2020 Season Countdown: #11 Chris Hinton, Jr.

2020 Season Countdown: #11 Chris Hinton, Jr.

October 6, 2020
Chris Hinton (image via Wolverines Wire)

Name: Chris Hinton, Jr.
305 lbs.
High school: 
Norcross (GA) Greater Atlanta Christian
Defensive tackle
Jersey number: 
Last year: 
I ranked Hinton #38 and said he would be a backup defensive tackle (LINK). He made 9 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss.
TTB Rating:

Hinton entered 2019 with some expectations to contribute immediately. He was an All-American with an NFL pedigree, and Michigan needed help at defensive tackle. Michael Dwumfour never fully developed (and has since transferred to Rutgers), and otherwise, Michigan was relying on position-switchers like Donovan Jeter, Carl Kemp, Jess Speight, and others to hold down the fort in the middle. It was a breath of fresh air to see two true defensive tackles recruited in the 2019 class (Hinton and Mazi Smith), but Hinton was more college-ready.

His play was not disappointing – defensive tackle is tough for freshmen – but he also didn’t really show many flashes of greatness, either. That doesn’t mean it won’t come. Hinton already showed some stoutness and made a few tackles, and I liked what I saw from him.

This season Hinton is up 20 pounds from where he started last year, and he has a year of technique and S&C under his belt. I went into the countdown thinking he and Kemp would be the starters on the interior, but recent news from insiders has Jeter pegged to start alongside Kemp. I don’t have a lot of trust in Jeter because of how he has underperformed, but I did like him as a prospect, so maybe the light finally came on. Either way, there’s a lot of rotation on the defensive line, so Hinton will play quite a bit. That size and toughness will be valuable inside when Michigan comes up against Wisconsin and Ohio State.

Prediction: Part-time starting nose tackle


  1. Comments: 1357
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Oct 06, 2020 at 7:14 AM

    Don Brown says there will be more 4 man fronts this year. Does Hinton play the Three Tech with four down linemen?

    I am significantly less concerned about this group than I was the last one, given a year to grow and learn.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Oct 08, 2020 at 12:12 PM

      I have more faith in Hinton than I had in Dwumfour, so yeah, I think the DT position will be improved in 2020.

      I do think Hinton is more of a 3-tech than a nose tackle.

  2. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Oct 06, 2020 at 11:36 AM

    I put Hinton a bit higher than this, even with Thomas, Collins, and McCaffrey removed, I think he’s one of the 10 most critical players to the team’s success.

    I’m very happy to hear the positive buzz around Jeter as a bulked up NT, but let’s remember some things – it comes from practice without pads, we’ve heard this before, the coaches may be playing motivational games. Those could include making Jeter the nominal starter to put heat under Hinton and they could be promising Jeter a bigger role than they actually envision to keep him around. I don’t know that any of this is happening I’m just approaching the Jeter hype with skepticism given he’s gotten good press for the fourth year in a row now and we’ve yet to see it translate.

    The top 10 this year has some room for make-or-break guys and Hinton seems like one of them. If he breaks out as legit starter or or Kemp-level rotation player, with maybe a few highlight plays here and there we’re in business. If not, and people like Jess Speight are playing, Kemp is being squeezed back down to NT, and Hutchinson is inside as often as outside, we’re going to be in trouble against Wisconsin and OSU.

    A Hinton breakout could be the difference between a year where we battle to stay above 500 and one where we go into OSU talking about how to get to the Big Ten championship.

  3. Comments: 1
    Oct 08, 2020 at 12:56 PM

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