Kechaun Bennett, Wolverine

Kechaun Bennett, Wolverine

May 28, 2020
Kechaun Bennett (image via Twitter)

Suffield (CT) Suffield Academy defensive end Kechaun Bennett committed to Michigan on Wednesday night. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Miami, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee, and Virginia Tech, among others.

Bennett is listed at 6’4″ and 220 lbs.

ESPN: 4-star, 80 grade, #39 DE
Rivals: 4-star, 5.8 grade, #12 WDE
247 Sports: 3-star, 89 grade, #26 SDE

Hit the jump for more on Bennett’s commitment.

Bennett was offered by Michigan in February of 2019. He says he favored Michigan right from the jump, and he was always a player lurking on the periphery of Michigan recruiting. It was known that he really liked Michigan, but he was supposed to visit campus again in March and never had a chance. With the current COVID-19 situation, some of these commitments are coming at random times. People used to be on “commit watch” when they visited or shortly following their visits, but that just can’t be the case right now.

Bennett is an underrated prospect, in my opinion. He’s a long and lanky athlete who looks and plays a lot like Taco Charlton. I like his stance and explosive get-off, and he does a decent job of shedding blockers in his pass rush. He can sink his hips and change direction very well for a tall player. I also like the confidence and swagger in his game.

Bennett needs to get stronger; he looks rail-thin, and he does not deal well with run blockers who take him on directly.

Overall, I really like this addition for Michigan. I think that’s probably pretty obvious from my comparison above to Charlton, whose high school highlights you can find here (LINK). I’m not sure about Michigan’s plan for him. He says he’s being recruited as a Viper, which is not traditionally reserved for a guy entering college at 6’4″, 220 or larger. Bennett looks more like a weakside end. I think he could handle parts of the Viper/SAM’s responsibilities, but the coverage responsibilities would most likely require a sub.

Is he the next Josh Uche or the next Taco Charlton? I’ll take either one.

Bennett is the first commitment from Connecticut in this class, but Michigan has recruited the Nutmeg State heavily in the past few years, landing players like Cornelius Johnson, Jack Stewart, and Charles Thomas in 2019 and Tarik Black in 2017. Bennett would be the first player from Suffield Academy since safety Brad Hawkins spent a prep year there in the 2017 class.

TTB Rating: I am not giving out TTB Ratings for 2021 yet.


  1. Avatar
    Comments: 36
    Joined: 9/24/2017
    May 28, 2020 at 12:52 PM

    Nutmeg state? Nice!

    Looks like a nice pickup. Redshirt year to get stronger.

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 5906
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    May 28, 2020 at 1:22 PM

    Another name to compare to is Brennen Beyer. Bennett isn’t as highly rated but is very similar in size.

    Charlton’s a popular player because of his name, a strong senior year with 10 sacks, and where he got drafted (even though he is a bust) but Beyer (forgotten by many) had a more productive college career in many respects and also played a bit in the NFL.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 122
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      May 28, 2020 at 3:08 PM

      I always like diverse comparisons to help frame an image of who a recruit might be – so thanks for reminding us of Beyer. I think the reason that people don’t gravitate to him often is that he was productive, but unspectacular as a player. You want guys like him on the roster, but you’re hoping for an Uche, Winovich, Jake Ryan, Peppers type.

      I hope Kechaun sticks at WDE. That’s an area we need depth and playmaking and his skill set seems suited there. My guess is that part of Michigan’s recruiting pitch is to show amazing highlights of Peppers, Uche, and Hudson along with their draft status.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5906
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        May 29, 2020 at 1:44 PM

        I agree. Most recruits are “unspectacular”, including those ranked well above Bennett.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 1855
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      May 28, 2020 at 3:11 PM

      What kind of fan are you, going after Taco? You know players (and former) read fan posts, right?

      Blah, blah, blah. Welcome back Lank!

