disruptive tackles that can get into the backfield (think Mike Martin) in the last couple classes, and Mone fits that mold. He looks very impressive on film, and the fact that he's getting this much attention this early despite being from an under-scouted region lends credence to the idea that Michigan found themselves a potential star early in the process.


Michigan now has three commits—joining Mone are LB Michael Ferns and QB Wilton Speight—in a class currently projected to be around 16 players (that number will almost certainly rise with attrition). Down the line I'd expect them to take another defensive tackle, and the big needs in this class remain at wide receiver and strongside DE.


Shop Smart Sho…

February 12th, 2013 at 4:45 PM ^

Seeing as every recruiting post mentions the need for receivers, what is the projected number the coaches should be reaching for?  I would assume it is in the 3-5 range, but that really seems like a high number.  After the last couple of years of taking what could be considered "projects" at the position, should they be looking at mid-level 3 & 4 star players or going all in on getting a kid from the upper echelon of the ranking services to go with a couple of to go along with a couple of less well-regarded kids?




February 13th, 2013 at 9:21 AM ^

I thought I was answering your question. Having 5 scholarship WR's on the roster for 2014 already, I think that your estimate of 3-5 is on the extreme high side. I think 3 may be plausible - 4 or 5, no way. Historically, we have 7 or 8 scholarship WR's on the roster (prior to RR showing up and carrying like 11 or 12 - but he played more WR's than Borges does).

I don't really have anyone specific in mind for being "elite". That said - we basically haven't seen any of these 5 play yet - deciding that there isn't a good one already seems premature. Darboh was a top 200 recruit, so I guess I hold some optimism for him. Chesson seems like a good athelete. There's been good chatter about Jones.

MI Expat NY

February 12th, 2013 at 5:23 PM ^

Of course those will be the only 5 scholarship WRs on the roster.  I doubt you'll find anyone that thinks that's enough depth.  Maybe whwen Bo was still coaching, but not today.  And considering that those 5 have zero career receptions, getting a couple elite receivers in who can challenge right away for playing time would certainly be a very good thing.  I hope your implication that we have an elite WR or two on the roster is accurate, but until that's proven true, we probably should recruit as if we don't.  

WR is a need from both a numbers and talent perspective.


February 12th, 2013 at 5:46 PM ^

If you look back and see the scholarship numbers that Carr had at WR/TE, it was pretty small. It wasn't uncommon for him to have about 6 scholarship WRs.  Rodriguez wanted to start 4 WR so he stopped recruiting TEs and FBs and allocated more scholarships to WR, but that's not what Hoke wants to do. (and it explains why he turned away any potential WR recruits in the '11 class .)

Clearly, this staff wants to use a lot of TEs, FBs, HBs -- that means fewer WRs are needed and fewer will be recruited.  I think it's fair to say the staff is looking for a playmaker but not just bodies in this class.

MI Expat NY

February 12th, 2013 at 6:11 PM ^

I think it's hard going back and knowing for certain who was on scholarship but I count about 8 for 2005-2007.  If you want to go back and claim there were less during the early part of the Carr regime, I'm not going to necessarily disagree, but modern football requires more than 5 scholarship WRs, and not just if you want to put 4 WRs on the field the majority of the time.  Yes, we may be a little more dependant on pass catching TEs over the next couple years potentially lessening the need for more WRs, but I still highly doubt that the coaching staff is comfortable with any less than about 7 on the roster.  We don't have to take 3-5 as the original OP suggested, but I don't think we can aim for just the top 5 in the country and if we don't land them settle with what we have already on the roster.  


February 12th, 2013 at 6:16 PM ^

The early part of the Carr regime was when Hoke was around and I think he wants to get back towards that time.

I think you could argue that "modern football" also requires fewer FBs, but obviously this coaching staff disagrees.  The scholarships gotta come from somewhere, and WR seems like the logical spot.  It's clearly not DL, LB, or DB, so your options are limited.  Teams like Wisconsin and Stanford emphasize other postions and Michigan seems to be heading down the same path, more or less.

With guys like Norfleet, Hayes, K.Hill and Funchess, you have players that can work effectively from the slot.  You don't need massive WR numbers.

