Hello From The Future: Emil Ekiyor

Submitted by Ace on October 2nd, 2016 at 5:36 PM


Ekiyor at yesterday's game. [Isaiah Hole/247Sports]

As first reported by Sam Webb, 2018 four-star Indianapolis (IN) Cathedral OG Emil Ekiyor committed to Michigan this afternoon. Michigan was the first program to offer Ekiyor, who has since compiled an impressive offer sheet, and they also got to evaluate him in person at both the Indianapolis satellite camp and Sound Mind Sound Body this summer.

Ekiyor is Michigan's second commit in the 2018 class, joining four-star GA OLB Otis Reese.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #3 OG,
#124 Ovr
4*, #4 OG,
#127 Ovr
4*, 81, #4 OG,
#131 Ovr
4*, 92, #5 OG,
#131 Ovr
4*, #4 OG,
#110 Ovr

Ekiyor's rankings are in a remarkably tight grouping; the "spread" of a whopping seven places in the overall rankings is the smallest I can remember. As a result of his rankings being so consistently high, his composite ranking outstrips any of his rankings from the four recruiting services.

All four sites consider Ekiyor a guard, and he's very much built like one. He's listed between 6'2" and 6'4" and in the range of 315 to 349(!) pounds, with camp reports listing him on the shorter and stouter end. He looks like an interior mauler all the way.

SCOUTING

Scout's short, free evaluation screams interior lineman:

Evaluation
 
Big, powerful lineman who is light on his feet and finishes his blocks. Can still improve overall pass pro technique.
 
Strengths
  • Drive Blocking Skills
  • Power And Strength
  • Size
Areas to Improve
  • Pass Protection

Despite only being partway through his junior season, Ekiyor has been on the recruiting radar for quite a while. He's started since his freshman year at Cathedral, a powerhouse program in Indiana's biggest divison, and Michigan's offer came way back in March of 2015. That summer, Tim Sullivan evaluated Ekiyor's performance at OSU's Friday Night Lights camp:

Ekiyor picked up his first offer from Michigan back in March, and he's added a few more since then. He has the mass to be a bullying offensive guard, and his feet move very quickly as well. He has a bit of a "chopped off" look, so unless he hits a growth spurt (always possible with young men who haven't yet started their sophomore year of high school), it seems he's bound for the interior line. He moved very fluidly through the day, and showed off some good power, as well.

Rivals's Josh Helmholdt listed him among the top performers at the Cincinnati Crosstown Showdown a month later:

The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Ekiyor does not look like a high school offensive line prospect, let alone one who is just starting his sophomore year. The Indianapolis native is built like a brick house and physically overwhelms opponents, but he is also light on his feet and can locate in space. Cathedral plays Ekiyor at right tackle, but his future will be on the interior of the offensive line where his wide frame and outstanding power will provide for a dominant drive blocker in college.

After helping Cathedral to a state championship appearance in his sophomore season, Ekiyor impressed Scout's Allen Trieu at this May's Chicago Opening regional:

Strong, powerful kid. Very wide base and when he got his hands solidly on guys, he won. Looks like a power guard at the next level.

Irish247's Tom Loy was also in attendance and came away with a different take:

It wasn't a strong performance for the Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral four-star offensive guard from the class of 2018. Notre Dame hasn't offered yet and I see why there is some hesitation. Despite his massive 6-3, 350-pound size, Ekiyor got moved around by smaller defensive linemen. He wasn't physically dominant even though it's expected when looking at his size. He needs to continue working hard in the weight room and drop some bad weight. He has time to do that when working with a proper trainer and nutritionist. Ekiyor still possesses a ton of upside and potential. If he puts in a lot of hard work, he'll have the chance to be very good down the road

Few high school prospects carry 350 good pounds; Ekiyor almost certainly has some bad weight to shed before he can make an impact at the college level.

247's Steve Wiltfong named Ekiyor one of the top performers at M's Indianapolis satellite camp even though he wasn't fully healthy:

Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral Top247 2018 offensive lineman Emil Ekiyor is still trying to get right coming off an injury, but the wide interior body with good feet and strength showed flashes of his great potential. Ekiyor said he’s transitioning to center this fall. 

Ekiyor is a wider guy than most centers, but if he's closer to the 6'2" end of his height range than that could be a possibility. Wiltfong also mentioned Ekiyor among the standout offensive linemen at SMSB.

