The Wolverine

January 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JANUARY 2021 THE WOLVERINE 39   COMMITMENT PROFILE W hile all eyes were on the 2021 class when the early signing period rolled around in mid-Decem- ber, Michigan was quietly preparing to land a key player for next cycle. Just 48 hours after recruiting's big- gest day, Dec. 16, Michigan scored a commitment from three-star River Rouge (Mich.) High defensive line- man Davonte Miles. "I feel like I wanted to stay home and help Michigan win, become that top-caliber program," Miles said. "They were one of my favorite programs [growing up]. It's a huge blessing, a dream come true." Miles committed to Michigan over offers from Indiana, Iowa State, Ken- tucky, Michigan State, Minnesota, Pitt, Syracuse, West Virginia and a handful of other major programs. Michigan defensive line coach Sh- uan Nua heavily recruited Miles over the last couple of months, and head coach Jim Harbaugh got involved during the stretch run. Overall, Miles felt comfortable with the U-M staff. "Coach Nua, the defensive line coach, we are real cool," Miles said. "He keeps it 100 with you, tells you the truth about what's going to hap- pen and how he goes about things. Then, I'd say the head coach, Jim Harbaugh, I have a great relation- ship with him." With the ongoing pandemic, pros- pects have taken all kinds of ap- proaches to recruiting. In Miles' case, he wanted to make sure to lock up a spot early. Miles visited Michigan before the dead period and wanted to jump on the train while he still could. "I was reading this article on ESPN and they were talking about how people could transfer without any penalty," Miles said. "Me and [River Rouge head coach] Corey Parker were chopping it up about it, and he was two to three weeks ahead of the game. He already told me you might as well get ready to commit early." Miles is listed as a strongside de- fensive end, but the Wolverines re- cruited him with expectations that he'll grow into a defensive tackle. And Parker believes that's the best spot for him. "Definitely, his best football is in front of him," Parker said. "He has grown into the body type of an in- side guy, a defensive tackle. He's 6-5, 265 right now, so he is going to be more of a stout inside guy with long arms and the skill and the hips of a basketball guy, because that's what he was." Parker was also quick to point to Miles' work ethic as a plus for the Wolverines. "He's just a workhorse — a guy that's continually willing to get bet- ter," the coach said. "He takes things, and he just absorbs them. Whatever we are asking and requiring of him, he's doing it and he's doing it with a smile. He's a kid that just continually impresses me by his level of work ethic, yet he's interested in being a damn great teammate." Miles is the fourth commit in Mich- igan's 2022 recruiting class, joining Rivals250 defensive tackle Alex Van- Sumeren, Rivals250 linebacker Tyler Martin and three-star tight end Mar- lin Klein. — EJ Holland Miles, a three-star recruit per, is the fourth commit in Michigan's 2022 recruiting class. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM In-State Defensive Lineman Davonte Miles Is Eager To Join The Wolverines PLAYER EVALUATION Strengths: Davonte Miles has added good weight to his frame and is up 20 pounds from a year ago. He'll continue to grow into a typical three-technique. He's stronger in his upper half, which allows him to toss offensive linemen to the side and make several stops for loss on film. He can also take up multiple block- ers and allow linebackers behind him to come up and make plays. He has the potential to add more weight and eventually get up to 300 pounds at the next level. He projects as a gap plugger that can also be disruptive at times. Miles has also been praised for his work ethic and attitude. Weaknesses: Miles isn't very quick and has trouble getting out of his stance in a timely manner, which allows him to be pushed back at times. He also has trouble sinking his hips and playing low, which creates issues with leverage. His high play allows offensive linemen to take advantage of him and move him out of the play. He shows strength when he gets his hands on offensive linemen, but doesn't necessarily use his hands well. He's not overly athletic and has a lot of work to do from a technical standpoint. He's a very raw early take. Michigan Player Comparison: Miles is already at a much higher weight at the high school level, but he shares similar traits to freshman defensive lineman Kris Jenkins, who was also a raw prospect coming out of high school. While Jenkins was further along technically, he also lacked some explosion and quickness to his game. Expectations for Jenkins were based on body development and upside, and the same can be said about Miles. — EJ Holland

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