Freshmen Faces: Reece Atteberry
Aurora (Colo.) Eaglecrest center Reece Atteberry comes to Michigan as a 6-5, 280-pound lineman with a lot of versatility. He's played several spots along the offensive line throughout his high school career, but might project best to center at the collegiate level. Per the 247 Composite Ranking, he's a three-star prospect and is considered the No. 435 prospect overall and the No. 8 ranked center nationally.
Atteberry committed to Michigan on June 23, 2019 while in town for a big visit weekend. Throughout his recruitment he reeled in more than 20 offers and chose the Wolverines over Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, California, Iowa, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Oregon, USC, Utah and others.
Player Breakdown/Player Comparison
Atteberry is big and strong and is certainly destined for life on the interior. He's more adept at run blocking right now but shows the footwork and agility to be very good as a pass blocker as well. He uses those skills to pull and get out in space quite well, which is extremely valuable from guard or even center. He's got decent length, which is always a good thing in pass protection, but wouldn't be considered overly lengthy like true offensive tackles often are.
If we're looking to the NFL, I think Atteberry compares favorably to Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro. With a couple of years in U-M's strength and conditioning program, Atteberry could easily get to DeCastro's 319 pounds and build wise, they're similar. DeCastro is described as an elite run blocker who is great at pulling and has a high hit rate of blocking at the second level of the defense. I see a lot of that with Atteberry whether he ends up at guard or center.
Michigan does have four job openings along the offensive line but Atteberry likely won't be up for one of them. It's just very rare for true freshmen offensive linemen to make an impact. It's a massive jump from high school to college, especially in the strength department, which makes it tough for rookies to crack the rotation.
I predict a redshirt year for Atteberry as he gets bigger, stronger and really settles into a position. Right now, I think he'll be at center, but guard is certainly possible and he played a lot of tackle at a high level in high school as well.