Marlin Klein, Wolverine

Marlin Klein, Wolverine

September 24, 2020
Rabun Gap (GA) Nacoochee TE Marlin Klein (image via Detroit News)

I’m a couple days late on this one due to life keeping me busy, but class of 2022 Rabun Gap (GA) Nacoochee tight end Marlin Klein committed to Michigan on Tuesday. He picked the Wolverines over Florida State, Georgia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and others.

Klein is listed at 6’6″ and 215 lbs. As a sophomore in 2019, Klein caught 15 passes for 335 yards and 4 touchdowns.

ESPN: Unranked
Rivals: 3-star, 5.7 grade, #40 WR
247 Sports: 3-star, 88 grade, #18 TE

Hit the jump for more on Klein’s commitment.

Klein is from Germany, and while he played American football some in his teenage years over in Deutschland, his first season of playing American football in American was 2019. You can see above that it went fairly well. Michigan offered after seeing his sophomore film, and they have a short history of taking players who grew up elsewhere (Sammy Faustin, Junior Colson, Julius Welscholf, David Ojabo, etc.), so obviously the international thing was not a concern. Klein took a self-guided tour of Michigan’s campus since COVID-19/dead period restrictions prevent the coaches from really participating or offering official visits.

At 6’6″ and 215 pounds, Klein ist nicht so klein. He has a great frame for adding weight while still maintaining his athleticism. Tight ends coach Sherrone Moore has mentioned previously that he wants tight ends who look like basketball players and can play wide receiver. Klein looks like a basketball player and plays wide receiver, so check and check. He has good speed and he looks to have soft hands. His route running is adequate.

Based on his film, Nacoochee does not play very tough competition, so that will be a major adjustment going from there to Michigan. He also needs to continue filling out, as he’s not as physically dominant as one would expect from a player who’s 6’6″ and 215 lbs. going against small-ish defensive backs. He also does not have very much film blocking anyone other than cornerbacks on bubble screens, so the technique involved in playing more of an in-line position, taking on linebackers, kicking out defensive ends, etc. is going to be a work in progress.

Overall, I like Klein’s potential. He has two years before he graduates, and the basic skills are there to be a very good tight end before all is said and done. From a technique standpoint, he’s kind of a blank canvas because he is relatively new to the sport and doesn’t really play the position he will in college, so there is lots of room to improve and develop good habits.

Michigan now has three commitments in the 2022 class, joining defensive tackle Alex VanSumeren and linebacker Tyler Martin. Michigan will probably take at least two tight ends in 2022 after whiffing on some high-profile targets in 2021 other than Louis Hansen.

Believe it or not, if Klein signs with Michigan, he would be the first player to suit up for Michigan from a high school called Nacoochee.

TTB Rating: It’s too early for 2022 TTB ratings


  1. Comments: 1356
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Sep 24, 2020 at 11:10 AM

    He can run and he can catch. I saw that somebody now has him at 6’7″. There’s no reason to think a high school sophomore can’t grow some more.

    Not sure where too tall is a problem at TE, but if your prototype Tackle is 6’7″ 300 plus, a 6’7″ 250 plus inline TE should work out nicely if he wants to block.

    I think he’s a nice get.

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 24, 2020 at 11:33 AM

      Yeah, I think Hudl has him at 6’7″. Knowing how football coaches work, that tells me he was probably 6’5″ and wearing cleats when the 5’7″ defensive backs coach tried to measure him.

      • Comments: 1356
        Joined: 8/13/2015
        Sep 24, 2020 at 7:50 PM

        There’s probably some truth to that. On my Senior year basketball program, it says I’m 6’1″. Two years later I got my first pneumonia and in my travels around “Health Services” during that ordeal I found a scale with a height measurer thing. 6′ 1/4 inch. And I’m pretty sure I had grown some.

      • Comments: 6285
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Sep 24, 2020 at 8:36 PM

        This is a proven fact. We see heights documented in NFL and NBA combines and then we see listed heights in college and the pros.

        Congrats to all the 5’10 guys out there for breaking 6 feet.

  2. Comments: 79
    Joined: 10/3/2015
    Sep 24, 2020 at 11:14 AM

    Love the pickup. Feels like these are the types of guys that can help us compete with OSU – enormous potential that we identified early and reason to believe that Michigan can maximize that potential. We’re never going to string together a few top-3 recruiting classes in a row, but if we can consistently finish 5-10 and hit on a few of these early, medium risk / high reward targets, that feels like the best recipe for success.

  3. Comments: 20
    Joined: 6/19/2020
    Sep 24, 2020 at 12:27 PM

    This kid seems like an enormous gamble. 4 TDs as a sophomore is not the kind of production that indicates to me which we should be offering him at the start of his junior year. I hope he was absolutely dominant in camps or something.

    • Comments: 82
      Joined: 1/10/2017
      Sep 24, 2020 at 5:54 PM

      Enormous gamble, eh?

      You realize that someone would need to throw him the ball for a touchdown to occur, right?

      Maybe look at his measurables, athleticism, and how he did with his limited opportunities?

      Sure, some projection is required here, but this is exactly the type of player Michigan should be jumping on early (good athlete who’s a long way from adult size).

    • Comments: 3844
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Sep 24, 2020 at 6:45 PM

      I think touchdowns are somewhat overrated in high school. You never really know how much teams throw the ball, what their philosophy is near the goal line, etc.

      PERSONALLY, when we get near the goal line, I am less likely to call passes over the middle to the area tight ends often roam because things get more congested down there. Unless you have a 6’4″ QB you trust, it’s a lot easier to a) run the ball or b) throw to the edges.

  4. Comments: 6285
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Sep 24, 2020 at 1:54 PM

    Great offer list for someone new to American Football in America. Or even someone born here.

    Love the upside and I see “the international thing” as an asset.

  5. Comments: 295
    Joined: 12/19/2015
    Sep 25, 2020 at 11:01 AM

    Really like this early pickup. Obviously, always a little concerned when the kid lives so far away and is almost 2 years from graduation from HS. But still, like the size (I hope he doesn’t grow to 6’8″ or more), hands seem good, speed is sufficient. Give UM props on this 3 star.

    I know Thunder doesn’t like giving grades to 11th graders with no jr year film but let’s have some fun; My rating, using TTB scale would be 84.

    • Comments: 6285
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Sep 25, 2020 at 3:01 PM

      There should be no concern about the 2 year timeline. These things get sorted out if they don’t go according to plan – on either end.

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