Michigan Wolverines: Henry Poggi

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Now is a time when kids who are sports fans will need explanations for conference names.

They’ll want to know that at one point the “Pac” in Pac-12 (then eight) stands for the Pacific Ocean and that the conference held teams that were near that body of water, and that Arizona and Arizona State, being in deserts, isn’t just irony for the sake of conference humor. Or that the “East” in Big East didn’t initially imply “east of the Mississippi.” Or that something as simple as the Big Ten once truly had 10 teams.

But it’s a sign of the times, and conference realignment is a constant reality for today’s athletes. While the “Ten” in Big Ten is now a misnomer, it still lives up to the “Big” part, and the conference’s territory keeps growing bigger and bigger.

WolverineNation Roundtable 

June, 6, 2013
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Byrd StadiumMark Goldman/Icon SMIMichigan will make its first trip to Maryland's Byrd Stadium for the 2015 B1G opener.
Every Thursday our writers sit down and discuss a few topics surrounding Michigan athletics. However, with the summer upon us, vacations are here and Mike is relaxing this week so with this roundtable we invited in WolverineNation editor Bob McClellan.

1. The Big Ten released its 2015 conference schedule on Monday. What struck you initially about the match ups?

Bob McClellan: The opener at Maryland. It’s the first opportunity for Michigan ever to play in College Park, and the Baltimore/D.C. area is an important one in which to recruit. Current Wolverines Blake Countess (Our Lady of Good Counsel) and Henry Poggi (The Gilman School) are from the area, and Michigan offered two of Countess’ former teammates who were members of the ESPN 150 in 2013. It’s reasonable to believe playing at Maryland every other year could pay recruiting dividends.

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State of the Rivalry: Defensive line 

February, 26, 2013
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The writers at WolverineNation and BuckeyeNation put their heads together to break down the rivals' 2013 recruiting classes. They'll give readers a position-by-position look at who coaches Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer signed and, ultimately, which class edged out the other. It's too early to say what will happen through the next few seasons, and we won't make any promises except that Hoke and Meyer are going to put talent on the field.


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Brady Hoke's recruiting has followed a pattern at Michigan. The Wolverines start extremely fast, pile up elite prospects, sprinkle in a few later in the cycle and finish with a nationally decorated class. This year's crop seems to be no different as Michigan, along with archrival Ohio State, has secured a spot among the nation's top classes. Hoke and his staff targeted both lines, especially the offensive line, and signed five offensive linemen ranked in the ESPN 300. Michigan made arguably its biggest splash in late January by adding standout Derrick Green, rated as the nation's No. 5 running back by ESPN Recruiting.

ESPN.com caught up with Hoke to discuss Michigan's 27-man 2013 class.

What were your primary objectives with this class and the top needs for Michigan, and how did you do in terms of meeting them?

Brady Hoke: Well, No. 1, both of our fronts, offensively and defensively, when we came in a couple years ago, we only had eight scholarship offensive linemen. So the last two years, we've been trying to built that. I think the coaches did a tremendous job. And then that was the same way on defense. We needed to make sure we were doing our job. A year ago, we took six defensive linemen, and this year, we took three. We really wanted to help ourselves up front. We had to find some tight ends in both years [2012 and 2013], because this [had been] a spread team that had only played minimally with a tight end. We were fortunate enough to have Kevin Koger our first year, who did a tremendous job. So those really were what the needs were. We wanted to get a quarterback, big running backs in this class, that was very important, and try to get some more length at the corner position, guys with a lot of range to them.

[+] EnlargeBrady Hoke
Andrew Weber/USA TODAY SportsWith only 11 returning starters, Michigan coach Brady Hoke said he's excited about the competition this spring.
You mentioned the offensive line and it seems like you really loaded up in the interior. What stood out to you about that group?

BH: The biggest thing is we wanted guys who could really control the line of scrimmage from a run-blocking standpoint. Those guys who could really dominate at the point of attack, the guys who would really finish well on their blocks. Having Taylor [Lewan] around with this group and the group from last year for another year, it's a big part of it.

What's the significance of Derrick Green's signing at running back?

BH: The significance will be that it's a big back. He was a nationally rated guy, obviously, which is always exciting. But we needed some big backs, and Derrick is a guy who fits that mold. He can break tackles, he runs hard, he's a downhill runner and with what we want to do in the two-back sets, it's something that we thought him and Deveon Smith and Wyatt Shallman could bring to us.

What was your reaction when you found out Derrick had committed?

BH: We were excited, obviously. That's always exciting when you compete for a young man who you really believe in your heart that this is the best place for him. And then he decides that's where he needs to go.

