The Wolverine

March 2018

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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58 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 BY ANDREW VAILLIENCOURT Naples (Fla.) High three-star de- fensive back Sammy Faustin is anx- ious to get to Michigan. One of five defensive backs in this year 's class, Faustin signed in De- cember and has been ready to head north ever since. "It's a blessing to be honest," he said. "Most people don't get to expe- rience this, so it's a moment you can cherish forever. "From the moment I signed to now, I've been thinking about getting up there. I've been working out myself to get ready, so I'm just waiting to get up there and go to work with the boys." He added that he knew Michigan was the school for him from the min- ute he arrived on campus. He didn't even need to start meeting people in Ann Arbor to know he would fit in, and once he learned more about the school itself, he knew he was in love. U-M defensive coordinator Don Brown and former safeties coach Brian Smith, now at Rice, led Faus- tin's recruitment. He fits the mold that Brown likes in his defensive backs — long and rangy. U-M lists him at 6-2 and 190 pounds, and he will be switching from prep cornerback to college safety. "I just started playing safety, so I haven't really gotten accustomed to it yet, but I will," Faustin said. "I'll get there, I'll make sure I get there. "I just need to learn because at corner, it's not the same as playing safety, you have to know everything that's going on at safety." Once he gets to campus, he says he wants to improve on his footwork and ball skills. He called footwork the key to being a defensive back and said he wants to make sure he gets on the field for special teams as a freshman. "I bring hard work," Faustin noted. "I'm very dedicated and motivated, I bring energy in and will make sure what needs to get done gets done. "I'm a hard-working guy and can bring that. There's a lot, but the fans will see." The recruiting class as a whole fin- ished No. 24 in the country according to Rivals, down from No. 4 each of the prior two seasons. Faustin said he and the rest of the signees have heard the noise, but won't let it get them down. "That's what we thrive on, there's always going to be people that sleep on us, and this year, as you can see, they're really sleeping," Faustin said. "So we have something to prove, that's why we're driven together and when the season comes, they'll prob- ably stop talking." ❏ Sammy Faustin Is Ready For The Challenge At U-M STATISTICS Year TKL TFL FF FR INT PBU 2017 36 1 0 1 1 3 2016 39 1 1 2 1 4 HONORS • Class 6A third-team All-State pick by as a junior. • The Naples Daily News tabbed him as a first-team All-Area choice in 2016 and a second-team selection in 2017. • Invited to the 2017 Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, but did not play. RECRUITMENT • Did not hold a single offer at the end of the 2016 season. • Offered by U-M in Feb. 2017 and committed Aug. 2, just four days after attending the BBQ at The Big House. • Chose the Wolverines over Boston College and Virginia. DID YOU KNOW? • Born Jan. 20, 2000. • He moved with his family to Florida from the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Atlantic Ocean when he was 11. • Didn't start until he was a junior. THEY SAID IT • U-M head coach Jim Harbaugh: "Sammy is another athletic safety and the type of athlete we need. He's a highly rated player who will help us a lot in the secondary." • Naples head coach Bill Kramer: "I don't say this, you've never heard me say this, but he's the guy that can play on Sundays. … Physically, all the way around, he's got everything you look for. Genetically he's really, really blessed." • Longtime football recruiting ex- pert Tom Lemming: "[He] has legit 4.5 speed. He has good range, quick hands and loose hips, and does a very good job of playing the ball. He needs to add weight and strength, but is an excep- tional athlete." SAMMY FAUSTIN DEFENSIVE BACK 6-2 • 190 NAPLES HIGH SCHOOL NAPLES, FLA. RANKINGS STARS NAT. POS. STATE ✪ ✪ ✪ — 62^ — ✪ ✪ ✪ — 87^ 134 ✪ ✪ ✪ — 50^ 102 ^ Ranked as a cornerback 2018 FOOTBALL RECRUITING ISSUE 2018 Projection Faustin will most likely play safety at Michigan. If that position switch to safety does occur and that is where he lines up in 2018, he would likely be behind senior Tyree Kin- nel and junior Josh Metellus, as well as sophomores J'Marick Woods and perhaps Jaylen Kelly-Powell. U-M also signed graduate trans- fer Casey Hughes from Utah, who is expected to play safety. The depth chart is talented across the board in the secondary, but Faustin brings great length and athleticism to the group. 58 THE WOLVERINE MARCH 2018 Faustin said he views U-M's Don Brown as the best defensive coordinator in the country. PHOTO BY BRANDON BROWN

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