Ex-Wolverine Player Updates: Post-2018 Recap

Tag: Aubrey Solomon


2Jan 2019
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Ex-Wolverine Player Updates: Post-2018 Recap

Keith Washington (#28, image via Zimbio)

At this point in Michigan’s program, along with the college football landscape, there are too many players to include in one post. There are at least 53 players who have either transferred or decommitted from Michigan in the last five full classes (2014-2018), plus the incomplete 2019 class. So I’m temporarily breaking up this concept into three separate posts, one for transfers, one for former commits, and one for coaches. It’s a lot easier to manage during the season when people are injured, redshirting, etc.

TRANSFERS

Devin Asiasi, TE (UCLA): Asiasi was second on the depth chart at tight end behind Caleb Wilson, who was the team’s leading receiver. Asiasi himself made 6 catches for 130 yards (21.7 YPC) and 1 touchdown. UCLA went 3-9 and missed out on bowl eligibility.

Ian Bunting, TE (Cal): Bunting was Cal’s leading tight end, finishing with 18 catches for 195 yards (10.8 YPC) and 0 touchdowns. Cal went 7-6.

Freddy Canteen, WR (Tulane): Canteen – who had injuries at Michigan, transferred to Notre Dame, had more injuries at Notre Dame, and then transferred to Tulane – missed the 2018 season with yet another shoulder injury. His spate of injuries may allow him to apply for a sixth year of eligibility in 2019 if he wants to continue playing.

Brian Cole, S (Mississippi State): Cole played in the first five games of the season for Mississippi State until a shoulder injury sidelined him for the remainder of the year. During those five games, he made 11 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 interception, and 10 kickoff returns for 225 yards (22.5 yards/return). Mississippi State went 8-4.

Hit the jump for more.

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17Dec 2018
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Aubrey Solomon, Ex-Wolverine

Sophomore defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon is reportedly transferring. Solomon appeared in eighteen games over his first two seasons, making 24 tackles and 2 tackles for loss in a Michigan uniform. Despite being a former 5-star recruit, he was never able to break into the starting lineup. Solomon is the 13th highest rated recruit to sign with Michigan in the modern recruiting era, coming in at #25 overall in the 2017 class (LINK).

Solomon’s departure is a big blow to a team that was already losing and missing some big-time defensive linemen. Michigan loses Chase Winovich, Rashan Gary, Lawrence Marshall, and Bryan Mone were all starters, and Solomon was expected to step into a starting role in 2019. Now the Wolverines will have to switch some positions, bulk guys up, and attempt to fill the gaping hole at defensive tackle. Michael Dwumfour is a natural defensive tackle, but other potential tackles like Donovan Jeter, Carlo Kemp, Kwity Paye, and Aidan Hutchinson are inexperienced. Michigan will need to play true freshmen (such as Mazi Smith).

One unconventional fix I might explore is the idea of moving offensive guard Michael Onwenu to nose tackle. Onwenu is roughly 350 lbs. and a very powerful player, but there are some questions about whether he can be effective long-term at guard. Some insiders have even suggested that he might be replaced at right guard next season. If Michigan has a viable option at right guard and if Onwenu’s NFL prospects on the offensive line are dwindling, maybe he could spend a year at nose tackle. (Full disclosure: I’ve thought since Onwenu was recruited that he would make a better nose tackle than offensive guard, but now the team needs might make that a viable option.)

Michigan took 30 players in the 2017 class, and they are now down to 22 still remaining on the team. Solomon joins LB Drew Singleton (transfer to Rutgers), DT Deron Irving-Bey (transfer to Central Michigan), OT James Hudson (transfer to Cincinnati), DE Corey Malone-Hatcher (medical scholarship), RB O’Maury Samuels (dismissed from team), OG Ja’Raymond Hall (transfer to Central Michigan), and RB Kurt Taylor (transfer destination unknown).

