The Fence the Mitten Project: Defensive Tackle

The Fence the Mitten Project: Defensive Tackle

April 21, 2020
Marquan McCall (image via Twitter)

The Fence the Mitten Project continues with defensive tackles today. Go back and take a look at QB (LINK), RB (LINK), WR (LINK), TE (LINK), OL (LINK), and DE (LINK).

On to the big boys…


  1. Kyonta Stallworth (RS Sr.): 4-star, #8 OG, #179 overall
  2. Wes French (RS Sr.): 3-star, #117 OT
  3. Eddy Wilson (RS Sr.): 3-star, #79 DT
  4. Cedrick Lattimore (RS Jr.): 3-star, #22 SDE, #494 overall
  5. #*Phillip Paea (RS So.): 3-star, #37 DT, #458 overall
  6. #Marquan McCall (RS Fr.): 4-star, #6 OG, #194 overall
  7. #*Mazi Smith (Fr.): 4-star, #11 DT, #105 overall

#Offered by Michigan
*Signed with Michigan


Wes French (Western Michigan) missed the 2019 season with an injury; after transitioning to defensive line, it looks like he’ll be playing center in 2020. Cedrick Lattimore (Iowa) started at defensive tackle, making 44 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, and 4 quarterback hurries, for which he was named honorable mention all-conference. Phillip Paea (Michigan) did not play in any games after bouncing back and forth between offense and defense so far in his career. Marquan McCall (Kentucky) made 21 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and 1 fumble recovery as a backup. Mazi Smith (Michigan) played in two games but didn’t record any statistics.


Without much depth or experience here, Michigan uses a lot of three-man fronts, which helps get more linebacker types on the field. Lattimore is more of a 3-tech type of guy, so McCall and Smith would be forced into action as nose tackles. You need depth and rotation to keep the big guys fresh, so Michigan would need to convert offensive linemen or use defensive ends more on the inside.


This is not a great situation, and it’s actually pretty close to what Michigan actually had in 2019. Sub in Chris Hinton for Marquan McCall, exchange injury-prone Michael Dwumfour for French, and slip Carlo Kemp in there for Lattimore. Considering it was a much maligned year for defensive tackles in 2019, there’s no reason to expect much better production for the available group above. The truth is that there just aren’t a lot of big, talented defensive tackles types in the State of Michigan.

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