After a prolonged dry spell on the recruiting trail for Michigan’s 2021 class, four-star offensive lineman Greg Crippen bucked that trend and issues his U-M pledge on Wednesday afternoon.
Once a Notre Dame commit, Crippen continued to evaluate other schools to find the connection between the coaches he was looking for while exploring his academic opportunities too. Crippen found the perfect combination between those two facets at Michigan.
“Academics was priority one going into this process,” Crippen told Wolverine Digest. “I plan on majoring in Business. The Ross School is a top school and for my future. I also wanted big time football, and the Big House gives you that while playing in the Big Ten.”
Last season, Crippen visited Michigan for its contest against Middle Tennessee State, and the home opener presented an enticing atmosphere for the 6-4, 275 pound lineman. The coaching staff, however, played as big of a role as any in the timing of his verbal pledge.
“The staff is a major reason for my commitment,” Crippen said. “They never stopped recruiting me and my family. It’s all about relationships. You can see from this year’s combine for Michigan.”
In terms of his impact at Michigan, Crippen offers a versatile profile as a blocker that is competent in both run and pass sets from multiple positions. As a freshman at Milton Academy in Massachusetts, Crippen anchored the team’s offensive line from the guard position. From there, Crippen continued to play guard at IMG during his sophomore season before transitioning to center at the start of the 2019 campaign.
With that in mind, the Wolverines coaching staff told Crippen that he could expect to play anywhere along the interior offensive line.
With Crippen in the fold, Michigan sports the No. 17 class in the country for the 2021 cycle according to 247Sports.com. Crippen is the team’s second commit to the offensive line and its fourth pledge overall.
As longtime U-M commits, five-star quarterback J.J. McCarthy and four-star offensive lineman did the honors of welcoming Crippen into their tight circle.
Despite the current situation surrounding on-campus visits and the coronavirus, Crippen is looking to take his official visit to Michigan on Friday, June 19. Crippen, who checks in as the No. 11 offensive guard in the country, is not planning on taking any other official visits.
Yesterday, Wolverine Digest caught up with former Michigan offensive lineman Rueben Riley to break down what fans can expect from Crippen on the field in years to come.
"From his center spot, Crippen has college-level shotgun snaps," Riley said. "They are sharp and clean; not the lofty arch snaps you see from many high school centers. He's also technically sound with his feet and hands. He's very strong and explosive into blocks in the run game and really has a mean streak and the motor to finish blocks. He possesses power in his punch in pass pro and moves well in space. He doesn’t have much wasted motion."
What are your thoughts on Michigan’s recruiting haul from Wednesday? Where would you like to see Crippen contribute at— guard or center? Let us know!