Cameron McGrone, Wolverine

Cameron McGrone, Wolverine

August 1, 2017

Cameron McGrone (image via 247 Sports)

Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence Central linebacker Cameron McGrone committed to the Michigan Wolverines on Monday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Purdue, among others.

McGrone is 6’1″, 215 lbs. He claims a 4.67 forty. He made 93 tackles and 4.5 sacks as a junior in 2016.

ESPN: 4-star, 80 grade, #14 OLB
Rivals: 4-star, #16 OLB
Scout: 4-star, #23 OLB, #335 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 96 grade, #3 OLB, #40 overall

Hit the jump for more on McGrone’s commitment.

McGrone suffered a torn ACL near the end of his junior season. Roughly six months later, he put up that 4.67 forty, earned an invite to The Opening, and eventually got a slot on the U.S. Army All-American Bowl team. He earned an offer from Michigan when he visited campus earlier this spring, and the Wolverines jumped out to the lead in his recruitment, including over the home state Fighting Irish.

McGrone’s blitzing is perhaps the best phase of his game, but it’s the way that he plays the ball carrier in the backfield that is most impressive. Some guys are mauling blitzers who just eat up everything coming their way, but McGrone plays with a low center of gravity that allows him to redirect and make plays all over in the backfield. Lawrence Central brings him from various angles, and he plays fast and reckless. He uses his hands well to shed blockers, and even when he gets caught up in the trash, he fights non-stop to shed. When he arrives at the ball carrier, he’s a violent hitter who runs through people. Unless he has hit a growth spurt, he has a solid frame but probably shouldn’t get too much larger than 235 lbs. or so in college, which is still a decent size.

On the negative side, McGrone has that injury history that can sometimes come back to repeat itself. It’s always concerning to have a guy who already tore an ACL. His play recognition skills need to improve, since he occasionally finds himself a half-step out of position on basic run reads. That may be partially the reason why his coaches choose to blitz him so often, to negate some read-and-react deficiencies.

Overall, I like McGrone quite a bit as an inside linebacker. Watching how much Michigan has blitzed Mike McCray and Ben Gedeon under Don Brown, I think it suits him to be in that position, rather than at the SAM or Viper position, which would take him out of the box. He needs to improve his play recognition, but that’s something that hopefully a college coaching staff can coax out of him.

Michigan now has 12 commits in the 2018 class, two of whom are linebackers. Georgia product Otis Reese is slated for the SAM/Viper role, and McGrone projects to be more of an inside guy. The staff may be done at linebacker since they took three players in that position group in 2017. Michigan last received a commitment from a Lawrence Central prospect in the 2015 class, when Darrin Kirkland, Jr. pledged to the Wolverines; he eventually flipped to Tennessee.

TTB Rating: 80 (ratings explanation)

One comment

  1. Comments: 528
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    Aug 03, 2017 at 12:21 AM

    Agree. Looks like he is physical and elusive enough to fight off blocks. Seems to be comfortable close to the line.

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