The Wolverine

September 2018*

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 58 of 75

SEPTEMBER 2018 THE WOLVERINE 59   PREP PROFILES Lakeville (Minn.) North three-star offensive tackle Bryce Benhart doesn't like a lot of attention when it comes to his recruitment, but at 6-9 and 301 pounds he's going to get noticed. In late July, he stuck out while pos- ing with Michigan's five offensive line commits at the BBQ. Offensive line coach Ed Warinner also posed in the picture, making it clear that Ben- hart is one of U-M's priorities. Even though he's modestly ranked as the No. 37 offensive tackle in the country, Benhart has impressed Ri- Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt. "Bryce possesses a long, tall frame, quick feet and athleticism — every- thing you want at the offensive tackle position," Helmholdt explained. "I love the way he can locate in space and get to the second level to seal linebackers. That's rare to see from young offensive tackles." Helmholdt also took a look at Ben- hart's game from a critical standpoint and touched on some areas that need to improve before he hits the field in college. "Benhart doesn't have a dominant initial punch, but he handles the point of attack well because he's ag- gressive and stays engaged," Helm- holdt said. "He definitely needs more strength training, but long term that should not be an issue. "If he is really 6-9, though, ques- tions about being able to bend effec- tively and change levels efficiently are legitimate. There's a reason offen- sive tackles tend to top out at 6-6 or 6-7, and few have played effectively at that height." Warinner and Co. are working hard to convince Benhart that Ann Arbor is the place to be, but it's un- clear how effective the efforts have been. Benhart is so quiet that even Helmholdt has had trouble pinning down what the big man might do when decision time comes. "Benhart's dad has told me Bryce hates talking about his recruitment, and several attempts through his fa- ther to get Bryce to discuss it have been fruitless," Helmholdt explained. "The buzz around his recruitment has been strong for Wisconsin for several months, but beyond that where things stand with him is anyone's guess." His mid-summer unofficial visit indicates that his interest in Michi- gan is real, but the Badgers are al- ways attractive to offensive linemen and Madison, Wis., is much closer to home than Ann Arbor. Benhart also holds offers from schools like Nebraska, Tennessee, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Okla- homa, Oklahoma State, Oregon, UCLA and, of course, the hometown Gophers. Warinner initiated recruit- ing Benhart for the Gophers when he was still on staff there, and that connection could be interesting for the Maize and Blue as well. — Brandon Brown If you scroll through Oakley (Calif.) Freedom three-star all-purpose back Giles Jackson's Twitter page, you'll see an awful lot of Michigan-related content. The 5-10, 185-pounder is clearly high on the Wolverines, and it shows in what he likes, retweets and posts about the winningest program in college football history. His page also contains a lot of im- ages containing Cal, Oregon, Oregon State and USC. Michigan obviously has a battle on its hands for Jackson's services, with the four Pac-12 schools much closer to his home, but the shifty back is giving U-M a real shot. Jackson broke down why U-M is in consideration for him despite be- ing a lot further away than his other finalists. "They have a great coaching staff, and they're all super nice to me," Jackson said. "My seven-on-seven quarterback, Cade McNamara, is committed to them as well, and they just made a big impression when I visited." The rising senior offensive weapon personally received his official of- fer from Jim Harbaugh Aug. 1, and that hit home too. Jackson said that he definitely feels wanted after that gesture and certainly looks at Har- baugh differently after receiving the message. Jackson also has regular contact with another coach at U-M, which is just another indicator that he's a wanted man in Ann Arbor. "I hear from Michigan every other day," Jackson said. "It's always from [wide receivers coach] Jim McElwain. "Michigan likes me as a slot/back- field/return guy. That's why I hear from him." With so much attention from a lim- ited number of schools, Jackson is nearing a decision and has a tentative plan in place. "I want to commit on August 24 — my mom's birthday, but it's get- ting to the point where the recruiting process is annoying with all of the fans on twitter," Jackson explained. "I have a commitment video, and it has different endings for the schools. "Whenever it's finished, I may just drop it." As a junior, Jackson was a first- team all-league selection after carry- ing the ball 220 times for 1,586 yards (7.2 yards per attempt) and 22 touch- downs. He also caught 21 passes for 324 yards and five scores, proving that he's got the skills to be an offen- sive weapon under Harbaugh and McElwain. — Brandon Brown Mammoth Offensive Tackle Is Still On The Board For U-M California Back Would Bring An Interesting Skill Set To Ann Arbor ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Freedom H.S. Oakley, Calif. Class: 2019 Position: All-Purpose Back Ht.: 5-10 • Wt.: 185 Rankings: Currently un- rated Giles Jackson ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ Lakeville North H.S. Lakeville, Minn. Class: 2019 Position: Offensive Tackle Ht.: 6-9 • Wt.: 301 Rankings: No. 37 offensive tackle nationally Bryce Benhart Giles "Michigan likes me as a slot/backfield/return guy. That's why I hear from [wide receivers coach Jim McElwain]."

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of The Wolverine - September 2018*