After a big recruiting weekend for Michigan, the Wolverines continued to build momentum on the trail when Suffield (Conn.) Academy four-star defensive end Kechaun Bennett committed to Michigan late Wednesday night.
Just one day prior, Bennett released his top six group, listing Michigan along with Miami, Notre Dame, Cal, Ole Miss and Syracuse. Despite attractive options from those programs, Bennett felt it was prudent to choose Michigan because the school could benefit him not only as a football player but also as an individual later on in life.
“They are top ten in academics everywhere,” Bennett told Wolverine Digest. “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. Michigan can give me that opportunity.”
While the importance of academics is lip service for many recruits, Bennett used that data point as an influential factor in his recruitment, and it led him down the road to choose Michigan. Another benefit in the Wolverines’ favor is that Bennett has already had a chance to visit Ann Arbor and take in Michigan’s campus in March, so U-M had a leg up on its competition in that respect according to the new Wolverines pledge.
Standing at 6-4 and 220 pounds, Bennett plays on the defensive line for Suffield Academy, but the Michigan coaching staff feels that he could be an intriguing and impactful Viper at the next level. Before moving to defensive end at Suffield, Bennett played out of a two-point stance as a linebacker, so he is more than experienced dropping into coverage, which is one aspect of the Viper role.
This season, Bennett plans to play quite a bit from the three-point stance as a down lineman, but he is still going to practice his coverage skills and improve his mobility on his own time. Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown has tabbed Bennett as his next game-breaking Viper prospect, and the No. 1 player in Connecticut for the 2021 class ic committed to taking that role and running with it when he gets to college.
With Bennett in the fold, Michigan now has the No. 5 recruiting class in the country according to 247Sports.com. Bennett is listed as the No. 21 strong-side defensive end in the country, but he plays on both sides of the line for Suffield Academy.
Either way, Bennett’s pronounced versatility will be utilized to create mismatches when he arrives at Michigan, and Coach Brown is prepared to use him in a fashion that will help boost U-M’s pass rush.
Bennett also noted a strong relationship with defensive line coach Shaun Nua, so the new Michigan pledge has spent time getting to know several members of the Wolverines’ coaching staff. Bennett also mentioned that head coach Jim Harbaugh was an important factor in his recruitment as well.
How do you see Bennett fitting into Michigan’s defense down the road? Where should he play in Don Brown’s scheme? Let us know!