Bayern (Germany) defensive end Julius Welschof committed to Michigan on Wednesday morning. He had previously been committed to Georgia Tech, and he also had offers from Iowa State, Minnesota, Rutgers, Syracuse, and UCF, among others.
Welschof is listed at 6’6″, 248 lbs.
ESPN: 3-star, 78 grade, #64 DE
Rivals: 3-star SDE
247 Sports: 4-star, #12 SDE, #323 overall
Hit the jump for more on Welschof’s commitment.
Welschof camped at Michigan this summer, and I posted a bit about him at the time. After that he fell off the Michigan recruiting radar, even though he started picking up offers from several FBS programs. He committed to Georgia Tech, but a recent offer from Michigan caused him to rethink his choice. The other FBS schools listed above aren’t anything to shake a stick at for a guy coming from Germany, but Michigan is clearly the best overall program of the bunch.
First of all, Welschof has a huge frame at 6’6″ and 248 lbs., and he still has a lot of room to grow. He hasn’t quite filled out, and maybe that’s partly because he just doesn’t live in an area where players live and breathe football. He runs a 4.73 forty, and he broad jumps 10’2″. You can also see in his film that he changes direction very well for a guy who’s 6’6″, especially one who doesn’t know how to consistently play low. The athleticism is there to be a very good player.
Technique-wise, Welschof looks like a JV football player. He stands straight up, he’s slow to read blocks, he’s not violent with his hands when engaging blockers, etc. If you’re a quality FBS recruit in the United States, the vast majority of guys have been coached out of these habits by the time they hit high school. Welschof has a long ways to go.
Overall, this is basically the definition of a boom-or-bust pickup for Michigan. On the plus side, his potential is totally untapped as a 6’6″, 248 lb. player. Improved technique could turn him into a star, and he could be the subject of some good press if he contributes as Michigan. You can imagine ESPN and Fox putting together vignettes on how he came to be playing at Michigan. On the negative side, he’s already 20 years old and if he doesn’t clean up his technique, he won’t even sniff the field. I’m on the record as saying that Michigan has some of the best defensive line coaching in the country, and I believe defensive line coach Greg Mattison and defensive coordinator Don Brown can help him reach his max potential. It won’t happen immediately, but I think Welschof will be a good player down the road. Physically, he reminds me of former Michigan (and current Baltimore Ravens) defensive end/tackle Chris Wormley.
Michigan now has 19 commitments in the 2018 class, and that puts them at 89 scholarship players scheduled to be on the roster in 2018. At least four guys will have to depart in order to make this thing work. Welschof will almost certainly redshirt while he sits behind Rashan Gary and others at the strongside end position, and 3-tech could also be an option, depending on how his body fills out.
TTB Rating: 78 (ratings explanation)
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