Saturday, April 6, 2013

Brady Pallante, Wolverine

Naples (FL) Barron Collier defensive tackle Brady Pallante
Naples (FL) Barron Collier defensive tackle Brady Pallante committed to Michigan on Friday.  He chose the grayshirt offer from the Wolverines over a full scholarship from Appalachian State.

Pallante is a 6'1", 270 lb. prospect who claims a 370 lb. bench, a 580 lb. squat, and a 5.0 forty yard dash.  He is unrated on all four of the major recruiting sites.

Pallante was offered his grayshirt back in February, and he almost committed at the time.  However, he decided to hold off to avoid making a rash decision.  In the meantime, Appalachian State offered him a full ride.  Pallante decided to visit Michigan this week, and it seemed likely that he would take the opportunity to accept the offer.  A grayshirt means that he will start attending Michigan in Fall 2014 on his own dime, but when a scholarship opens up after the season, he will then join the team and begin going to school on scholarship; his true freshman season will be 2015, at which point he will have five years to play four.  Hypothetically, he could redshirt in 2015 and then play the 2016-2019 seasons.  Class of 2012 safety Jeremy Clark also accepted a grayshirt opportunity at one time, but when a scholarship opened up due to attrition, Michigan's coaches gave him a full ride upon enrollment.  That could very well happen with Pallante, too.

The young defensive tackle has a fair amount of potential, in my opinion.  He's a true nose tackle in a 4-3 Under defense, because he plays with great leverage as a short, stout fire hydrant.  He uses his hands well to control offensive linemen, he looks tremendously strong in the upper and lower body, and he's comfortable in either a right- or left-handed stance.  His first step is decently quick, and he does a good job of grabbing at ankles coming through the line, tripping up ball carriers before they can get a full head of steam.

Pallante will never be massive, since he's only listed at 6'1"; often players are even shorter, so he might only be about 6'0" tall.  He will probably top out at around 300-310 lbs.  His speed leaves a little bit to be desired; he won't be able to chase players from sideline to sideline, and he won't be much of a pass rusher.

Overall, I think Pallante can be a solid contributor, although perhaps not a stud at Michigan.  He won't put up big numbers like Mike Martin did, but there are some similarities there in size and technique.  Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison had a similar player with the Baltimore Ravens in the form of Kelly Gregg; Gregg has put up 80 tackles in a couple seasons and has had up to 3.5 sacks, mostly by playing with great leverage, showing consistent effort, and creating a pile in the middle of the line.

TTB Rating: 70 (ratings explanation)

Here are Pallante's junior highlights.


  1. I like the Gregg comp. He fits the profile of a lot of former Michigan interior linemen of the 90s. Glad to have him.

    Suck it App State!

  2. The Gray Shirt rules are a Gray area, but my reading of them says that if he enrolls on his own dime in Fall 2014 then that is his first year of eligibility. Whereas if he waits to enroll in Jan. 2015, (with scholarship) then he is treated as a 2015 EE. So if he enrolls in 2014 he loses a year of eligibility.

  3. Somewhat echoing what Lanknows said, does Pallante remind you at all of Rob Renes?

    1. Yes, and I do not believe Renes was considered a top flight highly recruited prospect. Although he might have come before star ratings. If he ends up with a Mich career like Renes had, that would be wonderful.

  4. I'm not quite clear on the strategy of offering a greyshirt, perhaps you can shed some light on it. Why is it better to get a lightly recruited player and give him a scholarship for only 3 (maybe 4) years rather than banking the scholarship for a much more highly touted player, though you'd be down a scholarship for an additional year? A scholarship is a scholarship, right? Why not save it for a player with a higher ceiling at the same position?

    I'm not saying I'm not thrilled to have a hard-nosed, undersized true NT who loves the hell out of Michigan. One of Bo's all time favorite players at M was one: Just want a little clarification on the strategy.

    1. I think the question here is numbers. The coaches want the kid, but they a) don't think he can contribute in a meaningful way as a true freshman and b) don't have the scholarships to give, with only 16 in the 2014 class. As for the first point, note that Jeremy Clark wasn't close to sniffing the field in 2012, although he ended up getting a full scholarship right off the bat. Pallante still has to add some weight, and as a high-level wrestler, he will probably be in weight-cutting mode through next March, which is the end of wrestling season.

      As for the second point, I think the coaches realize that Pallante is someone they really want. With Pipkins and a few other guys on board for 2014, there's no real rush to get him on the field. So they can wait until 2015 to bring him on the scholarship board. And frankly, I'm guessing there's a 50/50 chance that he ends up on scholarship by February of next year. All it would take is two more departures from the roster between now and then, which is practically a given. In a way, it gives the coaches an "in" with Pallante while they wait for one of their current players to get homesick, tired of sitting on the bench, etc.