Baltimore (MD) St. Frances linebacker Nikhai Hill-Green committed to Michigan on Thursday afternoon. He picked the Wolverines over offers from Nebraska, Pitt, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, among others.
Mazzccua was offered by Michigan in late January, and early indications were positive for the Wolverines, especially because he was not getting a ton of attention on the recruiting trail or from other programs. It also helped that St. Frances’s co-head coach is Biff Poggi, a former Michigan staffer and the father of former Michigan fullback/defensive lineman Henry Poggi. It doesn’t hurt that St. Frances linebacker Osman Savage is committed to the Wolverines. Mazzccua (and a bunch of other St. Frances prospects) visited Ann Arbor two weekends ago.
Mazzccua has a good frame, and even though I’ve seen him listed anywhere from 289 to 305 lbs., he looks like he could comfortably carry some more weight. He played in Philadelphia before transferring to St. Frances prior to his junior season, but as a junior, he played some left guard and some left tackle. He shows a willingness to be a relentless blocker, and he plays to the whistle. He’s good at fitting onto double-teams and driving his feet with short, choppy steps.
There are some shortcomings with Mazzccua; some of them are physical, and some of them are technical. He can be a little slow off the ball, especially when working to his outside (left side). That presents a problem with the ability to reach block, but it really presents a weakness when he’s asked to slide in pass protection. He needs to stay lower in both the running and passing game, but especially in pass pro, he opens up the gate too much because he’s slow out of his stance. He also needs to work on his pulling technique.
Overall, Mazzccua has potential as an offensive lineman, but he’s limited. I see him as an offensive guard or perhaps a center. He lacks the foot speed to play on the edge, even though I think he has enough length to play tackle. There are a lot of technical things that he needs to improve. He can get there, but it might take a few years. I see him roughly in the same vein as Stephen Spanellis, although Spanellis had a little more bulk coming out of high school.
Michigan now has seven commitments in the 2020 class, and Mazzccua is the first offensive lineman. The Wolverines took six offensive linemen in 2019. Savage and/or Mazzccua would be the first player(s) from Maryland to sign with Michigan since Spanellis in the 2016 class.