After a big holiday weekend where Michigan picked up a pair of four-star 2021 commitments, the Wolverines moved to the No. 5 class overall with the addition of Suffield (Conn.) Academy four-star defensive end Kechaun Bennett late Wednesday night.
With Bennett in the fold, Michigan now lays claim to the No. 5 recruiting class in the entire country for the ’21 cycle according to 247Sports.com. Ever since recruiting visits were put on halt in mid-March, Michigan has gone on an absolute recruiting tear, picking up 12 commits from April 1 until now. Bennett is the most recent commit, and the mobile edge rusher spoke about why he decided to pick to Michigan.
“I was always leaning towards Michigan, and the whole corona thing was kind of messing my whole recruitment up because I wasn’t able to take visits,” Bennett told Wolverine Digest. “Since I already took a visit to Michigan, it was just the time to commit because I already had the visit and already had a connection with the coaches and I like how they run their team up there.”
Bennett mentioned that his early visit to Michigan gave the Wolverines a “one-up” on other schools. Just a day prior, Bennett released a top six with U-M among a group of schools, but the four-star admitted that he knew Ann Arbor was the place for him all along.
“They are actually top ten in academics everywhere,” Bennett said. “So everywhere that I looked online, they were top ten in academics, which is also very key for me because academically I want to graduate with a great degree. So, Michigan can give me that opportunity.”
Back in early March, Bennett took a trip to Michigan and had an opportunity to run through the stadium, take a look at the facilities and chat with members of the U-M coaching staff, such as head coach Jim Harbaugh, defensive coordinator Don Brown and defensive line coach Shaun Nua. They players were on vacation at the time, but Bennett says he felt a “good vibe” from everybody.
“I made a connection with Coach Nua and Coach Brown mostly,” Bennett said. “They were the guys that interacted with me mostly and made me feel like part of the team already. And Coach Harbaugh was also a key factor in that too. He was showing me love and talking to me. I’ve had conversations with him and Coach Brown a lot during FaceTimes. Coach Nua and Coach Brown were really the key people.”
Bennett expanded on why Nua helped him choose the Wolverines.
“I think he’s a very humble and straight up guy,” Bennett said. “He looks for the best in everybody. He just wants everybody to do great in life, so that’s why I lean towards him a little bit more. Whatever decision I made, he wanted me to just do great in life. That’s why I like him a lot.”
On tape, Bennett is a speedy edge rusher that regularly gains a step on his blocker before blowing up runs in the backfield or hitting the quarterback. As a result, the four-star product has grown accustom to bringing a high degree of energy when he takes the field.
“I bring a lot of aggression and I bring a lot of, I get everybody hyped just with the way that I play because I’m always moving,” Bennett said. “I never stop moving, and I just want to dominate everybody. I’m an animal, and I have a beast mentality.”
But at Michigan, the lightning-quick defender will be tasked with dropping into coverage at various times at well as a Viper. As a sophomore, Bennett played linebacker in addition to defensive end, so he does have experience in that respect, which will come in handy at Michigan.
“They are going to have me rushing the quarterback and dropping into coverage every now and then when I have to,” Bennett said. “I am super excited because I actually used to play linebacker before, and you know linebacker was a fun position, then I got all of my offers playing D-end, so I actually know how to play both. Right now, I’m just developing more in my linebacker position because I haven’t played it in so long, and I’m also bettering my defensive end position. I’m ready to play that position, the Viper.”
Since Bennett joined Michigan’s 2021 class, the Wolverines now have two defensive end commits, four outside linebacker commits and one Viper pledge.
Where do you see Kechaun Bennett playing as part of Michigan’s defense? What position would best utilize his talent? Let us know!