2017 Season Countdown: #19 Carlo Kemp

2017 Season Countdown: #19 Carlo Kemp


August 14, 2017

Carlo Kemp (image via 247 Sports)

Name: Carlo Kemp
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 255 lbs.
High school: Boulder (CO) Fairview
Position: Defensive end
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #2
Last year: I ranked Kemp #64 and said he would be a backup weakside end. He played in two games.
TTB Rating: 84

Kemp was a recruit who flew a little bit under the radar. A fairly highly rated recruit, he didn’t play in any all-star games and didn’t get a lot of hype, even though he’s related to the Pagano clan. Michigan played around with him at SAM and MIKE linebacker before letting him settle in at defensive end last season, but he’s the definition of a burned redshirt. He played in just two games (Colorado, Rutgers), and he didn’t play much in those contests.

To an extent, Kemp is an unknown. He didn’t play enough last season to get a great idea of who he is as a player, but with all the players Michigan lost in the front seven, Kemp should become an integral part of the 2017 defense. He has the skills to play strongside or weakside end, and there aren’t many non-freshman options at those spots. Rashan Gary has the starting strongside end position locked down, but the hype for Kemp as his backup really started to build this spring. I liked what I saw from him, he stays low, and he plays with power. As a guy with a year of experience under his belt and a physically ready build, I have Kemp jumping up from #64 all the way to here at #19 because of how much backup defensive linemen rotate into the game. Gary has the ability to kick down to defensive tackle in certain packages, and we may see Kemp become this season’s Chase Winovich.

Prediction: Backup strongside end

19 comments

  1. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 14, 2017 at 9:49 PM

    I don’t get putting an unproven backup at a position where we have lots of options over projected starters. Rashan Gary did play a lot of snaps last year but Kemp isn’t Gary. I do expect him to be a key backup and important rotation player but Michigan has other players who can fill the role if Kemp were to miss time for any reason.

    I had him at 30. Another case I think of too much spring hype. Don’t get me wrong – I think he’ll be a fine player but there’s no way he’s more important than the #5 and #6 OL this season – IMO.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3849
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 15, 2017 at 7:55 AM

      When you lose basically 11 out of 12 starters on defense (counting Clark), there are bound to be some people who jump to the forefront that are unproven. Not only do those starters disappear, but your impact backups now need to come from the unproven ranks. Winovich was unproven going into 2016, and then he was #2 on the team in sacks. Hurst was probably a top-18 guy last year, and he was a backup, too. Meanwhile, I would argue that Matt Godin probably wasn’t in the top 18 (I had him at #27 in last year’s countdown), but he started over Hurst.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 15, 2017 at 11:40 AM

        I would def put Godin over Winovich in importance in 2016 and I don’t think it’s particularly close. Especially when you consider the backup options for the Godin/Hurst rotation. Especially when you remember what happened to the DL in 2015 – lack of depth inside killed us at the end of the year.

        It should also be noted that Godin continues to be underrated by M fans. He’s in the running to make the Houston Texans roster right now. Yes, Hurst was probably better – but not by as much as is put out there. Another case of preconceptions trumping reality. Godin was legit.

        Hurst was def a top 18 player IMO. Godin too. Winovich not – even though he is a burgeoning star and probably was one of the 20 best players/talents on the team. Michigan had other options at WDE, not so much on the interior.

        My point wasn’t to say no backup should be in the top 20 ever. The point was that an unproven one, at a position with plenty of options shouldn’t be.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1863
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Aug 15, 2017 at 11:54 AM

          Agree on Godin. He’s a posterboy for NOT burning through redshirts. Some of these guys won’t contribute much early, but can be assets while younger talent comes around

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 6285
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Aug 15, 2017 at 12:31 PM

            Yes if you aren’t good enough to contribute as a freshman or sophomore – and Godin wasn’t – a red-shirt makes sense.

            I think in the case of Kemp he was probably going to get some meaningful snaps if one of the DEs went down. The other options were Marshall or Jones or a walk-on. So – I think they wanted Kemp as a ready option if he needed to be drawn into the lineup due to injury. That injury never happened – it doesn’t mean the red-shirt was a bad idea.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 6285
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Aug 15, 2017 at 12:33 PM

              More importantly they were expecting Kemp to be a significant contributor this year. Getting him on the field for some snaps last year helps him be ready for this year.

              It’s not always about how many stats they put up in year 1, it’s about getting on the field and seeing what playing in front of 100K takes.

              I think the coaches would make the case that the “burned red-shirt” last year helped Kemp be ready-if-needed in 2016 and helped him be a better contributor in 2017.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1863
                Joined: 1/19/2016
                je93
                Aug 15, 2017 at 12:47 PM

                No argument on Kemp. But others who played in a game or two –and still aren’t looking to contribute– could have kept their shirt

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 6285
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Aug 15, 2017 at 1:00 PM

                  I think you can make a case for most of them though there are probably 1 or 2 head-scrathers that I would agree should have red-shirted. Not sure who that is specifically.

                  Mbem-Bosse?

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1364
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Aug 15, 2017 at 1:14 PM

                The other side of that is that we lost a whole year of his eligibility, and didn’t get a year’s worth of contribution out of him, and also didn’t advance his development by a year more than where it would have been now if he hadn’t played at all last year.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 6285
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Aug 15, 2017 at 2:43 PM

                  Yes and the other side of that is that you get more recruits through your program, can sell immediate playing time to them, and avoid getting negatively recruited as a place that sits most of their freshman.

                  Faster development,more recruits, better recruits vs getting a 5th year out of guys who are generally not All-American caliber anyway.

                  In the day and age of 5th year free agency (grad transfers) I think the benefit/cost ratio has shifted towards playing any capable freshman. Harbaugh and Meyer seem to be on the same page here as well.

