Monday, June 23, 2014

2014 Season Countdown: #63 Henry Poggi

Henry Poggi (image via Go Blue Wolverine)
Name: Henry Poggi
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 271 lbs.
High school: Baltimore (MD) Gilman
Position: Defensive end
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #7
Last year: I ranked Poggi #84 and said he would redshirt. He redshirted.

That most fascinating of defensive line species, the kind with the single-digit number, spent last year on the bench. He came in as a defensive tackle or strongside end, and he was undersized for both in his first year. This spring Poggi was backing up both positions once again, and with a slightly different role on the strong side, a huge weight gain isn't necessary. Poggi won't push to start, and he probably won't be the second guy in, either, but he appears to be the #3 guy at strongside end behind Brennen Beyer and Taco Charlton. Keith Heitzman's move to offense and Chris Wormley's growth into a defensive tackle make the path to playing time a little clearer going forward. Once Beyer graduates after the 2014 season, Charlton and Poggi should be the remaining players at the position. Things are a little murkier on the inside, but Michigan has more depth there and can probably make do without Poggi.

Prediction: Backup strongside end


  1. Poggi is an important player for UM. They have a bunch of DT's in DE-bodies (Godin, Strobel, etc.). But based on the spring game, I think Poggi can be a legit DE. UM is replacing the two starting DE's after this season. So it is important that Poggi and Taco develop (holding out hope for Ojemudia too). Getting back to the spring game, I thought Poggi looked the part. He got pushed around a little and needs some strength. But he looked natural out on the edge.

  2. It seems like we have about fifteen of these "DT/DE" tweener/hybrids. I guess it's analagous to RichRod's slot receivers.

    1. It does seem that way at times, but there are really only a few (Poggi, Godin, Strobel, maybe Wormley). That's kind of the way it goes when you have a defense with interchangeable positions, because Michigan was recruiting for the Under defense.

    2. I think it's because the OL has some G/T tweeners too. The combination makes it feel like the lines are full of tweeners.

      The question is: Are these guys really capable of playing well at multiple positions? Or are they tweeners/hybrids because they're too small for the position they belong at?

  3. I'm having a hard-time getting over viewing Poggi as a DT. Thunder called him "limited athletically" as a recruit, which was consistent with most profiles, but surprising giving his stellar offer list. He seemed like a high-end reliable block-eater, not a big-time playmaking TFL threat.

    Putting him on the edge just doesn't fit with that. So, either the assessments were wrong (possible), or Poggi is just too light for the part right now and is biding his time at end, where he won't just get physically abused. I think the latter is more likely, so I'd be pretty surprised if he saw meaningful time this year. I think he's sitting behind most of a large group of DE/DT tweeners (Charlton, Wormley, Godin, Glasgow, Strobel). I'd also guess Clark would flip sides and Ojemudia and Marshall would play before Poggi did. Actually, I think it'll be a common occurrence on passing downs to see 2 of those 3 weak-side ends.

    I'm still optimistic he'll end up a rotation DT at some point. Many DLmen, especially inside, take several years to develop the size and technique needed, not unlike OL.

    Prediction: Moves inside before next Spring Game. Spends season riding bench and eating lots of food. If you see him sitting around during the game, pass him some nachos.

    1. Just because someone has athletic limitations does not mean he won't be effective in college though. It just means he is not on an NFL fast-track. There are a lot of good DE's in the B1G who are not physical specimens (Marcus Rush, Pat Muldoon, Trinca-Passat, etc.).

      I'll be surprised if they move him to DT. UM just does not have enough DE's at this point and if they moved him down, where would the DE depth in '15 be? DT is just overloaded now that Strobel and Godin have moved down. And calling Poggi a block-eater is off base. His agility actually looked pretty good in the spring game, but he is not someone who can yet hold up at the point of attack.

    2. I think Michigan would prefer to have a pass-rush threat at end. Michigan has plenty of DE (or DT's like Poggi who can work there). I don't think Strobel or Godin are inhibiting anyone from playing. Clark, Ojemudia, and Charlton seem like the big 3 and after that, I expect the '15 recruits to factor in to '15 playing time as well.

      If you can't eat blocks and you can't pass rush (which takes athleticism) then you're basically limited to trying be a run-stopper at the line of scrimmage -- a limited role. Michigan can do better.

  4. @ Lanknows

    Man, you think you know everything. You always post with a sense of "I know what I'm talking about" (hell, your name even has "knows" in it) even if there's nothing to support it. You talk about players' futures who have never even played as if you're some kind of Nostradamus for their careers. You act like you know what the coaches and coordinators are going to do. Get off your high horse, you don't know a GD thing.

    In fact, some of the stupidest comments come from you.


    1. I don't see how Lanknows predictions are any more Nostradamus-like than anyone else's. Fans from every corner of fandom make predictions about how players' careers are going to go.

      I don't see anything he said in this conversation that deserves as much venom as you're spewing.

    2. @Anon

      If in anyway you're not satisfied with my product, I guarantee a full refund. And that's a fact!

  5. A natural DT who is going to be playing DE because he hasn't bulked up enough to play DT? Meh. Sounds like a familiar refrain with this program nowadays.

    He might move inside some day but I can't think of any good DTs at Michigan over the past 20 years who have made that switch.