Louisville (KY) Trinity defensive end Stephen Herron, Jr., a 2019 prospect, committed to Michigan on Saturday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, Ohio State, and Oregon, among others.
Herron is 6’3″ and 235 lbs. As a sophomore in 2016, he made 75 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks sacks.
Rivals: 4-star WDE
Scout: 4-star, #5 WDE, #41 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 94 grade, #4 WDE, #34 overall
Hit the jump for more on Herron’s commitment.
Herron was offered by Michigan back in February when he took an unofficial visit to campus. The Wolverines were rumored to lead or at least be in the top couple teams for him, but in the meantime, Stanford made a strong push, too. That indicates that Herron is an academics-oriented student-athlete. He was not expected to commit to the Wolverines this past weekend, so his was the lone surprise of the BBQ at the Big House.
Herron is a small-ish rush end who will probably be a weakside guy throughout his career. He has good change-of-direction skills and bends well; he plays some interior line in high school even though he looked to be about 215-220 lbs. as a sophomore. He uses leverage to get underneath lineman and gain penetration. He can redirect and tackle in space.
One thing Herron lacks for such a highly rated weakside end is a true speed rush. He lacks a little bit of burst, and doesn’t seem to know whether he’s an outside rusher or an inside. Part of that may be his role as a defensive end in a three-man front, where sometimes the scheme makes him responsible for two gaps. Regardless, he needs to get quicker and stronger in his lower body. Occasionally, he lacks the leg strength to power through offensive tackles and finish tackles, instead relying on leverage and body weight to try to drag guys down. He can be indecisive at times, and needs to work on counter rush moves. He did have a decent sack total with 10 as a sophomore, but he looks more effective right now as a run-stopper because he plays with such good leverage.
Overall, Herron is a nice piece in the 2019 class. Based on how things have played out, I assume he has hit a bit of a growth spurt and matured since the end of the 2016 season, which is not uncommon for a sophomore going into his junior year. I think his game is a little bit incomplete for being a top-40 player in the 2019 class, but the potential is there.
Herron is the third commitment for 2019, joining linebacker Charles Thomas and offensive guard Nolan Rumler. The class is currently scheduled to hit about 15, but that number will certainly rise between now and February of 2019. When he arrives on campus, Chase Winovich will have departed, and Herron will be battling the likes of Luiji Vilain, Kwity Paye, and others for playing time at end.
Michigan has recruited Louisville (KY) Trinity before, but unsuccessfully. The Wolverines went after a trinity of Trinity prospects (you’re welcome, you’re welcome) in the 2013 class, including James Quick (Louisville), Jason Hatcher (Kentucky), and Ryan White (Vanderbilt). Only one player in Michigan history has come from Trinity, and that was a linebacker named Jason Kendrick in the early 1990s.
TTB Rating: I won’t hand out a TTB Rating until the 2018 class finishes out, but tentatively I’d place him in the mid 80s for now.
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