St. Joseph (MI) St. Joseph defensive end Corey Malone-Hatcher committed to Michigan on Thursday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, UCLA, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin, among others.
Malone-Hatcher stands 6’3″, 246 lbs. and claims a 4.79 forty. He also has a 425 lb. bench press and a 600 lb. squat.
ESPN: 4-star, 80 grade, #20 DE, #254 overall
Rivals: 4-star, #13 SDE
Scout: 4-star, #24 DE, #287 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 92 grade, #12 WDE, #169 overall
Hit the jump for more on Malone-Hatcher’s commitment.
Michigan offered Malone-Hatcher in November of his sophomore year, and his recruitment was thought to be a Michigan vs. Alabama battle since his family has ties to the Yellowhammer State. Things have been trending toward Michigan for months, and it was no surprise that he picked the Wolverines when Thursday afternoon came. In fact, my first Crystal Ball prediction after I got permission was for Malone-Hatcher to pick the Wolverines.
Earlier this week, I posted my players ranked #6-10 in the state (LINK), and Malone-Hatcher came in at #10. He’s a solidly built player who has good measurables for a defensive end. He’s very strong and stout at the point of attack. He played a lot of linebacker last season, and he stops a lot of fullbacks dead in their tracks when they try lead block against him. His Hudl page lists him at 6’4″ and recruiting sites have him at 6’3″, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s about 6’2″. He has a low center of gravity, and he’s tough at the point of attack because of that strength. He has a bit of lateral quickness that allows him to be a threat spiking inside on designed stunts. He can also be a violent body tackler who makes solid contact. Watching him brings back memories of Frank Clark clobbering Braxton Miller.
I think Malone-Hatcher has a lot to work on for the next level, though. His stance at defensive end isn’t optimal, and even at linebacker, he starts off with his hands on his knees. He has a bit of a bowlegged gait, and he has missed some time with nagging foot/ankle issues. I wonder if his natural physiological makeup might hamper him going forward. He needs to improve the use of his hands, as he is sometimes slow to shed blockers and unleash pass rush moves. I also think overall quickness might be an issue and he could struggle to close out on quarterbacks and running backs.
Overall, Malone-Hatcher is a good prospect but not a game-changer, in my opinion. He has potential to improve if he works on some technical issues, but injuries and overall athleticism are a concern. Of course, his nagging lower leg issues might have been a partial cause of his uninspiring junior film, so maybe a healthy Malone-Hatcher would be a hair quicker. I think he’ll end up as a strongside end by the time everything is said and done, because he’s not a major threat as a speed rusher. I think his strength and leverage will be a benefit over the tight end.
Malone-Hatcher is the thirteenth commitment in the class of 2017 and the first defensive lineman. Michigan has 19 scholarships scheduled to open up after this season (LINK). He’s the fifth in-state commitment, joining TE Carter Dunaway, OT Ja’Raymond Hall, DT Phillip Paea, and LB Joshua Ross. The last player to be recruited to Michigan from St. Joseph was kicker Mike Gillette in the mid-1980s.
TTB Rating: 73 (ratings explanation)
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