Breeon Ishmail, Wolverine

Breeon Ishmail, Wolverine

November 26, 2022
Cincinnati (OH) Princeton LB Breeon Ishmail (image via 247 Sports)

Cincinnati (OH) Princeton linebacker Breeon Ishmail committed to Michigan on Black Friday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Cincinnati, Kentucky, Pitt, Purdue, and Tennessee, among others.

Ishmail is listed at 6’4″ and 220 lbs. As a senior in 2022, he made 64 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks.

ESPN: 3-star, 76 grade, #71 OLB
On3: 3-star, 83 grade, #116 ATH
Rivals: 3-star ATH, 5.6 grade
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #88 LB

Hit the jump for more.

Ishmail spent his first three high school seasons at Hamilton (OH) Hamilton before transferring to Cincinnati (OH) Princeton as a senior and was offered by Michigan in late October. Things moved rather quickly as he took a visit to Ann Arbor for the Nebraska game last weekend. He pulled the trigger on his commitment almost exactly one month after receiving the offer.

Ishmail is a tall linebacker and a relatively recent convert to being a full-time player on defense, having spent some time at receiver earlier in his career. Now listed at 6’4″ and 220 lbs., he has begun to fill out but still has room to grow. He shows good speed and aggression. When he sees where the ball is and can make a beeline for it, the traits are there to track plays down and lay a blow when he gets there.

The instincts at linebacker are lacking, which is not surprising, considering his relative lack of experience. He tends to just bounce until the direction of the play is declared, and then he takes off like mad. That made me turn a side eye to early reports that he was being recruited as an inside linebacker, because those instincts for diagnosing plays need to be there. He also has a tendency to narrow his feet and get high when facing ball carriers head on, and he does not have a natural instinct to bend off the edge as a pass rusher. If an offensive lineman gets his hands on him, Ishmail will sometimes slow up and just run past the play rather than selling out to get the runner.

Overall, Ishmail has potential as an outside linebacker or edge rusher. He needs to get stronger, work on his technique, and develop counter moves, as well as improve his ability to finish plays. He reminds me a little of Jaylen Harrell because I don’t think he will ever be an elite edge rusher, but he has upside as a guy who can hold the edge, make some plays in the run game, and occasionally apply pressure.

Michigan has not landed a player from Princeton since the 1980s, and the last commit to come from the Buckeye State was safety Rod Moore in the 2021 class. He may serve as insurance for edge defenders Collins Acheampong and Enow Etta, both of whom are rumored to be exploring other options.

TTB Rating: 71

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