Hello: Henry Poggi Comment Count

Ace June 4th, 2012 at 8:01 AM

Alabama bangs, Michigan commit.

Michigan's next commitment has been the subject of much speculation since Maurice Hurst Jr. pledged to the Wolverines on Saturday and proclaimed he'd be joined by another imminently. Now the guessing game is over, as Baltimore (MD) Gilman DT Henry Poggi has announced his choice to become the 20th commit in Brady Hoke's class of 2013, via GBW's Sam Webb. The consensus four-star is Michigan's second defensive tackle in the class, joining Hurst and defensive end Taco Charlton on the D-line.


Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
4*, #15 DT,
#135 Ovr
4*, #2 DT,
#52 Ovr
4*, 81, #23 DT 4*, 94, #7 DT,
#105 Ovr

Poggi is univerally regarded as a four-star, and only ESPN doesn't consider him one of the top 150 recruits in the country. Rivals is the most bullish, putting him all the way up at #52 overall. All save ESPN list Poggi at 6'4" and between 260 and 270 pounds; ESPN is a serious outlier at 6'3", 245.

Football runs in the family for the Poggis; Henry's father, Biff, is his coach at Gilman, while his older brothers Sam (Duke) and Jim (Iowa) each earned BCS football scholarships. His father, for what it's worth, says Henry is the best player in the family.

ESPN's evaluation isn't particularly glowing, largely due to concerns about Poggi's size and potential status as a tweener ($):

As a D-Lineman he flashes a good initial burst, but is inconsistent and can be a beat slow at times. He does need to watch his pad level, but displays the ability to fire off the ball low and gain leverage. He is a hard nose player who can make good contact and be tough at the point of attack. He is active with his hands, but needs to do a better job of consistently separating from blockers. He is a coach's son and comes across as a fairly smart player who reads schemes well and can get himself in good positions. He is a physical and high effort player who works to get around the ball. He is a good tackler who tries to drive through the ball carrier and wrap-up. He does display some rigidness and could struggle in space to quickly re-direct and wrap ball carriers up. As a pass rusher he comes up-field hard. Will try and attack half-a-man and displays the ability to be violent with his hands. ... While Poggi looks to carry his weight well, he may be somewhat limited in the good size he can add making him an undersized D-Tackle or more of a swing player if he stays on defense at the next level.

Poggi will likely come to campus as a three-tech DT, but there's also a chance he ends up at five-tech DE if he can't add the necessary bulk to play on the interior. The criticisms about his technique shouldn't be of great concern; remember, he's a junior in high school and Michigan has three defensive line coaches to work out any kinks at the next level.

Rivals—unsurprisingly, given his comparative rankings—was much more positive in their evaluations of Poggi than ESPN; here's MDHigh.com's Wayne Yarborough after scouting a Gilman game last October ($):

At 6-4, 255, Poggi has a great frame; he's a tall, thick defender with a wide base, stout legs and broad shoulders. He plays with a low pad level, which makes him difficult to move off the ball. He also has tremendous upper- and lower-body strength, allowing him to collapse the pocket and toss offensive linemen around like a dog with a chew toy. Indeed, Poggi can be a bully up front; he likes to scrap inside and goes at it like he has a massive chip on his shoulder. What's more, Poggi is very nimble for a big man. He showed surprising quickness and closing speed on stretch runs and a relentless rush on passing plays.

Gilman assistant coach Hank Russell echoed the praise for Poggi's strength, pad level, and motor in a March article on MDHigh.com ($):

Henry (6-3, 250) is a big, country-strong lineman who moves extremely well for his size. He has quick, heavy hands and gets off blocks exceptionally well. He is very powerful at the point of attack and can [overwhelm opponents]. Then Henry has a non-stop motor; he just will not stop coming at you. [Fundamentally], he plays with a low base and consistently keeps his pads low. He has great lower-body strength, which makes him very difficult to move off the ball. He's just a tough kid to block; he can [occupy] multiple blockers and break through double-teams.

Russell also told Scout's Kristen Kenney($) that Poggi "plays with incredible passion and has a non-stop motor." In short, Poggi may not have ideal size for a tackle, but he has great strength and pad level, relentless energy, and very solid athleticism for a lineman.