ESPN's evaluation doesn't put forth much criticism beyond Ekiyor's lack of height and need to shed some weight:

STRENGTHS: Possesses excellent bulk and moves very well for his size. Gains an immediate advantage with a good first step. Has quick feet and great strength. Fluid and flexible athlete who is comfortable playing in space. Mirrors effectively in pass pro and can anchor against the bull rush. ... AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT: On the shorter side and lacks length. Would benefit from shedding a few lbs and redistributing his weight better. Leans forward too much at times. ... BOTTOM LINE: Ekiyor is a big man with deceptive athleticism. He has the strength to dominate in the run game as well as the quick feet to play in space in pass pro. Overall, he's a very good offensive line prospect.

So long as Ekiyor keeps his weight under control, he sounds like an excellent guard prospect for a power running team.

OFFERS

Ekiyor had Tennessee tied atop his list with Michigan until this weekend. He also holds offers from Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, LSU, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Cal, Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mizzou, NC State, Syracuse, Toledo, USF, Vanderbilt, and Virginia. Notably, Notre Dame and Ohio State have not come through with offers.

HIGH SCHOOL

Cathedral made the state championship game last year after moving up to Indiana's biggest division. Michigan has an offer and strong interest in Ekiyor's friend and teammate Markese Stepp, a four-star 2018 running back committed to Notre Dame. Stepp accompanied Ekiyor on his visit yesterday, per 247's Steve Lorenz. Given how ND's season has gone thus far, his recruitment is one to keep a close eye on.

STATS

OL, no stats.

FAKE 40 TIME

ESPN lists a combine 40 time of 5.44 seconds, which gets zero FAKEs.

VIDEO

Mid-season junior highlights:

Full sophomore highlights:

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

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Ekiyor will definitely wind up on the interior of the offensive line. With his wide frame and quick feet, the guess here is he plays guard. Even Michigan is far from done recruiting the 2017 offensive line class, Ekiyor could have the chance to see the field relatively early; among players on the current roster, only Michael Onwenu, Stephen Spanellis, Jon Runyan Jr., and perhaps Ben Bredeson (if he's not needed at tackle) project to play guard. In all likelihood, though, Ekiyor will marinate for a couple years while doing plenty of strength and conditioning work—with a major emphasis on the conditioning bit.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

It'll probably have Emil Ekiyor in it.

Comments

UMForLife

October 2nd, 2016 at 6:13 PM ^

Welcome to M Emil. The competition on the Jr highlights does not look good. He looks like a man among boys. A big dude who is looking to destroy the DL. I like it.

Dailysportseditor

October 2nd, 2016 at 6:17 PM ^

For both the student and the school, it's nice to bring early closure to the recruitment phase. Early enrollment becomes an available option, as well as the possibility of becoming a leader in your Michigan class. It looks like Mr. Ekiyor will be able to play every position on the offensive line and the interior positions on the defensive line. It's going to be a pleasure to follow his progress.

getsome

October 2nd, 2016 at 11:06 PM ^

"able to play every position on the O line and the interior DL"?

i actually really like this kid as a prospect and, given the way he moves and his nimble feet, id guess hes one of the coaches top interior targets - the tape only tells so much as the competition is totally overmatched and he obviously has a ways to go but this kid could be pretty good.

all that said and as much as i like his potential, it takes a truly special player to be able to compete at all 5 OL spots and also play several DL techniques - theres just a huge difference bw making an impact at any of 7-8 positions on both lines and helping your team win big 10 games vs maybe potentially being able to fill in here or spell someone there though far from ideal (and even thats saying something).  hopefully youre right though, thatd be great!

regardless, welcome to m.  seems like a solid dude and hes got real potential on the field

scottiek65

October 2nd, 2016 at 7:35 PM ^

As Michigan continues to improve in the future and recruiting classes go up consistently in national rankings, dont you think more 4- and 5-stars will commit earlier out of competition?

I mean the kids can sense a program on the rise, a growing national power and will want to get in on it. but Michigan, like Alabama will be able to pick and choose from the best recruits, the only disadvantage being for kids from the SEC footprint who want to stay close to home.

DOBlue48

October 3rd, 2016 at 8:34 AM ^

Very impressed by how well the big fella moves his feet.  S & C will be able to completely transform his body.  Kid could be a beast in a couple years.

Hotroute06

October 3rd, 2016 at 9:41 AM ^

I agree with the low competition level he plays at in highschool but wow does he move well for that size. Naturally good pad level. This kid looks special... Welcome to Michigan.