Michigan Football Recruiting: Breaking Down the Michael Onwenu Commitment


Apr 4, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh is seen during the Spring football game at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Four star Detroit Cass Tech OL/DL, Michael Onwenu, committed to Michigan earlier this week giving the Wolverines (at the time) a current total of 7 commits for the 2016 class. The Onwenu commitment is a very solid and important pick up for Michigan, as Onwenu also held an offer from rival Ohio State and other big time power 5 programs such as Alabama.

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As far as his game goes, Onwenu is, simply put, a smash mouth football player. He’s so smash mouth that if you looked up the term “smash mouth football player” in a textbook, there should be a photo of him next to the definition. He is the kind of player that Jim Harbaugh and his staff want here and the kind of player you need to have to win in the Big Ten. The Rich Rodriguezesque, all agility, no physicality type player need not apply.

On film, Onwenu reminds me of watching the portrayal of Michael Oher in “The Blindside” he gets his block and finishes it. He either drives the defender to the turf or drives him as far back as possible until the whistle blows. He is also surprisingly athletic for someone who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs in at 365 pounds. This is highlighted by his ability to pull from the guard spot and deliver a crushing kick out block. This skill set is important as offensive coordinator Tim Drevno’s system figures to include a lot of pulling, trapping, and wham plays.

Onwenu’s size and power translate to the college game and beyond, although he may need to redshirt a year to work within a college strength and conditioning program to redistribute his weight. However, once that is accomplished, the sky is the limit and I’m sure Harbaugh and strength and conditioning coach Kevin Tolbert have just the right program in place to ensure future success and more. His offer sheet alone screams potential. Just look at all the NFL offensive lineman Alabama has produced in recent years. Trust me, it hasn’t been by accident.

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Onwenu is the second offensive lineman to commit for the 2016 class joining 4-star OT Eric Swenson. The class has the potential to be outstanding on the O-line, as 247 sports indicates that in addition to Onwenu and Swenson, Michigan is also in play for 5-star OT Ben Bredeson, 4-star OG Terrance Davis, 4-star OG Michael Eletise and 4-star OT Devery Hamilton. This class could go a long way in reestablishing Michigan as a Big Ten power that is built on its ability to dominate the line of scrimmage.

Next: Kiante Enis Adds to a Great Class