At the tail end of March, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star offensive lineman Greg Crippen committed to Michigan and helped establish the position group as a strength for U-M in the 2021 class. At the time, Crippen was only the third pledge for Michigan in the 2021 cycle, but the Wolverines have since risen to the No. 12 position in the country with 13 pledges in total.
Playing at IMG Academy but originally from Massachusetts, Crippen is a 6-4, 285-pound prospect that could be used anywhere along the interior offensive line at the next level. Before transferring to IMG, Crippen serves as an offensive guard for his high school, and he now mans the center position at the talent-rich program.
This season, Crippen is preparing for another season at center, but the option to slide into potentially three positions will be a useful card for U-M offensive line coach Ed Warriner to play.
On film, Crippen is a well-rounded blocker that is technically sound in both run blocking and pass protection. Crippen delivers a strong pop at the point of attack, which helps open up running lanes during rushing attempts. As a pass blocker, though, Crippen uses that same powerful punch to spin pass rushers off balance and to help carve out the top of the pocket from the center position.
In certain instances, Crippen does not have a defensive lineman directly in front of him, and the four-star prospect shows the ability to diagnose the play quickly and hit a defender with a combination block. This quick thinking will be useful at either guard or center, and it shows that Crippen has studied his position thoroughly.
At 6-4 and 285 pounds, Crippen has a strong frame and could reasonably add more size before arriving at Michigan. Crippen also uses that length during pass protection to help stifle crashing defensive tackles.
Shortly after Crippen committed, former Michigan offensive lineman Rueben Riley broke down Crippen’s film and provided his insight on what type of prospect the Wolverines will be receiving in the future.
"From his center spot, Crippen has college-level shotgun snaps," Riley told Wolverine Digest. "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."
According to Riley, the Michigan commit has a solid base and is well off from a technique standpoint at this stage in his development, both quality signs for the Wolverines.
Additionally, 247Sports.com national recruiting director Brandon Huffman analyzed Crippen’s film to help paint a picture of what the powerful blocker is like on the field.
“An interior linemen who is a natural center, Crippen does a good job of making the snap then engaging the necessary defender,” Huffman said. “Uses his hands well and keeps his defender engaged. Decently flexible, at times looks like he's bending at the waist but then shows more knee bend. Looks for contact and where he can deliver a punch. Occasionally lunges so we'll need to work on that and keep his balance while also keeping his feet chopping. Projects as multi-year Power 5 starter.”
Currently, Crippen is one of three offensive lineman that are committed to Michigan, joining four-star offensive tackle Giovanni El-Hadi and four-star center Raheem Anderson. Given Anderson’s ability to play center, Crippen is likely to start out as a guard, though it would not be surprising for him to see a legitimate look at center down the line.
Where would you start Crippen out at when he arrives at Michigan? Is center depth more of a concern for the Wolverines? Let us know!