                  You red-shirt the guys who very clearly aren’t ready to contribute. Other than OL and QB most of the time those guys aren’t going to be impact players anyway. DL excepted perhaps.

                  Keep expecting more roster turnover, grad transfers,freshman contributors, large recruiting classes for the foreseeable future.

                  You want us to be Alabama – we’re trying.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 182
                Joined: 9/15/2015
                ragingbull
                Aug 15, 2017 at 5:34 PM

                2 great points in these 2 posts…some will question playing guys like kemp, hill, onwenu, etc but if you think they may need to contribute (even after 1-2 injuries) in 2016 or if theyre projected to be starters or in competition as legit rotation players in 2017 then it makes sense to gain that experience. even limited experience can really further development and help (especially mentally) when rolling into bowl season, spring ball and then camp of that next season when expected to contribute.

                as you mentioned, even if stats and impact of true frosh are low to nil, PT allows those dudes to get a feel for playing on the big stage…they can understand and feel the process of preparing during the weeks as legit saturday options, attending road games and experiencing that whole process not just as travel players but players whose # may actually be called, etc….its a great attitude and culture to have in your facilities and it builds.
                meritocracy baby!…its constant and they grade everything…thats not something easily switched off / on as its program wide and rules daily ops. even freshmen attend every practice, workout, meeting, etc knowing if they bust it and remain constantly locked in theres a chance to earn PT and help the team…its a beautiful thing.

                in retrospect there will always be some guys you (both fans and staff and even player) wish wouldve redshirted and retained a year of eligibility to contribute and bolster depth down the line…thats just the way it goes and a function of how elite programs typically manage rosters now, young talent plays early and teams sign as many gifted prospects as possible.

                plenty of cats matriculate through whod have been more useful as 5th year players than 1st years, its the nature of the game…but you have to trust your talent ID, recruiting, player development and ability of young players to make impacts, if you wanna be top program that is. trust youll be able to get inexperienced guys up to speed and stepping in to contribute for those potential 5th years (at all times and across all 4-5 classes of the program)…you may have 3 seniors earning and remaining for 5th years or 12 of them but gotta trust your process knowing youll likely wish you redshirted a guy or 3 rather than playing as frosh…bc thats the game at highest level.

                kemp will be good this year and no doubt hed be a great asset as 5th year player with more relative value to the team in 5th year vs 1st year…unfortunately its not that easy…he could be much different player this year without last years experience, especially early on since there are no cupcakes and hell likely be relied on to hold his own week 1 vs athletic gator squad.

                guys like gedeon, stribling, godin, etc obviously wouldve been great to have as 5th year players if possible…but they may not have been as impactful during years 3-4 if not for the more limited PT (and practice reps, attitude, mental game, etc associated with it) during years 1-2…the trajectory of their development may have differed were they not minor contributors early on (though of course maybe not). careful balance. thankfully this staff knows how to read their players and determine whats best for individual development and team success and demonstrated an ability to get it right more often than not

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1364
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      WindyCityBlue
      Aug 15, 2017 at 10:07 AM

      Agreed…not sure you can justify putting a non-starter, even a rotation guy, ahead of players you project as starters. Once you get through the starters, then yeah, your rotation pass rushers should be high on the list after that.

      This is a guy I think we’re really going to regret not having saved his redshirt. He’s going to be very good, starting this year.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 33
    Joined: 8/21/2015
    AA7596
    Aug 14, 2017 at 11:14 PM

    Good call on this ranking. Lanknows has a point, but the rankings shouldn’t just be a reflection of where the roster is thinnest. They should also be about which players you think are going to show out.

    On a team as young as this, there are bound to be guys who take a massive leap forward (and who disappoint). Kemp is as good a bet as any to make that jump. And if he does that, it doesn’t matter what’s (theoretically) behind him—he’s important.

    Look at it this way: If Kemp is second on the team in sacks this season—like Winovich was last year—is he the 30th-most valuable guy on the team? Or is he quite a bit higher?

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1863
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Aug 14, 2017 at 11:34 PM

      This is in fact, a year like none other. With all this youth, a player can arguably fall between 10-20 spots

      We all know you’re busy Thunder, and appreciate the work put into this!

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 15, 2017 at 12:00 AM

        Agreed on both fronts. This is a year that’s harder to evaluate than most. So many new starters. So many freshman expected to have big roles. Loaded recruiting classes at LB, WR, DL. Huge needs at CB and OL. etc.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3849
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Aug 15, 2017 at 7:55 AM

        Thanks, je93.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 14, 2017 at 11:59 PM

      I think it’s tough to make a case that Winovich was 18th last year and I think it’s pretty unlikely Kemp plays near enough to be #2 in sacks.

      I don’t mean to sound like a Kemp hater — I’m very excited about him and like what he can do. I think he can help at both DE spots if they need him to. I just don’t think he’s close to being a top 20 player, even if he makes the leap most insiders are expecting.

      We’re just in the range now where being a depth player isn’t nearly enough. This is a spot where guys falling off or stepping up can change the season’s outcome.

  3. JC
    Comments: 313
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    JC
    Aug 15, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Don’t hate the spot, don’t love the spot.

    I like your thought of rotating DL. My buddy and I BS about how many DL you need in the rotation for a championship team. We’ve concluded it’s 7 based on our BSing and empirical evidence from actual championship teams. 7 DL are in your top 26, and I feel they should be comfortably within the top 30. But, I think Kemp should be behind Solomon and Dwumfor.

  4. Lanknows
    Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 15, 2017 at 3:06 PM

    Are we really sure Kemp can’t get a red-shirt?

You must belogged in to post a comment.