The state of Georgia’s top defensive recruit is leaving the Peach State to play college football. Aubrey Solomon announced in a televised ceremony on Wednesday that he will sign with Michigan.
This marks the second time Solomon has publicly said he will join Michigan. Last summer he committed to the Wolverines, only to back off that pledge after a couple of months. He later revealed that Michigan had sent him a letter thanking him for coming to a barbeque event he did not attend and that the missive contained spelling errors.
But apparently the mailing snafu was not disqualifying for Michigan. The Wolverines eventually got back in the picture for Solomon, and Jim Harbaugh went all out to lure him to Ann Arbor. The coach was seen racing a go-kart while visiting Solomon in Leesburg, Ga., in January. That effort was enough for Michigan to secure a spot on the list of four finalists Solomon released last month (along with Alabama, USC and Georgia).
Entering National Signing Day, the Wolverines and Alabama were viewed as the two leaders in this recruiting battle. In the end, Solomon decided to leave the Southeast for Big Ten Country. His decision comes less than a month after the Crimson Tide beat out Michigan in another recruiting battle for the nation's top overall recruit, Antioch (Calif.) High five-star running back Najee Harris. Solomon isn't quite as highly regarded as Harris, but that hardly diminishes the significance of his choice.
For Wolverines fans, celebrating the addition of an elite defensive lineman on signing day is nothing new. Last year Rashan Gary, the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2016, picked Michigan over Clemson. Solomon gives the Wolverines a talented piece in their front seven with the potential to make a similar impact. He'll help Michigan retool at a position group, the defensive line, that loses veterans Chris Wormley, Taco Charlton, Ryan Glasgow and Matt Godin this off-season.
The 6’3", 204-pound Solomon is highly regarded for his quickness and pass-rushing aptitude. Scout.com rates him the No. 2 defensive tackle in the country and No. 11 prospect overall. He’s the first of three esteemed players at his position to reveal their decisions on signing day. Episcopal (Texas) High’s Marvin Wilson, the nation’s No. 1 DT, and Bingham (Utah) High’s Jay Tufele, the nation’s No. 3 DT, will announce their choices later today.
The disappointment of Solomon’s decision will feel familiar for Georgia fans. The Bulldogs watched the state’s top defensive tackle (and overall) recruit in 2016, Derrick Brown, pick Auburn over Georgia. Coach Kirby Smart has assembled arguably the best class in program history, and he and his staff did well to sign a hefty collection of local talent, but Bulldogs supporters will lament missing out on the best in-state player at a critical position in consecutive years.
Here is Scout.com’s full scouting report on Solomon:
An athletic defensive lineman who knows how to get off the ball. He is most effective with his quickness. He has good anticipation and he reacts quickly in the trenches. Really gets up the field. Can make plays in the backfield. Gets consistent penetration. Can use his hands, but needs to improve that and his moves to counter offensive linemen. When he struggles, he tends to play high, so he can work on bettering his pad level. Just a quick defensive lineman who can make plays. Plays hard and plays fast for a guy his size.