The Wolverine

August 2022*

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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48 THE WOLVERINE AUGUST 2022   COMMITMENT PROFILE M ichigan picked up its first commitment in the 2024 recruiting class when Mason Curtis gave the Wolverines a pledge on Monday. The On300 linebacker from Na s hv i l l e ( Te n n . ) E n swo r t h m a d e a n u n o f f i c i a l v i s i t to Michigan just before the dead period and fell in love with the program. "I felt at home at Michigan from the time I stepped foot on campus to the time I left," Cur- tis said. "My head coach told me as long as I feel like it's home then I wouldn't see why you wouldn't commit. "I liked the coaches. They are real. They aren't giving me any- thing fake. I also love what they have to offer after football." That was Curtis' first-ever trip to Ann Arbor, and he was impressed with everything from the city to the facilities. "I love the city," Curtis said. "I think it's the 13th-safest county in America. I really like the facilities. I en- joyed getting to meet the strength and conditioning coach [Ben Herbert]. He talked about the little details and how important they are. I just really liked everything there. It felt like home." The visit also gave Curtis an oppor- tunity to sit down with Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. "You see him in the media, and he's criticized," Curtis said. "But I think he's a great coach and person. We had a nice, genuine conversation. "Not all of it was football. It was about what I like and what he likes, and how he sees me succeeding in life. It was great." Michigan co-defensive coordina- tor Steve Clinkscale recruits Nashville and led the way in the connection with Curtis. His ties in the Music City and his ability as a relationship builder are big reasons the Wolverines closed with Curtis so early. "Coach Clinkscale really recruited m e h a rd ," C u r t i s sa i d . " He h a s a strong relationship with [trainer] Buck Fitzgerald at NPA. I thought he did a great job recruiting me. He was au- thentic and real." At 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, Curtis was originally recruited as a linebacker but has the measureables that best project at the edge position. Michigan will monitor his development before making a call on a true position fit. "They see me as a versatile defender," Curtis said. "They said sometimes I'll be the edge and sometimes I'll play out in space. That's really how the conversations went. They talked about edge and linebacker." T h e A l l - D iv i s i o n I I -A A A West pick as a sophomore is the first commit in Michigan's 2024 recruiting class, and he's already working hard to convince others to join him in Ann Arbor. "I'm definitely trying to re- cruit other big names in the state," Curtis said. "I'm getting on guys like [four-star athlete] Boo Carter, [On300 defensive back] Kaleb Beasley and [top 100 prospect and linebacker] Edwin Spillman. I want them to see what I saw at Michigan." Curtis committed to Michi- gan over offers from Kentucky, Louisville, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and others. He is ranked as the No. 12 linebacker and No. 164 overall prospect nationally and the top player in his class in Ten- nessee by, On3. — EJ Holland Tennessee Linebacker Mason Curtis Becomes U-M's First 2024 Commit PLAYER EVALUATION Strengths: Curtis is a strong first land for the Wolverines that brings plenty of versatility to the table. At 6-foot-4, 190 pounds, he has the length of an edge rusher and is terrific at getting after the quarterback. While he's a bit on the tall side, Curtis can also play a more traditional linebacker role in Michigan's scheme due to his speed and ability to make plays in space. Curtis is also comfortable in pass coverage and even has experience playing safety. Areas Of Improvement: Curtis recently hit a growth spurt and is still growing into his frame. Right now, he's very much a tweener with no true set position. The talent is there, but it's hard to project what Curtis will be by the time he signs in two years. He has a very thin frame and will need to add at least 20 pounds before graduating. Along with adding weight, Curtis needs to focus on improving his strength and power. Development in the weight room will be key. Michigan Player Comparison: Michigan redshirt freshman Tyler McLaurin is a prospect that wasn't as thin as Curtis coming out of high school but had the same tweener label. Like Curtis, McLaurin was a long prospect that projected to multiple positions. McLaurin played as an edge rusher, traditional linebacker and traditional defensive end at the high school level. McLaurin has moved around during his short time at Michigan, and Curtis will likely do the same. — EJ Holland On3 ranks Curtis as a four-star talent and the No. 12 linebacker and No. 164 player nationally in the class of 2024. PHOTO BY JACOB LEMMING/@LEMMINGSCOUT

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