Sugarcreek (OH) Garaway offensive tackle Joel Honigford committed to Michigan on Wednesday. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Auburn, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, TCU, Tennessee, and West Virginia, among others.
Honigford is 6’6″, 278 lbs. He claims a 5.1 forty, a 4.79 shuttle, a 240 lb. bench, a 330 lb. squat, and a 29″ vertical.
ESPN: 4-star, 86 grade, #26 OT, #199 overall
Rivals: 3-star, #46 OT
Scout: 3-star, #47 OT
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #73 OT, #692 overall
Hit the jump for more on the commitment.
Michigan offered Honigford back in April, and he visited Ann Arbor in early June. In the meantime, I had heard some rumblings about Ohio State potentially offering, which would probably be his choice if given the option. Recently, he released a top four that included Ohio State, even though they still hadn’t offered. With the way they’re recruiting right now, they don’t need to go too far down their board to pull in the guys they want. I wasn’t expecting him to pull the trigger just yet, but here we are.
Honigford is the kind of tackle prospect I like. Of course, there’s something to be said for the guys who come out of high school at 6’6″, 310 lbs. with great feet, but I like guys who are a little lighter and more athletic who can pack on weight. It’s a body type and athletic profile like those of Taylor Lewan and Jake Fisher, for example. Honigford has that long, lean body that looks like a future left tackle. He shows a good kick step with the quick feet to stay with pass rushers, and he stays nice and balanced in pass pro. He does a good job of keeping his hands inside and timing his initial punch well. Once he locks onto defenders, he drives his feet and can run them out of the play. In the run game, Honigford bends well and finishes his blocks there, too. He rolls his hips to get leverage on defensive linemen, and he keeps a nice, wide base to stay attached.
The biggest thing lacking in Honigford is strength. His listed 240 lb. bench press and 330 lb. squat is not particularly impressive for a guy entering his senior year, though those numbers might be outdated. Still, in his junior film, he just lacks the functional strength to move the guys he’s going to see at the next level. By the time he hits college, he’ll be above 270-ish pounds, which will bring some oomph with it. He needs to keep hitting the weight room. There are some small tweaks I would like to see him make with his footwork in the run game at tackle, and I think he probably needs a major overhaul of his pulling technique if he were to transition to guard.
Overall, Honigford’s maybe not as nasty or athletic as Taylor Lewan, but I would put him a notch or two below. I think he’s someone who could play either tackle position, or he could be a pulling guard with some work. I like him as a blind-side pass protector, and he has good run-blocking skills. By the time he hits campus, Grant Newsome will be a true junior. Give Honigford a couple seasons to bulk up and refine his technique, and he may be battling it out with Ja’Raymond Hall to be the heir apparent at left tackle.
Michigan now has 17 commitments in the 2017 class, including three offensive linemen (Ja’Raymond Hall, Andrew Stueber, and Honigford). Honigford also represents the first commitment from Ohio since Nolan Ulizio toward the end of the 2015 class. The Wolverines are looking for roughly six offensive linemen in 2017, so I don’t expect them to slow down much on the recruiting trail. Michigan needs at least one center, but the other players can be a mix of sizes and talents since failed offensive tackles can often move inside to guard; in other words, I still expect Michigan to continue to pursue players like Henry Bainivalu, Chuck Filiaga, Kai-Leon Herbert, Tedarrell Slaton, etc.
TTB Rating: 82 (ratings explanation)
You need to login in order to vote