2019 Season Countdown: #13 Carlo Kemp

2019 Season Countdown: #13 Carlo Kemp


August 19, 2019
Carlo Kemp (#2, image via MGoBlue)

Name: Carlo Kemp
Height:
6’3″
Weight:
286 lbs.
High school:
Boulder (CO) Fairview
Position:
Defensive tackle
Class:
Senior
Jersey number:
#2
Last year:
I ranked Kemp #37 and said he would be a backup strongside end and defensive tackle (LINK). He started twelve games, making 17 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 0.5 sacks.
TTB Rating:
84

From the perspective of pure playing time, Kemp made quite a leap in 2018. He went from a mediocre backup in 2017 to a part-time starter in 2018, and he went from being a backup defensive end to basically a full-time defensive tackle. It’s arguable how much of an impact he made, however. He finished the year with 17 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and 0.5 sacks over twelve starts. On pace for roughly 1.5 tackles per game and 1 sack every 24 starts, not many offensive linemen lined up across from him are afraid going into their matchup.

The loss of three defensive tackles boosts Kemp’s importance, and by all accounts, he’s a standout leader. Some have suggested that he should be a captain, along with rumblings about Khaleke Hudson, Josh Metellus, and others. I have little doubt about his leadership; those traits were discussed during his recruitment. He grew up in a football family (he’s the nephew of Chuck Pagano and John Pagano, both long-time NFLers) and knows the commitment it takes to succeed at a high level in football.

Unfortunately, Kemp is lacking in a couple areas. One is explosion. The other is size. He’s expected to play nose tackle, a position normally reserved for 330+ pound behemoths. When not that, they’re lighter but lightning quick. Aside from his positive leadership qualities, Kemp is basically just a guy. He will occasionally slice into a backfield and make a play, but he would be ranked lower if Michigan could afford to lose defensive tackles and still chug along. As things stand right now, Kemp is a fairly important piece of the defensive puzzle, since the interior line starts to dissolve into freshmen rather quickly after the first three guys.

Prediction: Starting nose tackle; 25 tackles, 1.5 sacks

33 comments

  1. Lanknows
    Comments: 5445
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 19, 2019 at 3:09 PM

    Kemp may not be an all-conference performer or much of an NFL prospect but I agree he is a critical player. When you have a hole at one position group, a steady contributor is impactful. Michigan so badly needs one of their DTs to consistently execute their assignments.

  2. Avatar
    Comments: 1262
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    WindyCityBlue
    Aug 19, 2019 at 3:18 PM

    Kemp is a prime example of why trying to beef up DEs instead of recruiting true defensive tackles is not a great plan at this level. Too often you end up with tweeners who would be fine in the MAC, but who just can’t get the job done at a top ten level, and even if they can, you’re lucky to get more than 1 quality year out of them.

    • JC
      Comments: 258
      Joined: 8/17/2015
      JC
      Aug 19, 2019 at 4:29 PM

      I think Kemp is willing to help his team out however he can. They started him off at linebacker, moved him to DE, then moved him inside. That helps this team out. Our team is light on interior DL. I don’t think Kemp is a superstar, I don’t think he’ll become a superstar, but to say he’s a mac-caliber player is dishonest and harsh.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3317
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Aug 19, 2019 at 7:27 PM

        I mean, he’s starting on a Big Ten squad for (presumably) one of the top defenses in the country, or at least in the Big Ten. He’s literally a Big Ten-caliber player.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1262
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          WindyCityBlue
          Aug 19, 2019 at 8:21 PM

          By that logic, Nick Sheridan was literally a Big Ten caliber QB, since he was the starter on a Big Ten team.

          Who has Kemp beaten out to win a starting job?

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 5445
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Aug 19, 2019 at 8:26 PM

            That was not one of the top offenses in the country. Far from it.

          • Thunder
            Comments: 3317
            Joined: 7/13/2015
            Aug 19, 2019 at 8:27 PM

            Notice I said that he’s playing for one of the top defenses in the country. Sheridan was not playing for a good offense.

            • Avatar
              Comments: 1262
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              WindyCityBlue
              Aug 19, 2019 at 8:39 PM

              No, you said he was playing for what you were presuming would be a top defense in the country. And then you hedged and said “or at least in the Big Ten”. But that’s the question, isn’t it? How good Kemp is actually going to make this defense. This may be no better than the 4th best defense in the conference, and far below that in national rankings, which puts us right back where we’ve been in the standings every year under Harbaugh.

