Incoming: Chase Winovich

Commit #12
Winovich on the right, main recruiter on the left.  Image
Meet Chase Winovich
Scout: 3-star, NR OVR, #28 OLB
ESPN: 3-star, NR OVR, #30 OLB
247Sports: 3-star, NR OVR, #49 OLB
Rivals: 3-star, NR OVR, #29

Today ended one the toughest recruitment's to read during my time here at Maize and Blue Nation.  But the ending was worth the wait.  Sam Webb broke the (late, but good) news:
And then later apologized for the delay:
Ahh the professionalism you possess Mr. Webb.  Simply admirable.  Anywho, Chase Winovich becomes the 12th member of Team 135, joining Michael Ferns as the only other LB commit for the top ranked (ESPN, 247) '14 class.  Quotes from Winovich, via Webb: 
"It's not been an easy process by any means ..." But ... he proclaims: "At the end of the day Michigan is the choice for me!  Academically it's superior to almost any other BCS program.  Athletically it competes in basically every sport.  The coaching staff, and the players, that I'm going to be playing with are the best in the nation, and they're building the best recruiting class.  It definitely wasn't an easy decision .. but after sitting own and thinking about it after these weeks and months ... Michigan is the best for me for what I am trying to accomplish!"
Amazing the roll academics play for these young kids.  Great to see...especially for Michigan.

Looking at the ratings, all sites look to be pretty close in agreement.  All have him as a 3 star in the 28-30 OLB range (save 247), which at this point seems legit.  It's no question that Winovich may need a year or two to develop as 247Sport's Clint Brewster points out:
"Winovich has a great frame to add weight to being 6-foot-4, and will need to bulk up for Big Ten play, as he weighs about 215-220 right now. With Winovich being a taller linebacker, he can do a better job of getting his pad level down to take on contact."
Brewster also gives us a breakdown of his game:
"He has an instinctive first step and blows plays up before they even happen. Winovich plays with outstanding aggression and is very explosive. He has excellent speed and can make plays from sideline to sideline. Winovich has enough speed to chase down running backs far down field. He does a nice job of using his hands to shed blockers and scraping to get to the ball carrier. Winovich is really long at 6-foot-4 and can really get in between passing lanes. He is excellent when dropping into coverage. Winovich can be a force coming off the edge as an outside linebacker and can really close on the quarterback. He is very good at finishing off his opponent when he tackles. Winovich has great form tackling. Winovich is a great fit as an outside linebacker in college, where Michigan is recruiting him at"
With a 6'4" 215 lb. frame, we can all see the potential here.  Winovich reminds me a lot of current LB Jake Ryan (I wonder if he'll join the long hair flow??), whose rankings weren't much different a few years back, although Winovich has a much better offer list.  Ryan surprised some folks with his early development...Can Winovich do the same?  Apparently the coaches think so, Winovich tells Tim Sullivan of The Wolverine:
"They said they had me at Sam linebacker," he said. "That's where they'd start me off and possibly after having me around they could either have me go down to defensive end, or maybe evolve into more of a middle linebacker. They've compared me to Jake Ryan."
It's near inevitable that Winovich is set for a redshirt in year one (Ryan did the same), providing him a year to develop and study every single thing that Jake Ryan does.  At this point, it's hard to say if Hoke and co. will take another LB in this class, but to say they are done at the position may be a stretch.  It'll be very interesting to see how the class unfolds at this point.  With 6-7 spots left, lots of prospects are still high on Michigan and I don't like the thought of missing out on top talent if the class fills up early.  Gotta trust the staff on this one, which isn't hard to do...I mean look at this class! YOWZAS!

Other Offers
The rankings don't reflect the impressive offer list Winovich has compiled.  His scholarships included Arkansas, FSU, Illinois, Miami (FL), Northwestern, OSU, Oregon, Pitt, and Va Tech among others. 

Hype Video

Something Scary to Think 
Imagine Winovich does develop as quick as Jake Ryan, earning him plenty of playing time before becoming a dominant force on the outside.  Meanwhile, Ferns has turned into the garbage picker-upper in the middle of the field, gobbling up more running backs than your local landfill.  We could see a lot of backside, bone crushing hits from Winovich and with that I'll've been warned future signal callers.  Plan accordingly.

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