Harper Woods (MI) Harper Woods safety Jacob Oden, a 2024 prospect, committed to Michigan on Thursday evening. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Iowa, Michigan State, Penn State, Tennessee, and others.
Oden is listed at 6’1″ and 188 lbs.
ESPN: 4-star, 82 grade, #13 S, #153 overall
On3: 4-star, 90 grade, #22 S, #247 overall
Rivals: 4-star, 5.8 grade, #13 S, #132 overall
247 Sports: 4-star, 90 grade, #24 ATH, #191 overall
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Oden is the son of former Michigan walk-on fullback Rod Oden, who is the head coach at Harper Woods. As a Michigan legacy, it always seemed like Michigan should have a leg up on the competition, but there was a stretch last year where it seemed like Michigan State pulled into the lead. But with MSU’s struggles on the field and Oden’s family connection to Ann Arbor, the Wolverines ended up pulling ahead, and things have been trending toward Michigan for the past few months.
Oden is a strong athlete, and you can see that with how he plays through contact. Many of his highlights take place at wide receiver, and he has the strength and balance to plow through tacklers and keep plays alive. When he gets in the open field, he has good speed and runs pretty smoothly. He adjusts pretty well when the ball is in the air. From a defensive perspective, he’s very physical and should be a good tackler.
On the negative side, there’s not a whole lot of nuance to Oden’s game. He doesn’t change direction or flip his hips extremely well. With the ball in his hands, he doesn’t show much elusiveness. As a route runner, his routes are pretty rudimentary and he does not run crisp routes or set them up very well; he just kind of goes where the route is supposed to take him, which works most of the time because he’s an FBS athlete.
Overall, I think Oden is headed for safety at the next level. He has the speed to play corner or receiver, but he doesn’t have the hips or skill to excel at either of those positions. He reminds me a little bit of current Michigan safety Makari Paige; Paige is taller, but both are just physical players with good speed who don’t necessarily have a ton of skill ability.
Michigan now has six commitments in the class of 2024, and Oden is the first in-state player to pledge to the Wolverines. He’s also the first defensive back. He would be the first ever player from Harper Woods to suit up for Michigan (his dad attended Detroit Northwestern), which is pretty amazing considering the school opened in 1951.
TTB Rating: 80
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