              So what are the qualifications to be “literally a Big Ten caliber player”?

              • Thunder
                Comments: 3317
                Joined: 7/13/2015
                Aug 19, 2019 at 8:43 PM

                Nationally, Michigan has been #2, #3, T-#1, and #4 in total defense since Jim Harbaugh has been at Michigan.

                Sure, they might be the 4th best defense in the conference…

                • Avatar
                  Comments: 1262
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  WindyCityBlue
                  Aug 19, 2019 at 9:06 PM

                  And that’s relevant to this year…how?

                  Still waiting for you to tell us the qualifications to be “literally a Big Ten caliber player”.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3317
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Aug 19, 2019 at 9:21 PM

                  I already said it.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1262
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Aug 19, 2019 at 8:19 PM

        It’s all fine to say he’s “willing” and I’m sure he is, but that doesn’t make him the kind of DT we need. I’m saying he’d be a star in the MAC, but is not a star-caliber player at the level we want Michigan to be playing, against the kind of competition we’ll be seeing almost every week.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 338
      Joined: 12/24/2016
      INTJohn
      Aug 19, 2019 at 4:58 PM

      Ummm, didn’t Michigan recruit & sign a 5 star DT named Solomon who for some reason completely unknown to me but maybe known by others, ahhh, left for parts farther south…….

      Part of why maybe Kemp is now a DT? Idk but 5 star DT Solomon was recruited by Michigan…… maybe others?

      Idk……….intjohn

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5445
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 19, 2019 at 6:33 PM

      The 3 DT recruits in the ’17 class (Solomon, Hudson, Paea) aren’t in the rotation while a converted DE (Jeter) is. The single DT in the ’16 class (Dwumfour) has trouble staying healthy and struggles against the run, ironically.

      Jeter and Kemp are solutions, not problems.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3317
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Aug 19, 2019 at 7:33 PM

        Rivals listed Jeter as a defensive tackle, and I said he would end up there, too. ESPN and 247 had him as a defensive end.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5445
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Aug 19, 2019 at 8:20 PM

          True but we recruit a lot of anchor DE/DT types who could go either way. Jeter weighed 255 on rivals which is lighter than Wormley, Gary, and Hutchinson weighed coming out of HS.

          I would guess he was not exactly the kind of player WCB is talking about when he grumbles about recruiting ‘true DT’.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1262
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Aug 19, 2019 at 8:34 PM

            Look at what the really successful teams do in their recruiting. Take a look at how Clemson recruits on the Dline. They don’t blow off recruiting true DTs and cross their fingers that their DEs can beef up and get the job done by their 4th or 5th year. Unless you have a really small class, you should try to sign 2 true DTs every year. If you happen to get a DE that beefs up and can move inside effectively, fine and dandy, but it’s stupid to depend on it. That’s like recruiting tight ends and hoping they beef up enough to play OT.

            For someone who favors such heavy over-recruiting on the Oline, where you don’t rotate, it’s hard to understand why you’re happy rolling the dice on the Dline, where you really need 4 quality guys on the inside, and at least a couple of studs, if you’re going to win championships.

            • Thunder
              Comments: 3317
              Joined: 7/13/2015
              Aug 19, 2019 at 8:41 PM

              LOL. I just looked through the last four recruiting classes for both Michigan and Clemson. Michigan brought in 7 defensive tackles (according to 247) from 2016-2019. Clemson brought in…7 defensive tackles (according to 247) from 2016-2019.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1262
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Aug 19, 2019 at 9:01 PM

                2015 DT recruits:
                Clemson-4 Michigan-0
                2016 DT recruits
                Clemson-3 Michigan-1 (did you think I wouldn’t notice that you tried to count Gary, who was a DE all the way?)
                2017 DT recruits
                Clemson-0 Michigan-3
                2018 DT recruits
                Clemson-2 Michigan-0
                2019 DT recruits
                Clemson-2 Michigan-2
                2020 DT recruits
                Clemson-3 Michigan-0

                Total for the last 6 years, Clemson-14, Michigan-6. And that’s just numbers, not even taking into account talent level. Please, try to argue again that the DT position hasn’t been badly under-recruited by Michigan. I can use the laugh.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3317
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Aug 19, 2019 at 9:19 PM

                  LOL regarding Rashan Gary. I said he was listed by 247 as a DT, just like the guys listed for Clemson.

                  One guy listed as a DT for Clemson was Matthew Ryan…who was a center. So fine, take one away from Michigan…and take one away from Clemson. That’s 6 and 6 instead of 7 and 7.

