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February 5, 2014

SIGNING DAY: Hecklinski impressed by Winovich

Michigan received its first letter of intent on national signing day early in the morning, and it came from four-star outside linebacker Chase Winovich of Jefferson Hills, Pa., Thomas Jefferson High school. All 16 letters were in as of 10:30 a.m. with no more surprises expected.

U-M beat out Ohio State and several others for the talented Winovich, a two-way standout in high school who never wavered following his commitment.

"Chase is a young man who really kind of blew up really through the May process of recruiting," receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski said. "He comes from a great family, a wonderful family. Chase is going to remind a lot of people of Jake Ryan in that he's fun-loving, great to be around, a great smile and great teammate.

"The one thing we're looking at as a staff right now from a recruiting standpoint is length, and when you look at two-way players, guys that don't come off the field - that says a lot."

The 6-3, 215-pound Winovich fit the bill last year, rushing for 981 yards and throwing for 210 in addition to racking up 57 tackles, 13 sacks and three forced fumbles.

"We liked his overall competitiveness and personality, his willingness to do anything to help the program," Hecklinski said.

Winovich found the comfort level with the coaches he was looking for on his Michigan visit, and he didn't wait long to pledge. He's not Jabrill Peppers, Rivals.com's No. 3 overall prospect who will likely play both ways at U-M, but he will have an opportunity to be an outstanding linebacker at the next level.


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