Kentwood (MI) East Kentwood defensive tackle Mazi Smith committed to Michigan on Sunday evening. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, and Wisconsin, among others.
Smith is 6’3″, 290 lbs. He claims a 5.2 forty, a 26″ vertical, and a 315 lb. bench press.
ESPN: 4-star, 86 grade, #2 DT, #29 overall
Rivals: 4-star, #9 DT, #160 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 91 grade, #14 DT, #225 overall
Hit the jump for more on Smith’s recruitment.
Smith seemed to trending in other directions early, whether it was Notre Dame or Penn State. Then he built a very strong relationship with Greg Mattison, and the tide seemed to turn. Michigan had been the crystal ball leader for a while, and it was a matter of when, not if, he would commit to the Wolverines. Despite teammate Logan Brown committing to Wisconsin and not being swayed by Michigan’s overtures, Smith liked what Michigan and Jim Harbaugh have to offer.
Smith has a great body to play defensive tackle, because he’s not too tall and he doesn’t have a lot of bad weight. He still manages to carry 290 lbs., and that bodes well for him to be powerful and well conditioned going forward. Smith uses his hands very well; he has heavy hands, he disengages from blockers, and he’s able to get offensive linemen turned so he can rip through. He plays low, and he has some short-area quickness. His get-off is impressive for an interior defensive lineman.
On the negative side, I think Smith will find he has a lot of technique to learn. While his hands are active, he doesn’t use a variety of moves because he doesn’t need them. The offensive line play going against him isn’t anything special.
Overall, I believe this is an excellent pickup for Michigan. There are very few teams out there who develop defensive linemen better than Greg Mattison and Don Brown do at Michigan, and Smith will come out of high school with considerable talent already. I think Smith will slot in at nose tackle, because he’s quick enough and strong enough to hold up against double-teams. But contributions at 3-tech could very well come, too. He’s versatile enough to play either spot.
Michigan now has 14 commits in the 2019 class. One of them is defensive end Chris Hinton, whom I believe will end up sliding down to 3-tech (or playing offensive line) before all is said and done. Michigan has had a few East Kentwood products over the years, but nobody of great impact. The last EK product to suit up for the Wolverines was walk-on punter Chris Berry in the late 2000s.
TTB Rating: 86 (ratings explanation)
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