The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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48 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 BY BRANDON BROWN When Michigan offered Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central offensive tackle Jalen Mayfield, he was billed as an undersized project type and didn't even tip the scales at 250 pounds. He was merely rated as a three-star prospect and accepting his commitment looked like a real gamble for the Michigan staff. Fast forward to January 2018 and Mayfield is signed with Michigan, a U.S. Army All-American and mea- sures in at 6-5, 275 pounds. He still needs to get a little bit stronger, but he has the type of athleticism that could thrust him into the mix along an offensive line that needs some help. "There are definitely openings, I see that," Mayfield said about U- M's offensive line. "I know the guys returning are going to do everything they can in the offseason to get better, and they should. "I'm just looking forward to competing against those guys and trying to win a spot." Todd Kolster is the head coach at Catholic Central and has known Mayfield since he was a little boy. The vet- eran coach definitely thinks that his pupil has what it takes to fight for playing time even as a slightly un- dersized freshman. "Jalen makes everything look so easy because he can do everything you want athletically," Kolster said. "Even at a place like Michigan he's going to walk through the door and be probably the most athletic line- man in the program. I'd be shocked if they have anyone more naturally athletic. "They'll have guys who are bet- ter players overall, but athletically he's special. In the end I'm not sure they'll have anyone as good because he just can do it all." Even though Mayfield has bulked up, he still needs to add college- level strength. Kolster has been around the game for a long time and recognizes that's currently miss- ing from Mayfield's game, but believes it's only a matter of time before it all comes together for Undersized But Athletic, Jalen Mayfield Will Provide Depth Along The O-Line STATISTICS Year Tkl. TFL Sacks FR 2017 96 31 17 3 HONORS • Played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. • Tabbed as a 2017 All-State Dream Team (all divisions) selection by The Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News. The former honor was as a defensive lineman, while the latter was for his work on offense. • Checked in at No. 3 on The Detroit News' Blue Chip Prospects listing of the state's top seniors on the gridiron. • Named the 2017 Grand Rapids Press Defensive Player of the Year. • Selected to the 2017 Division 3-4 Associated Press All-State first team by a statewide panel of Michigan sports writers as both a junior and a senior. • Earned a spot on The Detroit Free Press' Division 4 All-State Team in 2016. RECRUITMENT • Originally pledged to Minnesota in the spring of his junior year. • Visited Michigan and picked up an offer while in Ann Arbor not long after committing to the Gophers. • Decided to open things up just before visiting Ann Arbor and ulti- mately committed to the Wolver- ines on May 23, 2017. • A team effort consisting of of- fensive line coaches Tim Drevno and former U-M assistant Greg Frey, along with head coach Jim Har- baugh, headed up Mayfield's recruit- ment. JALEN MAYFIELD OFFENSIVE TACKLE 6-5 • 275 CATHOLIC CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ — 17 4 ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 126 9 2 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 72 17 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE 48 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 Mayfield is expected to play along the offen- sive line at Michigan, but he set his high school's career tackles for loss record with 57 stops behind the line of scrimmage. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM

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