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.
Player: Jared Wangler, outside linebacker
Location: Warren (Mich.) De La Salle
Rankings: Three-star prospect, ranked the No. 17 player in the state of Michigan, according to Rivals.com.
Committed: Aug. 9, 2013.
Other Notable Offers: Penn State, LSU, Michigan State, Yale.
The Latest News On Wangler:
"Wangler and several other De La Salle players train with Lance Long, a Detroit native who played college football at Mississippi State and spent five seasons in the NFL, most recently with the Detroit Lions in 2012.
"'Lance has a facility near my school, and a couple of my teammates and I go there and do speed training, weight lifting and get a full workout there.
"'It is really great. At the end of the workouts, we always do one-on-ones, and I go against him. He was a receiver in the NFL, so that is definitely good competition. I am learning a lot from him. It gives me a chance to compete with some great athletes, which gives me an advantage.'
"While he is working with Long and in the weight room, Wangler, the son of former Michigan quarterback John Wangler, is counting down the days until he can join the Wolverines.
"'I am really excited," he said. "I can't wait to get up there. Growing up, I was a huge Michigan fan. And now it's only a couple months away.'
"Outside linebackers coach Roy Manning and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison have told Wangler they believe he will be a SAM linebacker at the next level. This year, Wangler paid extra attention to redshirt junior Jake Ryan and fifth-year senior Cam Gordon."
"Though he won't ever be the biggest - he's only 6-1, 210 pounds at this time, and only has a frame to get to around 230 pounds - or fastest linebacker on the field, he has the instincts to be around the ball whenever it's possible while still executing his own assignment. He's a tough player at either position, and the type who can be described as "just a football player" - no surprise given his lineage. Dad John is a former Michigan quarterback and older brother Jack is a freshman wideout at U-M this fall.
"Most interesting, Wangler was also exceptional on offense, and though our cameras weren't rolling, perhaps they should have been. He lined up at tight end, H-back, and slot receiver, and was the most sure-handed receiver on the Pilots' squad, with a couple circus grabs. Right in line with his personality on the other side of the ball, he simply had a knack for making plays once he corralled a pass. That included some nice moves - and some powerful running - through the secondary."
Analysis from TheWolverine.com's Tim Sullivan:
Strengths: "Wangler played safety as a senior for his high school team, so he's much more natural in coverage than many linebackers. He is a good athlete, and comes from a football family - older brother Jack is a sophomore wide receiver in Ann Arbor while dad John started at quarterback for the Maize and Blue in the 70s and 80s."
Weaknesses: "Since he played so far from the line of scrimmage this fall, Wangler will have to re-adapt to playing in traffic at the next level. He kept his weight down as a senior to remain mobile, so he'll have to bulk up beyond his current 218 pounds in college. Coming off a serious shoulder injury, it will take time to work back to that point."
What To Expect From Wangler In 2014: As mentioned in the editions of "Recruiting Recap" for Winovich and Furbush, a rookie linebacker may have a chance at playing time at strongside outside linebacker next season.
Unlike middle linebacker and weakside outside linebacker, which will both have at least two experienced, veteran players returning, the competition at SAM will be a bit open. Especially considering the amount of rotation the defensive coaches used at the linebacker spots this season, it's hard to imagine Jake Ryan, who will be a fifth-year senior, playing as much as he did in 2012. Most likely, he will share playing time with at least one player.
Cam Gordon, who excelled in the role last season, will be gone due to graduation. It's very likely that Brennen Beyer will stay at defensive end - for good this time.
Behind Ryan, the Wolverines will have Allen Gant, who will be a redshirt sophomore, but he has never played.
It's hard to say which, if any, of the freshmen will earn playing time next year. They all have strengths. Winovich is a run-stopper; Furbush is a pass-rusher; and Wangler is strong in coverage.
What To Expect From Wangler In His Career: Again, the three outside linebacker recruits' futures are all tied together.
Any one of them could end their careers at a different position. Wangler could wind up being a Jordan Kovacs-esque safety; Winovich could swap over time weakside outside linebacker; and Furbush could end up as a defensive end.
It's hard to predict which one - or ones - will end up taking over the SAM spot for good.