2016 Season Countdown: #23 Rashan Gary

2016 Season Countdown: #23 Rashan Gary


August 19, 2016

Rashan Gary

Name: Rashan Gary
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 287 lbs.
High school: Paramus (NJ) Catholic
Position: Defensive end
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: #3
Last year: Gary was a senior in high school (LINK). He made 55 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles.
Final TTB Rating: 100

There’s not much to say about Rashan Gary that hasn’t been said a hundred times. He was: an All-American, an Under Armour All-American, a Paramus (NJ) Catholic product (the alma mater of Jabrill Peppers and the former team of current linebackers coach Chris Partridge), and the consensus #1 player in the country. Everybody and his mother thought Gary was the most college-ready defensive lineman they’ve seen in years. He’s big and fast and athletic and – everyone’s favorite descriptor – he’s technically sound! Yeah! Michigan seemed like the front-runner for a long time until Clemson made it scary at the very end. He said later that he didn’t know whether he would pick the Wolverines or Tigers until he walked out on stage to announce on national television, but luckily he picked the good guys.

Unable to enroll early, Gary didn’t arrive on campus until June. Early reports on his abilities have been positive. Sam Webb issued a gut feeling this summer that Gary would start at Anchor (a.k.a. strongside defensive end), and that makes some sense. Michigan is a little thin at the defensive end positions, and Taco Charlton has moved to weakside end. That means the Anchor position will probably be a rotation of Gary and Wormley, and the next option would be to move Charlton to Anchor while inserting Chase Winovich and/or a freshman at weakside end. That being said, there are other guys who could probably play strongside end in a pinch (Matt Godin, Maurice Hurst, Jr.), and Gary is likely to have a few growing pains while getting used to Big Ten competition. Even if he’s not an All-American right off the bat, he should give the Wolverines some fun moments this year.

Prediction: Starting Anchor; 35 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5 sacks





13 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Aug 19, 2016 at 7:51 AM

    My buddy who gets to see some off season workouts and the occasional practice is all a flutter and claims that Gary is quicker than Hurst and stronger than Willy Henry. To which I offer the standard “From your lips ….. ”

    If I’m Don Brown and half of the developing legend proves to be true, the second I think he’s got the “Anchor” position down, I’m spending time teaching this kid some aspect of every position along the D line including the nose and then I’m going to the film room and looking hard for every mismatch I can find.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 19, 2016 at 11:24 AM

      I would guess that next year Gary is used something like the way Wormley was last year. Move him around a bit.

      For all the guys we lose, the Mone/Hurst/Gary/Winovich 2017 DL still might be one of the best units in the country (though perhaps not the deepest depending on Marshall, freshman, and recruits.)

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3849
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Aug 19, 2016 at 11:59 AM

        I agree. I think he’ll be used inside and outside in 2017. Maybe they’ll even do that a bit this year, depending on the situation. Eventually, I think he’ll be a full-time 3-tech, even if he doesn’t move there until he gets to the NFL.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Aug 19, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    Thunder, this is the best series on a Michigan football blog–I always look forward to it
    I have to disagree here though. I know the intent of the countdown (since our good friend Lankows reminds us often), but they’re is so much hype and faith placed in Mr Gary, that I think losing him to injury would hurt just as much (maybe more?) than when we lost Jabrill early in 2014
    I know we’re deep at DL; I just think the emotional let down would be tough to handle, from players to fans
    I don’t know where I’d put him, but I know losing Gary would be a disappointment greater than say, the backup QB, 2d RB, or an OL who has frustrated fans for the last three seasons

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 19, 2016 at 11:22 AM

      Emotional let down eh.

      I don’t see too many people crying in their cheerios if Wormley or Hurst get more snaps. Maybe opposing OL.

