Jaylen Harrell, Wolverine

Jaylen Harrell, Wolverine

December 11, 2019
Jaylen Harrell

Tampa (FL) Berkeley Prep defensive end Jaylen Harrell committed to Michigan on Wednesday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Penn State, among others.

Harrell is listed at 6’4″, 235 lbs.

ESPN: 4-star, 83 grade, #4 ILB, #172 overall
Rivals: 3-star, 5.7 grade, #33 OLB
247 Sports: 3-star, 88 grade, #20 WDE, #468 overall

Hit the jump for more on Harrell’s commitment.

Michigan offered Harrell in January of 2018. Michigan did not appear to be a big factor for much of his recruitment until recent months. He took an unofficial to Ann Arbor for the Ohio State game, and that was followed immediately by an official visit last weekend.

Harrell is a true weakside end, something Michigan has not recruited much of over the past couple years, despite the success of Chase Winovich and Josh Uche. His coaches move him around to various spots on the defense, including inside linebacker – and ESPN was silly enough to rank him there – but weakside end is where he projects. Harrell has good straight-line quickness, a plus get-off, and the ability to dip and rip coming around the corner.

Harrell lacks the elite change-of-direction skills that some guys have, so he’s not quite the same open-space terror. However, he has good length and power. Coming from the jack-of-all-trades position he plays in high school, he will have to work on his technique and recognition coming from a three-point stance more consistently.

Overall, Harrell is a good prospect in the mold of a Tim Jamison. Jamison made 18 sacks playing for the Wolverines from 2005-2008 and played a little bit in the NFL with the Texans. He had a good college career, but fans never really saw him reach his potential. Hopefully Michigan’s defensive staff helps Harrell get closer to his ceiling.

Michigan now has 23 commits in the class (if you’re looking at 247, I don’t count QB J.D. Johnson and RB Gaige Garcia). The other ends in the class (Braiden McGregor, Aaron Lewis, Kris Jenkins, Jr.) appear to be headed for strongside end or 3-tech, and returning backup Luiji Vilain was not particularly impressive in limited time this year. There may be immediate playing time available for Harrell when he arrives on campus.

After getting four commitments from Floridians in the 2019 class, Harrell is the first in 2020. He also represents the first player to pick Michigan from Berkeley Prep.

TTB Rating: 84


  1. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Dec 11, 2019 at 10:36 PM

    TJamison is a good comparison. What do you think of Wormley? No read that elsewhere, and got hopeful

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 12, 2019 at 7:40 AM

      I don’t see a Wormley comparison here.

  2. Comments: 295
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    Dec 12, 2019 at 11:53 AM

    Harrell seems like a tweener on the DL. I’m not seeing what others are on his highlights. He looks like he can dominate those weak O-lines he plays against (mostly unblocked). However, he is not overly quick and definitely not straight-ahead fast. He runs very strangely, almost like he lacks flexibility in his ankles. I really don’t think he’ll end up at weakside DE, instead I see him adding about 45-50 lbs and playing along DL.

    I do see some positives. He understands angles and wraps up well. It looks like he plays the run decently, which will benefit him on the DL! I barely remember Tim Jamison but those are decent stats. He’s definitely not Chase or Uche. Those guys have some twitch. He reminds me of a Carlo Kemp, someone who most people thought would be a DE but eventually everyone realized he wasn’t fast or quick enough so they threw on a bunch of bad weight and placed him on the defensive front.

    On the TTB scale, I’d rate him a 64.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Dec 12, 2019 at 2:37 PM

      I would guess anchor or DT also.

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 12, 2019 at 9:41 PM

      I wouldn’t be surprised if he bulks up and plays SDE eventually. That happens with a lot of weakside ends. Considering the other guys Michigan is bringing in, though, Harrell seems more likely to be a WDE, at least to start.

      I don’t see the thing about running funny, though. Maybe that’s just a perception thing because he’s playing middle linebacker. I bet Aaron Lewis and Gabe Newburg would look funny in a 2-point stance playing inside linebacker, too. It’s rare that a 6’4″, 235 lb. higher schooler looks smooth at middle linebacker (even though they can be dominant due to the size/strength combo).

  3. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Dec 12, 2019 at 2:36 PM

    Paye and Villain (Class of 17) were both WDE recruits but ended up playing both end spots – with Paye seeing time at DT as well.

    Uche and Winovich were recruited as LBs. Harrell is way bigger than Uche and Winovich were as recruits.

    Jamison is the same size as a recruit. He got up to almost 290 and played as a DT in the NFL.

    It all depends how much good weight he can put on but a baseline expectation is probably 30 or 40 pounds.

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