Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy center Greg Crippen committed to Michigan on Wednesday. The former Notre Dame commit picked the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State, and USC, among others.
Crippen is listed at 6’4″ and 285 lbs. He claims a 5.46 forty, a 4.93 shuttle, and a 22.8″ vertical.
ESPN: 4-star, 80 grade, #14 OG, #290 overall
Rivals: 4-star, 5.9 grade, #5 OG, #129 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 90 grade, #13 OG
Hit the jump for more.
Crippen, who was offered when he was in the Boston area, was high on Michigan early. He transferred to IMG Academy prior to his junior year, and his recruitment seemed to be a Notre Dame vs. Michigan battle from the beginning. It was a little surprising when he pledged to the Fighting Irish, but then rumors started to swirl that the commitment would not last. It has been known for a long time that he would decommit, which he did a couple weeks ago, and that Michigan was the front-runner for his services going forward.
On the plus side, Crippen has a good-sized frame. His listed height and weight seem pretty accurate, and he has room to fill out to a more desirable weight, probably around 305 lbs. or so. He shows a decent motor and willingness to get to the second level and then remain engaged. He also does a good job of combo blocking and redirecting to locate his secondary block.
On the negative side, I see some athletic and technical deficiencies. There are too many times where he pops straight up out of his stance, especially when releasing to the second level immediately. That results in his feet getting too narrow and his getting off balance. He does not do a good job of keeping his shoulders square to give the runner a two-way go, and he gives up too much ground in pass protection. I’m not sure that he has the consistent ability to stay low and drive block 300-pounders out of the hole at the next level. He lunges too much with his upper body rather than keeping a low center of gravity.
Overall, Crippen is an average prospect, regardless of his rating. He has potential to grow into a decent player if he really commits himself to improvement, but there’s a lot to fix, and he doesn’t show either the athleticism or physical dominance to really get me excited. When watching him I was reminded of former Michigan lineman Patrick Kugler, who struggled mightily while wearing a winged helmet.
Michigan now has three commits in the 2021 class, joining QB J.J. McCarthy and OT Giovanni El-Hadi. With redshirt freshman Zach Carpenter looking like the front-runner to man the center position in 2020, there should be two or three seasons for Crippen to mature while waiting in the wings. He is the first commit from IMG Academy since center Cesar Ruiz and linebacker Jordan Anthony picked the Wolverines in the 2017 class.
TTB Rating: I am not assigning TTB Ratings until I finish with the 2020 class.
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