The Wolverine

February 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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52 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2018 BY BRANDON BROWN T en future Wolverines played in some version of a national post- season high school All-American game after their seasons were over, and one signee even played in two different contests. A few of the even- tual teammates really lit it up on the field and just about everyone acquit- ted themselves well. UNDER ARMOUR ALL-AMERICA GAME JAN. 4 • ORLANDO, FLA. Missouri City (Texas) Ridge Point four- star tight end Mustapha Muhammad and Atlanta Westlake four-star corner- back Myles Sims were both in Orlando, Fla., for the Under Armour All-America Game, but struggled to make an im- pact. Muhammad, the No. 30 prospect in the Lone Star State and the No. 16 tight end in the country according to Rivals, was not utilized as a weapon through- out the contest. In fact, he wasn't tar- geted once during the entire game. Af- terward, the 6-4, 244-pounder actually tweeted out exactly what he was feel- ing about how he was, or wasn't, used. "I hate spread offenses," he declared. There are many reasons the versatile tight end picked Michigan and Jim Har- baugh's pro-style, tight end-friendly scheme, and the offensive approach was definitely one of them. Muhammad did cause a fumble while covering a kickoff and top Michigan offensive tackle target and Team Spot- light teammate Nick Petit-Frere out of Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep recovered it for their squad. Sims measures in at 6-3, 173 pounds and is known more as a sticky, nearly im- possible to throw against, cover corner. He's never been described as a big hitter or as a sure tackler and unfortunately, it played out that way early in the game. Sims, Rivals' No. 103 senior nationally, came up from his position in the sec- ondary and whiffed on a tackle that allowed Cedar Hill (Texas) Trinity Chris- tian Academy three-star running back Maurice Washington to scamper into the end zone. Washington scored three times on the day, so Sims wasn't the only all-star who failed to tackle him — but the Michigan signee's miss was in the open field and he was essentially the last line of defense between Wash- ington and the goal line. U.S. ARMY ALL-AMERICAN BOWL JAN. 6 • SAN ANTONIO The Army game was much more kind to the Michigan signees. Dearborn (Mich.) Divine Child four-star strongside defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, India- napolis Lawrence Central four-star out- side linebacker Cameron McGrone and Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central three-star offensive tackle Jalen May- field all suited up for the West squad, and each performed admirably. Hutchinson, the No. 129 prospect in the country according to Rivals, nearly stole the show. Though he wasn't tabbed a starter after a solid week of practice, he had the best game of any defensive lineman in attendance. In a game where pass rushers rotate in and out liberally, Hutchinson was able to spend much of his day in the oppos- ing backfield and recorded four tackles, 2.5 stops for loss and two sacks. He also hurried and hit East quarterbacks mul- tiple times. After the game, Longview ( Texas) High head coach John King, who coached the defensive linemen for the West team, gushed about Hutchinson's ability and performance. "He was good, wasn't he? I graded him all week as an 'A.' He was tuned in and dialed in all week," King said. "He under- stood the game plan, and if I asked him to do something he would do it right away and unselfishly. I'm not surprised that he had the game he had at all." Hutchinson also measured in at 6-6, 266 pounds at the beginning of the week and continues to look more and more like a future star. McGrone, the nation's No. 195 senior, recorded three tackles — including a very nice play that really showed off his speed, instincts and sure tackling. He recognized a screen pass, sliced in be- hind the offensive linemen and brought down Westerville (Ohio) South four-star all-purpose back and Ohio State signee Jaelen Gill at the line of scrimmage. His coach for the week, Corvallis (Ore.) Crescent Valley's Scott Sanders, knew that McGrone would show well after instructing him for a week. "He gets such good reads that he's al- most always blitzing," Sanders said. "Ev- eryone wants kids that can run, which Cam can do. He's so quick on his feet that when he diagnoses a play he's up in that hole right away." McGrone is also developing well phys- ically, measuring in at 6-2, 222 pounds. He took snaps at all three linebacker positions during the game and didn't look out of place in any of them. Mayfield checked a lot of visual boxes and also proved his versatility when one of his teammates hit a snag. West offensive line coach and San Antonio MacArthur head coach Ben Cook broke down the situation after the game. "Jalen hadn't worked at left tackle all week," Cook explained. "One of our left tackles got sick and wasn't feeling good coming out of the half, so I grabbed Jalen and asked if he'd want to bounce over to the left side. He said, 'Yes sir, I got it.' "I think that really shows you the capac- ity that young man has. He didn't even blink. That gives you a view of what his upside is going to be at the college level." Mayfield is considered the No. 31 of- fensive tackle in the country by Rivals and tipped the scales at a lighter-than- most 274 pounds. "I think he did really well," Cook said. "What he has going for him is that ath-   MICHIGAN RECRUITING Future Wolverine Shine In All-Star Games U-M defensive end pledge Aidan Hutchinson of Dearborn (Mich.) Divine Child recorded 2.5 tackles for loss and two sacks among four stops for the West squad en route to a 17-16 victory in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN

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