    • Avatar
      Comments: 181
      Joined: 9/15/2015
      May 28, 2020 at 3:15 PM

      in what respect? total snaps logged?

      beyer started 33 games (bw LB & DE) and posted just 8.5 sacks and 12.5 TFL over 4 years. charlton put up 19 & 28 in same # games with less starts.

      beyer played so much bc they werent exactly overflowing with defensive depth at the time and the staff trusted him to align properly and execute his job. great ambassador for the school who worked hard to start a ton of games and earn some fine memories but no need to anoint him.

      im with you re charltons popularity among some fans being a little higher due to 1st round status. i think charlton underperformed given his measurables and whatnot but a great senior year still capped a fairly productive career.

      i guess they could be wrong but these are the stats i found. i recall the careers of both players and beyer was not more productive

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3616
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      May 29, 2020 at 9:04 AM

      Charlton was better virtually every step of the way. His junior year was better than Beyer’s senior year.

      One had 12 TFL and 7.5 sacks in his career. The other had 27.5 TFL and 18.5 sacks.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 5906
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      May 29, 2020 at 1:39 PM

      By “more productive college career in many respects” I mean his advantage in starts, games, tackles, forced fumbles, TDs, and INTs.

      I don’t dispute Taco’s talent or pass-rushing superiority. He was a fun player to watch. He also played on better teams with better players and coaches around him.

      Another DE/LB type who might be a comp is for Bennett is Craig Roh.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 3616
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        May 29, 2020 at 2:40 PM

        “Starts” and “games” are kind of weak stats. There are 22 starters in every game, whether you’re a great team or a terrible one. Beyer was mostly a contributor on two of Michigan’s less impressive teams in memory (2013-2014). INTs and TDs for a defensive lineman are completely random. And if I remember correctly from looking earlier, Beyer literally had 1 more tackle than Charlton (92 to 91 or something like that).

        So…yeah…I’m taking Charlton every day of the week. Willie Henry and Brennen Beyer having pick-sixes on tipped passes for short returns (I think both were inside the other team’s 5-yard line) doesn’t move the needle.

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 5906
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Jun 01, 2020 at 11:23 AM

        Production is subjective I guess, if you want to discount volume stats and rare big plays to focus on one specific stat as the end all be all. We all know not everything is captured in the boxscore and rare events don’t capture the play-to-play contributions.

        Evidence of the limitations of sacks as the most important stat are evident in Frank Clark, arguably the best pass rusher to wear a Michigan uniform in the last decade. He has 35 sacks in the last 4 years in the NFL and he had 11 in 4 years at Michigan. His time overlapped with Beyer exactly, who had only a few less 8.5. But Clark was a more impactful and talented player and had 114 tackles. Was he more productive than Beyer? Most stats would say yes, but at least Beyer was there to fight OSU in 2014. Charlton was a backup to both.

        Related: Clark was 205 pounds as a recruit. Winovich and Uche also came in as pure linebacker recruits. Which is what the best edge rushers tend to be, not DE/LB hybrids like Bennett or Beyer. If you’re wondering why Michigan seems to be recruiting a bunch of big SAM-types who don’t seem to fit the scheme, that might be your answer.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 283
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    May 28, 2020 at 1:25 PM

    Thunder, when will you be doing recruiting rankings? Is there a reason you’re waiting?

    I like Bennett as well and think he’ll need a solid year+ bulking up but has the frame and quickness to come off weak edge. I think he’ll be more like an Uche than Charlton. The twitchy-ness is there and Charlton was much better against the run than Uche. I think he’s the raw type kid you take on as a high 3 low 4* kid who you have a lot to work with. If he can pick up the games and some counter-moves I see him as being a disturbance in the backfield. I think I’d rank him about 82 in the TTB scale.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 3616
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      May 29, 2020 at 12:05 PM

      Doing those “Final TTB Ratings” is a pretty time-consuming project. If you assume kids have an 8-minute senior highlight film multiplied by 25 kids, that’s about 200 minutes (3 hours, 20 minutes) of film review. Toss in the time it takes to organize my thoughts, look at the current roster, rank the players, etc., and there’s a lot that goes into it. It’s often not something I have time to complete until spring/summer. For example, for the last two years, they didn’t get published until August. I do plan/hope to get them done sooner this year, but the daily posts (countdown, commitment posts, etc.) sometimes get in the way of the longer posts.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 1290
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        May 29, 2020 at 1:12 PM

        Are you guys planning summer workouts?

        • Thunder
          Comments: 3616
          Joined: 7/13/2015
          May 29, 2020 at 1:27 PM

          So far we don’t have a date that we can begin, so we have a plan for summer workouts…but everything is on hold. It’s very frustrating, but everyone’s in the same boat.

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