When Michigan hired new linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary, an uptick in linebacker and Florida recruiting was expected. Well, now he’s just showing off as four-star Sandalwood (FL) LB Branden Jennings has committed to Michigan just days after decommitting from Florida State.
Long, rangy linebacker that can play multiple positions. Tone setter and leader of the defense, strong at the point of attack and lets his opponents know about it when he arrives to the ball carrier. Sheds blocks really well to stop the run and can rush the passer from the MIKE position or off the edge. Even has the frame to potentially grow into a hand in the dirt pass rusher. Not quite as fleet of foot as Devin Bush but he has more size and length. Better comparison would be Josh Uche. He can get sideline-to-sideline and also matches up well with tight ends in coverage but his ability to get to the passer may be his biggest strength.
There aren’t many better-looking prospects at the linebacker position in this class. If he reaches his potential, he could be another All-Big Ten/NFL quality defender for Michigan.
Talk about a quick turn of events. Over a year ago, Jennings made an unofficial visit up to Ann Arbor to take in the Army game and received his offer from the staff. A top prospect in the 2021 class, he was a fan favorite and wanted recruit. However, with his father being an FSU legacy, he made the decision to follow in his footsteps and committed to Florida State at the beginning of March.
That commitment looked to be solid throughout the spring and summer. Though as the summer came to an end and the Seminoles disastrous season began, he became a name to watch to potentially leave the class. Even then, he still looked like a longshot for Michigan as the Wolverines had four linebacker commitments of their own and was thought to be set at the position.
Things changed quickly.
Michigan lost LB Casey Phinney to Boston College in mid-September and Jennings ended up decommitting from Florida State less than a month later. With the spot open and the staff not giving up on the Sunshine State standout, the fit was too good to pass up.
Jennings committed to Michigan just days after his decommitment, giving the Wolverines arguably the best linebacker haul in the class.
- Height: 6’3”
- Weight: 225lbs
- Hometown (School): Jacksonville, FL (Sandalwood)
- Notable Offers: Florida State, Clemson, Ohio State, LSU, Stanford
- Rankings: Rivals (4*, #52 overall) – 247Sports (4*, #160 overall) – ESPN (4*, #67 overall)
- Composite Ranking: Four-star, #82 Overall, #6 OLB, #13 in Florida
As for the Rest of the Class
Jennings is the 21st overall commitment, the 4th linebacker, the 3rd Floridian, and the 5th get out of Florida. But he may not be the last as the staff is making a big push for another FSU commit in CB Omarion Cooper.
Other names to watch to finish out this class include RB Donovan Edwards, SS Maurice Freeman, CB Ceyair Wright, DT George Rooks, and the next name that could drop, DT Rayshaun Benny, who is expected to announce his decision on October 25th.
Photo Credit: 247Sports