Jimmy Rolder, Wolverine

Jimmy Rolder, Wolverine

November 17, 2021
Jimmy Rolder (image via 247 Sports)

Chicago (IL) Marist linebacker Jimmy Rolder committed to Michigan on Tuesday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Florida, Illinois, Iowa, LSU, and Ohio State, among others.

ESPN: 3-star, 79 grade, #13 ILB
On3: 4-star LB, 90 grade
Rivals: 4-star ILB, 5.8 grade
247 Sports: 3-star, 89 grade, #48 LB

Hit the jump for more.

Rolder was committed to Illinois for baseball. He decided he would rather focus on football in college, so early in October, offers started to flow in. He decommitted from the Fighting Illini and some of the biggest programs in the country came after him. Shortly afterward, a visit to Michigan convinced him to become a part of the Wolverines’ 2022 class.

Rolder has solid size and is listed at 6’2″ and 220-230 pounds. His frame has room to add size, although I’m not sure current defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald wants his linebackers to get as bulky as that position used to be 10-20 years ago. He has good acceleration, and I like his ability to attack downhill while moving laterally. He does a good job of keeping his shoulders square and tracking a ball carrier’s inside hip. I also really appreciate his ability to roll tackle, going low to wrap up legs and stop ball carriers in their tracks.

There are times where Rolder is a half-step slow to diagnose plays, and you never know whether that skill will improve with more focus on football now that his burgeoning baseball career may be coming to an end. He also needs to improve his block shedding skills; whereas he currently does a pretty good job of avoiding blockers by being a better athlete, he will need to work on his hand placement and understanding his run fits for the next level.

Overall, Rolder reminds me of Ben Gedeon. Gedeon was a tough, hard-nosed high school football player who played linebacker and ran over plenty of other high schoolers while carrying the ball. While Rolder doesn’t carry the offensive load for Marist like Gedeon did for Hudson High School in Ohio, they are similar athletes: large and deceptively quick. Gedeon made it to the NFL with the Vikings, and I think Rolder could play beyond college, too. He is almost certainly headed for inside linebacker, and his ceiling may be determined by how well he adjusts to the college game from a mental standpoint.

Rolder is the fourth linebacker in the class for Michigan, joining Aaron Alexander, Micah Pollard, and Deuce Spurlock. I would assume Rolder would be headed for the middle linebacker spot currently manned by Joshua Ross, while the other guys have a little more positional flexibility.

TTB Rating: 81

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