Poggi chose Michigan over Alabama and also held offers from the likes of Auburn, Cal, Florida, Iowa, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Mizzou, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and others. Needless to say, he's got a strong list of suitors.


Poggi recorded 49 tackles, 11 TFL, ten sacks, and a forced fumble as a junior in 2011.


247 lists a 4.70 40 time for Poggi, which merits a three FAKEs out of five.


Junior highlights:

You can see some additional highlights in this video feature on Poggi in which he also answers a few questions. His dream prom date will be met with approval around these parts, I'm sure.


Here's where I get lazy and slightly modify what I said about Hurst on Saturday:

If he ends up at three-tech, Hurst Poggi should get a redshirt year since Michigan brought in Willie Henry, Matt Godin, and potentially Chris Wormley at the position in the 2012 class. After that redshirt year, he'll be in position for fight for time against those three and a senior Kenny Wilkins; given that he's got a higher recruiting profile than all the '12 recruits save Wormley, he's got a good shot at contributing as a redshirt freshman.

Hey, that worked. Poggi could also end up at strongside DE, where he'd be competing against Wormley, Tom Strobel, and Keith Heitzman for time. Neither position that Poggi projects to play has much at all in the way of upperclassmen, so he's got a good shot to make a relatively early impact regardless of where he ends up. That said, a redshirt year will likely be a necessity to allow him to add some good weight.

If Poggi comes in at the three-tech, I assume the coaches will see how Hurst holds up at the nose unless Michigan takes another lineman who better fits there.


The Wolverines now have three or four spots remaining, in all likelihood. One of those is reserved for IL WR Laquon Treadwell, while it's becoming clear the coaches would like another defensive back in the class—MD CB Kendall Fuller and FL CB Leon McQuay III are the top targets, while AZ CB Cole Luke and NJ CB Nadir Barnwell are also possibilities. Michigan also is in the market for another running back—or at least an elite-level back—with the coaches pursuing VA RB Derrick Green and TN RB Jordan Wilkins.

I'd expect the class to be filled out with a receiver, running back, and cornerback, with the coaches taking a best player available type or possibly a strongside DE if there's another open spot. The options should narrow down considerably with so little room left in the class, a process we've already seen in motion along the offensive line and at linebacker.



June 4th, 2012 at 12:11 PM ^

 A nice possible side benefit of Poggi's commitment; Henry’s dad, Biff (great name for football coach), is head coach @ Gilman School. 

 May not create a total pipeline (ie. Iowa & Duke) but should help with some good info, intros and presence at this perennial MD football powerhouse.


June 4th, 2012 at 7:50 PM ^

Not only that, but Coach JP needs to get in touch with Biff to get some ins with the Gilman lacrosse team.  They're currently ranked #18 in the country, and probably every player on their team could play for Michigan.  They are 12-4 on the year, with all four losses to teams in the top 10 in the country.  Let's get in on that!

Mr. Yost

June 4th, 2012 at 8:09 AM ^

First, congrats to Poggi on an awesome decision...these last two pick-ups were BIG TIME!

Second, how does Poggi compare to Van Bergen?


June 4th, 2012 at 8:21 AM ^

most of which has little or nothing to do football, I would say that Hurst is the RVB of this class, while Poggi is the Martin. Nither are terribly great comps though, except to say that they are a notch below "elite" athlete who are really, really good football players. 

Mr. Yost

June 4th, 2012 at 8:46 AM ^

Mike Martin was NEVER a strongside DE. Poggi is definitely the smaller of three (Martin, Hurst and Poggi). Also, Martin's game is based on strength and explosiveness rather than speed and athleticism. Lastly, he's a NG/DT...not at DT/DE like RVB and Poggi.

I was just asking how Poggi's game compares to RVB, both when Ryan left Michigan and when he first arrived as Henry will next summer.

Mr. Yost

June 4th, 2012 at 9:28 AM ^

Not skill level...

Sorry, maybe I'm not being clear. You can compare playing style to anyone...I don't care if it's Jared Allen.

I'm not saying he's as good as either. It would be nice to know who was better coming out of high school, but Poggi still has a year and even that doesn't tell you everything. The question was simply how does he compare to RVB? Maybe Heininger would be a better comparison in terms playing style...but it's definitely not Martin.

