The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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56 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 BY BRANDON BROWN On the morning of the first day of the new early signing period, Dec. 20, 2017, Wolverine fans got a big surprise when German three-star defensive end Julius Welschof flipped from Georgia Tech to Michigan. Welschof, a literal 20-year-old working man, went with a business-like approach, posting a video to Twitter to announce his deci- sion. "This is the final day, I've been wait- ing for a year — more than a year," Welschof said. "I had a lot of oppor- tunities to go to different colleges, but now it's time to make my final decision. "I've picked my two favorite col- leges, Michigan and Georgia Tech. It was a hard decision. I stayed up last night until three in the morning and I was thinking about every scenario and what is best for me. "At the end of the day, I have to think about myself and I want to get to the NFL. I think the best way to do that is going with Michigan with the best coaches, best players and best program. I'm going to be a Wolverine next season." After that, Welschof put pen to paper. Michigan fans immediately won- dered what U-M was getting in Wel- schof and the answer is simple — a potential star. Brandon Collier played defensive line under Don Brown at UMass and knows what it takes to play college football in the United States. Once his own football career was over, Collier founded Premier Players International to identify European players who are good enough to play in college and possibly beyond in the United States. When Collier met Welschof and put him through a workout, he knew he had found someone special. "It was probably 20 degrees outside and snowy, and he just blew me away with his workout," Collier recalled. "Julius has freakish athleticism and can simply do things that most people his size cannot do. He has never been around a real weight program. He is a few years older than the other fresh- men, but he's never touched weights with any regularity. "The sky is the limit for a kid with this type of talent." No Rivals analysts have seen Wel- schof do anything in person, so it's tough to get a full scouting report on Michigan Heads To Bavaria To Sign Diamond In The Rough Julius Welschof RECRUITMENT • Committed to Georgia Tech Oct. 25, but then decommitted just before flipping to U-M and signing Dec. 20. • Iowa State, Syracuse, Temple and others were also interested. • Defensive coordinator Don Brown, who worked with him at U-M's camp, and defensive line coach Greg Mat- tison, who also taught him, spear- headed his recruitment. DID YOU KNOW? • He is the oldest commit in the class; he was born March 12, 1997. • Played for the Munich Cowboys, a club team in Germany, seeing action at defensive end and tight end. • Discovered by former UMass player Brandon Collier, who played for Don Brown in college. • Camped at Ohio State, Old Domin- ion, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Wayne State, Eastern Michigan, Ball State and Towson this summer before go- ing to Michigan's. He later camped at Temple, Rutgers, UMass and Maryland in search of offers. • Ran a 4.55 40-yard dash at the Pre- mier Players International Combine in Hennef, Germany. JULIUS WELSCHOF DEFENSIVE END 6-6 • 253 FOS ALTOETTING MIESBACH, BAVARIA, GERMANY RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ — — — ✪ ✪ ✪ ✪ 376 17^ 1 (Germany) ✪ ✪ ✪ — 66* 1 (Germany) ^ Ranked as a strongside defensive end; * ranked as a defensive end 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE 56 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 When Welschof comes to Michigan, he will be a 21-year-old man who has been working full time in a factory. PHOTO COURTESY PREMIER PLAYERS INTERNATIONAL

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