Name: Mazi Smith
Weight: 305 lbs.
High school: Kentwood (MI) East Kentwood
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #58
Last year: I ranked Smith #46 and said he would be a backup defensive tackle (LINK). He played in two games and redshirted.
TTB Rating: 86
Last year I overvalued defensive tackles, as evidenced by placing Donovan Jeter just behind Shea Patterson (LINK). That also came into play with Smith, whom I ranked #46 even though he ended up redshirting. I was not confident in the other defensive tackles, including starters Michael Dwumfour and Carlo Kemp, and I thought they would get complemented by heavier doses of Smith and Chris Hinton. Though Dwumfour was spotty, it was actually three-man lines and Jess Speight that stepped up the most.
According to off-season reports, Smith is in much better shape this year. He took plays off in high school, but going into his second year of college, he should be more ready to play with good technique consistently. That should be good news for a defensive interior that lacks size and depth. Michigan needs some 300-pounders to step up this year. I would expect Smith to play a backup role behind Kemp.
Prediction: Backup defensive tackle
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