The defensive line has been a strength of the Michigan defense for a long time now but especially during the Greg Mattison and Don Brown eras. But some depth issues looked to be coming with multiple players expected to depart after 2018 for the NFL. So the staff is loading up on the line in 2019 as it has just added the sixth defensive lineman to the haul as American Heritage (FL) DL Mike Morris has flipped his commitment to Michigan after being committed to Florida State for more than two years.
— Mike morris (@Mikemoris87) September 9, 2018
Morris is a big, tall lineman that has a frame that could put him at multiple positions depending on his future gains. He’s in a similar mold as former Michigan standout and current Baltimore Ravens DL Chris Wormley. Like Wormley, he’ll likely start on the outside at strongside defensive end/five tech and then move inside to defensive tackle/three-tech. His mix of athleticism and size will allow him to do just that, but I think it’ll be his arm length and ability to knock down passes that could make him a playmaker in the passing game. It may take a little time for him to contribute but with the training staff and coaching staff in place, he could have a big impact as a versatile defensive lineman during his time in Ann Arbor.
As the son of a former Florida State player, Morris was an obvious pick to commit to Florida State after receiving an offer from Jimbo Fisher back in February of 2016. He committed to the Seminoles once he received that offer and stuck with it until September of 2018. There have been rumors and plenty of signs showing that Michigan was likely to flip Morris since he first visited Ann Arbor back in March.
Things really started to heat up between the two parties after Morris’ visit for the BBQ at the Big House. Getting the chance to connect with future teammates and the connections with Greg Mattison and recruiting coordinator Matt Dudek ended up swaying the FSU commit enough that an avalanche of Crystal Ball predictions started rolling in for the flip to Michigan. It took a little longer than originally thought but he ended up committing to the Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines during his official visit weekend for the Western Michigan game.
His addition to the class gives Michigan a very big, versatile defensive line haul that covers pretty much every spot in Morris, NT Mazi Smith, DT Chris Hinton, DT Tyrece Woods, SDE David Ojabo and WDE Gabe Newburg.
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 255lbs
- Hometown (School): Delray Beach, FL (American Heritage)
- Notable Offers: Florida State, Clemson, Tennessee, Miami, Florida
- Rankings: Rivals (4*, #25 WDE) – 247Sports (3*, #31 SDE) – ESPN (4*, #275 overall)
- Composite Ranking: Four-star, #322 Overall, #22 SDE, #44 in Florida
As for the Rest of the Class
Morris is the 21st overall commitment, the sixth defensive lineman commit, and the second commit out of Florida. Even though the defensive line class is completely loaded, the staff still has two top targets on the line. And they’re arguably the two best defensive linemen in the entire class. 2019 DE Zach Harrison and Purdue commit DE George Karlaftis have been wanted players by the staff for quite some time.
Karlaftis looks pretty solid in his commitment to the Boilermakers but we’ll see if it can withstand a tough season as they’re already 0-2. As for Harrison, Michigan has been gaining more and more momentum with him since the start of the year. The turmoil in Columbus doesn’t hurt Michigan’s chances at all but it’s still too hard to say UM is the favorite over Ohio State. We’ll see if things change with either after game day visits this fall.
Photo Credit: Mike Morris/Twitter