That was one hell of a Monday, huh? Michigan lost 2 four star defensive tackles yesterday to decommitment, a position that is a priority in the next two recruiting classes. With neither 2017 Lee County (GA) DT Aubrey Solomon or 2018 Springfield (OH) DL Leonard Taylor looking unlikely to recommit to Michigan, everyone’s wondering where Jim Harbaugh and his staff will turn to replace them?
2018 has plenty of options and tons of time left to replace Taylor. So, here are a couple defensive tackle options to watch in the 2017 class to replace Solomon:
- Bingham (UT) DT Jay Tufele
Tufele is, arguably, the top overall target on the defensive board now though he was right there prior to the Solomon departure. His tenacity, size and raw power are everything a defensive line coach is looking for on the interior of the line, Greg Mattison especially.
At this point, it’s a neck and neck race between Michigan and Ohio State, with OSU said to have the slight lead going into official visit season. Will that stay true after he makes his way to the Midwest? OSU is looking to him to wrap up an all-time great class while Michigan will pitch their educational advantages, early playing time and Poly connections. This could truly go either way.
- St. Mary’s (CA) ATH Popo Aumavae
Aumavae is not as highly ranked as Tufele but he’s another big, powerful, Poly player that Michigan is highly targeting. He has the size and athleticism to play either offensive guard or defensive tackle at the next level, though most believe the defensive side of the ball is his better fit.
I’ve mentioned Aumavae as a very real option for this class for awhile now and I believe that to be the case even more so than ever after the Solomon loss. He’s expected to make an official visit this fall. Oregon and Washington are the main threats here but I believe UM has and will have the upperhand if they push for him on his visit. This is a name to watch closely moving forward.
- Southwestern Academy (MI) DL Deron Irving-Bey
Irving-Bey is a player that looks to be climbing up the staff’s board thanks to his size, versatility and high ceiling. Though he’s a little raw, his natural skill set has him looking like a great fit at strong side defensive end in Don Brown’s defense, another position needed in this class.
My Crystal Ball has been on Michigan State for DIB for awhile now but his BBQ visit has me thinking twice about that prediction. Though I’m still leaning towards the Spartans here, his official visit this fall alongside his mom, who happens to be a huge UM fan, could sway my CB.
Michigan will make a push for 1-2 more defensive lineman to finish out the 2017 class. Who will they land? Let us know your predictions in the comment section below!
Photo Credit: TOLEDO BLADE/LORI KING
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