The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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2020 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE 58 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2020 BY CHRIS BALAS Michigan offensive line coach Ed Warinner was looking for many qual- ities in his 2020 linemen, but there was one thing in particular he had in mind when he was scouting and watching film. "We're a spread team, so there are a lot more one-on-one matchups in the run game and the passing game. Athleticism, length; we've started to recruit those guys," he said in Feb- ruary. "We've started to build our depth chart with those guys." That includes Centennial (Colo.) Eaglecrest's Reece Atteberry, a Ri- three-star prospect with outstanding upside and one unique feature — he really wants to play center at the next level. "They made it pretty clear they cross train you quite a bit, and it's how they train pretty much every- body," the 6-5, 280-pounder said. "If you're not taking reps, you're off to the side snapping. "Ideally, I'd like to play center. It's pretty early so I don't know when I'll see the field, but realistically I'll get in with the strength coaches, work my ass off and see where it gets me." His play on the Eaglecrest line got him several offers, including Michi- gan and Ohio State. He visited the U-M campus several times before pledging last June, having found his perfect fit in Ann Arbor. OSU countered with an offer only a month after the Wolverines extended one, but Atteberry never wavered. "I kind of said this from day one, it's just a different atmosphere at Michi- gan," he said. "They have expectations of excellence. It's demanded. The se- nior class leaves having won 10 games in three years, but people are still up- set — and that's understandable be- cause they're not where they want to be and haven't been in a while. "I have common goals, and aca- demically I'm the same way. Every- thing was very positive. The academ- ics are some of the best in the world." Atteberry plans to take advantage of everything U-M has to offer and is thinking about a political science ma- jor. His play on the field has already opened some doors for him beyond his scholarship. He took part in the January Poly- nesian Bowl in Hawai'i and got to face some of the nation's top players while spending a week in paradise. Though he admittedly struggled in the first quarter while splitting series, he became comfortable and more than held his own for the last three. He also held up well during the week in prac- tice to earn praise from the coaches. "I settled in pretty well," he said. "Most of the time I was going against Kobe Pepe, who's going to USC. He's a stud and an even better kid. It was really fun to be able to evaluate each other's games." Now, though, he's itching to get to Ann Arbor and learn from Warinner, who Atteberry considers one of the best teachers in the game. "He keeps it simple," he said of his future coach. "He doesn't want you to overthink things, but he expects a lot from his core group. And talking to the offensive linemen there, he'll have your back … that's for sure." ❑ Reece Atteberry Wants To Be At The Center Of Everything The 6-5, 280-pound Atteberry is a three-time all-state performer and earned All-America accolades from CBS Sports each of the past two years. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM 2020 Projection Atteberry will have to wait his turn with the depth that U-M has built across the offensive line. He has the ability to play multiple spots, but most believe he'll start on the inte- rior at center or guard. He has the luxury to wait behind some capable players for a year or two, before try- ing to emerge as a starter. REECE ATTEBERRY OFFENSIVE LINEMAN 6-5 • 280 EAGLECREST HIGH SCHOOL AURORA, COLO. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ — 53* 5 ✪ ✪ ✪ 418 12^ 3 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 51* 5 * Ranked as an offensive tackle; ^ ranked as a center HONORS • Selected as a three-time All-State selection in Colorado by the CHSAA. • Honored as a CBS Sports All-Ameri- can in 2018 and 2019. • Played in the 2020 Polynesian Bowl. RECRUITMENT • Committed on June 23, 2019. • Also had offers from Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC, among others. • Recruited by offensive line coach Ed Warinner. DID YOU KNOW? • Was part of a state championship team as a sophomore, and helped his team reach at least the state quarter- finals in all four of his years on varsity. THEY SAID IT • Michigan head coach Jim Har- baugh: "Reece Atteberry was playing tackle when I watched him on film and I saw other clips of him playing cen- ter, and it hit me that he could be an NFL center someday. On the school visit, I asked his coach which position would be his best in college, and he said center. Reece can also be a tackle or a guard, but don't be surprised to see him as a really good center here." • national recruiting an- alyst Adam Gorney: "One of the better things about him is just that versatility on the offensive line. He's moved all across the line in high school. When we saw him at camp, he was at tackle, but he has the build of someone who can definitely play inside. He has the footwork that I think he could stay outside if need be, but he's a guy that can play inside too. Those guys, there's an invaluableness to that, he can snap the ball, he can move to either guard spot, and he's a smart kid. When you're around him, you can tell he under- stands the game. Those things are defi- nitely going to benefit him."

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