2018 Season Countdown: #21 Aubrey Solomon

2018 Season Countdown: #21 Aubrey Solomon


August 7, 2018

Aubrey Solomon (#5, image via Freep)

Name: Aubrey Solomon
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 287 lbs.
High school: Leesburg (GA) Lee County
Position: Nose tackle
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #5
Last year: I ranked Solomon #26 and said he would be a backup nose tackle (LINK). He made 18 tackles and 2 tackles for loss.
TTB Rating: 89

Solomon had a long, winding path to Ann Arbor leading up to the 2017 season. A lot of times, it seems like odd recruitments lead to delayed – or destroyed – success. But for whatever reason, I thought Solomon would succeed pretty immediately at Michigan. If you look at Michigan’s nose tackles in recent years – Bryan Mone, Maurice Hurst, Ryan Glasgow, etc. – Solomon was more successful in his first year than any of them. In fact, you have to go back to Mike Martin in 2008 to find a nose tackle with a better freshman season (20 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, 2 sacks). Martin had a very good college career before petering out in the NFL.

Solomon is expected to start here in 2018. He’s a bit of a wild card because he should see an uptick in grass time this season, even though he has just one season under his belt and we haven’t seen him make huge impacts on the game. I would like to rank the starting nose tackle higher, but Michigan has other options there – fifth year senior Bryan Mone, redshirt sophomore Michael Dwumfour, and redshirt freshman Donovan Jeter, to name a few. It would definitely be a blow to lose him, but I think Michigan could handle an injury or two on the defensive line.

Prediction: Starting nose tackle; 35 tackles, 2 sacks

14 comments

  1. Comments: 878
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Aug 07, 2018 at 7:08 AM

    He’s on the small side, so I expect him to get rotated quite a bit

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2582
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 07, 2018 at 7:34 AM

      I expect him to rotate because that’s what Michigan does with its defensive line, but Solomon is heavier than Hurst, who played a lot.

      • Comments: 878
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Aug 07, 2018 at 8:20 AM

        Sure, but Hurst didn’t blow up until his RSJr season. By then, technique and natural skills made up for his size

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2582
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Aug 07, 2018 at 8:38 AM

          I see what you’re saying, but the key there is that Hurst didn’t blow up until later in his career than Solomon. Hurst wasn’t good enough to play as a true freshman and barely played as a redshirt freshman, while Solomon was playing a bunch in game one of his freshman year.

          • JC
            Comments: 194
            Joined: 8/17/2015
            JC
            Aug 07, 2018 at 10:42 AM

            They were different landscapes. Solomon was brought in with Jeter, Paea, Hudson, Irving-Bey in the same class. We needed DTs. In front of them were Mone, Marshall, and Hurst. Hurst was a beast, Mone has shown flashes, Marshall hasn’t done it yet.

            Hurst came into a team with Heitzman, Rock, Talbott, Wormley, Glasgow, Godin, W. Henry, Pipkins, Ash, Strobel, and I’m sure at least one more. Glasgow, Henry, and Wormley were all drafted, and I think Godin signed somewhere. Hurst was not needed at that time.

    • Painter Smurf
      Comments: 255
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      Painter Smurf
      Aug 07, 2018 at 8:30 AM

      He played nose last year, so I can’t imagine he is less equipped this year. No one is going to run it down UM’s throat this year anyway, so quick DTs like Solomon and Dwumfour are ideal for the havoc Brown wants to create.

  2. Comments: 1183
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Aug 07, 2018 at 7:39 AM

    At 287, I expect Solomon to be getting snaps at the 3.

    Mone/Jeter/Dwumfor, Solomon/Dwumfor/Marshall. Gary/Kemp/Hutchinson feels like a pinup that can do some damage.

    I continue to think that Onwenu is out of position anywhere other than at Nose Tackle.

    • Comments: 9
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      EGD
      Aug 07, 2018 at 7:54 AM

      If one of the other guards beats him out, I wonder if they will try him there? I believe they did have him playing some defense in his first camp, IIRC.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 2582
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Aug 07, 2018 at 8:11 AM

        I don’t think they can really afford to move an OL to DL at this point because of the low numbers on offense. BTW, I agree with Roanman that Onwenu would have made a better nose tackle.

      • Comments: 878
        Joined: 1/19/2016
        je93
        Aug 07, 2018 at 8:21 AM

        If onwenu doesn’t have the endurance for OG, I can’t imagine him handling DBrown’s attacking D. He’d be limited to short-yardage IMO

        • Thunder
          Comments: 2582
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          Aug 07, 2018 at 8:36 AM

          That’s where the rotation comes in. He could be a backup to Solomon and rotate with Mone. Or he and Mone could rotate, with Jeter and Dwumfour maybe getting snaps at NT. There would be a lot of options. It’s a moot point because he’s playing OG, but I don’t think endurance would be as big of an issue. The issue on OL is that offensive linemen play the whole game. There’s no rotating. If you put together a 14-play drive and your OL is out of shape, he’s going to be a little bit worn out toward the end of that drive.

          • Comments: 1183
            Joined: 8/13/2015
            Roanman
            Aug 07, 2018 at 10:16 AM

            I don’t know why you can’t platoon your offensive linemen, assuming they can play.

            Back in the day, a number of teams ran guards in and out of the game with the play call.

            I get the OL continuity and timing thing, but I don’t think it’s an overwhelming problem to platoon a position, or even two. Assuming you have the guys that can play.

            • Painter Smurf
              Comments: 255
              Joined: 8/12/2015
              Painter Smurf
              Aug 07, 2018 at 7:59 PM

              Defenses have gotten a lot more sophisticated and multipe than the era when you saw OL rotate in with play calls. There is no need to run in plays anymore anyway.

              • Comments: 1183
                Joined: 8/13/2015
                Roanman
                Aug 07, 2018 at 9:14 PM

                The point is that if you have the guys that can play, which in our case who knows, why not run in some fresh legs like you do pretty much everywhere else all over the field. Have a fresher OL in the fourth quarter if you need to run the ball for the win.

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