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The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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44 THE WOLVERINE MAY 2020   COMMITMENT PROFILE M ichigan is working to keep top talent at home this recruiting cycle. The state of Michigan is littered with national re- cruits. In fact, this is one of the most talented groups of prospects the Wolverines have seen in their own back- yard for quite some time. U-M head coach Jim Har- baugh and company are involved in some heated battles, but scored one key victory when they picked up a commitment from Ri- vals250 Detroit Cass Tech offensive lineman Raheem Anderson on Easter Sunday. "Michigan was the pick for me because it felt like home," Anderson said. "I felt like they had the most to offer. They can help me get to the next level. "That's where my parents wanted me to go because of the education aspect and what it can do for my future. It's also close to home, so they were happy about everything." Anderson is one of the country's top-ranked centers. With fellow Ri- vals250 offensive lineman Greg Crip- pen, who also projects at center, al- ready committed, there were some questions in regards to Anderson's status on the Michigan recruiting board. However, the Wolverines pressed for Anderson in the week leading up to his commitment, despite Crip- pen's pledge. After calls with Har- baugh and offensive line coach Ed Warinner, Anderson made the deci- sion to pull the trigger. "I talked to Coach Warinner the day before my FaceTime with Coach Harbaugh, and I told my parents I wanted to commit," Anderson said. "I was always looking at Michigan but wanted to scan my options. When I talked to Coach Harbaugh the next day, I just asked some ques- tions and then I told him that I was committing. "It was very exciting. He was excited, and my family was excited as well." Anderson has visited Michigan on several occa- sions over the past couple of years and feels comfort- able in Ann Arbor. The four- star prospect said he loves the atmosphere as well as the coaching staff. Warinner had a huge im- pact on Anderson's decision to side with the Wolverines. "I just love Coach Warin- ner," Anderson said. "He's a really good guy. I love how he gets his linemen to the next level. I like the way he develops his rela- tionships with his linemen and brings them over to his house. "I also like how he com- municates with his linemen and ev- erything like that." Anderson picked Michigan over offers from Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU, Michigan State, Nebraska, Purdue, West Virginia and others. Anderson has been a starter at Cass Tech since he was a freshman and helped lead his team to a deep run in the state playoffs last year. He is a leader at the center position but can also play guard at the next level. "Coach Warinner said he sees me fitting in at center, but if they need me to play guard, that's where I'll play," Anderson said. "I'll do what- ever I have to do to make my team better and get a win. I'm comfort- able at either position, but preferably center." The 6-3, 295-pound Anderson is ranked as the No. 2 center and No. 139 overall prospect in the coun- try by — EJ Holland Anderson "Michigan was the pick for me because it felt like home. I felt like they had the most to offer. They can help me get to the next level." lists Anderson as a four-star talent, the No. 6 player in Michigan, and the No. 2 center and No. 139 overall prospect in the country. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM Four-Star Center Raheem Anderson Stays Close To Home FILM EVALUATION Strengths: Raheem Anderson is a natural fit at the center position. He is very cerebral and knows how to command his offensive line. What really pops out about Anderson is his physicality. He is nasty in the trenches and knows how to finish blocks. His aggressive nature will serve him well in the Big Ten. His mean streak will allow him to play guard as well if needed. Overall, he brings exactly what you want at the center position. Weaknesses: Anderson doesn't have the most impressive body. He needs to shed some fat and add good muscle weight. His first year in the Michi- gan strength and conditioning program will be key for his development. On the field, he has all the tools. For Anderson, it will be more about utilizing the strength and conditioning and nutrition programs. Michigan Player Comparison: It's no surprise that former Cass Tech star Mi- chael Onwenu helped recruit Anderson to Michigan. Onwenu and Anderson come from the same high school program and are similar in build and playing style. Onwenu was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and was a regular starter after a year and a half with the program. Anderson has a chance to make a similar impact up front. — EJ Holland

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