For example, the other day someone said Hurst reminds them of Nick Fairley in the way he plays.


June 4th, 2012 at 9:39 AM ^

and agreed.  Obviously, many kids are coached up in a style that matches styles that their coaches are used to seeing or developing over a period of time and that translates to those comparisons.  Based on how the write up from the non-espin types, I thought it sounded more like MM, but that's just me. 

The thing about RVB and MM is that thier skill level was always there, but it seems like their style adapted during the several coordinators they played under over their Michigan careers.  Good and bad, they were results of the systems they played under.  And thanks to the current staff, they flurished under the system we saw last year.  Thankfully they had a good supporting cast that enabled them to be as good as they were.  I had a good friend who played next to Outland Trophy winner (1988) Chad Hennings at AFA who claimed that it was because of HIM that helped Chad win the award.  It was a joke btw them, but certainly a shred of truth to it.

I digress...and admittedly slightly off topic, but my point being that the quality Hoke is recruiting is going to feed on itself as each kid will reach their true potential by the help of everyone around them...which is why I absolutely love the classes Hoke is putting together more and more each day.


June 4th, 2012 at 8:12 AM ^

And that was before I saw the Kate Upton Video. Seriously, though: If we manage to pull Treadwell, Fuller or McQuay, and Green, there is no way that this class isn't the top class in the country. This coaching staff is the best coaching staff I can remember when experience, recruiting, knowledge, personality, and leadership are all combined. My big fear is that some of these guys (Mallory, Funk, Hecklinski are the primaries) are going to be poached for co-ordinator jobs starting in January, which is only partially mitigated by the fact that the big three have tons of connections and experience. 


June 4th, 2012 at 8:24 AM ^

Mallory would be the only guy I'd be concerned about leaving for a coordinator job.  He has experience in that department, and his position group has mostly performed well (and will likely be even better this year with all four starters returning).  Our receivers are going to be pretty weak this year, I think, so Hecklinski won't necessarily build his resume.  And Funk just doesn't seem like much of a coordinator candidate.  Maybe I'm wrong, but he kind of seems like a career OL coach...

Mr. Yost

June 4th, 2012 at 8:41 AM ^

One thing I'd like to add though is that Mallory will be a candidate for OUR defensive coordinator position when Mattison does indeed leave.

My personal favorites would be Mallory and Teryl Austin (former Michigan coach, co-defensive coordinator with Greg Mattison, currently with the Baltimore Raves, relentless recruiter...sound familar?)

MN Go Blue

June 4th, 2012 at 8:26 AM ^

Did he use a hat to appease the final 2 downers around here?

He looks to be a great player, a good kid and at a position of need for this class.  What is not to like?


June 4th, 2012 at 8:50 AM ^

  Man... that means so few 'Hello:" posts between now and February... sigh.  haHA!


  On the flipside, that does mean that those remaining spots are going to be elite blue chippers, right? :)


  And on a related schaden-note... poor, poor MSU just lost another head-to-head.  As did OSU.  If that isn't a reason to smile, you've got problems.


June 4th, 2012 at 8:50 AM ^

Man we're lucky Bama is a second-rate program. Cause we all know that Hoke can't close out on guys when it's us against another big-time program


June 4th, 2012 at 8:51 AM ^

The recruits come in pairs meme sure is playing itself out here.  This went from our weakest area to a strength all in one weekend.  Tremendous.


June 4th, 2012 at 12:36 PM ^

Poggi and Hurst coming out for a goal line score.  Poggi was being recruited as a tight end by 'Bama and Hurst is also a RB in high school.  No way to stop that with 1-2 yards to go.  Poggi leads the way blocking and Hurst bowls through the rest of the way.

Welcome to you both.


June 4th, 2012 at 9:06 AM ^

Super psyched that we got this kid. He was definitely one of the kids I wanted most when I first looked at the guys we were targeting (I'm not the only one that does this, right?). It seems like the Maryland area produces some talent, and it's not only to get a great kid like Poggi, but to make in roads with a couple of schools in that area. 

Welcome to Michigan, Henry. Welcome home.