The Wolverine

August 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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AUGUST 2020 THE WOLVERINE 43   COMMITMENT PROFILE O nce the Wolverines really began to make a push for him, Ke- chaun Bennett knew it was time. He shut down his recruiting process and gave the Wolverines a verbal com- mitment in late May. "Michigan was always No. 1 on my list," Bennett said. "I was leaning towards them, so it was just a matter of time. I knew where I was going even when I dropped my top list." For Bennett, the decision was an easy one. The four-star defensive end from Suffield (Conn.) Academy appreci- ates Michigan's tradition, brand and defensive scheme. "I just love the coaches and the atmosphere," Bennett said. "Ev- erything fits me. Everything about Michigan is big. I'm a big person, and I love big things. "Also, I just love the way Coach [Don] Brown constructs his defense. I'll have the ability to make big plays and become a big player." Michigan defensive coordinator served as Bennett's primary recruiter and played a key role in sealing the deal with him. "He was very active with our re- lationship," Bennett said. "With him being a New England guy, it did help a little bit. I like him a lot." Bennett hopes to make an official visit to Michigan after the dead pe- riod comes to an end. Fortunately, he had a chance to see Michigan on an unofficial visit just before the pan- demic shook up the recruiting world, and it helped Bennett fell even more in love with Michigan. "I actually got to see how Michigan looked in person," he said. "I just felt the vibe and saw how everybody was. The weight room was big. The stadium is huge. "I feel like I can trust the coaches to make me a better player and person. How they are able to develop players into the NFL is key." Bennett wrecked havoc off the edge for Suffield Academy last season and helped the Connecticut juggernaut finish with a perfect 9-0 record and a league championship. With his frame and athleticism, Bennett has the chance to be a true pass rusher off the edge or provide a pass-rushing presence with his hand in the dirt from the five-technique. "I think his body has the frame to fill out at 265-270," said personal trainer Stack Williams of Supreme Athlete. "I think it'll be more of a comfort thing. "We train him as an outside 'backer because we want him to have the ability to play multiple sets. If he's versatile enough to do that, we feel like it can add more value to his over- all ability. "I think his blessing is his ability to do that. The preference for him is probably stand up, but he won't pout about being a five-technique." Bennett committed to Michigan over offers from Cal, Miami, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Penn State, Purdue, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, West Virginia and a number of other major programs. ranks the 6-4, 225-pound Bennett as the No. 1 prospect in Con- necticut and the No. 12 weakside de- fensive end in the country. — EJ Holland rates the four-star Bennett as the top recruit in Connecticut and the No. 12 weak- side defensive end nationally. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM Connecticut Pass Rusher Kechaun Bennett Goes With His Gut FILM EVALUATION Strengths: Kechaun Bennett is a long, athletic defensive end that can spin down depending on how much weight he adds. Right now, Bennett is a pure pass rusher and is an expert at using his length and speed to get around op- posing tackles and sacking quarterbacks. However, Bennett has the frame to add 20-30 more pounds and could move from a stand-up edge rusher to a five- technique. He will likely need a couple of years in the Michigan strength and conditioning program but could come out a multi-year starter. Areas For Improvement: Bennett has ideal length and speed off the edge, but doesn't necessarily have the power needed to play with his hand in the dirt if he does end up spinning down. Adding weight is a must but adding strength is just as important. He is used to easily flying by lowly offensive tackles in a weaker league. He needs to play with more leverage and develop an arsenal of pass-rushing moves as opposed to relying solely on his speed. Michigan Player Comparison: Michigan sees Bennett in the same mold as junior Taylor Upshaw. While Upshaw wasn't nearly the pass rusher that Bennett was coming out of high school, they share a similar type of frame. It's obvious that the Wolverines would love to put more weight on Bennett and have him spin down as opposed to standing up. Expectations are higher for Bennett, but expect him to play in the same spot as Upshaw. — EJ Holland

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