                  The 2020 class isn’t complete, and the 2015 class was a transitional class with about a month to make anything happen. The only classes that are relevant at the moment are 2016-2019, and they recruited the same exact number of recruits listed as defensive tackles. You’re just spewing bulls***.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3317
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Aug 19, 2019 at 9:21 PM

                  P.S. The official Clemson profile for Matthew Ryan says he was originally a walk-on, so that wasn’t even a scholarship recruit. Michigan recruited 6 defensive tackles AND Rashan Gary, and Clemson recruited 6 defensive tackles AND walk-on center Matthew Ryan.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 1262
                Joined: 8/11/2015
                WindyCityBlue
                Aug 20, 2019 at 9:11 AM

                Fine, put Gary back in and take Ryan out for Clemson. By your standards, that’s 13 for Clemson and 7 for Michigan. Tell us with a straight face that 7 DT recruits in 6 years is enough for a position where you want 4 playable guys all time.

                2015 recruits would be fifth year seniors this year, so yeah, they’re relevant. And even if 2015 isn’t Harbaugh’s class, he did nothing much in 2016 to make up the deficiency. 2020 is basically done. We’re not seriously in the running for anyone but low-rated projects at DT, if that.

                So 13-7 over 6 years. What you call bullshit, I call counting.

                • Thunder
                  Comments: 3317
                  Joined: 7/13/2015
                  Aug 20, 2019 at 12:11 PM

                  The bulls*** is what you’re counting. I can count extra things, too. I have a million page visits a month…as long as you include people seeing my comments over at MGoBlog, too.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 5445
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Aug 20, 2019 at 1:31 PM

                  Including 2015 is reasonable but 2020 is not. 2020 is still many months from signing day. The point about not making up for 2015 transition is reasonable though – we’ve been through 4 full years since Harbaugh arrived.

                  ————————

                  That would put it at 10-7 which is 3 guys but also almost 50% more. Do the DE/DT hybrid recruits make up for that? Hard to say.

                  If you really want to make a point here WCB you need to include more than just Clemson and pick a consistent methodology. Include Alabama, OSU, Florida, MSU and other consistently elite defensive programs. Otherwise it’s just another “everyone sucks except Alabama” post with the name changed for cover.

                  In terms of methodology you have to pick one. Gary counts – he absolutely could have played DT and arguably should have given how things shook out with Hudson, Solomon, Dwumfour in 2018.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 5445
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Aug 19, 2019 at 11:48 PM

              This has nothing to do with numbers, it’s about player types.

              I support taking tall athletic OT prospects who will take a few years to fill out and develop. I support taking big athletic ends who will take a few years to fill out and develop. Most linemen get bigger.

              I have no qualm with taking more true DTs but I don’t want the numbers coming at the expense of big DEs like Wormley, Gary, Jeter, etc. Take from the surplus of RBs, LBs, TEs, etc.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1262
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        WindyCityBlue
        Aug 19, 2019 at 8:23 PM

        Jeter and Kemp are backup plans that everyone is crossing their fingers about and trying to convince themselves that coaching hype will pan out.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 5445
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Aug 19, 2019 at 8:29 PM

          Jeter isn’t a backup plan. Neither is Kemp though he probably was slated for anchor rather than inside. A good team will develop positional flexibility in case things go sideways — which they have certainly done with the ‘true DT’ recruits you are saying we need more of.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 1262
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            WindyCityBlue
            Aug 19, 2019 at 8:47 PM

            In a sense, I suppose not, since they had NO other plan. We had no DT recruits in 2015, one project DT in 2016 (Dwumfour), and none in 2018. It’s hardly surprising that we’re having to cross our fingers that a couple of converted DEs can hold the line together this year.

  3. Lanknows
    Comments: 5445
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 20, 2019 at 3:00 PM

    This is a pretty nifty looking tool. Gives you an idea of Michigan’s recruiting talent ranks nationally by position group.

    https://public.tableau.com/shared/J7MM5W4NY?:display_count=yes&:origin=viz_share_link&:showVizHome=no

    RB is by far the lowest: 27th in the country. We’ll see if it matters – my hypothesis is it won’t — Michigan will have it’s best rushing season in a long time despite the change.

    QB and OL are Michigan’s talent strengths. #1 and #5 respectively.

    The median rank for positional talent is 15 – which is pretty good. WR is right there, presumably because of the many 3-star sleepers brought in around the loaded 2017 class.

    Pertinent to this debate: DL is also pretty strong at #12.

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