The Wolverine

May 2022

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MAY 2022 THE WOLVERINE 51   COMMITMENT PROFILE C hicagoland has been quite kind to Michigan over the last several re- cruiting cycles. From quarterback J.J. McCarthy to wide receivers A.J. Henning and Ty- ler Morris to offensive lineman Trevor Keegan to Top 100 linebacker recruit Jimmy Rolder last cycle, the Wolverines have dominated in the Windy City and surrounding suburbs. Now, you can add Brooks Bahr to the list. "Playing in The Big House has always been a dream of mine," Bahr said. "It's crazy. I made a visit there and loved the whole atmosphere. The facilities are re- ally nice. The rich tradition stands out, as well as having the opportunity to play for a national championship. The fan- base is awesome, too. "I went to a game last year, and the energy they had on defense was crazy. Aidan Hutchinson was unbelievable. I try to [pattern] my game after him." A three-star 2023 defensive lineman from Wilmette (Ill.) Loyola Academy, Bahr committed to Michigan in mid- March over offers from Duke, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Northwest- ern, Purdue and others. While a bit under-the-radar, Bahr is coming off an impressive junior sea- son in which he racked up 46 tackles and three sacks. Under the guidance of Loyola Academy head coach John Hol- ecek, a former fan favorite at linebacker for Illinois and then with the Buffalo Bills in the late '90s, Bahr has blos- somed as one of the premier defensive line prospects in the Midwest. Bahr, who is ranked by On3 as the No. 52 defensive lineman nationally and No. 7 player in Illinois, stands at 6-foot-6, 265 pounds with a lean frame that can pack plenty of good weight. Bahr was initially listed as an edge rusher pros- pect but has grown into a pure defensive lineman. Michigan sees Bahr as an athletic in- terior lineman in its NFL-style defen- sive scheme and believes he can play comfortably at 300 pounds. "Coach [Mike] Elston has been telling me that he sees me as a three-technique in their defensive scheme," Bahr said. "It's more of a defensive tackle role. He wants me to be a hand-on-the-ground type of guy that plays well against the run." As well as Michigan has recruited in Chicagoland, Bahr actually wasn't on the Wolverines' radar this cycle until Elston's arrival as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator in January, after previously coaching at rival Notre Dame. Elston evaluated Bahr, brought him in for a camp and was on the verge of offering before leaving South Bend for Ann Arbor. Shortly after getting settled in at Michigan, Elston picked up the phone and put an offer on the table. It didn't take long for Bahr and Elston to reconnect. The two have a great re- lationship, which played a big role in Bahr's decision to side with U-M. "I met Coach Elston at a camp at Notre Dame, and I really like the way he coaches," Bahr said. "We have a great bond. We talk every week. He's a really cool guy. We've been talking a lot about fit. I just like his coaching style and per- sonality." Bahr committed to Michigan shortly after making an unofficial visit. He was back on campus for the Michigan spring game in early April and enjoyed his meeting with Elston as well as the overall atmosphere in and around The Big House. "I had a great time," Bahr said. "I was really impressed with their weight room and the facilities. The game was great. I really enjoyed getting to spend more time with Coach Elston and the other recruits. I'm planning on recruiting other guys to Michigan. We can have a really great class." — EJ Holland Defensive Tackle Brooks Bahr Joins Chicagoland Pipeline To U-M PLAYER EVALUATION Strengths: Bahr is a verified 6-foot-6, 265 pounds, but has al- ready added 10 pounds this offsea- son and looks "skinny" even with the additional weight. He has an impressive frame that could carry another 30 pounds with ease. Bahr has the length of an edge rusher and the size of a pure defensive lineman, making him the ideal fit for a three-technique in Michigan's defensive scheme. He is disciplined and technically sound and has the benefit of learning from former NFL defensive standout John Holecek, who is widely considered one of the best high school coaches in Illinois. Areas Of Improvement: Bahr can continue to improve his bend and flexibility. With his size, it's impor- tant for Bahr to play with a low pad level. At times, he can stand straight up and play too high, which is com- mon for taller high school defensive linemen. While Bahr is big and ath- letic, he still needs to add strength. Developing in Michigan's strength and conditioning program will be key. Bahr needs to play with more power and aggression, especially in a physical conference like the Big Ten. Michigan Player Comparison: George Rooks was a bit skinnier than Bahr coming out of high school but shared a lot of the same char- acteristics. Rooks played with great athleticism and length but needed to add power and lacked an ag- gressive mentality. Rooks is coming along nicely at Michigan and im- proving in those areas. Bahr has the potential to follow a similar path. — EJ Holland At 6-6, 265, Bahr has the length of an edge rusher and the size of a pure defensive line- man. He is projected as a three-technique for the Wolverines. PHOTO BY EJ HOLLAND

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