Name: Luiji Vilain
Weight: 242 lbs.
High school: Alexandria (VA) Episcopal
Position: Defensive end
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #18
Last year: I ranked Vilain #30 and said he would be a backup defensive end with 20 tackles and 2 sacks (LINK). He redshirted.
TTB Rating: 90
Kwity Paye was more raw than Vilain coming out of high school, but Paye got the jump when it comes to playing time. Maybe I overrated Vilain, but he dealt with a couple injuries. Michigan thought about burning his redshirt late in the season, but it didn’t happen.
Now that Paye has a year of experience, I have him slotted ahead of Vilain. Will that pecking order continue? It’s tough to say. I still think Vilain will be a good player, and I’ve heard good things coming out of practice. But Michigan did just fine on defense last year with Chase Winovich playing the majority of the snaps, along with Paye and others playing some weakside end. Vilain should strengthen that position, but he won’t pass Winovich. Everybody else is vying for backup snaps.
Prediction: Backup weakside end
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