Deerfield Beach (FL) Deerfield Beach defensive end Elias Rudolph committed to Michigan on Monday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Ohio State, Penn State, and others.
Rudolph is listed at 6’4″ and 205 lbs.
ESPN: 4-star, 81 grade, #29 DE, #239 overall
On3: 3-star, 89 grade, #38 edge
Rivals: 4-star, 5.8 grade, #13 WDE, #219 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 90 grade, #19 edge
Hit the jump for more.
Michigan offered Rudolph back in April of 2022, but an Ohio State offer in July made me think, “Surely this Ohio kid with an Ohio State offer will be playing his college ball in Columbus.” Wait, did I say he’s from Florida above? Not so fast, my friend. Rudolph attended Cincinnati (OH) Taft through this past fall and then transferred to Deerfield Beach, which is where Denard Robinson attended. Anyway, for the past few months, it seemed like things were warming up with Michigan through an unofficial visit and then an official during the second week of June. Michigan insiders have been confident that the Wolverines would be the pick on his planned commitment date of July 3, and that came to fruition.
There’s a lot to like about Rudolph’s film, and the first thing that stands out is just his overall athleticism. Also a basketball player, his burst off the ball and his closing speed are going to be assets. He also shows off a spin move in his pass rush that is so quick that high school offensive tackles can’t handle it. He mostly plays right defensive end in a 3-3-5 defense, but the coaches occasionally move him inside to nose tackle to use his quickness to befuddle slower interior blockers, too. After a few clips, though, the thing I like most is his ability to get low, get on the legs, and dip his shoulder to turn the corner.
The obvious glaring question mark is his bulk. Rudolph is listed at 205 pounds, and he probably needs to add at least 40 pounds before becoming a feasible option on the field in the Big Ten. He’s a beast on the high school field, but he doesn’t even look imposing against central Ohio 17-year-olds. When he adds strength, he will need to work on a few more moves so he can hold up against quicker, bigger college offensive tackles; right now his spin and rip moves are the only two he relies on with regularity.
Overall, Rudolph is an exciting piece of the puzzle for a program that has produced some tantalizing edge rushers in recent years, including Chase Winovich, Josh Uche, David Ojabo, and Aidan Hutchinson. Rudolph is probably more Uche than anyone else; Uche was listed at 6’2″, 212 lbs. coming out of high school, and his quickness and ability to bend indicated he could be a successful edge rusher. He made 8.5 sacks as a senior at Michigan and now has 15.5 career sacks through three years with the New England Patriots. Rudolph will probably end up playing outside linebacker at Michigan, using his quickness to rush and occasionally drop into coverage.
Michigan now has 25 commitments in the class of 2024. Several players can duke it out for edge rushing duties, including Rudolph, Devon Baxter (LINK), Jaden Smith (LINK), Dominic Nichols (LINK), perhaps Mason Curtis (LINK), and perhaps Cole Sullivan (LINK).
The last time Michigan landed a player from Deerfield Beach was Denard Robinson in 2009. But there has been some talk that Rudolph will end up back in Ohio before his senior year begins. Michigan has not signed a player from Taft since fullback Joseph Mosketti in the late 1970s.
TTB Rating: 84
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