Plantation (FL) American Heritage offensive tackle Kai-Leon Herbert decommitted from Michigan on Sunday. Herbert is a 6’5″, 284-pounder who’s a 4-star, the #28 offensive tackle, and #252 overall.
Herbert committed to Michigan in July of 2016 (LINK). If you follow recruiting closely, you may remember that he made a The Walking Dead spin-off video for his commitment. It was one of the more creative commitment videos I’ve seen. I gave him an 86. Not for the video, but as a TTB Rating. He’s a legitimate left tackle prospect, though he could play guard as well. But in the months since, his commitment has been viewed as very soft. I said several months ago that I didn’t think he would stick with Michigan, and I even put in a Crystal Ball in on January 11 for him to commit to Florida. I don’t know all the reasons behind his choice, but there have been rumors that he was not comfortable with the number of commitments Michigan had on the offensive line and their continued pursuit of linemen.
Frankly, I don’t know why linemen aren’t pounding down the door to play offensive line at Michigan, especially to play offensive tackle. Michigan has limited options at both tackle spots, and they lose three senior starters from 2016. In fact, Michigan’s best option at left tackle might be to bump center Mason Cole out there and let an unproven player snap the ball. Playing time is right there for the taking if you put in the work to beat out some . . . unheralded options.
Michigan now has 26 commits in the 2017 class, including potential tackles Joel Honigford, Chuck Filiaga, Andrew Stueber, Ja’Raymond Hall, and potentially even James Hudson III, the last of whom was primarily recruited as a defensive tackle. Honigford is almost certainly destined for a redshirt, Filiaga won’t be ready to play left tackle, and Hall probably needs some time, too. Out of the incoming freshmen currently committed, Stueber might be the most ready to step in immediately and play.
I posted an If I Had My Druthers piece on the offensive line last week (LINK), and Mekhi Becton seems the most likely to join the class. However, he took an official visit to Virginia Tech this weekend, and a flurry of nine Crystal Balls have come in so far today for the Hokies, who now hold 75% of the picks. It will be interesting to see if Michigan expands its offer board in an attempt to get another linemen to take an official visit before National Signing Day, since only one visit weekend remains.