I don't think anyone's arguing we'll take a WR (or even 2), but the point is the staff can afford to be picky right now, whereas maybe last year that wasn't the case.  They had to let things even out a little in 2011, but that made the need to get numbers more significant in '12 and '13.

MI Expat NY

February 12th, 2013 at 6:37 PM ^

I think the math is pretty simple, you have 85 scholarships.  You should aim for about 4 scholarship players at each of your 22 positions, realizing that you don't need 4 in position groups where there is overlap (O-Line, Secondary, etc.).  If your base offensive set is RB, FB, TE, WR, WR, you should aim for 4 at each of those positions.  Now, obviously you should be flexible.  If you want to go with two TEs a lot you can take a scholarship or two away from WR/FB.  If you're likely only going to use your FB on half the offensive plays, you probably don't need 4 on scholarship.  If you're planning on having 2 or 3 WRs on the field 90% of the time,  you want 5 or 6 that can play on any given day.  You also need a couple spots for depth in case of attrition/injury.  Anything less than 8 is pushing it in my opinion.

I also don't see any real indication that we're moving towards Wisconsin or Stanford.  I think people are confusing the addressing of roster weaknesses for the Borges system left over from the Rich Rod days as an indication of what will always be under Hoke.  We had a huge numbers need at OLine.  We addressed it.  Not with a bunch of 350 lb beheamoths that Wisconsin likes, but with good, well rounded linemen that most in the country were going after.  We had no TEs because Rodriguez didn't use them much.  We added TEs.  We did all this while we had a bunch of WRs on the roster.  Now through attrition and simple graduation  we're back towards a number that is reasonable.  Graduating 3 after this season creates a real need.  


February 12th, 2013 at 6:50 PM ^

WR is one of those positions.  There was/is no significant difference in slot vs outside receivers or split end vs flanker in terms of skillset, its just where they line up.

I don't think Michigan is going to have 2, let alone 3, WRs on the field 90% of the time.  It seems like they already use 2-TE formations at least half the time, often with a fullback as well. 

That's with no TE depth on the roster.  Wait till Williams and Funchess are seniors and Borges has Butt, Hill, Shallman, Houma, etc. at his disposal.  Those are kids they already took and MIchigan is still aggressively pursuing TEs in 2014 and wanted to add another to 2013, if they could have.

I would agree that a correction was needed to address the OL depth, but that doesn't explain the heavy scholarship allocation (relative to other teams) for FB/H-Back/TE.  Yes, TE was another need, but these coaches use them extremely heavily and they're taking much bigger numbers than you'd normally see.  Clearly, they want more than 4 guys at TE on the roster.

Stanford doesn't have 350 pound linemen either and Wisconsin pretty much recruits the same OL types we do (e.g., they just took Jack Miller's little brother who most viewed as being on the small side for Michigan's current taste but was ideal for Rodriguez.)


February 12th, 2013 at 6:08 PM ^

With Butt and Funchess in the mix as well our need is even less. While it's been consensus around here that what we took the last two classes wasn't enough and our receivers are generally considered big, but slow, the coaches say differently. On the big signing day broadcast, and Heclinskis radio interview they were almost raving about our receivers, their speed, and how they were brought in to "stretch the field." While the truth might be somewhere in the middle, I believe the coaches, and think we probably have a better group than is generally expected. 

PB-J Time

February 12th, 2013 at 4:45 PM ^

Anyone have any idea where there are so many Polynesian (Somoan, Hawai'ian, etc...) players/persons in Utah? I've never lived west of the Mississippi nor visited Utah, but my impression is that it is as white as WonderBread. 

Ron Utah

February 12th, 2013 at 5:10 PM ^

This guy is a very, very good prospect.  He is enormous, yet moves like a DE.  He needs to add some strength and play lower, as well as improve working with his hands, but as a prospect, WOW.  I think he'll end-up a 5.9 or better on Rivals (Top 150).  He's smart, fast, strong, and tackles well.  He has a great motor.  He reminds me a bit of Pee Wee...just  quicker, a little less chubby and not as strong.

Welcome to the family Bryan!  GO BLUE!


February 12th, 2013 at 5:30 PM ^

I liked how he showed that he could play DE or DT during that film.  The only thing I'd say in opposition to what you said is that I thought he played with his hands rather well.  I'm no expert, but I thought that was one part he was doing better than most HS kids I've seen.