Hello From The Future: Brady Pallante

Submitted by Ace on April 10th, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Football player, state champion wrestler.

As the basketball team made their way to the Final Four, the football team picked up a grayshirt commitment from Naples (FL) Barron Collier defensive lineman Brady Pallante. As a grayshirt commit, Pallante will pay his way through school during the 2014-15 scholastic year—during which time he cannot participate in team activities—before joining the team on full scholarship for the 2015 season. If it makes it easier, just consider him the first commitment for the 2015 class, and one who'll get a head start on the academic side of things.


Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
NR DT NR DT NR DT 2*, 77, #78 DT

Pallante, as you can see, is not a high-profile recruit, and his offer list—only Appalachian State gave him a non-grayshirt offer—is in line with his early rankings. The four services peg Pallante at 6'1" and between 255-278 pounds, making him a pretty stout interior lineman in the Rob Renes mold.

If you see the above and are wondering why the coaches offered a scholarship to an unranked kid from Florida, Pallante—a lifelong Wolverine fan—camped at Michigan last summer and impressed the coaches, as well as making WolverineNation's list of top performers ($):

2014 Brady Pallante -- He's a Florida kid who definitely turned some heads in Ann Arbor on Monday. He has a good combination of size and speed, which Michigan is always looking for.

Pallante won a state championship in wrestling last winter, and apparently reminded the coaches of a certain former Wolverines with a similar pedigree on the mat, per Scout's Kyle Bogenschutz ($) [emphasis mine]:

Pallante, 6’1, 275 pounds finished an impressive junior year with 59 tackles, six sacks, and four forced fumbles, all from the interior of the defensive line, exactly what Michigan envisions him doing at the next level as a one technique.

The coaches up at Michigan said I remind them a lot of Mike Martin,” said Pallante. “Coach Hoke just sat down with me and said, ‘we’re looking for a guy who can replace Mike Martin at nose guard and a guy that works hard and is a tough kid’.”

Actual scouting evaluations on Pallante are scant; the only one I can dig up is from 247's Clint Brewster, who broke down Pallante's film after his commitment ($):

At about 6-foot-1 and 260-pounds, Pallante has the short/stout frame you want for a defensive tackle to be able to get underneath offensive lineman and gain leverage. Pallante is very quick off the ball and has a number of moves in his arsenal to beat an offensive lineman. He has a brawlers mentality in the trenches and can stand his ground against the run.

Pallante's speed and strength are also noted as positives, while his size is his most apparent area for improvement.


As said above, Pallante's other offer was from Appalachian State. Rivals lists interest, but no offer, from Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, Purdue, and UCF.


Per Scout, Pallante recorded 59 tackles, six sacks, and four forced fumbles in his junior season.


None of the sites list a 40 time. Rivals does have some lifting numbers: 370 lbs. bench max and 580 lbs. squat max.


Pallante doesn't have highlights on YouTube, but you can see an extensive junior reel on his Hudl page.


Pallante could conceivably play either nose guard or three-tech, though it sounds like the coaches have him pegged as a nose, where he can utilize his leverage to hold the point of attack on the interior. Michigan has pulled in a nose guard in each of the last three classes (incl. 2014) in Ondre Pipkins, Maurice Hurst Jr., and Bryan Mone. When Pallante is able to join the team in 2015, he'll be operating behind those guys. At this juncture, it's tough to project him as much more than helpful depth at a position that usually rotates at least a couple of players, but we'll see where he's at after his senior season.


Since Pallante accepted a grayshirt offer, his commitment doesn't affect the numbers for the 2014 class, and it's far too early to take a guess at the 2015 numbers with any real accuracy.


Blue boy johnson

April 10th, 2013 at 2:16 PM ^

Welcome aboard Brady Pallante!

The last M recruit sporting only an Appalachian State offer was Spike Albrecht.

I think Pallante, like Jeremy Clark, ends up not grayshirting, and ends up in the class of 2014.


