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February 6, 2013

Mattison sizes up signees

Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison spoke with former standout U-M safety Marcus Ray on MGoBlue.com this morning. Here are a few Ray/Mattison highlights…

Ray, on Mattison: "He's one of those individuals that, by the time he leaves your home, your mother, your father, your little brother, everyone is going to say, 'I want you to play for that man, because he cares about people.'

"I'm speaking from a personal standpoint. Everyone that Coach Mattison recruited on this list, when he walks into your home, he makes you want to play for Michigan."

Mattison, on Taco Charlton: "We're looking for great length and explosion on the edge. In our scheme, and you saw that with Frank Clark, you saw that with Mario [Ojemudia], in that open-side end, we need to have a guy that is going to beat a guy one-on-one. In the transition, in these two years, we've had to pressure maybe more than you've wanted to, to get after the quarterback.

"I like being able to bring four, and have guys that can beat somebody one-on-one and have the speed to get to the quarterback, and I think that's what you're going to see in this recruiting class.

"Once you get to the University of Michigan, it's not like high school anymore. It's more like the NFL - the best players play. I don't care if a guy is a freshman or if he's a senior, we're going to always put the best players on the field.

"He's very talented, and he's working very hard. The fact that he's enrolled early gives him a great advantage, because he's going to learn the system. He's in there with Coach [Aaron] Wellman and our weight program all second semester."

Mattison, on Maurice Hurst, Jr., a 6-2, 290-pound defensive tackle who actually ran the ball some in high school: "I went out there and saw him. When I put the film on, he's very, very explosive, very disruptive. It goes with our wanting to improve our speed.

"I believe he's a young man who can beat people one-on-one. He's a guy who will run to the football, which everybody on our defense has to do. He ran the ball. I told him: 'You're never going to run the football here.' But I'm really excited about him."

Mattison, on all the signees: "They come from great families, and they have great character. You have to have that at the University of Michigan. That's the only way we're going to run things here."

Mattison, on Ohio linebacker Ben Gedeon: "You don't have favorites, but, I went in and saw him as a young kid. He was in the weight room, and then he came to camp. We loved him at camp.

"Let me tell you about his family. He had one brother who was captain at Harvard. He has another brother who was ranked the No. 1 junior at the Naval Academy, and then there's Ben. Ben is a great student, captain of his team.

"He is what you'd say a Michigan linebacker would be like. He's a very intelligent guy. He played running back, and he's very mobile. He's very team oriented, and an outstanding football player."

On Michigan's defensive back signees: "You know, better than anybody, about being an outstanding secondary player at the University of Michigan. When you do play zone coverage, it's going to come down to length. You're going to have big wide receivers now, and there's going to be situations where they've got to be able to go up and get the football.

"We wanted to improve on that since we've gotten here. We need to have more length. The day of being able to play guys that aren't real tall are going downhill, because the receivers are getting so big. You have to match up in the secondary.

"We're excited about that. That was a big goal for us, to bring in a number of taller secondary players. Dymonte [Thomas] might be a little bit of Marcus Ray. He'll play down in the box, and he loves to hit. We're excited about that group of guys coming in."

Mattison, with parting comments to Ray: "I want to tell you, I'm proud to have had the chance to coach you and recruit you here. And I promise you, we're going to do everything we can to keep bringing it back like when you were here."

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