You've mentioned the linemen, but who are some of the guys who can help you out on the perimeter?

BH: When you look at the secondary, Ross Douglas and Dymonte Thomas both being in school now, that helps them with their development. Jourdan Lewis is an exceptional athlete that we've been able to see do a lot of things. Delano Hill will be one of those safeties who will shock you when he tackles you. And Channing Stribling and Reon Dawson are both big corners. So I think we'll have great competition, and that always makes you better.

You haven't been afraid to play young players on defense at Michigan. Do you see some of these defenders you signed today helping you as freshmen?

BH: I think that's to be seen, but there's no doubt that those guys who have that innate ability from an athleticism point of view, the mental makeup and so forth, they can possibly do that.

What type of quarterback is Shane Morris and what are you getting from a leadership standpoint?

BH: We're getting a lot as a leader. He was our first [verbal] commitment of this class. He did a tremendous job of recruiting guys and really trying to get close to potential classmates and guys who did come within the class. From a football standpoint, his demeanor on the field, his arm strength, his intelligence, his vision, we all think is very good.

You've done well in Michigan and in the Midwest. Are you looking to expand the recruiting reach more in the future?

BH: We're always going to take that 300-mile, 400-mile radius and try to do the best possible job there, but being the national brand Michigan is, when you look at it from the standpoint of the academic reputation and the history and the tradition of the football here, we're real excited about going wherever we need to and find those guys that fit the mold of what we're looking for at Michigan.

Defensive line is always top of mind for you. What do you think about the guys you brought in there?

BH: Henry Poggi is going to be a very good player here. He's got that ability, that quickness, loose in the hips. Maurice Hurst is a very powerful, great-first-step inside player. When you look at Taco Charlton, he's a 6-6 defensive end, he's got a lot of range and can create a lot of havoc. He's a very good athlete, good basketball player. We have three guys I think will be pretty good players for us.

You and Ohio State are big rivals on the field. How intense is the rivalry between you two in recruiting?

BH: You're recruiting and you're competitive, which you have to be in this business. It's always a competitive situation. Do you want to win? Yeah. We've taken nine guys out of the state [of Ohio] who we feel very good about.

What stands out to you most about this recruiting cycle at Michigan?

BH: It was a different year to some degree. Possibly having a lot of commitments early was part of it. When Shane committed early, it kind of snowballed. When Taco Charlton was here on an unofficial [visit], he committed after a basketball game. Some of it's shocking, as quickly as things went, but it was a very good year for us.
Over the next few weeks, WolverineNation will look at every position on the Michigan roster and give a depth chart analysis of each position on the roster heading into the offseason.

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and his defensive coordinator, Greg Mattison, both have backgrounds as defensive line coaches and perhaps more than any other position on the roster, have high expectations for their defensive linemen. Hoke believes a lot of a team’s success starts there.

Both also preach the importance of technique perfection -- and have for years. It is what makes this year’s defensive tackles group an interesting one for the Wolverines.

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The final ESPN150/300 rankings and class rankings were released on Thursday. A Michigan class that started out the 2013 teams rankings at No. 1 slipped again, mostly do to a precipitous drop for one prospect.

But the news wasn’t all bad, as one of the five offensive line commits in the class made a nice move up the charts.


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Cal commit Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial) has become one of the top offensive line targets for a number of schools across the country. The four-star prospect recently returned home from the Under Armour All-America Game in Florida -- the first leg of an action-packed January -- and is focused on evaluating his options with less than a month to go until national signing day.


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Hackenberg, Olsen earn UA Game starts

January, 3, 2013
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Black Team offense

Quarterback: Christian Hackenberg (Penn State)

Running back: Alvin Kamara

Receiver: Alvin Bailey (Florida), Robert Foster (Alabama), Damore'ea Stringfellow (Washington)

Tight end: O.J. Howard (Alabama)

Offensive tackle: Darius James (Texas), Denver Kirkland

Offensive guard: Grant Hill (Alabama), Joas Aguilar (Texas A&M)

Center: Hunter Bivin (Notre Dame)

Captains: Kelvin Taylor, Hunter Bivin, Robert Nkemdiche, Ben Boulware

Black Team defense

Defensive end: Robert Nkemdiche, Elijah Daniel

Defensive tackle: Greg Gilgmore (LSU), Kennedy Tulimasealii (Hawaii)

Inside linebacker: Ben Boulware (Clemson)

Outside linebacker: Alex Anzalone (Notre Dame), Matthew Thomas

Safety: Keanu Neal (Florida), Leon McQuay III

Cornerback: Vernon Hargreaves III (Florida), Tarean Folston (Notre Dame)

Black Team special teams

Long snapper: Tyler Kluver (Iowa)

