New Michigan Man: DT Phillip Paea Commits

Michigan’s spring game and junior day was expected to be big for the program’s recruiting efforts in the the current and future classes. Well, that has definitely been the case as, per multiple reports, Berrien Springs (MI) DT Phillip Paea has committed to Michigan.

Paea is a big, physical and versatile athlete that could play multiple positions at the next level. In high school, he plays both offensive guard and defensive tackle but thanks to his wrestling background, it looks like he’ll be a run stuffing big man in the middle of the Wolverines defense for years to come.

As a player that held offers from UM, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Oregon, among others, you’d think he was a top target for every staff from early on in his career. However, his momentum didn’t really pick up until the winter after his junior season. And even though the instate schools offered along with everyone else, he looked destined to head west to play for the Ducks. But Michigan’s hire of Director of Player Personnel Tony Tuioti was the game changer. Him and the other UM coaches were able to get Paea on campus multiple times in March and ended up receiving his commitment at the Junior Day event on April 2nd.

  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 280lbs
  • Hometown (School): Berrien Springs, MI (Berrien Springs)
  • Notable Offers: Notre Dame, Oregon, Michigan State, USC, Nebraska
  • Rankings: Scout (3*, #26 DT) – Rivals (3*, #13 OG) – 247 (3*, #33 DT) – ESPN (NR)

As for the Rest of the Class: Paea is the 10th overall commit, 3rd in-state commit and 1st defensive line commit of the 2017 class. With him on board, the staff has one of likely 2-3 DTs they’ll look to take in this class as the position has plenty of attrition coming in the near future. Other names to watch include Corey Bolds, Jay Tufele, Greg Rogers, Fred Hansard and Damion Daniels.

Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski / USA TODAY Sports