The Wolverine

February 2019

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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FEBRUARY 2019 THE WOLVERINE 55   COMMITMENT PROFILE F ort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas three-star Anthony Solo- mon — Rivals' No. 25 inside linebacker nationally and the No. 62 player in talent-rich Florida — had been com- mitted to Miami for more than eight months, but he always held U-M in high regard. Even with a pledge to the local Canes in place, the longer he was committed the more out of place it felt. Solomon is a Florida kid, but he never felt at home at "The U." He de- cided to reach out to U-M defensive coordinator Don Brown in Novem- ber, and the attraction between the two parties kicked into overdrive. Eventually Solomon visited Ann Ar- bor again and knew that it was home. The 6-1, 200-pounder explained why the flip needed to happen. "One way or another along the road I decided to go to Miami, but I found it in my head that I couldn't pass up an opportunity like going to Michigan," Solomon said. He leaned on some familiar faces from Florida when it came time to make a decision, and those Sunshine State Wolverines gave him some ad- vice that he took to heart. "A lot of guys I grew up with went to Michigan," Solomon said. "Devin Bush, Josh Metellus, Devin Gil, Josh Uche — they're from what we call 'The Crib,' and I've known them since we've been playing little league together. "I look at them as older cousins or older brothers, and Michigan was always in my heart since day one because of them. I was speaking to them for a whole two months before I [flipped]. They were telling me I've got to do what's best for me. They were not into the whole, 'Just come, blah, blah, blah.' "They wanted to make sure I was making the best decision for myself. Those guys are like family, and I knew they wouldn't steer me wrong." Now that Solomon is signed it's all about his future at Michigan. He's listed as an inside linebacker despite being on the small side, but he will be playing Brown's specialized viper spot in an aggressive defense. Solomon is excited about that and can't wait to get to Ann Arbor to learn from the veteran coach. "I love how Don Brown coaches, and right now he's got me set at the viper position," Solomon said. "I'll be playing in that role alongside Khaleke Hudson. "I know during his freshman year Khaleke played at 207, so if I get to 205 or so I'm happy." Florida analyst Rob Cassidy has watched Solomon in person several times and sees him succeeding in a linebacker/safety hy- brid role. "Solomon makes plays, he moves really, really well and he's really great in coverage," Cassidy said. "I saw him in a game earlier this year and he covered a running back more than 40 yards down the field, which he really shouldn't have to do but did really well. "He's a hyper-athletic kid, makes a ton of plays and was always re- ally active on a great defense at St. Thomas Aquinas." Solomon was a key part of sev- eral loaded defenses for more than two seasons at his high school. He started to play some meaningful snaps as a sophomore, but really stepped into a major role as a junior and senior. During his junior season, he had 77 tackles and one tackle for loss. In his final prep campaign, he produced 71 total stops, eight tackles for a loss and four sacks. After that productive season, Sol- omon was recognized as the No. 8 player in The Sun Sentinel's Broward County top-50 prospect list. — Brandon Brown Michigan Flips Anthony Solomon Away From Miami Solomon was ranked No. 8 on The Sun Sentinel's top-50 list of Broward County play- ers, after notching 71 total stops, eight tackles for a loss and four sacks for Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM FILM EVALUATION Strengths: Anthony Solomon is billed as an undersized yet speedy linebacker who is very comfortable playing in space. He's been a part of a great defense in high school and has faced some of the best competition in the country. He should be able to handle anything that the Michigan coaches throw at him and should thrive near the line of scrimmage as well as in coverage. Areas Of Improvement: It's tough to play linebacker in the Big Ten at 200 pounds so Solomon is going to need to bulk up. That's a natural expectation for all prospects at the next level and especially for Solomon. The question is whether or not he'll maintain his speed and fluidity with added weight. Michigan Player Comparison: Solomon looks like and plays like former Wolver- ine Brandin Hawthorne. Solomon is listed at 6-1, 200 pounds on and Hawthorne was listed at 6-0, 198 pounds as a freshman. He eventually got up to 220, which is a great goal for Solomon. Like Hawthorne, Solomon is an undersized three-star linebacker from Florida. Hawthorne finished with 63 tackles at Michigan and played in 37 games. Solomon should view that as a floor with his ability. — Analysis from Florida analyst Rob Cassidy on Solomon "He's a hyper-athletic kid, makes a ton of plays and was always really active on a great defense at St. Thomas Aquinas."

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