Thursday, August 23, 2012

Recapping 2012 Commit Tom Strobel

As we start to wind our way toward the end of our 2012 recruiting recaps, we reach what could be one of the more surprising recruits in the 2012 class, Tom Strobel.  Not only did he grow up as an Ohio State fan in Mentor, Ohio, but he also took advice from Drew Brees on making his college decision.  Talk about a cool way to pick Michigan.  I think that will do all the more to make him value his decision and should make the rivalry with the Buckeyes all the more meaningful for Strobel.

Strobel comes in with a good amount of hype from the major recruiting services and the fans.  He stands at 6'6" and weighs 252 lbs according to Michigan's athletic site.  Will that be enough to get him some early playing time?  Perhaps, but he does need to work on his strength and he's pretty raw in terms of his technique.  I anticipate both of these problems will pass in time, but it is something to note, especially when we're discussing the 2012 season.  There are some positives about Strobel.  His body size is perfect for a defensive end spot and he has great balance and speed off the ball.  If he can get a little stronger and work on his technique, he could be an absolute monster at the defensive end spot.  I see him more of a strongside defensive end, but there is some debate about where he will end up during his career.

Here are the basic stats on Strobel:

250 lbs
245 lbs
265 lbs
240 lbs
Position Rank
National Rank

Only a few comments on his rankings.  Scout is clearly the highest on Strobel with him as a solid 4* recruit and as the #93 player in the country.  ESPN was the lowest by a good amount, but I think it's pretty easy to see that they're off on this one.  I'm not one of the people that claim ESPN is biased, but there's no doubt that they can be tough on the midwest recruits at times.  Regardless, he is ranked as one of the better defensive ends in the country for 2012.  I did find it interesting that 247 thought he could play tight end, which probably has to do with his height, but he's clearly a defensive end at the college level.

Looking to the 2012 season, things line up well for Strobel to get some serious playing time.  At the beginning of August, I didn't believe that Strobel would play this season.  I thought he was a lock for a redshirt.  But with Chris Wormley's injury and the lack of depth on the defensive line, I think Strobel will be a welcome and necessary addition for the 2012 season.  Craig Roh has solidified the strongside defensive end spot and there are two solid players on the weakside, but it's pretty unproven beyond that.

As I said earlier, I do believe that Strobel is a strongside defensive end, but for the 2012 season, it may simply depend on depth and performance.  Strobel has said that the coaching staff is planning on playing him at 5-tech this year, but they have shown in the past that if there is a hole, they will move someone if necessary to fill the gap.  If Frank Clark does not return to Michigan's team this year and there's no predicting the situation right now, I could see Strobel moving over there, but he is a much more natural fit for the strongside and I could see him developing into a possible 3-tech over the course of his career.

Overall, Strobel is a player with a high ceiling, but he will have to address some issues such as strength and technique.  He almost seems guaranteed to get some serious playing time this season with the lack of depth at both end positions, but strongside defensive end seems like his most likely destination, especially with Chris Wormley being injured.  He may not be great this year, but Michigan could use all the help it can get on the line and it certainly should help for the coming years.

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