April 10th, 2013 at 2:23 PM ^

Ace -

I don't understand why he can't practice with the team.  Is that to maintain eligibility?  Why not call him a preferred walk-on so he can work out with the team and red-shirt, thus making him a red-shirt freshmen in 2014-2015? 

The only reason I can think of is that the greyshirt gives him one extra year of eligibility, but as a non-scholarship player anyway there's no guarantee of a 5th year being awared....let alone what would amount to his sixth year in school. 

I see no incentive in this plan - just make him a walk-on, get him started in the program, and don't worry about a possible contribution in his sixth year. 


April 10th, 2013 at 7:30 PM ^

Is not really an option here.  A gray shirt offer is MUCH better than a walk-on offer - it is simply a deffered scholarship.  For many families paying for one semester of college is worth going to a better school for 4 or 5 years.

From the program's perspective there are many benefits, particularly for linemen who usually require a red-shirt anyway. The gray shirt is a year older, wiser, stronger, better prepared than a typical recruit- at no cost to the program. 

Michigan effectively get's a 'free' or extra scholarship for the season - instead of 5 scholarship years invested for 4 years of linemen production they 'pay' 4 scholarship years for 4 years.  That's if he doesn't red-shirt.  If he does, then he is a typical recruit who is simply better prepared and less of a risk than your typical recruit. You have to consider that many recruits simply can't hack it.  The gray shirt filters people like that out, again - at no cost to the school.

If everyone gray-shirted you'd have as many as 20% more players in the program.  If Michigan is willing to offer a kid a scholarship anyway and he is wiling to gray-shirt - they should.


April 10th, 2013 at 3:38 PM ^

A greyshirt can't participate in football activities in his greyshirt year, but is there any reason he can't go out for wrestling that year and participate in training with them?


April 10th, 2013 at 6:07 PM ^

Are you sure it's when they start athletic competition?  I had a good friend in college who walked-on to the baseball team as a junior, and although it was his first year of athletic competition, was listed as a RS Soph, eligibility-wise.  He explained it to me that his clock started as soon as he enrolled, so he had three more years you play baseball.  


April 10th, 2013 at 7:00 PM ^

Sorry.  I guess that wasn't clear.  I was sort of convoluting starting athletic competition with enrolling, since the OP suggested he would wrestle as a freshman.  But yeah, it's when the guy enrolls.  That's why a guy like Mike Kwiatkowski ran out of eligibility after this year, despite  only being on the team for three years.


April 10th, 2013 at 4:03 PM ^

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a players 5-year clock start when he enrolls, not when he begins with the team? So if he enrolls in the fall of 2014, that would count as his redshirt season.

Wouldn't it make more sense then for him to not enroll until Jan 2015 as if he were a 2015 EE after spending fall 2014 training in Florida (and not paying tuition)?


April 10th, 2013 at 4:36 PM ^

Wrestlers make good interior linemen (if they're big enough).  You don't have to teach them leverage; they eat leverage for breakfast.

Mike Martin did pretty well as a rookie NT; Tennessee's defense was awful last season but it doesn't sound like anyone down there was blaming him for it.


April 10th, 2013 at 4:44 PM ^

Even if the comparison to one of Michigan's best defensive players of the last decade doesn't pan out, Pallante sounds a lot like Terrance Taylor--another short, squat former wrestler. Though never a star, he definitely found his role amongst the star-studded 2006 defense. I'm totally OK with getting another DT like that.

Also, dude's name is Brady. We like those. (Tom/Hoke/Lloyd)


April 10th, 2013 at 7:28 PM ^

Sometimes we read too much into recruiting rankings.

Look back to 90's guys like Rob Renes, Jason Horn, and Will Carr - lightly regarded 6'0 pluggers who not only ended up as good starters under Hoke but some even ended up as NFL draft picks.  These guys fit the NT position (used to be called Middle Guard) perfectly and that's why Hoke's bringing him in.

He's not Mike Martin, but don't be shocked if he ends up being more than just a back-up.