Today is the last day of Amazon Prime Day (LINK):
Name: Julius Welschof
Weight: 275 lbs.
High schoool: Miesbach (Germany) FOS Altoetting
Position: Defensive end
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #96
Last year: I ranked Welscholf #82 and said he would be a backup defensive end (LINK). He redshirted.
TTB Rating: 78
Welschof is one of the more intriguing prospects in recent years. It’s not often you land a football prospect from another country – and when you do, it’s normally Canada. But in the 2018 class, Welschof came out of nowhere to end up signing with the Wolverines. I thought he would get a few snaps against the likes of Rutgers just to show that Michigan can pull guys from non-football-playing countries and still be better than them, but he ended up redshirting.
He was listed at 253 lbs. last year, and this year he’s reportedly up to 275 lbs. Bruce Feldman detailed his athletic abilities in the 2019 “freaks” list for 2019 (LINK). Michigan lost a bunch of defensive line pieces in the past year, particularly at defensive end (Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich, Reuben Jones, Ron Johnson), so that catapults some guys up the list, including Welschof. I don’t think Welschof will go from redshirting to actually being a good Big Ten player, but I think he will almost be forced into action due to the inexperience on the depth chart. Aidan Hutchinson, Kwity Paye, and Mike Danna should be the big pieces of the rotation, but Michigan needs one or two other defensive ends to step up, whether it’s Welschof, Luiji Vilain, or someone else. Vilain’s injury history says to me that Welschof needs to be ranked here in the top 50 when he should ideally be somewhere in the 60s.
Prediction: Backup defensive end