Kicker/punter: Sean Covington (UCLA)

White Team offense

Quarterback: Kevin Olsen (Miami)

Running back: Keith Ford (Oklahoma)

Receiver: Laquon Treadwell, Ryan Green (Florida State), Jalin Marshall (Ohio State)

Tight end: Hunter Henry (Arkansas)

Offensive tackle: Derwin Gray (Maryland), Dorian Johnson (Pittsburgh)

Offensive guard: Patrick Kugler (Michigan), David Dawson (Michigan)

Center: Scott Quessenberry (UCLA)

White Team defense

Defensive end: Carl Lawson (Auburn), Joey Bosa (Ohio State)

Defensive tackle: Henry Poggi (Michigan), Kelsey Griffin (South Carolina)

Inside linebacker: Reuben Foster, Yannick Ngakoue

Outside linebacker: Trey Johnson

Safety: Max Redfield, Antonio Conner

Cornerback: Gareon Conley (Ohio State), Shaq Wiggins (Georgia)

White Team special teams

Long snapper: Brendan Turelli

Kicker: Ryan Santoso (Minnesota)

Punter: Shane Tripucka

Captains: Ryan Green, Hunter Henry, Patrick Kugler, Reuben Foster
Defensive tackle Henry Poggi (Baltimore/Gilman) had a chance to go up against some pretty talented offensive linemen week in and week out.


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Watch: Henry Poggi on Under Armour game

October, 5, 2012
10/05/12
2:06
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Michigan commit and ESPN 300 defensive tackle Henry Poggi (Baltimore/Gillman), talks about the honor of being selected to play in the Under Armour All-America Game.

Weekly Update 

September, 20, 2012
9/20/12
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The Weekly Update at WolverineNation is a sneak peak inside Michigan recruiting.

As with everything we do here, we ask that this information stays on The Den Forum.

This information is for WolverineNation subscribers only.

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WolverineNation recruiting writer Tom Van Haaren and TideNation recruiting writer Greg Ostendorf came together on Thursday to discuss various topics. Here are the results of their conversation:

Question: Alabama and Michigan kick off the 2012 season in Dallas on Saturday. What would a win do for recruiting?

Greg Ostendorf: Alabama has become accustomed not just to playing in national spotlight games early in the season, but winning those games. That has paid dividends on the recruiting trail. It also doesn’t hurt to have won two national championships in the last three seasons. However, Michigan’s 2013 class is ranked higher than Alabama’s, so a win over the Wolverines on Saturday, especially if it’s in convincing fashion, could slow down the momentum for Brady Hoke and remind recruits of the SEC’s dominance during the last decade.

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Melvin Keihn has two more scholarship offers to consider.

The junior linebacker from Baltimore Gilman recently picked up scholarship offers from Virginia Tech and North Carolina.

“Great schools!” Keihn stated via text message to ESPN. “Virginia Tech is known as one of the best football programs in the ACC. Also UNC is a good school academics-wise and football-wise.”

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Michigan Mailbag 

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
12:00
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Football season is less than three months away -- summer comes first -- but recruiting never stops.

This week’s Mailbag addresses some football and, as always, some recruiting. The Mailbag, though, is only as good as the questions you ask so send questions for next week’s edition to michaelrothsteinespn@gmail.com or fire off on Twitter @mikerothstein

On to your questions.

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Michigan added again to its already strong 2013 class with a commitment from the versatile Henry Poggi (Baltimore, Md./Gilman). The four-star is a good pick-up for the Wolverines as he could help on offense as a blocking tight end or on the defensive line. With two tight ends already on board in this class it is likely he will play on defense when he lands in Ann Arbor.

Defensively he could play on the edge, but in the long run with additional mass he probably will better fit as a defensive tackle where he is ranked on RecruitingNation. Regardless of how the Wolverines choose to use him they are a getting a coach's son who is a heady player and shows good toughness as well.

At this stage he is a bit of a 'tweener size wise as a defensive lineman and will need to continue to add mass and fill out his frame to play inside. He flashes a good get-off, but needs to be more consistent. He is tough taking on blockers and defending the run as he can play low and be active with his hands as well recognize and react well to blocking schemes. As a pass rusher he comes up field hard and though he needs to continue to further develop as a pass rusher he can make blockers work to try and stop him. He also plays with a motor and is a good physical tackler.

Poggi might not be among the most dynamic D-Line prospects in this class, but he is a smart, tough and versatile football player, and those are traits that can add value to Michigan’s roster. Might be some time before Poggi is able to add size and settle into his best fit, but in the short-term his versatility could be called on and in the long run Michigan should have a good, productive defender.

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