Boulder (CO) Fairview defensive end Carlo Kemp committed to Michigan on Sunday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Nebraska, Notre Dame, UCLA, and Washington, among others.
Kemp stands 6’4″, 255 lbs. As a senior in 2015, he has 70 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 1 blocked field goal; he also has 6 catches for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus 27 carries for 97 yards (3.6 yards/carry) and 2 touchdowns as a fullback.
ESPN: 4-star, 80 grade, #42 DE
Rivals: 4-star, #9 WDE, #203 overall
Scout: 4-star, #37 DE
247 Sports: 3-star, 87 grade, #30 SDE, #590 overall
Hit the jump for the rest of the commitment post.
Kemp was offered by Michigan in the spring, and he visited Michigan for the BBQ at the Big House in early August. He became pretty close with Michigan commit Ben Bredeson, who also had Notre Dame high on his list. Kemp returned to Ann Arbor for an official visit in September when Michigan shut out BYU in a 31-0 victory. He also took an official visit to South Bend, and his decision came down to those two schools and Colorado; however, the hometown Buffaloes mainly seemed like a sentimental member of his final three and not an actual threat. Kemp wanted to commit by the end of his senior season, but he took a week or two longer than originally intended so he could be sure to make the right decision. Then the announcement came on Sunday afternoon.
Recruited as a Buck linebacker (a.k.a. weakside end), Kemp has very good size for the position. He is thickly built and should not need much marinating time before he’s ready to contribute physically. His high school team moves him around quite a bit from defensive end to defensive tackle to standup outside linebacker to inside linebacker, so he has been well prepared for what the Buck linebacker position will require of him at the next level. When he plays with his hand in the dirt, he has a low stance that’s reminiscent of former Michigan defensive end Craig Roh coming out of high school. He has a decent first step, and he does a good job of using his hands to disengage from blockers. Kemp is also very physical, a destructive blitzer on the interior, and a hard hitter.
Kemp has a decent first step, but he tends to stand up too high. He also does not run his feet on contact with ball carriers as well as I would like to see; instead, he tries to drag them down with his weight. He does not have great speed or change-of-direction skills, so I think he is somewhat limited as an edge rusher. There is also a chance that as his body fills out, he could outgrow the weakside end position and end up on the strong side. He will need to improve his reads, too, as he can be a beat slow in reacting.
Overall, I like the addition of Kemp to the class. He is a piece of the puzzle. I think Michigan needs a speed rusher, and Kemp isn’t that guy. However, Michigan does a great deal of moving the Buck linebacker around, running stunts, and blitzing him inside, and Kemp should be very good at that. He’s big enough and athletic enough to tear through blocking backs, and he should also fare well against offensive linemen who try to pick him as he gathers a full head of steam. Michigan does a lot of rotation in their front seven, so it would be nice to pair Kemp with a player who can be more of a threat off the edge.
When Farmington Hills (MI) Harrison defensive end Khalid Kareem decommitted from Alabama, many thought that Michigan might jump back in the mix. However, the coaching staff felt good enough about Kemp not to pursue Kareem (who ended up committing to Notre Dame), whom Michigan was previously recruited as both a Buck and a strongside end. Michigan also backed off on a couple other Buck linebackers. The Wolverines might continue to pursue one or two other top targets at the position, but they could very well sit tight if those guys go elsewhere.
Michigan now has 21 commitments in the 2016 class. Kemp is the third defensive end, joining Ron Johnson, Jr. and Rashad Weaver. His head coach at Fairview is Tom McCartney, the son of former Michigan assistant coach Bill McCartney. The last player from Colorado to commit to Michigan was 2013 offensive guard Chris Fox from Parker (CO) Ponderosa, who took a medical scholarship after a chronic knee injury.
TTB Rating: 79 (ratings explanation)
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