      As for Kalis, his likely replacement is Dawson who, even with all of Kalis’ screwups, hasn’t pushed for a starting job – and he’s a senior.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 19, 2016 at 12:01 PM

      I think the fan base might lose a little bit of heart, but to the players, Gary is probably “just another starter” at this point (or maybe “just another rotation guy”). I doubt the players would be any more upset about losing him than about losing Hurst or McCray.

      • GKblue
        Comments: 359
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        GKblue
        Aug 19, 2016 at 6:44 PM

        I don’t think the new guy carries more weight with the veterans than the guys they have played with for the last three or four years honestly.

        Testimony to high expectations for him are your predictive stats for a true freshman rotating at SDE. Considering the rest of the DL is pretty darn good these stats should mean we have a hell of a year defensively.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 19, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Perfect situation when you have a potentially impact freshman but have veteran depth to where you don’t NEED him. You know he earned whatever snaps he gets.

    Pretty fantastic to have Peppers and Gary on the same squad. Two prototypes, not just in talent, but seemingly in leadership/character as well.

    Hopefully by MSU/OSU Gary is up to speed and making a disruptive impact. This DL is going to be a whole lot of fun to watch.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 24
    Joined: 12/28/2015
    mich_alumni
    Aug 19, 2016 at 1:11 PM

    I think this might be a little low to rank Gary — but that’s purely based on speculation. I think by the time the tough games roll around (starting with MSU), he will be our best lineman on the roster (Wormley, Charlton and Glasgow included). Very simply, I think this is a guy who starts from day 1 and as he gets accustomed to cfb will dominate by mid-season.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 19, 2016 at 1:26 PM

      People thought Peppers was going to be our best CB as a true freshman. It rarely works out that way. Even Woodson, Brady, Edwards, Long took time. None of them came close to dominating as freshman (though Woodson was pretty good right away). And those are the success stories. Drew Henson was just as highly rated as Gary and, because of quality competition, took a few years become a full-time starter.

      Maybe you’ll be proven right, but history argues otherwise, no matter how awesome/talented Gary is.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 19, 2016 at 1:31 PM

        Woodson is a success story. Those other guys didn’t even play. Jourdan Lewis came off the bench until his junior year. etc.

        Kids these days are more ready than ever, and we have recent DL examples like McDowell and Clowney – but even those guys didn’t breakout into dominant all-conference players until their sophomore years. (Clowney did start from Day 1 and was all-conference 2nd team as a freshman.)

  5. Avatar
    Comments: 24
    Joined: 12/28/2015
    mich_alumni
    Aug 19, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    I don’t know if Peppers is as valid an argument, he got hurt too early his first year to make a judgement. If you were to consider last year as a first year playing — I think the acquitted himself nicely. He proved a 3 way threat and our most versatile player on the field. You have him ranked #2 on your list, already going into his final year. This has to be based on what he did last year.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 19, 2016 at 5:26 PM

      Before injury, Peppers was slated to be a backup CB in 2014. You can argue he would have beat out Countess and Taylor later in the year if you want I guess, but considering Jourdan Lewis (mostly) didn’t – that’s a tough one. Peppers was just OK in the 3 games he played. Oh and he’s STILL not the best CB on the team, even as a Junior. OK – you’re saying he’s not a CB — he was as a freshman and sometimes as a sophomore. That they’re still figuring out how to use him best is sort of the point.

      Even if you call last season his freshman last year (which really you shouldn’t because the first year is as much about off-field stuff as on-field). He was a very good player (all conference) but would you call him dominant?

      Perhaps excluding RBs (who generally are what they are from Day 1), it’s exceedingly rare for freshman to be excellent, even for future 1st round pick NFL HOFers. Usually they play well, make some big plays, but also make some big mistakes. Typically the mistakes don’t start disappearing until soph or jr year.

      What non-RBs who were truly excellent as freshman? Clowney’s about as close as it’s come to dominant that I can remember. Bosa was good, but went from 13 TFL to 21 and 8 sacks to 14 between freshman and soph. Myles Jack.

      I would expect Gary to be very good this year, dominant/great next.

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