7Aug 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #21 Aubrey Solomon

Aubrey Solomon (#5, image via Freep)

Name: Aubrey Solomon
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 287 lbs.
High school: Leesburg (GA) Lee County
Position: Nose tackle
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #5
Last year: I ranked Solomon #26 and said he would be a backup nose tackle (LINK). He made 18 tackles and 2 tackles for loss.
TTB Rating: 89

Solomon had a long, winding path to Ann Arbor leading up to the 2017 season. A lot of times, it seems like odd recruitments lead to delayed – or destroyed – success. But for whatever reason, I thought Solomon would succeed pretty immediately at Michigan. If you look at Michigan’s nose tackles in recent years – Bryan Mone, Maurice Hurst, Ryan Glasgow, etc. – Solomon was more successful in his first year than any of them. In fact, you have to go back to Mike Martin in 2008 to find a nose tackle with a better freshman season (20 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, 2 sacks). Martin had a very good college career before petering out in the NFL.

Solomon is expected to start here in 2018. He’s a bit of a wild card because he should see an uptick in grass time this season, even though he has just one season under his belt and we haven’t seen him make huge impacts on the game. I would like to rank the starting nose tackle higher, but Michigan has other options there – fifth year senior Bryan Mone, redshirt sophomore Michael Dwumfour, and redshirt freshman Donovan Jeter, to name a few. It would definitely be a blow to lose him, but I think Michigan could handle an injury or two on the defensive line.

Prediction: Starting nose tackle; 35 tackles, 2 sacks

8Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #26 Aubrey Solomon

Aubrey Solomon

Name: Aubrey Solomon
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 288 lbs.
High school: Leesburg (GA) Lee County
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #5
Last year: Solomon was a senior in high school.
TTB Rating: 89

Solomon committed to Michigan in June of 2016 (LINK). And then he committed again in February of 2017 (LINK). Why did he have to commit to Michigan twice? Because in between, Michigan thanked him for attending the BBQ at the Big House that he didn’t attend, and they spelled his name wrong, which led to a decommitment (LINK). I can’t blame him for being miffed, but he was also recorded saying “f*** Michigan” by another player at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Hope seemed to dissipate at that point . . . until a couple days later, Michigan Crystal Balls started to pop up. The rest is history, and Michigan landed a 5-star and the #24 overall player in the country.

Solomon arrived on campus this summer, and initial reports were not glowing. He was rumored to be less physical than expected, despite the fact that he has to realize there’s an opportunity for immediate playing time behind nose tackle Bryan Mone. But here’s him defeating sophomore offensive guard Ben Bredeson:

 

If he’s not quite powerful enough to be a standout as a freshman, he doesn’t seem too far off.

The Wolverines need a nose tackle to step up this year, now that Maurice Hurst, Jr. has moved to the 3-tech position and Ryan Glasgow is in the NFL. Sophomore Michael Dwumfour can play some nose, too, but it’s a position that’s pretty light beyond Mone unless guys start shifting around. I’ve said for a while that I think Solomon will be the #2 nose tackle, and while it might take him a bit of time to adjust, I think he has to fill that role this season. I think he will be pretty good by the second half of the year, if not earlier.

Prediction: Backup nose tackle

15Feb 2017
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2017 Recruiting Grades: Defense

Aubrey Solomon (image via Scout)

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I posted the 2017 offensive recruiting grades last week (LINK), so here are my thoughts on the defensive side of the ball. Click on the player names below for their commitment posts.

DEFENSIVE END: B+
Commits (4): Deron Irving-Bey, Donovan JeterCorey Malone-Hatcher, Kwity Paye, Luiji Vilain
Decommits (0): N/A
Why? Michigan went after some elite rush ends (Jaelan Phillips, K’Lavon Chaisson, etc.) in this cycle, but none showed much interest. Instead, Michigan got home-stater Malone-Hatcher, Boston College decommit Paye, and Canada native Vilain as weakside end types. I thought Vilain improved significantly over the last couple years since moving from Ontario to Virginia. On the strong side, Michigan got Irving-Bey and Jeter, both of whom could end up as a 3-technique tackles. I don’t see dominant players here, but it is a solid group and they’ll get high-quality coaching.

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