The Wolverine

August 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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54 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2021   COMMITMENT PROFILE A aron Alexander may be the most intrigu- ing prospect in the class. T h e t w o - s t a r l i n e - backer from Belleville (Mich.) High missed most of his junior year due to a broken hand and is a relative un- known on the recruiting trail. But that didn't stop Michigan from putting an offer on the table. Alexander wowed the U-M staff with his test- ing numbers and perfor- mances at a pair of sum- mer camps last month. After taking a little bit of time to think things over, Alexander pulled the trigger and picked the Wolverines. "Michigan has been my favorite college since I was a little kid," Alex- ander said. "It meant the world to me when they offered. I like the family dynamic. They'll have your back no matter what. It just seems like a great place to be." Alexander was originally listed as a running back and has been playing on the offensive side the majority of his life. However, Alexander flashed at linebacker in limited action last season. Michigan views him as one of its inside backers in its new 3-4 defensive scheme. The 6-1, 204-pounder had a chance to camp with Michigan on multiple occasions in June and enjoyed his time learning from his future coaches. "It was great getting to work with them," he said. "I got to see what they were about and how hard they worked. They saw what I was about, and they pulled the trigger. But they are all great coaches, and I've learned a lot from them." Quite a few Michigan coaches were involved in the recruitment of Alex- ander. New U-M linebackers coach George Helow offered, but fellow as- sistants Steve Clinkscale and Ron Bellamy, who both have strong ties in the Detroit area, were also heavily involved. "We love each other," Alexander said. "They love me. I love them. Coach Helow, Coach Clinkscale, Coach Bellamy and [director of player per- sonnel] Courtney Morgan all recruited me. Coach Helow is straightforward and gets to the point. Coach Clink is laid back, but he lets you know what you need to do. Coach Bel- lamy is great, too." The new Michigan staff also did an excellent job of connecting with Alexan- der's father, Dennis, who was also impressed with their ability to develop genuine relationships. "I met Bellamy last year when Bel- leville played West Bloomfield," the el- der Alexander noted. "He has a really good spirit. He's really warm. When we found out Bellamy was going to Michigan, I told Aaron, 'Man, I really like Bellamy.' I met [U-M freshman running back Donovan] Edwards, too. He's a great kid. "When we visited U-M, they just laid it out. It was about how they treated him. They treated him like they cared. It turned the switch on in my son. The world hasn't seen what he's capable of. This boy has been born to do this. U-M is going to bless him, and he's going to bless U-M. He's also going to get a great educa- tion at the same time. But the coach- ing staff is wonderful. All of them are excellent — every last one of them." Alexander is looking to make an official visit to U-M soon. He got a taste of Michigan earlier this sum- mer when he made an unofficial visit for "Detroit Day," an event that saw more than 30 in-state recruits make their way to campus. "It was awesome," Alexander said. "The facilities were great. They gave us a speech about what being a Michigan Man means. That really resonated with me. It's great to see them landing big-time guys in state. "They took a chance on me, and I'm going to be a big-time guy, too." — EJ Holland In-State Linebacker Aaron Alexander Aims To Reward U-M's Faith In Him Alexander — a two-star recruit per — missed most of his junior year due to a broken hand, but his testing numbers and performances at a pair of summer camps in June wowed the U-M staff. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM PLAYER EVALUATION Strengths: Aaron Alexander clocked a blazing 4.4-second 40 at Michigan's on-campus camp this summer, which played a huge role in him earning a schol- arship. A running back by nature, he moves well in space and can cover slot receivers and tight ends. He also covers a ton of ground when going sideline to sideline and fills gaps in a hurry. While he projects as an inside linebacker, he has the flexibility to play multiple spots in U-M's new scheme. Areas Of Improvement: Alexander is still extremely raw from a technical standpoint. Learning the intricacies of the position will be key because he has never been a full-time linebacker. He will also have to add weight to his frame. At just 204 pounds, he needs to add at least 20 pounds. His development in U-M's strength and conditioning program will be key. He is very much a boom-or-bust prospect. Michigan Player Comparison: While not as highly rated, Alexander shares traits with Michigan freshman linebacker Kalel Mullings. Like Alexander, Mullings was recruited as a running back early on and was a star in the backfield for his high school team. The two players have a similar build coming out of high school. While not as technically sound as Mullings was, Alexander may be a better overall athlete. — EJ Holland

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