- Chantel Jennings, ESPN Staff Writer
Defensive end Jason Hatcher of the Dallas Cowboys hasn’t made a whole lot of noise in his NFL career.
But there's another defensive end named Jason Hatcher (Louisville/Trinity) whom Michigan fans are going to be hearing a lot about soon. The 2013 recruit is quickly becoming one of the top defensive line prospects in the country. He already boasts offers from Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma and Michigan.
Hatcher plans on visiting Ann Arbor at some point this spring in the hopes of getting to know the coaching staff better and seeing the campus.
"I want to see what Michigan has to offer," Hatcher said. "I just want to learn a lot more about the coaches and what their plan on using me is."
Hatcher said the three main aspects he's looking for in a school are: academic support (he's looking into pre-veterinarian studies), defensive schemes and coaching, and what the depth charts look like right now.
However, his biggest concern with defensive schemes at Michigan is that it doesn't run a 3-4 , which would allow him to play both linebacker and defensive end. So far four schools have told Hatcher that they would allow him to play both positions (Tennessee, South Carolina, Ohio State and Texas A&M).
"I play the game a lot better from outside linebacker," Hatcher said. "But I like the game more from defensive end because the game is simplified, just stop the run first and get after the quarterback."
Hatcher said has spoken with Michigan linebackers coach Mark Smith about the options to play both defensive end and linebacker for the Wolverines and is hoping to speak at greater length with both Smith and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison this weekend.
There are no clear frontrunners for Hatcher as of now, but by his first game in August he said he will have his list of five. At that point he will make his official visits to those schools and decide once his visits are over.
He said he's not worried about deciding later than others, even though some classes are filling up faster than others. However, Michigan has only one defensive end committed in the 2013 class (Taco Charlton).
Hatcher knows he has a rare combination of size and quickness that could make him an asset to most colleges, and coaches definitely haven’t overlooked that.
"I like being able to transform from going with my hand down on the line to going up and covering a zone and being on a running back that can come out the backfield," Hatcher said. "My motor allows me to get to the other side of the field and take plays down."
6dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy
7dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy