Hello: Bryan Mone

Submitted by Ace on 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.



February 12th, 2013 at 5:49 PM ^

It's funny how different people can see different things on film.  My thoughts are almost precisely the opposite.  I think he uses his hands very well but doesn't seem to have great speed or quick-twitch ability.  He looks more like a plugger to me than a penetrator.


February 12th, 2013 at 10:02 PM ^

I keep reading people don't think he's very fast, but I guess they mean explosive off the line, because in pursuit he's very fast, and tracks down elusive runners very well. In space it'll be tough for mobile qbs to elude him the way he moves.


February 12th, 2013 at 5:31 PM ^

I'm happy to see Mone in the class.  DT recruiting has been very good under Hoke.  Pipkins and Poggi had elite offer lists and recruiting rankings, and Pipkins looked the part as a freshman.  Hurst and Henry sound (to me anyway) like worthwhile sleepers, and others like Godin and Wormley could move between SDE and DT.  Mone should slide into what is looking like will be be a very good group.  And, with the way our coaches have looked at developing DL talent, it appears that the DL will be a team strength for the next few seasons.

It's nice to have a top 10 ranked recruit at any position, but especially in the trenches.  That said, the "Michigan got in early on a prospect who was on the verge of blowing up" comment seems unnecessary.  Michigan can just land good prospects - they don't need to all be underrated  or on the verge of 'blowing up'. That sort of mentality is tiresome.  He's a good prospect with guru-approval and a solid offer list, let's leave it at that. 

I'm not sure if there's any validity to it, but it's nice to hear anyone compared to Mike Martin -- one can only hope.


February 12th, 2013 at 5:44 PM ^

The "Michigan got in early on a prospect who was on the verge of blowng up" is essentially accurate.  Mone has slowly been adding better offers as time goes on, and Michigan got in on the ground floor.  You're not seeing SEC power exactly knocking down his door....at least not yet.  You seem to take it as an insult to get on a kid early.  I think precisely the opposite is the case.  A good recruiting staff can evaluate talent.  Your chances at landing a prospect dramatically improve if one can identify talent and develop relationships early.  You really do not want to use other programs staffs as your evaluators.  That typically doesn't work out in the longrun (unless you are Alabama and they are famous for doing it).  

I personally don't see much of the Mike Martin comparison as I think Mike was more athletic than Mone but Mone is a LOT bigger.  If they stood next to each other, you'd wonder how they could be playing the same position.


February 12th, 2013 at 5:59 PM ^

From Michigan's perspective there is nothing but good news here. The staff deserves credit for offering him early and that probably helped them land him.

No one is knocking their evaluation skills.  I'm just saying we don't need to act like he's better than the sites say with every kid.  If he gets a bunch more offers - great!  He probably will - most kids Michigan offers do. But right now, he has what he has and there's no real reason to assume he's an unknown quantity after his junior year.  His highlights are on the internet and his school isn't accessible.  The SEC schools have all had an opportunity to check him out if they want.  In this day and age the mystery-recruit, the truelly under-the-radar guys, are very rare.  We heard that same kind of talk about Carvin Johnson and Thomas Rawls; he didn't go to camp, he doesn't have great grades, etc.  Please -- athletic departments are throwing millions at finding recruits.  If we know about them - they do too and Mone's been discussed for a long time.



February 12th, 2013 at 5:38 PM ^

I agree that it looks like we got in pretty early on a guy that is going to start garnering some bigger offers.  I like his size and his use of hands is surprisingly good.  I don't see great athleticism on film and he doesn't look like a penetrating type DT at the next tackle.  I see him as more of a 2-gap player that would fit in well  on a 3-4 team.  At Michigan, I think he's a 1-tech all the way.  Looks strong as an ox, and a guy that is going to maintain leverage.


February 12th, 2013 at 6:15 PM ^

Not sure.  I do think Michigan is starting to get personnel to give them the opportunity to be more 3-4.  I don't think it'll happen formally.  Mattison, I believe, wants to become more multiple. I could very well see more of a 3-4.  I see a heck of a lot more 5-techs on this roster than 9-techs.


February 12th, 2013 at 6:30 PM ^

I think Mattison prefers the mix of the two and only had the personel to show it a few times this last year. There will be times in the future where we'll show true 4-3 and true 3-4 but most of the time you'll see the hybrid of the two by simply subbing in an end who can play rush end or OLB, etc. Mattison is a self proclaimed 4-3 guy but it's not a basic "old school" 4-3 as the defense has evolved much like offenses. Consider what we'll run the defensive equal to the multi-pro offense (flashes of both, as stated above). The one absolute is PRESSURE and he (all) want that with just the front 3/4 DL/rush ends. Fact is that maybe 1% of starting CBs can truly island cover a WR. So, you get tall/long CBs, ranging safeties who can also come inside and attack with 4, giving you 7 to react to pass or run. Look at our recruiting and it's exactly what we're doing. Mattison isn't just recruiting as the ex-Ravens DC.....he is building our defense in that mold as it is equally suited to stop power pro teams and more athletic spread teams if you have the right guys. Mone fits perfectly.


