Earlier tonight, Michigan picked up a commitment from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star offensive guard Greg Crippen. The former Notre Dame pledge picked the Wolverines over schools like Alabama, Auburn, Ohio State and USC among others.
Former Michigan lineman Rueben Riley took a look at Crippen's film and gave Wolverine Digest a very full rundown of what U-M is getting in the 6-4, 285-pounder.
From his center spot, Crippen has college-level shotgun snaps. 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.
Areas of Improvement
Crippen must maintain his base during run blocks. Defensive linemen and linebackers are good at shedding blocks and “dish-ragging” you if you don’t keep a base while driving them off the ball and finishing blocks. He could be more effective with the timing of his punch in pass pro too. He doesn't want to get into a habit of leaning or letting defensive linemen into his body. Versus the bullrush in pass pro, he must sink hips, re-dip hands and work to stop the rush with power and leverage.
Junior offensive lineman Greg Crippen is a grinder. He's a powerful technician at center who should be able to play any interior offensive line position at Michigan. He's definitely an awesome commit for Coach [Ed] Warinner.
At 6-4, 285 pounds, he already possesses collegiate size and just has to continue to develop mentally and physically as he adjusts to the strength and speed of college football. Coming from IMG Academy, which is a football factory, I think Greg is going to come into Michigan with a great foundation to build upon.
There are quite a few similarities to an interior offensive lineman we just lost to the NFL Draft in Ben Bredeson. The two have very similar demeanors on film. Both are strong and technically sound with the ability to play in space and finish blocks.
I’d love to also make some Ceasar Ruiz comparisons but much still needs to be seen to know if Greg possesses that elite level of quick-twitch, athletic ability that Ruiz possessed. The ability to accurately snap and reach a 1-tech or work with his guard to zone block a 3-tech up to a linebacker will be key in cracking the lineup at the center position. Also with the pin/pull scheme that offensive coordinator Josh Gattis and Warinner like to run it will be interesting to see if Greg is capable of snapping and pulling. I’m excited for Greg’s future at Michigan and hope to see him crack the starting line-up in the next couple years.