Michigan Football Preview 2015

2015 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 156 of 163

THE WOLVERINE 2015 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 155 MIDWEST TOP 30 also exciting with the ball in his hands, so much so that he occasionally contributes at running back for his Detroit King team. He is rated as a four-star player, the No. 2 prospect in Michigan and the No. 79 overall recruit in the nation by Rivals.com. Corley has gone back and forth on narrow- ing his list, and plans to wait out a decision until after his senior year. Michigan has lagged behind some other favorites — including Michigan State, Notre Dame and Tennessee — but the Wolverines will prioritize him and try to make up that ground before National Signing Day. 8. Erik Swenson, OL Downers Grove (Ill.) South High School Swenson is a true left tackle — in fact, it's the only position he's ever played, and he is not as comfortable on the right side of the line. He has very quick feet and a solid punch on defensive line- men, which allows him to fend off pass rushers. For his high school team, he collapses the left side of the line on run- ning plays, opening up huge holes for his ball carriers. He will have to refine his technique instead of relying on pure talent once he gets to college, but he has the tools — including 6-5, 285-pound size — to be a special one. Rivals.com ranks him as a four-star talent, the No. 2 player in Illinois and the No. 93 overall prospect nationally. Swenson committed to Michigan in Novem- ber of his sophomore year of high school over offers from Alabama, Ohio State and many others. He was the first commit in the 2016 U-M class. 9. George Hill, Athlete Hubbard (Ohio) High School Hill is a high school quarterback who will likely be a running back or wide receiver in college. The 6-0, 185-pounder is at his best making plays with the ball in his hands. He has the agility to get around defenders and the speed to go long distances once he gets past them. He will have to refine the techniques that he has not had to use as a quarterback, but has strong physical potential. Hill — a four-star recruit, the No. 4 prospect in Ohio and the No. 177 overall player in the land according to Rivals.com — committed to Ohio State in June before his junior sea- son, and also held offers from several mid- level Power Five conference teams, along with Michigan State. 10. Justin Layne, WR Cleveland Benedictine High School Layne is a smooth, athletic wide receiver who has suffered in high school production only be- cause he hasn't had excel- lent quarterback play (2015 Ohio State signee Jerome Baker, a linebacker, was his quarterback last year). He has good speed to get deep, and solid ball skills. He is also underrated after the catch and can translate his skills as a part-time running back to making plays with the ball in his hands. His 6-2, 175-pound size allows him to leap for the ball, but he'll have to add mass to contribute at the next level. Rivals.com ranks him as a four- star prospect, the No. 5 player in Ohio and the No. 181 overall prospect in the country. Layne committed to Michigan State in April over offers from Alabama, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and several others. 11. John Raridon, OL West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley High School Raridon is a true guard, a 6-4, 271-pound mauler who excels at mov- ing the pile and opening holes in the run game. His lateral mobility isn't a strong suit, however, which has him slated as a true in- terior lineman. Despite any shortcomings in his game, he has the ability to make defenders go where they don't want to when he's blocking them. He has been tabbed as a four-star player, the No. 1 recruit in Iowa and the No. 190 overall prospect nationally by Rivals.com. Raridon committed to Nebraska in Septem- ber — and has stayed solid with the Husk- ers through a coaching change — over other options, including Notre Dame, Oregon and Wisconsin. 12. Luke Farrell, TE Perry (Ohio) High School Farrell is a big body at 6-6 and 235 pounds, which should allow him to be a dual-threat tight end in college. His size allows him to be a strong in-line blocker and gives him a jump-ball advantage over defending players. He has good straight-line speed, but isn't as fluid as other tight ends and has difficulty separating from defenders at times. Fortunately, he has the ball skills to make catches even when there isn't much space. Ri- vals.com ranks him as a four-star talent, the No. 6 prospect in Ohio and the No. 195 overall player nationally. Michigan was first to offer Farrell, but atten- tion from the Maize and Blue has since cooled off. The Wolverines are in his final six — along with Alabama, Boston College, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State — but he has been to other contenders on visits more frequently than to Ann Arbor. 13. Michael Onwenu, OL Detroit Cass Technical High School Onwenu has a very stout build at 6-4 and 368 pounds, giving him the appearance of a run-stuffing defensive tackle. However, many schools are recruit- ing him as an offensive guard — the position at which he is more experi- enced and comfortable. He doesn't look fat despite his huge mass, because most of that weight is pure muscle. Onwenu — a four-star recruit, the No. 3 player in Michigan and the No. 191 overall prospect nationally according to Rivals.com — made a commitment to Michigan in June, picking U-M over Alabama, Ohio State and Michigan State among the programs challeng- ing the Wolverines. 14. Brendan Ferns, LB St. Clairsville (Ohio) High School Ferns is a big, athletic middle linebacker, similar to his older brother Michael (a 2014 Michi- gan signee who has since transferred to West Vir- ginia to play tight end). The 6-2, 222-pounder is a sideline-to-sideline player with enough athletic ability to rush the passer or drop into coverage. Rivals.com lists him as a four- star prospect, the No. 7 player in Ohio and the No. 201 overall recruit nationally. Despite his older brother's presence in Ann Arbor, Ferns never picked up a Michigan of- fer — and now that Michael is gone, that ship has likely sailed. Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State are among the top contenders for his services. 15. Austin Mack, WR Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers High School Mack is a 6-2, 205-pounder who relies on smooth route running and his good size. He doesn't have the greatest top-end speed, but is plenty fast in game situations, where he's quick in and out of breaks, and has good vision to continue gaining yards after the catch. What Mack lacks in pure athleticism, he makes up in game knowledge and a feel for

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