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February 3, 2014
Recruiting Recap: Brady Pallante
In the weeks leading up to national signing day, we'll take a look at each one of Michigan's commits.
For previous editions of Recruiting Recap, follow the links: Wilton Speight, Drake Harris, Freddy Canteen., Maurice Ways, Ian Bunting, Juwan Bushell-Beatty, Mason Cole, Michael Ferns, Chase Winovich, Noah Furbush, Jared Wangler, Brandon Watson, Jabrill Peppers, Bryan Mone and Lawrence Marshall
Player: Brady Pallante, defensive tackle
Location: Naples (Fla.) Barron Collier
Rankings: Listed as a two-star prospect by Rivals.com.
Committed: Nov. 26, 2013.
Other Notable Offers: Appalachian State
The Latest News On Pallante:
"Pallante originally received an offer last February, but it came with conditions - he would not enroll in June with the 2014 class, but in January 2015. He would be a 'greyshirt.' A status rarely used by the Maize and Blue.
"Though he was disappointed some that his offer wouldn't lead to the same starting point as everyone else in the Class of 2014, he accepted the terms in April.
"'Back in February, when I got the offer, Coach Mattison told me, 'It's going to be a greyshirt,' and I felt blessed to have a scholarship from the University of Michigan, greyshirt or not,' he said. 'Anyone that gets a scholarship, in any sport, on any level is a blessing.'
"Still, his situation was difficult to accept some days.
"'I didn't like it the more I thought about it because I wasn't even going to come in with all the other guys in my class,' he said. 'I was going to get pushed back and I didn't know if I'd ever feel like one of them because of all the experiences I'd miss out on.
"'In the summer, Coach Hoke told me that my scholarship situation could change. 'Injuries happen, kids quit, scholarships open up and that happens every year.' He said, 'You never know.' He told me to sit on it and wait, and let time do its thing.'
"In November, Michigan missed out on five-star Da'Shawn Hand, and a scholarship that was being banked for the nation's No. 1 player was suddenly available. With few recruits left on their board, and those earmarked, the Maize and Blue could make Pallante's day. That's when Hoke called the Naples, Fla., native.
"'I'll never forget it. He said, 'Hey, we want to take your greyshirt away and bring you in during the summer with the rest of the guys,' Pallante relayed. 'I was doing backflips around my house when he told me that.'"
"Entering the game, the expectations for Pallante were something of an unknown. On one hand, here is a player who the Michigan coaches liked enough to offer a place in the U-M program, and on the other, he's a mere two-star recruit who the coaches only offered as a greyshirt candidate.
"Whatever the expectations were, he lived up to them - and then some. Though he didn't have a huge statistical day, that's the expectation for a defensive tackle. He did move between the one-, three-, and five-technique positions, and was productive at all three. Most impressively, he opened things up for his teammates, enduring multiple blockers on most every play, and often enduring cut blocks.
"He is undersized for the nose tackle position - where he is expected to earn most of his playing time at the next level - but has a build that allows him to play with excellent leverage even if he doesn't ultimately end up as a 320-pound behemoth (he can easily reach 290 pounds though). He uses his wrestling background to play low and turn offensive linemen.
"Most impressive was Pallante's overall technique. He made excellent use of his hands to defeat various types of blocks, and combined hand technique with quickness to knife into the backfield repeatedly. He was disciplined in executing his assignments, holding the edge, and chasing down quarterbacks and running backs in the backfield. He arrived with violence each time.
"While Pallante's physical gifts may not be five-star worthy, he showed that a combination of technique and desire will allow him to reach every ounce of potential that he possesses."
Analysis from TheWolverine.com's Tim Sullivan:
What To Expect From Pallante In 2014: Pallante will most likely end up as a nose tackle at Michigan, because of his skill set.
Although the Wolverines lost Quinton Washington to graduation, it's hard to imagine that Pallante will be needed to play inside as a rookie. Ondre Pipkins will be a junior and, hopefully, 100-percent healed from an ACL injury suffered against Minnesota this year.
And Willie Henry, who will be a redshirt sophomore, showed serious promise inside and is poised to have a big year. The Wolverines also have Maurice Hurst, Jr., and Henry Poggi, two soon-to-be redshirt freshmen who the coaches are very excited about.
And that depth will give Pallante a chance to bulk up - because 255 is not going to cut it in the middle in Division I football - and continue to hone his already impressive technique during a redshirt season.
What To Expect From Pallante In His Career: As Sullivan pointed out above, Pallante is never going to be as big as Pipkins or fellow incoming rookie Bryan Mone.
But he has an innate understanding of the role of leverage in plugging up the middle of the field, thus causing a lot of problems for the offense. Even if he's a little smaller - and he won't be THAT small, if he can bulk up to 290 - he can use that proper technique to take on bigger offensive linemen and double teams.
Pallante could grow into a reliable rotation player in future seasons.