The Wolverine

March 2020 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2020 THE WOLVERINE 59 2020 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE STATISTICS Year Tackles TFL Sacks 2019 58 11 3 2018 106 20 5 2017 72 8 2 2016 81 16 — HONORS • Selected as a MaxPreps sophomore and junior All-American. • Was a candidate for the 2019 High School Butkus Award, given to the na- tion's top high school linebacker. • Named second-team Class 3A All- State by as a junior. RECRUITMENT • Committed on Dec. 11, 2019. • Also had offers from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Ohio State and oth- ers. • Recruited by defensive coordinator Don Brown. DID YOU KNOW? • Was the defensive MVP for his team in his junior and senior seasons. • During his high school career, he played defensive end, linebacker, full- back, running back and tight end. • His father, James, played at Florida and was a linebacker in the NFL and AFL from 1979-87. THEY SAID IT • Southeast recruiting analyst Rob Cassidy: "I think he'll be an interesting guy to watch as a junior and senior in college, because that's when he'll really start coming into his own. It depends on where Michigan wants to play him, because he doesn't carry much bad weight. They can kind of shape him how they want to, and they could use him as a third-down rush D-end, and I think he would shine in that role." BY AUSTIN FOX A l t h o u g h R i v a l s . c o m t a b b e d Tampa Berkeley Prep three-star Jay- len Harrell as an outside linebacker after he primarily played that posi- tion for his Buccaneers squad this past year under head coach Domi- nick Ciao, the Michigan coaches re- vealed they had a different spot in mind for him once he signed his let- ter of intent in December. "They told him he'll play the de- fensive end spot for them," Ciao noted. "Jaylen is excited and feels very fortunate to be a part of Michi- gan football. He's l o o k i n g e s p e - cially forward to playing for [de- fensive coordina- tor] Coach [Don] Brown and loves e v e r y t h i n g h e stands for. Jaylen was such a tre- mendous player and team guy for us, and I think he'll be the perfect fit for Michigan and find plenty of success there. "He's just such a tenacious athlete and has an urge to dominate. Jaylen is a fierce competitor who can play a lot of different positions, and I think he'll be the perfect fit for what Coach Brown wants to do. He's relentless when it comes to finding the foot- ball and making plays, and brings that same mentality on every single snap." Although Harrell's offer list ri- valed that of a five-star prospect (he had notable tenders from Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State and Oklahoma), he flew under the radar a bit to Michigan fans prior to his Dec. 11, 2019, pledge to the Wolverines. Southeast recruiting analyst Rob Cassidy revealed in Jan- uary this was due to Berkeley Prep being a small private school whose schedule wasn't all that difficult, and because Ciao doesn't allow his athletes to take part in the offseason camp circuit to avoid injury risks. Cassidy also ex- plained, however, that the analysts at had Harrell "on the edge of four-star s t a t u s " d u e t o his "length [he's 6-4, 235] and ath- leticism that gives him off-the-charts upside." "Michigan liked Jaylen from the beginning," Ciao recalled. "I think they just wanted to make sure he liked them as well. He went up there for the Ohio State- Michigan game [Nov. 30], and then took an official visit with his fam- ily soon after that. That allowed him to really get to know [head coach] Jim Harbaugh and the entire staff, and his whole family truly loved the coaches after spending that time with them. "U-M is a tremendous academic institution that offers a great foot- ball tradition, and the combination of those two things is what made it the perfect place for Jaylen. He also really liked Coach Harbaugh, Coach Don Brown and [defensive line] Coach Shaun Nua. His mom felt those men were the right people to take care of her son." ❑ Had Jaylen Harrell 'On The Edge Of Four-Star Status' Harrell finished his four-year varsity career with 317 tackles, including 55 behind the line of scrimmage. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM 2020 Projection If Harrell is to get on the field early in his career, it will likely be as a pass-rush specialist. With the loss of hybrid pass-rusher Josh Uche to the NFL Draft, U-M will be looking to fill the role of a stand-up defensive end/outside linebacker that creates havoc in opposing backfields. As his career progresses, however, Harrell could find himself as an every-down player for Don Brown's defense. JAYLEN HARRELL DEFENSIVE LINEMAN 6-4 • 235 BERKELEY PREP TAMPA, FLA. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ — 31* 70 ✪ ✪ ✪ 498 23^ 61 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 171 6# 27 * Ranked as an outside linebacker; ^ ranked as a weakside defensive end; # ranked as an inside linebacker

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