Thursday, June 6, 2013

2013 Season Countdown: #84 Henry Poggi

Henry Poggi
Name: Henry Poggi
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 270 lbs.
High school: Baltimore (MD) Gilman
Position: Defensive tackle
Class: Freshman
Jersey number: N/A
Last year: Poggi was a senior in high school. I gave him a TTB Rating of 79.

Spurning SEC schools Alabama and Tennessee, Poggi committed to Michigan in June 2012. He went on to play in the Under Armour All-America Game and did pretty well there. There was some hand wringing near the end of the recruiting process over Poggi, because he decided to visit the Crimson Tide and stopped talking to the media for a while.  He and his father/high school coach Biff indicated that the visit was more of a chance to see teammates, but I have a suspicion that Henry was waffling on his commitment a little bit.

Regardless, Poggi signed with the Wolverines and will now look to jump into the fray. He's not the biggest defensive tackle around - especially right now - but I think he could play three defensive line positions at some point: nose tackle, 3-tech defensive tackle, and/or strongside end.  As a freshman, his best bet to see the field would probably be 5-tech defensive end, but there are a few older guys to surge past if he wants to play. My guess is that he will spend this year watching.

Prediction: Redshirt


  1. I'm very much enjoying the countdown again, thank you very much. I'm still awaiting the 12 walkons you think will contribute this year.

    I'm surprised the walk-ons outrank so many of the true freshmen, who should at least play a role on the scout teams this year. Also, I thought someone like Shallman would be a candidate to burn a redshirt on special teams at least.

    I hope we can redshirt at least as many as you're predicting. With such a big incoming class, we don't want to rely on too many of them on the field this fall.

  2. I too am surprised at where some of these true freshmen are ranked, but I am taking it as a sign that he is optimistic about the depth we have. Why burn Poggi's redshirt when we have several new redshirt freshmen to see playing time? This is a great situation to be in, but nevertheless I think a couple of these guys down here will see playing time. There are always more true freshmen playing than what seems strictly logical to an outsider.

    1. A few of these guys might play, but keep in mind that there's more depth this year than in past years at a lot of these positions. We've only gone through about 10 freshmen so far, and it's not a stretch to assume that at least 10 freshmen from a 27-man class will redshirt. In fact, I would bet that AT LEAST ten freshmen will redshirt...but whether it's the guys I'm predicting or not, who knows?

    2. I agree, I hope we can redshirt 14-15 of these guys for several reasons. First, it means our upperclassmen are getting the job done and second, it means we can have 5th year veterans down the line.

      My only reservation is that there are so many walk-ons above these guys. Even if there's a 20-30% chance a player like Smith sees the field this fall, I would think that if he does, the actual contribution he would be making would be far more important to the success of the team than a player like Anthony Capatina.

    3. The thing about red-shirts is that they are very overrated by fans. While the upside of having a 5th year player is great, the downside is fewer players coming through your program. Assuming no attrition whatsoever, you're average recruiting class would be 17 people if they're all red-shirted and 21 if they're not. Smaller recruiting classes means fewer shots at landing star players or marginal "last guy in the class" types like Dennis Norfleet, who can end up being great assets.

      Just saying - not every 'burned red-shirt' is a bad thing. Even if he doesn't play a lot, a kid can contribute a bit and/or accelerate his development. Those benefits can be enough to outweigh the option of an extra year.

      As fans, we tend to think of ARGH guys we'd love to have back (like Denard) but for every guy like that there are five Mike Cox or Mike Jones type of players where, had they hypothetically helped the team on even a single special teams play as freshman, we would have gotten more out of them without the red-shirt.

    4. By my quick count, Michigan's biggest class during the Rivals/Carr era was the 2005 class, which had 23 signees, and redshirted 18 players in their first year. My memory might be a little fuzzy, so don't quote me on that, but if I remember correctly, the only 5 guys who played as true freshmen were Antonio Bass, Kevin Grady, Brandon Harrison, Mario Manningham, and Terrance Taylor. In a class of 27, redshirting 10-15 isn't out of the question at all. I think some perceptions may have been thrown out of whack by Michigan playing so many young guys in the last 4-5 years, but the roster was greatly diminished by attrition and a lack of talent. For a couple years, we were hovering around 69-75 true scholarship players. In situations like that, you need guys like Cullen Christian and Courtney Avery to play as true freshmen. In a normal situation with some stability, those guys wouldn't need to be on the field.

    5. Yeah, in an ideal world there is great stability, small selective recruiting classes, and 5th year seniors being replaced by 4th year juniors with backup experience in the starting lineups.

      Of course, this is not how it plays out and attrition and busts happen. Where it's coming is impossible to know, so that's why every red-shirt call isn't so obvious.

      That stability, I think, is coming for Michigan. It's something that Wisconsin has thrived on. They have a system and everyone knows what to expect and they don't loose many people.

      The downside, to the extent that it matters, is you get dinged in the recruiting rankings for smaller recruiting classes. Nearly every ranking is 80% class size-based, which is really stupid IMO. The chart that Mgoblog's Mathlete put together is one of the better ways I've seen to compare recruiting classes. Otherwise, we should be ranking by average # of stars, not total aggregate stars.

  3. Totally agree with your take on Poggi. Should end up inside but if he plays as a freshman it's probably at 5-tech.

    Also think he'll red-shirt given the big DL class taken last year. If he plays it will be because he is very good, not out of need - which makes it less likely he does.

    1. Poggi has said that the staff intends for him to start out as a 5 tech and move inside as he puts on weight. I see a similar path as Chris Wormley.

  4. I don't think that Poggi is redshirting. Too much talent in him/lack of depth on the D-line is going to prevent him from redshirting. I see him playing in about 10 games this season.

    1. I agree that Poggi shouldn't redshirt. According to Rivals he was the 2nd highest rated recruit in the 2013 class. At the Under Armour game he looked like one of the best pass rushers. I know that we have Heitzman, Strobel, and Godin at the 5-tech spot, but I think Poggi could be a better pass rusher than any of those three this year. I think he plays this year as a pass-rushing specialist.