Michigan's 2014 recruiting class picked up a valuable third member this afternoon when Salt Lake City (Utah) Highland defensive tackle Bryan Mone pledged to the Maize and Blue.
The 6-4, 315-pound defensive tackle was offered by Michigan when he was just a sophomore - and plying his trade as a 225-pound defensive end. The Wolverines picked up his teammate, fullback Sione Houma, in the 2012 class, and that helped reel in Mone just a couple years later.
"[Sione]'s beasting it out right there," Mone said after visiting Michigan in November. "He starts on most or all of the special teams. I got to see him play as a freshman. That's amazing for him and it's cool. Seeing one of my teammates take it to another level is nice."
Now, Mone will have the opportunity to join Houma on that next level. He has the body of a space-eater, but the quickness to penetrate from the interior of the line. Physically, he's reminiscent of top defensive tackles like Haloti Ngata - and perhaps it's not coincidence that the Ravens star also plied his trade at Highland High School before moving on to Oregon and eventually the NFL.
On his fall visit to Ann Arbor, Mone struck up a relationship with head coach Brady Hoke, defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, and the rest of the Michigan coaching staff. He also got to see an amazing environment.
"It was amazing. First thing when I got there, I saw a lot of trees," he said with a chuckle. "I talked to Coach Hoke, Coach Montgomery, mostly all of the coaches before the game and after. It was just amazing, the fans are amazing, the community is amazing, the state by itself is amazing."
Mone joins St. Clairsville (Ohio) linebacker Michael Ferns and Richmond (Va.) Collegiate quarterback Wilton Speight in the 2014 recruiting class. Ranked No. 172 in the initial Rivals250, Mone is joined on the list by Ferns at No. 84.
Michigan's coaching staff is expected to sign approximately 20 commits in the class of 2014.