New Michigan Man: DL James Hudson Commits

After the 2016 season, Michigan will lose several defensive lineman to the NFL and graduation. That is why the staff has made restocking the DL depth chart a priority. And they just landed one of their top targets on the board after a bit of a rollercoaster recruitment as Catholic Central (OH) DL James Hudson has committed to Michigan.

Scouting Report

Hudson is a long, big bodied, versatile defensive lineman that can play all along the line. He has the size to play defensive tackle and the athleticism to play defensive end which is why he was a top target for the Michigan coaching staff as a five tech strong side defensive end, similar to Chris Wormley.

Big kid who offers some flexibility because he can play on the edge or move down inside depending on situation and package. Light on his feet for a big guy and naturally powerful. Can bend well enough to get the leverage needed to use that strength. As he’s gotten bigger, in our view, he’s transitioned from more of a pure edge guy to a five-tech or potentially even a true tackle depending on the scheme.” – via

He already has the natural size that every defensive coordinator dreams of in their defensive ends. Once he’s able to get into a college weight room and work with Greg Mattison and Don Brown, he could end up being a very nice player as he’s used all over the defensive line.


Hudson’s recruitment went from quiet to a full blown roller coaster over the summer. He was committed to Kentucky from July 2015 up until May 2016, just days before his first trip to Ann Arbor. Michigan quickly became the favorite for his services after he received a visit on that May visit. After that, it just looked like a matter of time which had my Crystal Ball prediction on UM.

When Hudson made his way to Ann Arbor for his 2nd visit in June, most thought he was going to join the class. However, he held off. Rumor has it that the staff slow played him a bit but that doesn’t look to be the case as, once Michigan State was said to be the favorite in July (my CB flipped to MSU in mid-July), the staff put the full court press on the versatile lineman. But rumor had it that it was still going to be the Spartans, even though he announced his decision date while on UM’s campus.

According to 247Sports’ Steve Wiltfong, the reason MSU was thought to be the eventual choice was because of some concerns with available playing time and the possibility to being moved to another position ($). However, the budding relationships with Greg Mattison and Rashan Gary were too big to pass up for Hudson as his roller coaster of a recruitment came to a stop just two days after the BBQ with his commitment to Michigan.

  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 280lbs
  • Hometown (School): Toledo, OH (Central Catholic)
  • Notable Offers: Michigan State, Alabama, Miami (FL), Tennessee, Nebraska
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #32 DE) – Rivals (4*, #229 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #220 overall) – ESPN (4*, #30 DE)
  • Composite Ranking: 3 star, #340 overall, #13 SDE, #15 in Ohio


As for the Rest of the Class

Hudson is the 19th overall commitment in the class, the 5th defensive lineman, and the 2nd commitment out of Ohio. He’s far from the last addition to the class though. The staff will likely bring around 10-12 more recruits into this class including one more defensive lineman (either tackle or rush end) with DT Jay Tufele looking like the top target. As for next possible options to drop, OL Henry Bainivalu, WR Oliver Martin and WR Nico Collins look to be the best bets to drop before/during official visits.


Garrett Fishaw