Earlier this month, we compared Michigan’s offensive signees to offensive members of the 2016 roster.
As we approach the end of winter and begin spring football, we wanted to give a similar breakdown of Michigan’s defensive signees.
Lee County (Ga.) Aubrey Solomon, 5-star DT
Can you compare any player to the 247Sports composite rankings nation’s No. 2 DT recruit? Yep. The former No. 1 overall recruit, Michigan freshman DT Rashan Gary.
Both play the same position, both were 5-star prospects, both possess a mean first step and both are a force at the line of scrimmage. They even already have a nickname, according to defensive coordinator Don Brown: “Thunder and Lightning.”
Expect to see a lot of this tandem for years to come in Ann Arbor.
Paramus Catholic (N.J.) Drew Singleton, 4-star LB
From the same high school as Gary, Singleton is exactly what you want, frame-wise, out of an OLB prospect coming out of high school: Long arms, wide shoulders and built like a college upperclassmen.
His style of play is reminiscent to that of Michigan senior – soon-to-be 6th-year senior – LB Mike McCray, a strong, good-tackling and blitz-savvy linebacker with great reads who is better than average in pass coverage.
McCray wasn’t able to have much of an impact at Michigan until his fifth year because of injuries. Singleton had a torn ACL that prevented him from playing after two games of his senior season.
Michigan fans must hope that Singleton’s high ceiling won’t be limited by injury.
Detroit Cass Tech Jaylen Kelly-Powell, 4-star S
Two players with unusually strong builds out of high school, Jaylen Kelly-Powell and Khaleke Hudson, could be on the field at the same time a lot in their time together in Ann Arbor.
Hudson, a freshman in 2016, saw significant time on special teams, including three big hits to remember.
Both coming in as strong safeties, Hudson is more of a big-hitter, while Kelly-Powell brings a bit more range. The two next to each other, looking early similar in build, should excite Michigan fans.
Coaches are planning on playing Kelly-Powell in the viper position, the same spot where Jabrill Peppers played, so some could argue Peppers should be to the comparison.
Hudson and Kelly-Powell should see some significant time on the field together in the next few years, assuming Kelly-Powell ends up at the viper position.