Massachusetts has been good to the Michigan football program recently. In 2013, UM signed top player DT Maurice Hurst. In 2016, UM signed the top player out of the state in TE Sean McKeon and the staff has now landed the top player in the 2017 class as Lawrence Academy (MA) ATH AJ Dillon has committed to Michigan.
— AJ Dillon™ (@ajdillon7) March 28, 2016
Dillon is the prototypical Jim Harbaugh recruit. He’s a very smart player both on and off the field, plays and excels at multiple positions and happens to do so with a hard nosed mentality. And that is what jumps off the screen on his highlight tape.
The two-way talent stars at both running back and linebacker for his high school team and has the ability to play both at Michigan. His running game reminds me a bit of former Ohio State tailback Beanie Wells because of his elite balance and feet for a larger framed back as well as his sneaky breakaway speed and straight up running style. As a linebacker, he’s smart, has a nose for the ball, can rush the passer and can cover both tight ends and backs in open space.
Though I believe he could be a really nice linebacker at the collegiate level, I believe he ends up with the ball in his hands and on the offensive side of things.
As for his recruitment, Dillon was a player most believed would end up following his grandfather’s footsteps to Notre Dame. However, it was his visit to Michigan a week before his decision that was the game changer. The coaching staff, especially Tyrone Wheatley, played a big hand in selling UM. Add in his fit as a person, player and student, and that’s all it took for him to come to a final decision.
- Height: 6’1”
- Weight: 235lbs
- Hometown (School): Groton, MA (Lawrence Academy)
- Notable Offers: Florida State, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Mississippi State, Nebraska
- Rankings: Scout (3*, #41 RB) – Rivals (4*, #16 RB) – 247Sports (4*, #248 overall) – ESPN (3*)
As for the Rest of the Class: Dillon is the 7th overall commit and 2nd running back/linebacker commit in the 2017 class. But I doubt he’s the last tailback to join the fray. The staff is still taking strong runs at O’Maury Samuels, Eno Benjamin, Kyshaun Bryan, Stephen Carr and D’Andre Swift. As for the linebacker position, Drew Singleton, Corey Malone-Hatcher, De’Andre Wilder and Jordan Anthony are still very much in play.
Photo Credit: Sam Feeley/TheGrotOnline