Every recruiting class has its “biggest need”. In 2017, the offensive tackle position is that need for the Michigan coaching staff thanks to the high amount of graduation and natural attrition. That is why their latest recruiting win was so big as American Heritage (FL) OT Kai-Leon Herbert has committed to Michigan just a couple weeks after visiting Ann Arbor for the first time.
Herbert has all the makings of a long term, productive starter at left (or right) tackle. He’s got the length, the size, room to grow and natural athleticism that Tim Drevno needed at the position. With more time in the weight room and on the practice field, the staff should be able to take his natural skill and mold him into a very nice player for the Maize and Blue.
Herbert is an offensive tackle with a great frame. His length stands out immediately and he has good feet to go with that. He has the body that is developing and with that, he will add mass and more power to his game. He can really move and get into his pass sets well. From his sophomore year to the end of his junior year, he added good weight, he played with more aggression, and he has really started to separate himself as one of the best in Florida. He is a very smart player and he is always working to get better. His flexibility is good and his punch has improved a lot. He could be a true left tackle on the next level.” – via Scout.com
As one of the top offensive lineman in the class, Herbert’s recruitment saw offers and attention from several heavy hitters. But for the majority of his recruitment, it was the in-state Florida Gators who were the strong favorite and were expected to gain his commitment at any moment. All signs continued to point towards UF but that was until Michigan ramped up their pressure on him.
He received visits from UM’s Jim Harbaugh in January and then from Jedd Fisch in April. Those in-school visits were followed up with him attending the UM satellite camp at St Thomas Aquinas in the beginning of June and then making his way up north for his first visit to Ann Arbor for the on-campus Big Man camp in mid-June. It was that last visit, his relationship with the coaching staff and his chance to play early that led him to commit to the Wolverines over the Gators in early July.
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 285lbs
- Hometown (School): Fort Lauderdale, FL (American Heritage)
- Notable Offers: Florida, Tennessee, LSU, North Carolina, Miami (FL), Georgia
- Rankings: Scout (4*, #183 overall) – Rivals (4*, #61 overall) – 247 (3*, #72 OT) – ESPN (4*, #106 overall)
- Composite Ranking: 4 star, #166 overall, #22 OT, #31 in Florida
Highlights and Interviews
As for the Rest of the Class
Herbert is the 18th overall commitment, 4th offensive lineman and 2nd commitment out of the Sunshine State. Michigan has a good chance to pull at least two more player out of Florida in Herbert’s teammate at American Heritage (FL) OL Tedarrell Slaton and IMG Academy (FL) LB Jordan Anthony. Slaton isn’t the only other offensive line option remaining either as Michigan is in great shape for multiple top ranked lineman including Poly Prep (NY) OT Isaiah Wilson, IMG Academy (FL) C Cesar Ruiz and Skyline (WA) OL Henry Bainivalu.