Concord (CA) De La Salle tight end Devin Asiasi committed to Michigan on National Signing Day. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, UCLA, and Washington, among others.
Asiasi is listed at 6’5″, 275 lbs. As a senior in 2015, he caught 17 passes for 311 yards and 5 touchdowns; defensively, he made 49 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 4 sacks. As a junior in 2014, he caught 16 passes for 264 yards and 2 touchdowns; he also made 33 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks as a defensive end. Capping his senior year as a U.S. Army All-American, he caught a touchdown pass to help the West team win.
ESPN: 4-star, 85 grade, #3 TE, #44 overall
Rivals: 4-star, #2 TE, #46 overall
Scout: 4-star, #4 TE, #67 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 92 grade, #8 TE, #218 overall
Hit the jump for more on Asiasi’s commitment.
Asiasi was offered by Michigan shortly after Jim Harbaugh and his staff were hired. When the offer came in January, I thought Michigan was just doing the standard song and dance with offering West Coast kids that would eventually just sign elsewhere. Asiasi mentioned interest immediately, but so did a lot of California kids who never got around to visiting. At one point it seemed like Michigan fell off his radar a bit during the season last year. However, as the season started to wind down – and as Michigan and its tight ends showed their stuff – the interest seemed to start percolating again. Along with defensive tackle teammate Boss Tagaloa, the De La Salle duo took an official visit to Ann Arbor two weekends ago. Viewed for a long while as a package deal, talk started going around that both would commit to Michigan, or at least Asiasi would. While Wednesday saw Tagaloa sign with UCLA, Asiasi picked the Wolverines.
Here’s what I had to say about Asiasi in an “If I Had My Druthers…2016 Tight Ends” post a couple weeks ago (LINK):
Asiasi, at 6’5″ and 275 lbs., looks like a slightly taller version of former Arizona and NFL tight end Brandon Manumaleuna. He fancies himself as a skill player, and it’s tough to argue. De La Salle lines him up out wide or in the slot sometimes, and they count on him to make plays in space. He shows soft hands and some delightful agility. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but he is an effective and pretty strong runner after the catch. His blocking skills are also impressive at times; he bends well and looks for contact. He could probably afford to lose some bad weight, but he can contribute early while he reshapes his body.
Asiasi was #1 on that list of uncommitted tight end prospects, and Michigan wound up getting #5 Nick Eubanks, too.
There are a lot of things to like about Asiasi – the size, the speed, the quick feet, the route running, the soft hands. He’s an aggressive blocker, and he likes to punish tacklers. The one negative thing that stands out to me about him as a senior is the weight gain. He looked too heavy at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and he even looked a little too round in his senior film. I would like to see him trim some weight and play in the 250 lb. range, rather than around 270 like he was listed as a senior. I also think he’ll need to learn to turn and get upfield a little quicker than he did in high school, because some of his attempts to run laterally will get him tracked down pretty quickly by pursuing defenders in college.
When I first saw Asiasi’s junior film – and don’t take this the wrong way – he looked like an Aaron Hernandez type of player who could line up in the slot and move around, as well as put his hand on the ground as a Y-tight end. I think he lost half a step or so as a senior, and hopefully a college strength and conditioning program can clean some of that up or get that half step back. Asiasi is someone who can stretch the field vertically, as well as be a danger on crossing routes and catch-and-run opportunities. Michigan had the best – or one of the best – tight ends in the country in 2015, and this kid is a step up athletically from Jake Butt.
Asiasi is the third – and best – tight end in Michigan’s 2016 class. He will join a team that has a senior Jake Butt, a redshirt junior Khalid Hill, a redshirt sophomore Ian Bunting, a redshirt freshman Tyrone Wheatley, Jr., and two other freshmen. Michigan played four or five tight ends last year (depending on how you view fullback/H-back Henry Poggi), and I would expect a similar deployment situation again this year. There has been talk that Wheatley could change positions, and I think Asiasi has enough talent to take Jake Butt’s role in 2017. My guess is that Michigan gets him some experience in year one to groom him for a lead role in 2017.
Asiasi is the first signee from De La Salle since quarterback Matt Gutierrez in the 2002 class. As mentioned above, Michigan lost out to UCLA for Tagaloa. Just recently, the Wolverines offered a 2019 tight end from De La Salle named Isaiah Foskey, too. It is a school that produces a lot of talent. Asiasi is also the third commit from California in the 2016 class, joining wide receiver Dylan Crawford and cornerback David Long, Jr.
TTB Rating: 92 (ratings explanation)