While Michigan fans were drowning their sorrows in the aftermath of the OSU loss, the coaches landed a big-time commitment from four-star Houston (TX) Westside DT Jordan Elliott, who was in Ann Arbor on an official visit. After prior commitments to Baylor and Houston didn't stick for long, Elliott slowed his recruitment and eventually narrowed his focus to Michigan and Texas; this weekend's visit sealed it for the Wolverines.
Go Blue pic.twitter.com/3N0JsIQ9nq
— Its Lit (@XCV____) November 28, 2015
Elliott is the 22nd commit in the class and the second at defensive tackle, joining Rashad Weaver.
4*, #13 DT,
|3*, #28 DT||
4*, 85, #11 DT,
4*, 96, #7 DT,
4*, #14 DT,
There's a significant gap between Rivals and the other three recruiting sites, which all have Elliott as not just a four-star but a borderline top-100 prospect or better. When asked on The Fort to explain Elliott's ranking, The Wolverine's Brandon Brown gave some insight ($):
He didn't do any Rivals camps....unfortunately that's where a lot of guys get evaluated against other big time prospects by Rivals staffers.
I understand wanting to evaluate a prospect in person, but if this is really their methodology, that's a rather huge conflict of interest.
Elliott has college-ready size; he's generally listed at 6'4", 300 pounds, with Rivals adding an extra inch and 247 tacking on five pounds. He could conceivably play the nose, three-tech, or even SDE in Michigan's defense.
Scout's free evaluation talks up Elliott's athleticism and versatility:
EvaluationAthletic enough to play defensive end and powerful enough to play inside and take on the double team as a defensive tackle. Very quick off the ball, and you often forget that he is a legit 300-pounder moving around the way he is. Very smooth and plays with a low center of gravity making it tough for offensive linemen to outposition him. Could be scheme versatile in college and play in many defenses, and that is why offers poured in for him. - GP
- Body Control and Balance
- Quickness off Ball
Areas to Improve
- Hand Quickness
ESPN is very high on Elliott's potential, calling him a potential early contributor. They see his potential to develop into a "disruptive interior rusher" against the pass, and with some technical refinements he should also be a major plus stuffing the run ($):
Demonstrates ability to fire out low and uncoil at contact and when he plays with leverage can be very tough at point of attack. At times can knock blockers back and flashes powerful upper body to separate and shed from blockers. Does need to watch pad level as it can quickly rise at times and needs to continue to refine hand usage and work getting off blocks little quicker at times. Displays adequate lateral mobility to be active between the tackles.
After Elliott committed to Michigan, ESPN analyst Craig Haubert compared him to one of the better Big Ten interior linemen of the last half-decade ($):
A bit fitting that the talented 2016 defender eventually landed in the Big Ten as in some ways he reminds us of former Iowa defensive lineman Carl Davis. Like the former Hawkeyes lineman, Elliott brings nice size and can move well and offer some versatility to a front. Like Davis, he also possesses the tools to be a very good and productive three-down-type player.
Davis anchored some very good Iowa defenses, recorded nine TFLs as a senior, and went in the third round of this year's NFL Draft. A similar career arc would be more than acceptable.
247's Clint Brewster added his analysis of Elliott's film in the aftermath of his commitment:
Elliott has the chippy demeanor you want on the defensive line and he's in the mold of a brawler in the trenches. He's a guy you can keep on the field for all three downs because he can help collapse the pocket against the pass. Elliott has a raw upside to him that coaches love to the get their hands on. He has the exclusive power combined with agility elite defensive lineman possess.
Brewster thinks Elliott can provide depth early in his career, which is really saying something considering the returning talent on the D-line.
Elliott holds offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Cal, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Kentucky, LSU, Miami (YTM), Minnesota, Mississippi State, Mizzou, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Oregon State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, Utah, and Washington, among others. That's a heck of a list with elite programs from just about every area of the country.
Westside is part of Texas' largest classification (6A). They're not among the elite programs in that group—they lost to powerhouse Katy 77-0 in this year's playoffs—but they've produced 16 D-I signees since 2002, with most of them sticking in Big 12 country.
As a junior, Elliott accumulated 41 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, six sacks, and two forced fumbles.
MaxPreps has incomplete senior stats that credit Elliott with ten TFLs and four sacks in eight games.
FAKE 40 TIME
Elliott's Hudl page lists a 4.86 unverified 40 that gets four FAKEs out of five; for a 300-pound high school lineman, that'd be a remarkable electronic time.
Half-season senior highlights:
Full junior highlights and single-game reels can be found on his Hudl page.
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
Elliott should eventually make his way to nose tackle, where he's got the potential to be a star. He's already got the size to contribute early as a three- or five-tech, but that just happens to be where Michigan boasts the most depth next season. Elliott should be able to either redshirt and preserve some eligibility or, if the coaches expect him to be a major contributor as a sophomore, ease his way into some rotation snaps as a freshman.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
I'll have much more on this in the recruiting roundup tomorrow. For now, I'll note Michigan has 22 spots filled in a class Steve Lorenz reports will have 27 players. With some in-class attrition still expected, the coaches should be able to fit in several of the big-time prospects they're still recruiting, first and foremost among them Rashan Gary—Elliott's commitment by no means takes away his spot.
The recruitments of two other five-stars, Mecole Hardman and Isaac Nauta, just got a whole lot more interesting with today's news that Georgia fired Mark Richt, as well.