The Michigan Wolverines are coming off a top recruiting class in 2013 and are back at it again for the 2014 recruiting class.
Head coach Brady Hoke knows how important it is to have consistency in recruiting with highly ranked classes.
Hoke has landed an early gem for 2014 on the defensive side of the ball in defensive tackle Bryan Mone.
Mone is a 4-star recruit from Salt Lake City, Utah who has the build of a burly defensive tackle despite still being a junior in high school.
At 6'4" and 316 pounds, Mone already has the physicality and body to jump into a college defensive line and hold his own. Yet, Mone is more than a big-bodied defensive recruit.
Mone is exceptionally agile and quick for a player of his size, which is a rarity in such a young player who is still developing.
According to Tim Sullivan of the Detroit Free Press,
Although the 315-pound weight may seem high for a high school prospect, Mone carries every ounce of it well. His film shows a player who is not only massive, but also very agile – and who even has some good top-end speed. He’ll likely continue to bulk up and play the nose tackle position in Michigan’s defense.
At 6'4" and 315, Mone would normally be viewed as too big at his current level, but he has the speed to go with it.
Mone is extremely active when he attacks the opposing offensive line out of his stance. His combination of size and speed helps him to strike fast and beat linemen in the trenches.
According to GBM Wolverine staff via SI.com:
Size is definitely a strength for Bryan Mone. He also shows surprising agility and quickness for a jumbo athlete. He gets off the ball quickly and plays with an edge. Mone is relentless in pursuit and plays until the whistle. He shows solid club and swim moves, and fights a double team very well. His agility and speed enables Mone to exhibit a good change of direction.
Mone's quickness and agility should not be underestimated. Mone draws comparisons to Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. They attended the same high school and play with similar styles.
While the comparisons to Ngata make some sense, Mone also has the same footwork intangibles that make New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork so successful.
Wilfork is huge at 6'2" and 325 pounds, but his footwork is exceptional for a player of that size and he moves both powerfully and swiftly when he plays.
Mone has a similar explosiveness and agility to players like Ngata and Wilfork which makes him a rare recruit pickup and he has the potential to shine on the Michigan defensive line. For Mone to have such a great skill set with his footwork and agility at his age is astounding. He will need to continue to develop, but he has all the intangibles to become an impact player on the defensive interior.
Mone's agility also makes him a versatile player that Hoke and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison can use in multiple sets on the defensive line.
According to the GBM Wolverine staff via SI.com:
On film we have witnessed Mone twist, line up inside on OGs, and twist outside the OT and still be able to maintain proper leverage on the QB. That is Impressive!
It is very impressive to see a young player of his stature have all of quickness and smarts to twist his body and work through opposing defensive lines as a pass rusher on both the outside and inside as well as a run stopper.
According to MGoBlog.com:
He [Mone] looks very impressive on film, and the fact that he's getting this much attention this early despite being from an under-scouted region lends credence to the idea that Michigan found themselves a potential star early in the process.
Mone hails from Utah which is not known as a hot bed for top football recruits, but the signs and evidence point toward Mone being a diamond in the rough.
Mone's size, agility, moves, and potential for development make him the next big thing at defensive tackle for the Michigan Wolverines.