The Fence the Mitten Project: Defensive End

The Fence the Mitten Project: Defensive End

April 20, 2020
Aidan Hutchinson (image via WXYZ)

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The Fence the Mitten Project continues this week with a look at the defense. You can see the offense posts here: QB (LINK), RB (LINK), WR (LINK), TE (LINK), and OL (LINK).

Hit the jump for the defensive end positions.


  1. #Daelin Hayes (RS Jr.): 4-star, #10 OLB, #133 overall
  2. Adetokunbo Ogundeji (RS Jr.): 3-star, #40 WDE, #652 overall
  3. #*Corey Malone-Hatcher (RS So.): 4-star, #19 WDE, #268 overall
  4. Zach Morton (RS So.): 3-star, #43 WDE, #724 overall


  1. #Joshua Alabi (RS Sr.): 3-star, #30 SDE, #555 overall
  2. #Khalid Kareem (RS Jr.): 4-star, #9 SDE, !96 overall
  3. Cedrick Lattimore (RS Jr.): 3-star, #22 SDE, #494 overall
  4. Eyioma Uwazurike (RS Jr.): 3-star, #37 SDE, #820 overall
  5. Chauncey Golston (RS Jr.): 3-star, #41 SDE, #857 overall
  6. #*Deron Irving-Bey (RS So.): 4-star, #9 SDE, #249 overall
  7. #Aidan Hutchinson (RS Fr.): 4-star, #6 SDE, #112 overall
  8. #Michael Fletcher (Fr.): 3-star, #29 SDE, #429 overall
  9. Adam Berghorst (Fr.): 3-star, #42 SDE, #655 overall
  10. #Darius Robinson (Fr.): 3-star, #46 SDE, #694 overall
  11. #Ruke Orhorhoro (Fr.): 3-star, #49 SDE, #745 overall
  12. Jalen Hunt (Fr.): 3-star, #50 SDE, #748 overall


Starting with the weakside end position, Daelin Hayes (Notre Dame) made 6 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 1 sack in four games before suffering a torn labrum. Adetokunbo Ogundeji (Notre Dame) started one game but was a key backup, making 34 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 5 QB hurries. Zach Morton (Syracuse) did not record any stats while playing in four games.

Over on the strong side, Khalid Kareem (Notre Dame) made 46 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 11 QB hurries. Eyioma Uwazurike (Iowa State) started thirteen games, making 32 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks; he was named Honorable Mention All-Big 12. Chauncey Golston (Iowa) was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten after starting thirteen games and making 47 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 1 interception, 5 pass breakups, and 7 QB hurries. Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan) made 68 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 6 pass breakups, and 4 QB hurries, earning 3rd Team All-Big Ten. Michael Fletcher (Michigan State) played six snaps on the year and redshirted, while teammate Adam Berghorst converted to tight end by the end of the season and played sparingly. Darius Robinson (Missouri) redshirted. Ruke Orhorhoro (Clemson) made 5 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 0.5 sacks in nine games as a backup. Jalen Hunt (Michigan State) had an odd journey, signing with Iowa, then planning to go to Iowa Western Community College, and finally ending up at Michigan State as a defensive tackle.


This unit has a lot of solid players with no real superstars. A bunch of guys who were 3rd team/honorable mention all-conference elsewhere could probably be coached up into something a little better with Michigan’s coaching staff. The Daelin Hayes injury would hurt the weakside end position, but Aidan Hutchinson, Khalid Kareem, Chauncey Golston, and Adetokunbo Ogundeji make a good two-deep rotation. There’s no Chase Young-type guy to game plan for, but there’s also not much rest when the second group comes in. One of these guys – Hutchinson or Kareem – gets named 2nd Team All-Big Ten.


Off the top of my head, the last dominant defensive end prospect (a.k.a. 1st round draft pick) to come out of the State of Michigan was Brandon Graham in 2006. There are a lot of solid players to populate the defensive end position and the defensive line in general, but to get truly high-level guys, Michigan needs to reach outside the state. The Wolverines’ best defensive ends since Graham have come from Ohio (Taco Charlton, Frank Clark), Pennsylvania (Chase Winovich), and New Jersey (Rashan Gary), with Hutchinson making the best push since Graham to reach that status of high-level play from within the state. Michigan State landed a good one in Kenny Willekes, a walk-on whose best scholarship offer came from Wayne State, so he wasn’t a top-25 in-state prospect. Otherwise, the state doesn’t produce enough talent to compete on a national level. If they landed every top-25 guy, they would have been better in 2019 but not elite.

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