Name: Phillip Paea
Weight: 302 lbs.
High school: Berrien Springs (MI) Berrien Springs
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #92
Last year: I ranked Paea #80 and said he would be a backup . . . somewhere (LINK). He did not play in any games.
TTB Rating: 68
Well, here we are on the brink of another season (or not) and Paea doesn’t appear to be any further along than he was last year at this time. Paea went from being a backup offensive lineman in 2018 to a backup defensive tackle in 2019. Michigan had a need for contributions on the interior of the defensive line, because they were relying on help from other unproven players, like freshman Chris Hinton and veteran Donovan Jeter.
This year the guys ahead of Paea appear to be all the same guys, except the departed Michael Dwumfour, who will be suiting up for Rutgers in 2020. There might even be some strongside defensive end types encroaching on defensive tackle playing time, such as Julius Welschof. Though there is opportunity once again for unproven players to step up, it’s unlikely that Paea will be one of them. Unless he has a breakthrough this season, this will probably be the finale of his Michigan career.
Prediction: Backup defensive tackle
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