Devin Asiasi, Wolverine

Devin Asiasi, Wolverine


February 3, 2016
Devin Asiasi 608x

Devin Asiasi

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.

RATINGS
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)

7 comments

  1. Comments: 159
    Joined: 9/3/2015
    suduri xusai
    Feb 03, 2016 at 9:01 PM

    92 eh. I was very happy we landed him. It would’ve been good if his friend Boss came along as well, but we won’t win every recruiting battle.

  2. Comments: 21
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    greggoblue
    Feb 03, 2016 at 9:23 PM

    Love that we are blending development types (Eubanks, +/- McKeon) with a more college-ready guy in Asiasi. The TE position is in good shape for years to come.

    TE for some reason has been the most dramatic position group to recruit during the Harbaugh regime (Nauta, Clark, Nas Upshur and now Asiasi). Jay has had his hands full, but through it all has still come out on top with this excellent haul and deserves kudos.

    FWIW, Ty Wheatley on the radio today said TJ is sticking at TE.

    • Tartarsauce
      Comments: 76
      Joined: 1/22/2016
      Tartarsauce
      Feb 03, 2016 at 10:27 PM

      That’s interesting that TJ Wheatley is going to stay at TE. He’s pushing close to 300.

  3. Tartarsauce
    Comments: 76
    Joined: 1/22/2016
    Tartarsauce
    Feb 03, 2016 at 10:25 PM

    Always look forward to your commit write ups Thunder, we appreciate it. I think Asiasi is going to be a star at the next level, he’s got it all. With that said, I am curious, how would you rank Asiasi, Nauta, and Chris Clark. Would you rank them in that order i just listed?

    • Comments: 1951
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Feb 04, 2016 at 6:01 AM

      I would go #1 Nauta, #2 Asiasi, #3 Clark. As I mentioned with Jordan Elliott, flip-flopping is a bad sign to me, and Clark had that disease, too. He committed to UNC, then Michigan, and then UCLA. Now he tried to commit to Syracuse and instead is ending up at Pitt (last I knew). He just finished what would be his freshman year, and he’s already been “committed” to five different schools.

  4. Comments: 13
    Joined: 8/31/2015
    coyote57
    Feb 04, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    With the usual caveats (development, maturity, health) what’s the thinking on the roles of the 3 TE’s in this class (Eubank, McKeon, Asiasi) a couple yrs down the road?

    How does the projection play out in standard usage.

    Or, say all 3 on the field at the same time in Double Tight w/ HB? Or Jumbo Bunch Formation, that sorta thing?

    Thots?

    • Comments: 1951
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Feb 04, 2016 at 7:29 PM

      Past history suggests that maybe one of the three guys will not be here in three years. That’s just how college rosters work – guys get hurt, transfer, quit football, get in legal trouble, etc. Michigan’s 2013 class had 27 members, and 7 guys are already gone from that group with one or two years of eligibility remaining. Eubanks isn’t a hand-in-the-dirt type of player, and more of a guy who will go in motion, split out into the slot, etc. like you saw Poggi, Khalid Hill, etc. do this past season (Poggi was a FB/move guy, while Hill split out/went in motion). Asiasi and McKeon are guys who can put their hand on the ground and block at the line of scrimmage. Asiasi can be a move guy, too. Chances are probably slim that those three guys are the top three guys on the depth chart at any given time, since they’re all in the same class. It’s rare that things work out that way. But if they are the best three, then you could certainly see some double-tight sets with Eubanks playing a wing or going in motion.

You must belogged in to post a comment.