Name: Phillip Paea
Weight: 275 lbs.
High school: Berrien Springs (MI) Berrien Springs
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #31
Last year: I ranked Paea #88 and said he would redshirt (LINK). He redshirted.
Paea looked to me like an offensive guard coming out of high school, and instead he’s hanging out at defensive tackle. On the one hand, Michigan doesn’t have a ton of depth at nose tackle, which is where Paea might be able to make an impact. The Wolverines have a pretty good combo of Bryan Mone, Aubrey Solomon, and Michael Dwumfour they can roll out at nose tackle and 3-tech. Otherwise, it’s a crap shoot to see who will play on the interior of the line, whether it’s Paea, Deron Irving-Bey, Donovan Jeter, or others. I have heard the least hype about Paea and believe he has the furthest to go of the interior linemen. He’s probably at least a year away from playing a significant role.
Prediction: Backup defensive tackle
UPDATE: Commenters are saying Paea has already moved to offensive guard, which I had heard from one random message board poster on another site but hadn’t seen confirmed. As you can tell from my post above, hooray! I still wouldn’t expect him to play much this season.
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