The Wolverine

August 2022*

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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44 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2022   COMMITMENT PROFILE I t took a little while, but Collins Ache- ampong finally put an end to his re- cruiting process. After initially setting a July 1 commit- ment date, the On3 Consensus four-star edge from Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) High decided to delay his announcement. Acheampong was torn between Michigan and Miami. The Hurricanes made an aggressive NIL pitch, while Michigan preached family and transformation. A week later, Acheampong went with his heart and sided with the Wolverines. "Michigan was the one that I had no real big worries about," Acheampong said. "It felt natural and like a place I wanted to be. "Even putting football out of it, Michi- gan is the place where I wanted to be. I think it really suited who I am and what my personality is. "It just makes sense for me. Other schools came close, especially Miami. They also checked some of the basic boxes that I wanted, which were educa- tion, great football and people as well as the location." Michigan, however, checked an ad- ditional box — development. At 6-foot-8, 254 pounds, Acheampong is a monster pass rusher that originally moved to the United States from Ghana to pursue a basketball dream. Acheampong eventually transitioned to football and quickly garnered attention on the recruit- ing trail before his high school shut down the program during the pandemic. Acheampong has some of the biggest upside in the country, but it's no secret he will need to be developed at the next level. Michigan's recent success with de- fensive linemen definitely played a factor in his final decision. "They have a good setup and plan," Acheampong said. "They have some- thing that's working. My goal is to make it to the first round in the league. They already have a working prototype for someone my size, height and skill set. "In recent years, they've had Kwity Paye, David Ojabo, who would have gone first round if not for his injury, and Aidan Hutchinson, who has about the same body type as me. Combine that with the education, and it became a no-brainer." Paye, who also was born in Africa, was taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and is becoming a mentor for Ache- ampong. "Kwity Paye is like a big brother to me," Acheampong said. "I reached out to him, and he responded. We've been talking a lot from there. I've talked to him about why he chose Michigan. "He's living the same path I want to live. He has the same drive as me. I want to find a better life for my mother, too. He's already taken the steps that I want to take. I don't feel like he would lead me astray because he's become like a big brother." Of course, the Michigan staff also played a huge role in winning him over. "The coaches are cool from the head coach all the way down," Acheampong said. "If you need to talk to the head coach, he's there. Coach [Jim] Harbaugh is like someone I've known my whole life. He's like that one uncle at the family reunion. "Coach [Mike] Elston is more like a dad figure. The way he would take care of you is the way he would take care of his kids." Acheampong recently transferred and will play his senior year at Rancho Santa Margarita. Acheampong is ranked as the No. 36 edge and No. 348 overall recruit nation- ally, per On3. — EJ Holland Imposing California Edge Rusher Collins Acheampong Pledges To U-M Acheampong, who has only played one year of high school football, measures 6-foot-8, 254 pounds. PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLINS ACHEAMPONG PLAYER EVALUATION Strengths: A massive prospect at 6-foot-8, 254 pounds, Acheampong is coming along well from a body development standpoint and pos- sesses a ton of athleticism. While he doesn't have much playing experi- ence, Acheampong has looked the part at various offseason events. He has terrific length and bend and doesn't look uncomfortable at his height. Acheampong has the poten- tial to be the next All-America pass rusher at Michigan. Areas Of Improvement: Acheam- pong just doesn't have much experi- ence. He has played one year of high school football so far and desperately needs to get snaps under his belt. Acheampong did transfer to Rancho Santa Margarita for his senior year, which is a big step. Rancho Santa Margarita plays in the Trinity League, which is considered the toughest high school football league in Amer- ica. That means Acheampong will get plenty of reps against other Division I caliber prospects. Michigan Player Comparison: Da- vid Ojabo went from international basketball prospect to one of the best pass rushers in college foot- ball and a second-round pick in this year's NFL Draft. Like Acheampong, Ojabo lacked football experience and was relatively new to the game. He needed time to develop before his breakout campaign and the same can be said about Acheampong, who has a very similar ceiling. It will be up to Michigan defensive line coach Mike Elston to help get him there. — EJ Holland

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