The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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MARCH 2018 THE WOLVERINE 57 him. However, Southeast recruiting analyst Woody Wommack took a look at the film and came away intrigued. He sees why Michigan liked the Ger- man athlete. "Athletically and size-wise, he looks the part — but that's not always enough," Wommack said. "When you watch him run and move it looks like he has everything you need to be a good defensive end, but looking the part and actually playing high-level college football are two different things." Welschof is listed at 6-6, 253 pounds by U-M and has a unique athletic background that includes playing club football against grown adults for the Munich Cowboys and competing on a national level in the skiing world of downhill moguls. That unorthodox background appealed to Jim Har- baugh and Greg Mattison after they saw him in person at a camp last sum- mer and eventually led to a late-cycle offer. Harbaugh touched on that ath- leticism once Welschof's letter of intent was in hand in Ann Arbor. "Very excited about Julius," Har- baugh said. "He's got the frame and the tools. We're very excited about him." Because of his unorthodox path to college football, Welschof will arrive in Ann Arbor 21 years old and with a couple of years of working in a fac- tory under his belt. That real-world ex- perience should allow for a relatively stress-free transition and could unlock an immeasurable amount of potential. "Now that National Signing Day is over, it all feels a little more real," Welschof said. "Going to Michigan is getting closer, so every day gets more exciting. "Coach Mattison is my position coach, so he is the one I'm calling if I have any questions and he always picks up the phone. … He always says that he can't wait to coach me." The entire process has been un- conventional, but Welschof wouldn't change a thing. He is excited about his future at U-M and believes it played out exactly how it was supposed to. "It was unexpected, but I'm very honored and I think if you have a chance like this you must take it," he said. Originally, Welschof was planning to enroll early at Georgia Tech, but because of the last-minute change of plans, he had to reapply for his Visa and will now arrive in Ann Arbor in June. He intends to study engineer- ing at Michigan, and is beyond excited to move forward athletically and aca- demically in the United States. ❏ Welschof played tight end and defensive end for the Munich Cowboys, a club team in Germany. PHOTO COURTESY PREMIER PLAYERS INTERNATIONAL THEY SAID IT • U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh: "He looks like he could be Aidan Hutchinson's brother or Taylor Upshaw's relative. They're all cut from the same mold — 6-5, 280 pounds and very athletic." • Premier Players International founder Brandon Collier, who played for Don Brown in college: "I think that overall he's the kind of kid who will come in and compete in his first year. I don't know if I can say he'll be a first- year starter at a place like Michigan, but I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't redshirt. He's ready to play. "You can call him raw and a proj- ect, but you can really say that about half of the prospects in every class. I think the good thing is that Julius isn't going to Michigan as a savior or anything like that. He's not a Rashan Gary going in as a freshman as the best player in the country — but he's not going to Michigan to sit on the bench either. I know that he's going to surprise some people because of his ability." • Southeast recruiting analyst Woody Wommack: "It's obviously tough to predict exactly how good Welschof will be because no one has really seen him do anything in person. When you watch his tape from his club football experiences he looks good, but you just wonder what kind of players he's go- ing against. "Over here in the states he'll be facing competition that he's never seen before and that is going to be a big adjustment for him." 2018 Projection Welschof is a project, but he has great potential as a big man who can really move. He is strong enough to battle tight ends and has the frame to add some more good weight, if necessary. His unique athletic background consisting of skiing and soccer have allowed him to develop athletic skills that most big men don't have. With a year or two of teaching from Don Brown and Greg Mattison, he should be a contributor. MARCH 2018 THE WOLVERINE 57

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