Name: Chris Hinton, Jr.
Weight: 305 lbs.
High school: Norcross (GA) Greater Atlanta Christian
Position: Defensive tackle
Jersey number: #15
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: 90
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
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