February 12th, 2013 at 6:31 PM ^

Wow, it's been a while since I've heard that asked, maybe 2 recruit classes, now. No, Mattison moved us from a 3 man front to a 4 (sometimes 5) man front. He said recently on signing day he'd like us to be able to get good enough up front that we can get pressure with just 4, and thinks we're getting close. Actually we've taken  more D-Linemen than linebackers. 

Edit: I replied to the comment you replied to, but it posted me down here. Oh well.


February 12th, 2013 at 7:02 PM ^

Oddly, reply still fits. haha. As I also said, the ultimate goal of any defense is pressure with the front alone with the only difference being how each coach goes about it. Actually, it's very rare to do but his scheme does a great job with the right guys playing in it and we've recruited very well to his system (which we've yet to truly see in full).


February 13th, 2013 at 9:06 AM ^

On the plus side, the kid made 11 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 interception as a true freshman defensive end.

On the minus side, he didn't play much despite the fact that the starter (Beyer) was unproductive and the #2 guy (Clark) was inconsistent.

STW P. Brabbs

February 15th, 2013 at 11:17 AM ^

That's fine - I'm not saying that Ojemudia has all-conference written all over him for next year or anything like that. I just think it's silly to pull 'Ojemudia is at least 1.5 years from contributing' out of one's ass as though it's some kind of expert prognostication.

I would  still say that, on balance, the production he had as a freshman outweighs his inability to push his way into the starting lineup in terms of factors predicting future success.  One would expect a freshman playing an entirely new position might have some trouble with consistency and knowing the defense, and hopefully that will be corrected.  On the other hand, having the innate athleticism to make those plays is something that can't be taught.  Still, like you say, time will tell.


February 12th, 2013 at 6:10 PM ^

Hard to tell from the minimal and low-zoom highlights, but it seems like he uses his hands extremely well. Combined with his athleticism, he could be really good.

the noid

February 12th, 2013 at 6:46 PM ^

Pretty sure Hand and McDowell will say this and commit because with, Poggi, Pipkins and this fellow in the middle teams are going to have to bring in two tight ends, a full back and running back just to have a chance from stopping this line.


February 12th, 2013 at 7:11 PM ^

Does anyone know if the coaching staff has commented on this apparent strategy to get early commits?  

It seems they are making a conscious decision to get perhaps fewer top elite five-star recruits and be happy with four-star recruits: is there a possibility that it's better to have a four-star commit early and start learning the playbook, getting coaching advice from Michigan, etc. rather than a five-star who commits on NSD?


February 12th, 2013 at 7:21 PM ^

This post mentions the importance of picking up an SDE in this class.  Can somebody smarter than me explain the difference in the type of player you want at SDE vs. WDE?  What's more important -- HT/WT, speed, power?

I look at the Depth Chart by class and see Godin, Strobel and Heitzman at SDE and Charleton, Ojemudia, Clark and Beyer at WDE.  They're all returning in 2014 as well.

Based on the fall roster, the SDE group is, on the whole, taller and heavier than the WDEs.  Clark is sort of an exception because he played heavier last year on the interior.  Maybe he takes off a few pounds as more of a rusher.  On the other hand, Strobel was tall but thin (6-6/252) in his redshirt year and I guess we should expect him to be heavier this fall.

Still, these are just generic observations and I'd love to hear a little more insight.  How are the challenges and responsibilities different?  If you have a tweener in terms of height and weight, say 6-4/250, what skills would make him a good WDE vs. SDE?



February 12th, 2013 at 11:38 PM ^

Thanks BobbyHill. That blog post, the first I've ever seen on a pro team BTW, was helpful.

From what I can tell, the Sam tends to help out and becomes the end man on the line of scrimmage on the strong side, whereas the WDE is the EMLOS on the weak side. This in turn makes the SDE a third interior line man essentially, no where near the end of the line with contain responsibility.

Ergo, this makes Strobel a really good SDE if he bulks up and Taco and Mario great end contain guys with their leaner size more a linebacker.

Am I on the right track?


February 13th, 2013 at 9:26 PM ^

I am by no means a defensive coach, but at least at the hs level that is how we tend to determine who will play SDE vs WDE. Depending on the opposing offense (some teams in hs run a ton) sometimes we take our best athlete at DT and play him at SDE. They ideally can take much more punishment, while he weak side is generally a tad more athletic, often longer, and smarter. As the WDE you have to have patience (your responsible for counters). At the same time if your number is called you have to be an athlete. You have the right idea.


February 13th, 2013 at 12:22 AM ^

Bryan Mone is a stud, and his high school is a football factory in Salt Lake City.  I once lived in Salt Lake for awhile, and Highland High School was ALWAYS great at football and rugby.  Great pipeline to have...


February 13th, 2013 at 10:11 AM ^

314 pounds as a junior?  Wow.  And from the looks of it, it ain't "bad" weight and he moves really well, lining up at defensive end half the time.  I mean, wow.  Is he playing against good competition on film?  The thought of having Mike Martin + 50 pounds makes me salivate. 


February 16th, 2013 at 10:44 PM ^

Suppose there isn't any attrition this year (which I know is very unlikely) how do you think the class would breakdown in terms how many players we will take at each position? I would think wide receiver and defensive tackle would be where we might take multiples. Any thoughts?